Technology for Women and Girls

Pink cameras, proceeds from the sale of gadgets going to the Breast Cancer Research Fund, technology products specifically designed for women… These days, the high-tech industry is increasingly marketing its wares to the fairer sex.

What’s more, there’s perfectly sound reason for doing so, besides base political correctness: The Consumer Electronics Association reports that 45% of all retail consumer electronics purchases were made by women in 2007. Pile on the female acceptance factor required for the majority of male CE buys (read: women control most household purchases… and the men who make them), and that’s a lot of girl power.

Speaking as woman myself, yours truly agrees that stylish products are great. However, most women also want to buy things that enhance our lifestyle in a big way or solve a specific problem, while also steering clear of gimmicks. For the ultimate in chick-friendly technology, read on.

1) Vivienne Tam HP Mini Digital Clutch – $700Vivienne Tam HP Mini Digital Clutch

It looks like a cute little tote, but open it up and your entire digital world is at your fingertips. “China Chic” designer Vivienne Tam and HP have joined forces to introduce the Mini Digital Clutch notebook. Unveiled at NYC’s Fashion Week, the computer is “a true reflection of the needs of a modern woman who cares about fashion, but is also passionate about her technology,” says Tam. The notebook features a peony design—the national flower of China—on a red background. Weighing only 2.25 pounds and only 1 inch thick, you can carry it in one hand. The take-anywhere device shines at email, instant messaging or video chatting on the 10.2-inch LED display. But you won’t get the range of capabilities and processing power of a full-size laptop; rather, the Mini is meant to be a companion device to another computer. Originally scheduled for a 2009 delivery, Sex In the City types are demanding it now. Click here to order yours.

2) Audio-Technica ATH-CK52W In-Ear Headphones -$60Audio-Technica ATH-CK52W In-Ear Headphones

Designed specifically for the XX-chromosomed, Audio-Technica’s new ATH-CK52W in-ear headphone offer three things women love: Performance, comfort, and color. The pink ear buds have 10.7-mm drivers and loop support for better-quality audio and come with three interchangeable ear sizes (small, medium and large) that help block outside noise. A cord wrap prevents nasty tangles. Perfect for the girl on the go.  

3) Harmon/Kardon AVR 7550HD 7.2-Channel Receiver – $2,800

It’s not pink. It doesn’t have a device in it to track your kids. And the thought of a loaded receiver might intimidate some women. But what the AVR 7550HD does have trumps all: Dolby Volume Control. Translation: This new feature evens out the volume level disparities between House and that loud, annoying Carl’s Jr. commercial. This is godsend if you don’t want to shoot your significant other evil glances every time a commercial assaults your ears as he watches NFL Sunday Ticket. It’s especially useful if you have kids in the house who are trying to sleep as well. Of course, the flagship 7.2-channel receiver has a host of other high-tech goodies, like a USB port and a remote control that lets you control digital music files from a USB memory stick. We can’t wait to get our hands on this model shortly.

Harmon/Kardon AVR 7550HD 7.2-Channel ReceiverHarmon/Kardon AVR 7550HD 7.2-Channel Receiver

4) Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Camera – $800

It’s no secret that women like to take pictures of their kids. In fact, many new camera purchases coincide with the arrival of a new baby. A simple point-and-shoot model may take fine pictures, but lack the speed necessary to capture that fleeting expression on a child’s face or the capabilities to grow with your sprouts. Digital SLR alternatives are one solution, but they can be heavy and bulky (the last thing you need when you are hauling around a little human). Panasonic’s new Lumix DMC-G1 is a sort of hybrid between a D-SLR and a smaller digicam, though. It has more of the capabilities, such as interchangeable lenses, of a D-SLR without all the weight and girth (it’s only 13.5 ounces). This means that as your child gets older and starts to play sports, you can add a telephoto lens to capture better images from afar. It also features an articulated LCD screen, which allows you to shoot from odd angles—great for over-the-tub/crib shots. And with 12.1 megapixels, you can blow your photos up big for large-sized prints. If all this isn’t convincing enough, auto-focus tracking for moving subjects is also included, and who moves around more than kids?

