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Gadget Goodies for the Chic and the not-too Geek

by Theano Nikitas


You don't have to be a technophile to incorporate some of the latest gadgets into your life. Companies are making products easier to use and, at the same time, more stylish. Integrating technology and fashion is no longer just a fad and that's great news for the fashionistas among us. At the same time, tech gadgets, gear and services provide practical solutions as well.

With that in mind, here are some of our favorite things for April.Sony VAIO P Series Lifestyle PC

Technology doesn't get much chicer than Sony's new VAIO P Series Lifestyle PC notebooks and to prove the point, live mannequins showed off these tiny laptops around the city while decked out in looks from a variety of designers including threeASFOUR, Elise Overland and Libertine. The techno-chic invasion was sighted from the lower east side and Chelsea to Grand Central Station and the tents at Bryant Park. For more images and links to YouTube videos of the mannequins in “action,” check out: www.sony.com/golightly.

On the tech side, the 1.4 pound featherweight laptops are the lightest 8-inch notebooks on the market and come in four colors (red, black, white, or green). Equipped with 2GB of RAM, Windows VISTA, and handy features like wireless, Bluetooth, GPS and a built-in webcam, this tiny little wonder provides everything you need for instant communication and finding your way to that late night downtown party or locating a restaurant for a romantic midnight dinner. Better yet, it's small enough to fit into a purse, so you'll never have to leave home without it.

Prices start at $899.99; for more information go to: www.sonystyle.com M-Rock Milan and Paris

If you're like us, you probably toss your keys, gadgets, make-up and other assorted necessities into your purse when you're rushing out the door, resulting in a disorganized mess and, even worse, scratched cellphone screens and smudged digital camera LCDs. M-Rock Milan and Paris mini-sacks offer the perfect protection for the small electronics that are part of our everyday lives and make it easier to reach into your purse and find what you're looking for.

These small drawstring pouches have a soft lining that will keep your gadgets free from scratches while looking good at the same time. Available in black, silver or gold, the Paris is slightly larger at 4.5 x 2.8 x 1.5 inches, while the Milan is designed for tinier gadgets and measure 4 x 2.6 x 1 inch.

We opted for the basic black Paris model and discovered--by accident--that the outer shell of the pouch will actually protect a Blackberry from an inadvertently spilled glass of wine at the dinner table. A quick wipe with a damp cloth left the little Paris pouch good as new, with not a drop of liquid reaching the Blackberry.

Check out the Milan and Paris, priced very affordably between $15-20, along with M-Rock's other camera bags at: www.m-rock.comLensbaby Composer

Most photographers work hard to ensure that their images are sharply focused but there are times when you want--or need--a creative touch that will take your images to another plane. Lensbaby Composer, one of the latest iterations of this unique selective focus lens, is probably one of the most interesting and fun accessories for digital SLRs that you can find.

This odd-looking lens attaches directly to a digital SLR (the lens is available for a number of different camera mounts) and allows you to select a focus point; everything else will be soft and blurred for a dreamy, otherwordly effect. All you have to do is simply push, pull and tilt the lens until you get the look you want and lock the lens into position and shoot.

To push the Composer even further, get one of Lensbaby's Creative Aperture Kits, which allow you to cut out small shapes in the disks so the out of focus highlights take on the shape cut into the disk. This is very cool stuff.

The Lensbaby Composer is ideal for weddings, portraits, macro shots of flowers and fashion photos, but the applications are limited only by your willingness to push the envelope. Check out the gallery on the Lensbaby site for examples and ideas--you'll be inspired to order one on the spot.

You can find more information about the Composer ($270) at www.lensbaby.com. While you're there, check out the other Lensbaby options, including the $100/150 Muse (which takes a little more practice to use) and the soon-to-be-released Control Freak ($270).


Multiply

Part social networking, part online content/media sharing site, Multiply is one of the most versatile sites we've come across on the Web. You can upload and share photos, videos, music, post a blog, network with friends and family, join a group and more. The basics are free or, for a mere $19.95 a year you get unlimited storage of full resolution photos and videos, with higher video upload limits, 10% off the regular price of photo print products, ad-free browsing and more.

Multiply is incredibly easy to use and the site recently added the ability to order photo products like books and calendars. Using a wizard, you can quickly put together a fabulous looking book and with a couple of simple clicks, order as many as you'd like.

In fact, Multiply is offering a special discount to FashionLedge readers. Buy the first book at full price (starting at around $30) and get 50% off all other copies of the same book. Sign up now; this offer ends on May 10th. Enter the discount code: FSHNLDG1.

Check out Multiply at: www.multiply.com