Last-minute gifts for the tech lover – Toronto Star

Apple iPad mini, starting from $329.99, at Apple retailers or

Ideal for: Whiz kids who want the newest tech toy to working professionals who need to stay on top of emails. The small form-factor (it has a 7.9-inch [20-centimetre] screen) allows you to handily carry the device while the screen is large enough for easy readability.

What we love: It has optional cellular connectivity. You can reach up to lightning-LTE speeds, all without a contract or long-term commitment from the wireless carrier – just pay what you use.

Breakthrough features: This tablet is Apple’s smallest – measuring 23-per-cent thinner and 53-per-cent lighter than Apple’s iPad 3, and can fit in the palm of your hand.

What’s disappointing: With Apple focusing on keeping it affordable, the mini lacks a high-resolution retina display, a regular feature on other tablets like the recently announced Google Nexus 10.

Canon EOS M camera, starting at $829.99, at Canon-authorized sellers

Ideal for: Budding videographers and photographers in your life – novice to professional.

What we love: The mirrorless technology gives you the stunning image quality of a DSLR camera with the convenience of a point-and-shoot, minus the bulk. Plus, the APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor makes it a lightweight to tote.

Breakthrough features: With the new stepper motor built into the lenses (they’re included) the Spielberg in your family can capture HD movies in 1080p. The autofocus setting means you can simply hit a button and record up to 44 minutes of HD footage on a 16GB SD card. Now you’ll never miss another birthday or graduation.

What’s disappointing: Theabsence of traditional, standard digital camera features like a viewfinder and built-in flash; you have to carry a separate flash unit (included in the kit).

Sony VAIO T13 with Windows 8, $899, at most electronics retailers.

Ideal for: Those who thrive on processor power and need a machine that can take some abuse (it’s made out of durable aluminum and magnesium construction), all with an affordable price tag.

What we love: You can experience Windows 8 in all its speedy glory. Its elegant build, excellent battery and moderate price point makes this computer an overall mid-range laptop.

Breakthrough features: It comes equipped with all the bells and whistles like a full HDMI port, Windows 8 and a generously spaced keyboard. The touchpad supports multi-touch gestures and allows you to scroll and pinch-and-zoom photos.

What’s disappointing: This computer measures heavier (1.5 kilograms) than rival computers in its category. The keyboard isn’t backlit and the fan can be intrusive.

Samsung GALAXY Note II, $599.99 no term, at major wireless carriers.

Ideal for: The consummate traveller who needs a mobile office. It’s only 5.5 inches [14 centimetres], eliminating the need for both a smartphone and a tablet computer.

What we love: It’s a smartphone/tablet hybrid with a large, vibrant HD Super AMOLED 5.5-inch screen giving you quality and quantity. The included S-Pen allows you to be creative: draw fun pictures and take notes on the large screen.

Breakthrough features: While other phones have similar motion-gesture features, Samsung has perfected it to integrate directly with the operating system making it easier to use: silence calls when the phone is flipped over, and just shake to connect to Bluetooth.

What’s disappointing: The larger screen may be a tight squeeze for your pocket or your clutch. LTE data is battery-intensive, so turn it off when not in use.

BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE, $549.99 no-term, at major wireless carriers.

Ideal for: The workaholic who can leave his or her laptop behind, but still have access to email, media and productivity tools like Microsoft Office via Documents To Go, or the teen who doesn’t like waiting for movies to load before watching them.

What we love: It’s the size of an e-reader, but offers more features such as 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, a wide-selection of apps from Blackberry App World, two 1080p HD cameras and HDMI. It also brings the BBM service to a bigger, tablet-sized screen.

Breakthrough features: The BlackBerry Bridge app allows you to switch between your BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook – giving you access to a larger screen. wide-selection of apps from Blackberry App World, two 1080p HD cameras and HDMI. It also brings the BBM service to a bigger, tablet-sized screen.

What’s disappointing: It’s designed to work with a BlackBerry smartphone via the BlackBerry Bridge application. iPhone or Android users may not appreciate the unified BlackBerry experience.

Kobo Arc, $199.99, at Indigo.

Ideal for: The literary aficionado or student who doesn’t want to tote around a dozen books at a time.

What we love: Kobo has one of the largest e-bookstores (access to over three million e-books — one million of which are free!). Its dual-core processor allows you to turn pages without lag, smoothly surf the web and speedily check your emails.

