A place to park your iPhone while at home

The iHome clock radio for the Apple iPhone has not changed radically from versions of the iHome for the iPod. They allowed you to insert the iPod into a dock built into the top of the clock radio for recharging and – here is the cool part – play the contents of the iPod through the clock radio's speakers. Thanks to a set of adapters that comes with the new $150 iP99 model of the iHome, the iPhone as well as various versions of the iPod can be docked.

Once you've docked your iPhone, you'll hear a call coming in, although the iHome doesn't play the calls – you'll have to reach over and grab the phone for that. It has a remote control, but that is used to choose the songs on the phone's playlist. The clock radio has a large, clear display, good reception and fine sound. The only drawback is that the iPod-like volume and station controls may be hard for a person in a just-awakened state to manipulate. The device is available at Brookstone and Apple retail stores, Brookstone's online store and the iHome Web site. Damon Darlin, New York Times

Ultrathin laptop for gamers

The Voodoo PC brand, favored by gamers, and the brothers behind it, Rahul and Ravi Sood, did not disappear when it became part of Hewlett-Packard. The latest Voodoo is the ultrathin Envy 133, which will be in stores and on Hewlett-Packard's Web site this month.

It is only 0.7 of an inch thick, slightly thinner than Apple's MacBook Air, which it aims to compete with. At 3.37 pounds, it weighs about the same as the Air. When the combination biometric-security low-light videoconference camera recognizes your face, it lets you play.

In addition to Vista, it has a Linux alternate operating system that lets you surf, Skype, send instant messages and hear music in five seconds on the 13.3-inch display. The touchpad is gesture responsive, and the keyboard lights up when it senses fingers. The base price is $2,099 for a 1.6-gigahertz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 gigabytes of memory and an 80-gigabyte hard drive.

Marty Katz, New York Times


Most speakers are built into large square boxes. This poses a problem for home theater buffs without much space to spare. JBL's Control Now speakers are quarter-round, which means that four of them can fit together to make one round speaker.

The $250 indoor speakers come in black, and the $270 all-weather outdoor model comes in white.

But how do you mount these? They can fit on a wall or in a corner, or sit on a bookshelf. You can also suspend the speakers from the ceiling on a rod, creating a circular cone of sound with a look reminiscent of a high-quality train station announcement speaker. Very futuristic.

The speakers have three-quarter-inch tweeters and four-inch woofers and weigh 6.6 pounds apiece.

Clearly these odd-looking speakers are not for everyone. JBL recommends them for interior designers who might want to hide speakers in places where average speakers cannot go.

John Biggs, New York Times