Article: 20000301124

Title: Slick Tech

20000301124
00078030
200050_20000301_078030.xml
Slick Tech
0032-1478
Playboy
HMH Publishing Co., Inc.
Buyers Guide
175
175
review
What's happening, where it's happening and who's making it happen
Beth Tomkiw
175

What's happening, where it's happening and who's making it happen

An electric shaver isn't the kind of device that normally turns heads. But as you can see from the photograph below, Grundig's version of the utilitarian tool is a killer. Television sets, computers, speakers and stereo systems are all undergoing face-lifts. "Technology is becoming so miniaturized and inexpensive, it's freed up the form factor," says Ravi Sawhney, president of RKS Design, the California-based firm that created the Benwin EX4 flat-panel multimedia speakers, at bottom. The EX4s are about as tall as an average guy's hand and are less than an inch thick. And that's still about four times larger than the audio circuitry that enables the speakers to create a full 360-degree sound field. According to Sawhney, the move toward more stylized gadgetry means we'll be choosing electronics for the same reason many of us select a particular car---to reflect our personalities. And while products will be exciting visually, "they'll work for you, rather than vice versa," Sawhney says. Living up to that promise, Grundig's Pro Avantgarde shaver is loaded with smart features, including a retractable head cover instead of the removable---and often lost---plastic variety and a liquid crystal display that tells you how much battery power remains. Spoon's Secret Agent Man is a digital watch with a vertical or horizontal display and push-button access to the time and up to 100 memos, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You can even program this slick ticker to remind you of special events. Motorola's equally eye-grabbing Timeport is billed as the world's smallest web phone. The breast pocket-sized gadget in sleek silver is an analog and digital wireless phone that lets you grab news and information off the Internet. But the chicest of all new tech toys is the flat TV. The Samsung model that is pictured at the left connects directly to a DVD player or a VCR for bedside movie screenings. Yeah, baby.

Where and How to buy on page 159.

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George Georgiou
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Above: Sure, you could stash Samsung's SyncMaster 570pPlus in your home office. But with picture-in-picture viewing, an input for a DVD player or VCR and a swivel base with stereo speakers, the 15-inch flat-panel monitor is perfect in the bedroom or den. To add a surround-sound effect, connect Benwin's EX4 multimedia speakers to the mix. Price: about $1250 for the monitor, $130 for a pair of speakers.
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George Georgiou
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Above, far left to right: Grundig's Pro Avantgarde provides a close shave by combining rotary and horizontal cutting movements (about $300).
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George Georgiou
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The S.A.M. digital watch by Spoon keeps time and up to 100 memos or addresses ($215).
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George Georgiou
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Motorola's Timeport cell phone can access the web ($250).
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