Picking a gadget is a difficult thing. A gadget should be an extension its user. Whether you use gadgets for rigorous adventuring or simply for capturing memories, these are some top gadget picks for common types of users:
The Adventurer – Lets face it, not all gadgets were created equal. Some manage to fall apart if you just hold them wrong. If you find yourself constantly putting your gadgets in harm’s way, consider upgrading them. For a camera, the Optio W80 from Pentax (pictured) has a metal body with waterproof, dustproof and shockproof protection ensuring that it can handle anything that you can. For a phone, a device that you use everyday, it might not be the best idea to completely replace it. Instead, check out ebay or craigslist for a cheap, used phone you won’t be afraid of losing or damaging. In the event of a lost phone, most carriers can replace the SIM card (a tiny card inside your phone that stores your carrier information on it) for a mere $20. Also, the Leatherman CX Skeletool makes a great companion to your gadgets because of its lightweight and assortment of gadget friendly tools like wire cutters and pliers. Finally, if you plan on bringing anything else valuable like your expensive GPS units or camera memory cards, Pelican makes a variety of rugged cases.
The Weekender – This is for those of you who work hard and play harder. Just because it happened in Vegas doesn’t mean you can’t take pictures, so you’ll want a camera with facial recognition and excellent low light capabilities such as the Canon S90 or the forthcoming Kodak Slice. For sharing your photos, try a LaCie iamaKey. It’s a USB flash drive made to resemble a key; it won’t look out of place next to your car keys and the speedy transfer rates means less time stuck to a computer. If you’re looking for a phone to properly balance your work and nightlife, check out the Nokia E72 (pictured) which sports multiple modes for business and fun.
The Environmentalist – It’s true, gadgets in general are not the most eco-friendly things in the world. The idea of having the latest and greatest devices are entirely counter to the movement of conservation. Still, there are a few companies keen on this and supporting them will go a long way towards greener gadgetry. Start by visiting lastyearsmodel.org, an organization dedicated to saving the planet by purchasing used and keeping your old model rather than buying the latest. For an MP3 player, look out for used deals on a Microsoft Zune 30GB, although they are large by today’s standards, when Microsoft released newer Zune models last year, they allowed older Zunes to download firmware that brought new features- making them feel like brand new devices! While we’re saving paper with digital documents and pictures, why not store them on the eco-friendly [re]drive external hard drive from Simpletech (pictured). Using bamboo and aluminum to stay cool (rather than energy hungry fans) the [re]drive’s 500GB hard drive will make you feel good about being such a file pack rat.
The Artist – You’ve already got a hefty DSLR and maybe a fantastic wooden easel, but what about those candid moments when you can’t always have full size equipment with you? Capture those moments with a Canon G11, a professional quality camera in a mid-sized point and shoot package. When you’re ready to edit them Wacom has you covered with a Bamboo Fun multi-touch digitizer. It may not do pen angles well, but its pressure sensitive pen will have you drawing your own online comic in no time. Speaking of going online, the new 13” Macbook Pro from Apple is just the right combination of industrial styling and computing power for any self-respecting artist. Lastly, carry your new laptop in style with an Incase signature collection laptop sleeve (pictured). Avante-garde indeed!
The Gamer – When the virtual world is your domain, you must have the right tools. I’ll make this quick so you can get back to your game. Prevent enemies from sneaking up behind you with AX Pro Surround Sound Headphones from Tritton. Never be at the mercy of your batteries with the right charging dock from Nyko. Prove your accomplishments with a MinoHD digital camcorder from Flip Video (pictured).
The Power-user – The geek. The tinkerer. So many names but only one goal: to get as much out of your gadget as humanly possible. If other phones’ application policing or connection issues have you feeling like a programmer outside of his shell script, then the Nokia N900 is your new best friend. Running the Linux-based Maemo operating system, the N900 is a portable computer with phone capabilities, not the other way around. When it comes to mousing, the Logitech MX1100 leaves other mice in the dust. Point, click, zoom, scroll and flip all at your fingertips. If you ever thought a router didn’t do enough, D-Link felt the same way and responded with the DIR-685 Wireless Storage Photo Frame Router (pictured). It sends packets in N, it streams media, and it has powerful encryption tools, all while displaying photos from your last LAN party. It just doesn’t get more geeky than that.
If you’ve got any great load-outs of your own, or questions about mine, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below.