B.E. Picks - Black Enterprise

B.E. Picks

When it comes to high-end phone design, there’s no question that
Finland-based Nokia has the competition beat hands down. The company’s 8800 Sapphire Arte is no exception. The tri-band looker (EGSM 900/GSM 1800/1900 and WCDMA 2100) features a 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera with 8x digital zoom and provides 1GB of built-in memory. A sapphire center key and napa leather accents complement the sleek, coffee-toned design.

Although the phone’s scant three hours of talk time and bank-breakable price-1150 euros, ($1, 691.42)-might leave you wanting more, design and performance features such as the ability to silence a ring tone simply by turning the phone facedown, a unified micro port for charging and transferring audio and data, and anti-fingerprint coating on its metal and glass just hint at its sophistication. The Sapphire Arte is not offered by U.S. mobile carriers but can be purchased unlocked.

For many of us, the idea of sitting down to a complicated financial management program has kept us estranged from our finances. Quicken Starter Edition 2008 offers a pain-free way to get reacquainted. Geared primarily at first-timers but good for the no-fuss crowd, the application lets you get started quite easily, syncing data with your bank and even your PayPal account.

For those who are “numbers challenged,” the program helps you track spending-so you can decide if you really need those near-mortgage-payment Italian boots. Plus, you can categorize your tax-deductible expenses year-round so you don’t run afoul of the tax man. The Starter Edition also integrates with TurboTax so you can import your financial information for tax filing purposes (www.quicken.com; 60-day free trial, $29.99 via CD-ROM or download).

we no longer stare at folks as they jabber endlessly via their in-ear Bluetooth-enabled headsets-now we just talk above them. And though we’re still a bit old-fashioned when it comes to the plastic protuberances, it’s still nice to have a device that provides clear calling without weighing down or irritating our ears. Cardo Systems’ Scala S-800 headset features eight volume levels and provides up to eight hours of talk time in a lightweight form. The stereo headphone lets you store up to three speed-dial numbers, switch between multiple phones, and enjoy high-quality voice calls as well as
music. And that’s music to our ears (www.cardosystems.com; $84.99)