Weekly high-tech product releases: Versace phone, color e-book reader, LG Vu Plus

High-tech product releases announced the week ending May 26 include a low-priced color e-book reader, a smartphone for watching TV, a flip phone that is as tough as a Rugby player, a luxury phone from Versace, and a home server designed by Neil Poulton.

Digital photo frame maker bringing color to e-books with new reader
Pandigital Novel is a seven inch color e-reader that comes with integrated access to Barnes & Noble's eBookstore. In addition to its full color LCD touchscreen (800 x 600 resolution) display, the book reading device comes with WiFi connectivity, multimedia capabilities and up to six hours of battery life. Pandigital Novel is powered by Android, giving users access to social media sites, news, and weather in addition to a large range of e-books through the Barnes & Noble bookstore. People can also use the e-reader to check their email with the built-in email app, view photos and video files and keep up to date with their appointments with the on board calendar and alarm clock. There is 1GB of on board memory that can be expanded via the device's SD/MMC memory card slot (supports cards up to 32GB) and users can transfer files using the built-in mini-USB port. The Pandigital Novel is priced at $199.99 and will be released in to retailers across the US in June.

Vibrant touchscreen phone for luxury-brand lovers
The Versace Unique is the result of a collaboration between Versace, ModeLabs Group and LG Electronics. The device, which will be sold through Versace flagship boutiques around the world, has been hand-assembled in France. The face of the phone is made from high-tech ceramic or handmade lacquers and comes framed in either an 18K yellow gold finish or with 316L grade stainless steel inlay. The back is wrapped with leather. The "impossible to scratch" display is crafted from the largest single piece of sapphire crystal ever produced for consumers. The phone comes with a 3G connection, media player, 5 MP flash camera, and Dolby Mobile surround sound. The device will go on sale at Versace flagship boutiques across the globe early June. No pricing information was provided.

A smartphone for internet-addicted couchpotatoes
The LG Vu Plus is LG's latest offering for always-connected consumers that like to watch TV. The smartphone comes with a large 3 inch touchscreen which is perfect for watching your favorite TV show on. It also has a 4-line slide out QWERTY keyboard, a 3 megapixel autofocus camera, video recording, access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, turn-by-turn voice and driving directions, and 7.2Mbps HSDPA. The LG Vu Plus is available in the US on June 6 for $149.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate) on a two year contract.

A flip phone for those that like to get dirty
The Samsung Rugby II is a durable device built to military-grade standards so it can withstand exposure to dust, shock, vibration, rain, humidity, solar radiation, altitude, and temperature extremes. The sturdy phone comes with Push to Talk features. It has advanced GPS capabilities, AT&T's Navigator (for turn by turn driving directions and real-time traffic alerts) plus access to location-based applications like Loopt, Trimble Outdoors, AllSport GPS and Where. Additional features include large external speakers, 2.0 MP camera with video recording, Bluetooth, 7.2Mbps HSPA, and a microSD memory card slot. The device will be available on June 6 for $129.99 after $50 mail-in rebate on a two year contract.

A shiny black box that helps you store and back up your files in style
Storage maker LaCie has once again teamed up with industrial designer Neil Poulton to create the Network Space MAX dual-disk Gigabit network storage and media server for the home. The server comes with RAID 1 for high data security and can be used as a USB external hard drive. The device helps users to share and back up their files with Gigabit speeds with complete data security. Files can be accessed when you are away from your house using the remote access service. The LaCie Network Space MAX is priced from $279.99, €259 for the 2TB capacity server and is available now.


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