Breakthrough features: It’s not just your personal library. It allows you access to movies, music, apps and games — all in colour, and lighter than a traditional computer.

What’s disappointing: While it hasadditional tablet capabilities (load apps, music and movies), this shortens the battery life.

Sharp 60-inch LE845 TV, $2,699.99, at most electronics retailers

Ideal for: Families making the big upgrade for the family den, or a new toy for Dad’s man cave.

What we love: This sleek LED TV features Sharp’s Quattron four-colour technology, including a full 3D-2D conversion experience. The 240Hz edge-lit LED panel means your TV will deliver a natural and vibrant picture.

Breakthrough features: SmartCentral, Sharp’s link between TV and the Internet. Through Wi-Fi, you can download and access some of your favourite social apps or surf the web – all from the comfort of your own remote control.

What’s disappointing: The steep $2,699.99 price tag.

Back-to-school technology 2012 – Cityline 2

Back-to-school special episode as seen on Cityline – August 28, 2012.

As always, you can re-watch previous episodes of Cityline on, or via the Citytv Video iPad/iPhone app!  Cityline airs 9am/4pm EST on Citytv in Toronto.  Check for air times in your city.

Show Notes:

Scientific calculator

Phone speaker dock, Beats by Dr. Dre
iPad Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard, Logitech
Best Buy,



BlackBerry Playbook 4G LTE on Rogers

HP ENVY 100 Printer

Kogeto 360 iPhone case

Nike+ Sportswatch

Monster Headphones Giveaway
Monster/Best Buy /

Tech to Make Dad Smile this Father’s Day – The Digital Life

With Father’s Day around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts. Rather than gifting the same-old tie, why not consider some of these high-tech treats?

BlackBerry Bold 9900

Whether the fathers in your life want to stay connected to their friends or family abroad, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 is sure to get the job done.  Available on the Rogers Wireless network, the 9900 is one of the thinnest and lightest BlackBerry devices on the market.  Featuring the comfy QWERTY keyboard and vibrant displays that users have come to know and love, the BlackBerry is the complete all-in-one device for dad’s busy lifestyle.

Price $129.99 (on a 3-year term)

Panasonic EP-MA70 Massage Chair

For the dad who needs to relax, treat your dad to a thermal ceramic massage after a long day at work! The Panasonic EP-MA70 massage chair features heated ceramic heads, a sophisticated massage and stretch program, giving Dad a full body massages. To achieve the ultimate comfort, the massage chair comes with folding arm and leg rests, and an automatic body scanning system, so you get the most personalized massage from any massage chair on the market today!

Price:  $6,999.99

Panasonic ES-LV81K Pro Curve ARC V Blade Shaver

For the clean-cut dad: Add a little luxury to Dad’s morning routine with this shaver that will leave him soft and smooth!


–    Five-blade system can be used wet or dry
–    Panasonic’s fastest 14,000cpm powerful linear motor
–    Multi flexible active head follows contours of the face
–    Pop-up trimmer
–    Includes fully automatic self-cleaning and charging system

Price:  $399.99

Etón FRX3 AM/FM/WB Radio

Whether you are outback or in the blackout, you can be sure to reach for this radio with a powerful light. It will keep your whole family informed, entertained, and illuminated. It comes with a solar panel for recharging, and a hand turbine that gives you lots of power for minimal cranking.

–    AM, FM, NOAA weather digital radio with display.
–    NOAA weather alert function.
–    Alarm clock and LED flashlight.
–    USB jack recharges smart phones and other mobile devices.
–    Glow in the dark locator lets you find it when the lights are out.
–    Built-in solar panel.
–    Can also be recharged via mini USB input or via AC with included wall charger.
–    Headphone output.
–    AUX input lets you play an MP3 or iPod® through the speaker.

Price:  $63.00

Sharp AQUOS Quattron 9 Series 80” LCDTV

Sharp offers the biggest TVs available in Canada with 60, 70 and 80 inch sizes. Perfect for Father’s Day, the Sharp AQUOS Quattron 8 Series 3D LCDTVs with LED backlight have Quattron Four Colour technology which adds yellow to the traditional red, green and blue – meaning Dad will be able to see gorgeous colours while watching the big game.

