12. 19. 2008
Holiday Gift Guide: Editors' Picks
Some of our editors' favorite tech toys - to give or receive:
Chumby - clock radio plus widgets
Chumby, which sells for about $180, may be one of the best inventions we've seen all year. Deceptively simple (and sweet!) to look at, its furry exterior contains a screen which can showcase pictures, play TV shows and podcasts and stream eBay, Facebook, Twitter and more from your computer (download widgets to expand these already impressive specs). And it's an alarm clock, too!
Vuxis iWear - video eyewear
The downside to watching TV and movies on your laptop is that you can sometimes be overcome with the urge to check your email or Tweet about what you're doing. Next thing you know, your relaxing evening's been abandoned as you discuss the finer points of John Waters' oeuvre... With some Vuxiz iWear, however, you can switch off your mind, wrap your movie around your head and settle back for an intense viewing experience. And gamers LOVE them! Priced from $145. (OLED and wide screen versions are also available).
Rolleiflex digital camera
The original Rolleiflex camera with its waist-level viewfinder was a design classic that went out of style as cameras became more sophisticated (and we started holding them up to our eyes and stuff). Now it's back, in a new digital version, and it's better looking than ever, in a choice of classic black or this vibrant seasonal red. It has 5 megapixels and a 1.1 inch square TFT LCD screen. The price of nostalgia? From around $339.
Finally, if you've had enough of hearing about netbooks, don't want to buy a laptop, and money is no object when purchasing a computer for the love of your life, look no further than HP's posh and pretty Touchsmart desktop for $1,299. Who needs Apple?!
Bladestar indoor flyer
The Bladestar is a cool radio-controlled flying toy for kids ages 8 and up. The Bladestar is an indoor flying star with motion sensors that allow it to avoid people, walls, and other options while gliding around the house. You can buy the Bladestar for about $19 at Amazon.
Youtube demo: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XEuw86on0f4
QwickDraw - case for fastest iPhone in the West
We get soooo many iPhone cases here at Popgadget that it's hard to impress us, but Speck has come up an ingenious spring-loaded, quick-release, extra secure swivel holster called the "QwickDraw" which I love. Just call me "QwickDraw Hosie." Fits both iPhone 3G and original iPhone and is on sale for $14.97 at Speck.
New HD Vado camcorder
What's the difference between Creative Labs' original Vado (released last May) and the brand-new Vado HD? It is the only pocket video cam (so far) to feature HDMI connectivity, and it comes with an HDMI cable that provides 1080i output to an HDTV. Just as easy to use as it's predecessor, it records 720p high-definition quality with just the touch of a button. This model comes with a wide-angle glass lens (so you can capture more action) and 8GB of built-in memory that can hold up to two hours of HD video. The Vado HD also features a 2-inch LCD screen and a built-in USB connector, plus this time it comes with a protective case and a software package for improving on your videos after you shoot them. Available for $199 at Amazon.
Vibe II headphones/headset - twice as good
The appeal of the Vibe II is more than just cosmetic. These feature an updated microphone, and call/music control functions for use with iPhones. For iPhones, the Vibe II is a step up from the Vibe-Duo, which used to be my favorite ear buds. Until now. The Vibe II features what looks like a gemstone in a metal crown (the Chrome Rouge version) and heavy metal steel alloy and fabric cables; it's more of a style statement than past models. As with most companies, V-Moda now includes four sizes of silicone tips - extra small joining small, medium, and large - to fit virtually any user’s ear canals. It also includes detachable rubber stem pieces called Sport Earhooks that improve the stability of the earbuds for over-ear mounting, which I found is a handy feature. Approximately $120 at V-Moda.
Roadtrip with Smart Scan
RoadTrip 2 is the entertainment hub - in your car - for your iPhone or iPod. RoadTrip features SmartScan technology, which searches the radio dial for the three clearest broadcast frequencies, automatically programs them to preset buttons, then automatically selects the best of the three for in-car broadcast to your FM radio. Almost makes long commutes bearable. Cradle adapters are included for iPhone, iPhone 3G, 1st & 2nd generation iPod touch, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation iPod nano, and iPod classic (80/120GB). $99 at Griffin.
Minimalism is definitely the last word when it comes to style. And these watches from Too2late are evidence of this. With a simple "dial" that exposes either just the time or date functions, these digital watches are extremely chic and durable. They are waterproof, and come with a 2-year warranty. Available in several delicious colors for around $22.
Cell Phone Charging Station
It is possible to keep your gadgets organized even while you're charging several of them at once - and that’s with the Cellphone Charging Station. Made from high-quality faux leather, the station is designed to hold 4 devices at a time (while neatly hiding away all the cords beneath a removable tray). A perfect gift for a geeky family, or even a single geek for that matter. Available at a very reasonable $30 from SpaceSavers.com.
DaysAgo Digital Day Counters
Encourage the budding (or boring) statisticians you love with these cute Digital Day counters. The counters stick on virtually any item whose life you want to track - be it food leftovers in the fridge, your wardrobe (to monitor how long it's been since you last organized it), or even your nightstand (to track how long it's been since your last good deed). The last one’s for Santa to monitor. Available in various colors at $8 per counter.