A Gizmo for the Most Persnickety People on Your Holiday List
What do you do when everyone on your holiday list has an iPod and a Flip videocam? Fear not. While the proliferation of personal tech gadgets may confront you with a bewildering array of choices, the good news is that there’s a product for every personality on your list.
1. The Manic Road Warrior
LG VL600 USB Modem ($99.99)
Verizon has leapt into the world of 4G with its new network in 38 metropolitan areas and 60 airports. Laptop users can plug into speeds five times greater than 3G with the LG VL600 USB Modem ($99.99 with a two-year contract).
Look for new smartphones to take advantage of Verizon’s 4G network early next year. How
long until one of them is an iPhone?
2. The Mobile Media Junkie
Jawbone Jambox ($199)
For anyone who travels with a Bluetooth-enabled device, Aliph’s Jawbone Jambox ($199) is a blackboard eraser-size wireless speaker that fits in a briefcase, plays music and movies, and catches every pig grunt in Angry Birds.
When you’re tired of blasting Katy Perry in your hotel room—yup, we’re on to you—Jambox doubles as a two-way speaker for conference calls.
3. The Gamer
OnLive Game System ($99)
Imagine playing Xbox- or PlayStation-quality games—without the Xbox or PlayStation. That’s the idea behind the OnLive Game System ($99). Games reside in the cloud and are played over the Internet. Players will wish the adapter used Wi-Fi instead of a cable, but a new $9.99-a-month, all-you-can-play service promises big savings.
OnLive’s initial selection of games is limited, but it does have some recognizable names, such
as NBA 2K11 and Batman: Arkham Asylum.
4. The Chic Audiophile
Cue Acoustics’ Model r1 ($399)
The Cue Acoustics Model r1 ($399) packs a lot of volume and beautiful sound into a handsome, compact box that also includes an integrated iPhone/iPod dock.
For an additional $99, Cue's s1 satellite speaker provides extra stereo separation. Like the
r1 dock, it is handmade in Massachusetts.
5. The TV Connoiseur
XpanD X103 Universal 3D TV Glasses ($129)
The dumbest thing holding back 3D TV is that you can’t use one manufacturer’s TV with another’s 3D glasses. XpanD’s X103 Universal Glasses ($129) work with sets from 10 companies. It’s a bit of a hassle to change the settings from one TV to another, but it’s a step toward liberation from the tyranny of specs.
In addition to working with sets from 10 manufacturers, XpanD’s universal glasses can be used in movie theaters utilizing the XpanD system.
6. The Neat Freak
Neato Robotics XV-11 Vacuum ($399)
Neato Robotics’ XV-11 ($399) is the latest look-Ma-no-hands vacuum cleaner. Using a laser sensor to create a map of its surroundings, the XV-11 plots its path and minimizes collisions.
When the XV-11 senses it’s running low on power, it scuttles back to base for a recharge before
venturing out again to finish the job.