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Sound Advice: Reporting back from CES 2024 and photo scanner options

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Tech Advice

XGIMI Aladdin projector is magic: I recently made my annual trek to Las Vegas for the CES 2024 tech convention, and this year there was a bumper crop of great new electronics, one of the best years in memory. What was especially exciting is many of the products I saw were not only innovative and high quality, they were also priced within reach of most consumers. I will be highlighting many of them in the weeks and months to come. Today I am going to kick things off by telling you about one of the most ingenious products I saw at the show, the new, aptly named Aladdin projector from XGIMI (pronounced X-gee-me). It’s a projector, and it’s also a lamp!

The Aladdin is a short-throw 1080P projector packaged into a flush-mount lighting fixture with multiple illumination settings. It installs in place of a ceiling light and draws its power from the corresponding wiring. It has powerful speakers so you get a projector with sound, a high-end lighting fixture and audio for the room all from one device. Built-in streaming and a wireless HDMI transmitter sends signals to the Aladdin without running extra wires. I saw a demonstration at the show and the picture quality was quite good and the sound quality was excellent. The built-in lamp (for the room, not the projection light source) has several settings and provided good quality illumination as well. Availability is expected in mid-2024 and while pricing has yet to be announced, rumors are it will be around $1,000. If that holds it will be an outstanding value. The Aladdin would be a great fit for game rooms, garages, bedrooms, living rooms or even kitchens where there is an open wall to project the image. us.xgimi.com

Q. Some years ago you recommended the Epson Perfection V550 Color Scanner for archiving pictures (such as for saving family albums, etc.) Back then I just put it on my wish list, and when I came back recently the price had tripled and they only have used ones. Do you have another recommendation for a new picture scanner that works the same way?

—J.S., San Jose, California

A.The Epson Perfection V600 is the step-up model and is still available brand new for $349.99. It is a much better buy than a used V550 for more money! The biggest advantage to the V550 and V600 for archiving family photographs is you can put multiple prints on the scanner glass and it will scan them all at once and output them as separate images. It’s a huge time saver and the V600 also has Digital ICE to automatically enhance the photographs by removing dust and scratches and correcting color. As you noticed by the discontinuation of the V550, products like this are falling by the wayside, so if you want one it is best to act sooner rather than later. epson.com

 

Q. Is it safe to connect your phone Bluetooth to a rental car in order to listen to Spotify? I'm going on a trip soon and will rent a car, and would like to connect Bluetooth to listen to Spotify. I've heard that there could be security-related issues with doing that, so I am hesitant.

—A.G., Minneapolis

A. It is safe and I do it all the time. Just remember to delete your phone from the car’s paired Bluetooth devices list when you return it. Many states now have laws that prohibit talking on a handheld cellphone, so you will want it connected for hands-free calls as well.

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©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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