• U.S.

In Brief: Aug. 27, 2001

2 minute read
Lev Grossman

CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK The Jumbo Music Block ($60, for ages 1 and up) is designed to be Baby’s first gadget. Made by Neurosmith, which specializes in tech for tykes, it’s a plush cube 14 in. on a side–that’s about waist high on a toddler–and covered with bright, colorful touch-sensitive shapes, each of which hides a secret pocket. It’s designed to teach music and motor skills: touch a shape, and it plays a maddeningly perky tune.

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD If you want to upgrade the look and feel of your computer but don’t want to shell out for the latest 10,000-googlehertz monster, why not invest in a new keyboard instead? Logitech’s new Cordless Freedom Optical ($100, mouse included) is the ultimate in typing comfort. Its sleek design tilts the keys at an optimal angle, there’s no cord to knock over your coffee cup, and it’s loaded with shortcut keys and a scroll bar for efficient Web surfing.

LIGHT FANTASTIC The hot new gadget at this week’s National Hardware Show in Chicago is a breakthrough in…night-light technology? Yep, the Elumina Dimmable, available this fall for $5.99, is the most sophisticated device of its kind ever made. Its features include 10 brightness settings, an extra-long life-span and a special sheath that extends to cover the night-light’s plug when it is removed from its outlet–to reduce the risk of bedtime shocks.

–By Lev Grossman

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