Sony's Self-Portrait Cyber-shot Camera
The rotating lens on Sony's $450 Cyber-shot DSC-F88 makes self-portraits easier--but otherwise this 5.1-megapixel camera has little unique about it. Though it's larger and weighs more than Sony's similar DSC-T1, it has a much smaller LCD (1.8 inches versus 2.5 inches). The F88 costs a bit less and has some useful manual exposure controls, but you really have to like pictures of yourself to choose it over the T1.
Wireless Travel Router Rocks
Hotel broadband is great, but if you'd rather do your work outside on the balcony--instead of at the uncomfortable desk in your room--check out Netgear's WGR101 Wireless Travel Router. A little bigger than a deck of playing cards, this $100 device has its own firewall and connects to the hotel network, providing 802.11g wireless access for one or more notebooks (you can even securely share your connection with a colleague rooming next door).
--Edward N. Albro
A Case of Style Over Substance
The new Microsoft Optical Mouse by designer Philippe Starck belongs in a modern art museum--but not on your desk. While the $35 mouse is one of most elegant and attractive pointing devices I've used, it's also one of the worst because its egg-shaped design makes manipulating the scroll wheel and assorted buttons far too difficult and uncomfortable.
--Michael S. Lasky
Polar's New Running Computer
Fitness geeks, rejoice: Polar's $350 S625X package uses a wristwatch heart-rate monitor and a distance-measuring foot pod to serve up a smorgasbord of workout details, including advanced measurements such as maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max). After measuring my morning run with the hardware--everything from average running speed to altitude gained to maximum heart rate--I transferred the data from the watch to my infrared-equipped notebook and then used the included Polar Precision Software to pore over the particulars. Learning to operate the five-button watch and to navigate the PC software takes some time, but as a reward you get performance details usually reserved only for the pros.