SONOS BUNDLE 150 ($1,000): Three years ago, Sonos shook up the audio industry with a device that plays music throughout a home over a wireless network. Now, Sonos is upgrading its multiroom line of devices with products aimed at music lovers who aren't serious audiophiles.
The upgraded system lets consumers start small with the $1,000 starter kit, the Bundle 150. It consists of a controller and two Sonos ZonePlayers, one of which, an amplified version, connects to speakers; the second, unamplified unit plugs into an existing sound system. For another $150, Sonos includes two speakers.
The bundle, available in audio equipment stores or at the Sonos Web site, also includes a hand-held controller with a color screen that lets you control multiple ZonePlayers in different rooms. (If you have more house, buy more Zone Players.)
In a major change that will be appealing to anyone without an extensive CD or record collection, music can be streamed from online music services like Rhapsody, Napster, Pandora or Sirius. The new unit also extends the range of its wireless network up to 200 feet. Stephen C. Miller, New York Times
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Fly to Beijing on one laptop battery
DELL LATITUDE E6400 ($1,139 & up): If you thought it would be impossible to fly all the way from New York to Beijing on one battery charge for your notebook, you might want to try Dell's new 14.1-inch widescreen Latitude E6400.
In a new ad campaign, Dell has been crowing about a whopping 19 hours of battery life for the E6400, its newest laptop. Starting from $1,139, it will be on sale in September. Available options include Wi-Fi, mobile broadband with GPS, and WiMax.
But $1,139 won't get you 19 hours. The 6-cell battery that comes with basic model lasted a little more than four hours in a test that included watching a DVD of “Ocean's Thirteen,” browsing the Internet and streaming Web video. Dell says that battery option can last six hours with normal word-processing and productivity functions.
To get trans-Pacific battery life, you need to upgrade to the 9-cell battery ($99) and a 12-cell battery slice (an additional $399). You also need to set the laptop to All Day Battery mode, which reduces the display's brightness and refresh rate and shuts down the optical drive, so don't plan on any 19-hour movie marathons. Danielle Belopotosky, New York Times
Dialing up good music
NOKIA 5610 XPRESSMUSIC ($99): You may have heard about a cell phone or two that can also play music, but Nokia's 5610 XpressMusic – the successor to the Nokia 5300 – is one of the smallest and most user-friendly.
The phone, which costs $99 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile, has two gigabytes of storage. It plays MP3s and has an FM radio tuner along with dedicated music playback buttons. It comes in black or white, and its standard 3.5-millimeter headset jack works with most headphones.
The 5610 can connect to Macs and PCs and supports microSD flash cards for memory expansion. Users can also assign any video or MP3 as the phone's ringtone. It has a 3.2-megapixel camera for still pictures and video. Both are displayed on the phone's 2.2-inch color display.
The phone is compatible with international GSM networks and Edge Wireless networking. It weighs about 4 ounces and is 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. The screen slides up to reveal a numeric keypad. The music is, obviously, sold separately. John Biggs, New York Times