Shoppers will be forgiven a sense of deja vu when they behold the iTwin Connect. It does indeed look just like the original iTwin launched by the Singaporean company two years ago but is a completely new gadget. Back then, the iTwin was simply a way to securely connect two computers over the Internet. It resembled a double-sided USB flash drive. Plug one end into one USB port, rinse and repeat on another machine next door or in the next country, and an encrypted connection was established.
The iTwin Connect takes this a step further by adding a secure virtual private network (VPN). This will allow you to use public terminals privately, access sites usually blocked from certain countries, and yet not have to pay a subscription for the privilege.
In a world that requires both mobility and security, the iTwin Connect's just what the doctor ordered. It may not look like a flashy new product, but it's a perfect example of making an already uniquely useful gadget even more effective.
Pity the original iTwin can't be upgraded into a Connect. The iTwin Connect comes in metallic silver, along with a free keychain pouch. It can be ordered now from www.itwin.com, and shipping will be on Jan 22. Retail stores will start selling it here in Q2.
Starting at US$999
Gaming gadget firm Razer, helmed by Singaporean chief executive Tan Min-Liang, has a habit of unveiling a prototype at one CES, then launching a finished product at the following year's show. That's what happened this week, with last year's Project Fiona morphing into this year's Razer Edge.
The Edge is a powerful gaming tablet that should also attract those looking for a versatile Windows 8 machine. It's got a 10.1-inch touchscreen, beefy Intel processors and Nvidia graphics cards, and solid-state storage.
That's just the beginning of the story, however. An optional Gamepad Controller interface (US$249) adds controller grips on either side of the Edge. A Docking Station (US$99) lets you connect more gear. And a Keyboard Dock (destined for Q3 2013) will turn the Edge into a general purpose laptop.
There are three configurations. The basic Edge comes with (relatively) basic specifications. The Edge Pro (US$1,299.99) comes with faster hardware. And the Edge Pro Bundle bundles accessories. Although the Edge will go on sale in the United States in Q1, don't expect it to hit stores here soon. Just as the Razer Blade laptop launched at CES 2012 but only started selling here in June, the Edge is only expected to arrive late this year. But it looks worth the wait.
Canon PowerShot N
Welcome the future of compact cameras with Canon’s PowerShot N. For more than two years, point-and-shoot cameras have struggled to compete with mobile phones. Slightly superior image quality couldn’t make up for bulk, clunky controls and an all-round lack of fun. Canon shows that it finally gets it with the 12-megapixel PowerShot N, which doesn’t even have a shutter button.
Instead, everything’s done with a 2.8-inch touchscreen. Built-in Wi-Fi wirelessly transfers snaps to phones, or directly to Facebook.
And in a nod to everyone’s obsession with camera filter apps on phones such as Instagram, the Power- Shot N automatically applies filters to five of your shots, which is a step beyond even what most phone apps do. Some day soon, all compact cameras will behave like this. The PowerShot N will come in black or white. Local pricing’s not available yet but it’s scheduled to start selling in Singapore within Q2.