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Camera PanasonicLumix DMC-G1 Camera

5) Fitbit Tracker – $100

This handy little gadget caters to one of the things women care most about: health and wellness. Strap the wireless device it to your shirt, pants, or wrist and, through motion-sensing technology, it automatically collects data on your daily activities, such as the amount and quality of sleep you are getting, calories burned, or how many steps you’ve taken. You can check your stats on the Tracker itself, but what is even cooler is that data is automatically wirelessly uploaded to the Fitbit website so you can manage it, set personal goals, interact with others, and log your diet, weight, etc. It’s a fantastic motivational tool to get you on the road to good health.

FitbitTracker
Fitbit Tracker

6) Sony Cyber-shot T700 Digital Camera – $400

This interesting camera from Sony isn’t just a digital camera – it’s a portable photo album. With 4 gigabytes of memory plus a Memory Stick Duo slot for adding more images, you’ve got access to hundreds of pictures at your fingertips—all viewable on the big, bright 3.5-inch LCD display that practically takes up the entire back panel. The camera also features several auto-detect technologies, such as Smile Shutter, which lets you capture the moment as your subject smiles, and face detection. It even boasts Intelligent Scene Recognition, which recognizes eight standard shooting scenarios, like Twilight Portrait, and selects the best settings accordingly. In other words, you don’t have to do much to get a great picture, regardless of background lighting or what type of environment you’re taking the shot in. Available in a candied assortment of colors, you can pick one to suit your own personal style. And if you buy it at sonystyle.com, you can even get it engraved. Very cool.

Sony Cyber-shot T700 Digital CameraSony Cyber-shot T700 Digital Camera

7) Veho VSF-004 USB Negative Scanner – $100Veho Scanner

In most families it is the woman of the house that is the family archivist. She takes the pictures, remembers to grab the camcorder, orders prints online, and might even dabble in scrapbooking. Of course, for those old enough to have boxes full of film negatives in storage, preserving those memories can be a bit more difficult. Film is susceptible to degradation over time, can be wiped out instantly with a flood or fire, and is just downright inconvenient to make prints from. This inexpensive device changes all that, letting you scan your negatives by the strip into your computer and convert old pics to digital files with up to 5MP resolution. Just insert the negative and convert using the supplied software, and you’re ready to rock and roll. Of course, your brother might not appreciate you circulating images via email of him decked out in mullet and braces in his red Fiero, but then again, that’s his problem. Get yours today at www.firebox.com.

8) WorldTracker GPRS – $650

We prefer to call using GPS to keep tabs on your kids “tracking” rather than “spying.” Whichever way you cut it, there is nothing like the peace of mind you get knowing that your kids are safe and where they are supposed to be. The WorldTracker GPRS is one of the most accurate tracking devices on the market. You can see your kids’ location on the Internet, where their position is displayed through Google Maps or Microsoft Virtual Earth along with the date, time, and even street address. It will also show a trail where your child has been. If you’re not near a computer, you can check the maps via your PDA. Draw virtual boundaries, known as “Geofences,” on a map, and the device will also email you if your child has crossed outside of that boundary. Scared your teenager might sneak out with the car? Put the WorldTracker in the vehicle and it will alert you if the auto moves.

WorldTracker GPRS
WorldTracker GPRS

9) Sony VAIO VGN-CS110E/P Laptop – $900

Here’s a notebook PC that will definitely appeal to the young lady who values style and individuality as much as power and functionality. Luckily, this hot-pink laptop has all of the above. While you’ll notice its snappy looks first, featuring a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processor, Intel Centrino, and 3GB of memory, this notebook is no slouch in the tech department, either. All the necessary accoutrements are included, such as a built-in webcam for social networking, DVD player, and support for faster 802.11n WiFi connections. In short, she’ll be pretty in pink with this adorable computer.


Sony VAIO VGN-CS110E/P Laptop

Sony VAIO VGN-CS110E/P Laptop

10) Epson Stylus Photo R1900 – $550

Finding a high-quality photo printer that is right for you can be a tricky business. There are many pro-quality printers on the market that would be overkill for everyday snapshots, and there are multiple snapshot printers that offer limited functionality and print sizes. The Epson R1900 finds the sweet spot in-between, and is designed for the photographer that takes her images more seriously than most. It provides glossy color photographic prints using Radiance Technology, which improves hue transitions and creates great, hang-on-your-wall-quality prints. Likewise, red and orange ink replace the red and blue inks found in the R1900’s predecessor, the R1800, for more natural skin tones. For the family historian, models are also large enough to print scrapbook-size images. And they’re fast, producing 11-x-14-inch prints in under two minutes.

Epson Stylus Photo R1900
Epson Stylus Photo R1900

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