LAS VEGAS -- Around this time each year, Sin City becomes Geekville. It's the Consumer Electronics Show -- the mecca for everything techie. This year an exiting, innovative and useful toy caught Gadget Grrl's eye: the all-electric maxi scooter. It does lots of nifty little tricks, but costs a pretty penny. Next, a veteran device gets a fresh look: adapters. These new ones are made for the Apple (AAPL) - Get Report iPhone, iPod touch, Blackberry Pearl and 8800.
Vectrix Electric Scooter
I've been covering CES since 1996 and there is nothing better than finding a new product or technology that is as innovative and/or useful as the Vectrix, an all-electric maxi scooter.
I took a test ride on the back of the V3 model and can report that it's not only a smooth and quiet ride but you don't have to deal with the smell or the heat of a gas-powered vehicle.
VECTRIX is the acronym for: Vehicle, Electronic, Commuter, Transformation,Revolution, Innovation, X factor, and was started by a number of engineers.The big news here is the nickel metal hydride battery, because with any electric vehicle, it's only as good as the battery inside.
The V1 model ($11,000) is currently available in a two-wheeled scooter as opposed to the three-wheeled V3 model (which won't be available until later this year and will be priced at $15,000). The V3 has two wheels mounted in the front for better handling and stability.
The design has also eliminated the kick stand, so that with the press of a button you can stop and park the V1 in mid-air. And the V3 has the ability to go backward, which would come in handy in the midst of city traffic.
Stats on the V1 model are as follows:
0-50 mph in 6.8 seconds.
Top speed 62 mph.
Range 35-55 miles.
Regenerative braking adds up to 12% incremental charge to the battery.
Time for a full charge is three hours, but you can charge incrementally.
V3 is expected at the end of the summer.
Check the Web site to see if these scooters are available in your area.
This device has been out for awhile but they are showcasing fresh, new adapters for the Apple iPhone, iPod touch, Blackberry Pearl and 8800 at CES.
In case you have not heard about or seen this device, it's a wire-free flat, charging pad that delivers up to 15 Watts of power and can simultaneously charge up to four small devices.
How this works is that a WildCharge adapter attaches to -- or outright replaces -- the device's back cover. This adapter has tiny external "bumps" (contact-points) that come in physical contact with the pad. The beauty of this device is that mobile executives will no longer have to lug around all the power cords and/or power strips for each device.
The charging pad alone costs $59.99 and there are various adaptors, for an additional $34.99, for various phones with and without a built-in music player.
Site to See:
Find out whether it's true that batteries last longer if you put them in the freezer, and much, much more. Everything and anything you've always wanted to know -- or not know -- about batteries can be found on this site.
Diana Forbes is a Los Angeles-based writer and media personality. Her "Gadget Grrl" reviews appear in various national print and online publications, and she demonstrates consumer products on national and local television shows. Click
here to visit her Gadgetgrrl Web site.