Digital Life: Hit the road with world's sexiest satnav
Published 12/10/2010 | 05:00
Everyone feels the pressure to be thin and attractive. Bombarded with images of lithe supermodels in magazines and gorgeous stars on TV, you can't help sometimes but glance in exasperation at your love handles or the latest lines on your face.
Gadget makers are presumably in the same boat. Any gizmo could be the greatest invention since sliced bread, but if it looks like a chubby wedge carved from plastic by Helen Keller, no amount of marketing will shift that puppy.
In the age of the sleek mobile phone, image is king. You could conclude that Garmin had more than one eye on the iPhone when it crafted the world's sexiest satnav.
Slender and light where its rivals are portly and hefty, the Garmin Nuvi 3790T desperately craves membership of the cool phone gang -- and more or less succeeds.
Thankfully, its prowess is more than skin-deep.
Into this lissome frame, Garmin has fitted a beautifully high-res, 4.3-inch touchscreen, all the better to show off its maps and clever junction guidance.
With its big, bright icons, fast response and even a limited form of voice recognition, the 3790T will get you where you're going with a minimum of fuss.
Like TomTom, Garmin incorporates smart routing that takes account of traffic volumes at different times of the day.
Another bonus is the subscription-free traffic information built in -- alas, it doesn't function in Ireland but could be useful while travelling in the UK and some European countries.
Excellent battery life and small size means the Garmin is handy even while away from your car, though the lack of a protective case seems stingy at this price level.
The Garmin Nuvi 3790T costs a whopping €360 but can be found online for under €300.
BlackBerry has never been down with the kids, partly because of the butt-ugly, er, functional designs but also because they can cost a packet to run.
But Vodafone has spotted a gap in the market by introducing the first pre-pay BlackBerry to Ireland.
The Curve 8520, available in black or white, still looks business-like with a QWERTY keyboard suited to more nimble fingers than mine.
Battery life is impressive because the phone is 2G rather than the power-hungry but faster 3G.
The secret weapon in cosying up to the youth market is the little-known BlackBerry Messenger function, which provides all-you-can eat free texting to other BlackBerrys.
So all you need to do is persuade your pals to get a BlackBerry too, and you'll save a fortune.
To try to get you hooked, Vodafone is offering free data services on the Curve until next February. The Curve 8520 costs €160 on pre-pay.