Sharp’s advanced HD large screen technology allows you to be fully immersed in the viewing experience.  The size of the room is less of a factor than ever before. In fact, you only need to have 10 feet of viewing distance from your 80-inch TV to enjoy a seamless, beautiful picture. This HUGE line of TVs will show Dad just how much you love him!

Price:  $6499.99


As Father’s Day approaches, and BlackBerry want to give you a chance to win a BlackBerry Bold 9900 just for Dad, so he can stay in touch with his family and friends.

Here’s how you can enter:

1)    Follow @CitylineCA and @WinstonSih, and tweet us why Dad needs a BlackBerry to stay connected.

2)    Be sure to include in your tweet the hash tag #CitylineFathersDay to ensure you’re considered for the prize pack, worth approximately $499.99 CAD!

Deadline:  Friday, June 15, 2012, 5pm EST.

The winner will be selected via the dedicated “#CitylineFathersDay” hash tag, so be sure to include it in your tweet!

Giveaway Fine Print:

1.    No purchase necessary. Only one (1) entry per person. Any attempt or suspected attempt to enter more than once per person, any use of robotic, automatic, programmed or entry methods not authorized by these rules, shall be deemed as tampering and will void all of your entries. This Contest is brought to you by Citytv, a division of Rogers Broadcasting Limited (“Citytv”) and collectively the “Contest Sponsors” (Research In Motion; BlackBerry)
2.    The winner of the contest will be chosen on Friday, June 15, 2012, and the selected entrant will be contacted by Twitter. The selected entrant must email back to claim prize within three (3) business days following the draw,
3.    Phone will not come with a working monthly plan. Citytv assumes no responsibility of incurred charges or additional price liabilities. Entrant is responsible for providing cell and data plan for the smartphone.
4.    Approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is $499.99.
5.    The Grand Prizes must be accepted as awarded and may not be transferred or exchanged.
6.    The Contest Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of at least equal or greater value in the event of the unavailability, for whatever the reason, of the advertised prize in whole or in part.
7.    By entering this Contest, entrants consent to the use of their entry, name, city of residence and/or any photograph of or that may be taken in publicity carried out by Citytv and/or its advertising agencies, without further notice or compensation.
8.    This Contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are over the age of majority in their province, excluding employees of the Contest Sponsors, their parent and affiliated companies, representatives, dealers and agents, Contest suppliers and judges, and those with whom they are domiciled. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations.
9.    No communications will be entered into except with selected entrants.
10.    Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. All entries that are incomplete, illegible, damaged, irregular, have been submitted through illicit means, or do not conform to or satisfy any condition of the rules may be disqualified by Citytv. Citytv takes no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, misdirected, late or destroyed entries, or for typographical or other production errors. The Contest Sponsors are not responsible for any errors or omissions in printing or advertising this Contest. All entries become the property of Citytv and will not be returned.
11.    The Contest Sponsors are collecting personal data about entrants for the purpose of administering this Contest. No further informational or marketing communications will be received by entrants unless entrants provide the Contest Sponsors with explicit permission to do so as indicated on the entry forms. Please see Citytv’s Privacy Policy at for information on their policies towards maintaining the privacy and security of user information.
12.    By entering this Contest, entrants release and hold harmless the Contest Sponsors, their advertising and promotional agencies and the Contest judge(s), their affiliates and respective directors, officers, owners, partners, employees, agents, dealers, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively the “Releasees”) from any liability in connection with this Contest or, if declared a winner, the prize(s). Before being declared a winner, entrants may be required to sign and return, within a stipulated period of time, a Declaration of Compliance with the Contest Rules and a full Liability and Publicity Release. By accepting a prize, winners consent to the use of their name, place of residence, voice, statements, photographs or other likenesses for publicity, advertising or informational purposes in any medium or format without further compensation or notice.
13.    This Contest will be run in accordance with these rules, subject to amendment by Citytv. Contestants must comply with these rules, and will be deemed to have received and understood the rules by participating in this Contest. The terms of this Contest, as set out in these rules, are not subject to amendment or counter-offer, except as set out herein.
14.    Contest Sponsors assumes no responsibility for failure of the internet or the website during the promotional period, for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the promotion. Contest Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion to cancel or suspend this Contest should a virus, bug or other cause beyond their reasonable control corrupt the security or proper administration of the Contest. Any attempt to deliberately damage any web site or to undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, Contest Sponsors reserve the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution.

[With information from BlackBerry, Panasonic, Eton, and Sharp.]

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