Pocket watch, 3G Tablet & a Hand-built Supercar

The best of consumables, automobiles and technology

Published: Oct 7, 2010 06:54:04 AM IST
Updated: Oct 11, 2010 12:24:49 PM IST

Deep Pockets


The Arceau Duc Attele pocket watch has Hermès-made leather surrounding an 18-carat white gold watch hand-engraved with details from a drawing by Alfred de Dreux on the face. It’s finished with a natural white mother-of-pearl dial and AR-coated sapphire crystals. A collector’s piece, this. You’ll need a waistcoat with a fob pocket to really carry it off, though.









High Spirit


You may never have heard of Panoz but that’s okay; only the most knowledgeable petrolheads are aware of this small US-based manufacturer. That, however, is about to change with the launch of this extraordinary-looking machine. The Panoz Abruzzo Spirit of Le Mans is a limited-edition, hand-built supercar with enough performance to put the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari et al to shame. Only 81 will be manufactured (the number of Le Mans races held since the first in 1923). Each of the lucky owners will get a unique chance to drive an 8.3-mile lap at the world famous 24-hour Le Mans race, and be guests of the organisers during race week.

  • Engine type not confirmed, but Panoz promises 600+ bhp.
  • Trifecta cooling tech lowers coolant temperature as it flows to and from the radiator.
  • The chassis uses a new material, R.E.A.M.S (recyclable, energy-absorbing matrix system) a multi-layer composite, lighter than carbon fibre but more dent-resistant.

Big Head

 mg_36062_usb_drive_280x210.jpgStrontium has launched three superfast flash drives with encryption for data security. They’re called  the Key, the Spin and the Hulk. The Hulk, pictured here, has 128 GB of storage space, and can transfer files using HighSpeed USB 2.0. Enough for lots of movies, your entire music collection and pretty much every photo you want to keep, right?
Rs. 19,999, strontium.biz

Get Charged


We love our fancy gadgets, but they’re just  expensive paperweights if they’re out of battery. Battery life is the bane of all portable gadgets and that is exactly why Gum Plus is such a must-have. Encased in a pseudo-aluminium casing, this portable power pack is tiny enough to slip in your pocket and delivers juice on the go. It has a mini USB port on one side to charge it, a regular USB port on the other for power output, and an on/off toggle switch on top along with five blinking LEDs to indicate battery status. It comes with a USB charging cable, another one to charge your iPhone or iPod, and a micro fibre pouch. With a 4,400 mAh battery, Gum Plus outputs 1,000 mAh of power. It can charge your  iPhone up to 90 percent capacity in just an hour, and a fully-charged Gum Plus can recharge your iPhone up to four times before it puts its legs up and dies.
Rs. 3,250, just-mobile.com

First Cut
The Olivepad VT 100 is the country’s first official 3G tablet.
The 7-inch WVGA screen is surrounded by a black bezel, a silver spine and glossy black rear with a mirror finish. The feel is quite plasticky, and it doesn’t look like it can survive nasty bumps or a fall.


Apart from a custom dock at the bottom, the UI is vanilla Android 2.1. There are five home screens and you can add widgets and shortcuts, like on any Android phone. On top, there are SIM card and memory card slots, along with volume keys. There’s a VGA camera on the front for video calls. The 3 MP main camera isn’t really a killer but does the job. Likewise for its music capabilities; you get a 3.5 mm jack, but no FM.

Connectivity-wise, it’s typical again. The SIM card slot lets you access the Web and make calls too. But you’d look dorky holding the device to your ear, so a headset is recommended.

Usage isn’t bad. The capacitative touchscreen is responsive, and supports pinch zooming. The extra screen real estate comes in handy for Web browsing and videos. But the screen isn’t really crisp. You get access to Android Market, but the weird screen resolution limits usable apps. The pre-installed Aldiko e-book reader works well though. Text input is via a full-blown QWERTY and comes with predictive text. Typing isn’t smooth; the device doesn’t register touch sometimes.

The Olivepad is stuck in no man’s land: Too big for a phone and short of delivering the full tablet experience.

At about 15k, it would have been a great gadget; at the current price, it’s approaching iPad territory.
Rs.  25,000, olivetelecom.in

Easy Listening


The Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset makes you look like a telecaller. But despite the design, it’s a premium product, feather-light, well put together and comfortable. The behind-the-ear loop design might stick out, but its comfortable: You can wear it all day long without ever noticing it. Limited buttons, thoughtfully placed, ensure hassle-free use. The ear-piece rotates, which means the headset can be used on both ears. A swivelling boom mic and a flexible ear band make getting a comfortable fit easy. And it comes generously accessorised: Wall charger, car charger, USB charging cable and an extra pair of silicone tips. Performance-wise, it’s the best we’ve seen so far. Even in traffic, reception is clear and natural. Plantronic’s Audio IQ2 suppresses wind noise — you can talk business sitting before a turbine! For performance over aesthetics, it’s the best Bluetooth headset money can buy.
Rs. 4,199, plantronics.com



Studio Gorm, a collaboration between John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong, has recently updated their flexible furniture system, Peg. Inspired by several objects such as the shaker peg rail, the Korean wall-hung table, the tinker toy and even the lowly shop broom, the collection comprises benches and tables in four sizes, as well as a lamp. No nails, screws or glue: You assemble them by inserting the pegs in the allocated locations. When not in use, simply dismantle the components and hang them on the peg rail provided. The tabletops are made from a variety of American hardwood like oak, hickory, ash, beech, etc. The benches use solid beams of douglas fir with hemlock legs. Also available are optional bench tops which can be attached with the wooden pegs and withdrawn. The lamp comprises a wooden base and ceramic shade. The expanded Peg collection will be exhibited at the Direktorenhaus art space in Berlin.

Deep Pocket, High Spirit, Big Head, Get Charged, First Cut, Easy Listening: Text and pictures courtesy T3. Snap: Text and picture courtesy Better Interiors.

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(This story appears in the 08 October, 2010 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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