Weekly high-tech product releases: Intelligent Bluetooth headsets, wireless music

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The Independent Tech

High-tech product releases announced the week of January 20 include Bluetooth headsets that talk to you, a device that enables wireless music streaming, the MOTOROI smartphone, LG's first Android mobile, a range of powerful notebook computers from Sony and eco-friendly external hard drives from Samsung.

Intelligent Bluetooth headsets
Aliph's Jawbone ICON series is the first Bluetooth headset to offer users a personalized headset experience via their website software platform. The device has built-in, easy-to-use intelligent functions, such as a visual battery meter, free directory assistance, voice-to-SMS and voice dial. Aliph's Jawbone ICON series weighs in at just 8 grams and gives users up to 4.5 hours of talk time and 10 hours standby. Jawbone ICON Bluetooth headsets are priced at $99.99 and became available January 18.

A gadget that lets you listen to your music wirelessly
Aperion Audio's Home Audio Link is a wireless adapter that enables consumers to stream audio from their computer, iPod, MP3 player and mobile devices to their home theater or audio system. Users can use the tiny device to wirelessly send music to up to three rooms in their house. The Home Audio Link costs $149 for the first unit and $70 each for additional units. The device will be out on January 28.

First Android-powered smartphone in Korea
MOTOROI smartphone (also called the XT720) will introduce Korean users to a new set of Android features including high-speed web browsing via WiFi, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube videos and Google Talk. Motorola's smartphone has an 8 megapixel camera, Xenon flash, MP3 player, multitouch browsing, free access to local TV and audio channels via Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), up to 8GBs of on-board storage, support for up to 32GB of storage using a Micro SD card and a 720p HDMI video recorder - the first of its kind to be offered in the Korean smartphone market. The MOTOROI will be available throughout South Korea in early February. No price was announced.

LG goes Android
LG's first endeavor into the Android-powered mobile world is a touchscreen, social networking smartphone called the LG InTouch Max GW620. The phone boasts both QWERTY and touchscreen keyboards, a Social Networking Manager (called Linkbook), auto face-tagging photo features (that let you call, message or text your friends by touching their face in a photo), 5-megapixel camera for photos and videos, and a 3" touchscreen. The phone is available for free in the UK on a £20 (€23) per month two-year contract.

Powerful, high performance mobile notebook computers
Sony has launched a new series of VAIO Z notebook computers that are designed to be tough, ultra-light and portable. The high-performance laptops are crafted from carbon fiber and aluminium, weigh less than 1.45kg and have a full 13.1" (33.3cm) HD (1920 x1080) display. The VAIO Z series will be released at the end of March. No prices were given.

Eco-friendly designer External Hard Drives
Samsung has introduced a line of stylish "green" hard drives for the tech-savvy generation who want their gadgets to look good. The G Series includes 250GB, 320GB, 500GB, and 640GM versions in their G2 portable line and 1, 1.5 and 2 Terabyte models in their G3 Station range. The Hard Drives are designed to reduce energy consumption by more than 95 percent and go to sleep automatically after five minutes of inactivity. The hard drives will be available in mid-January. The 2TB 3G Station will cost $199.

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