It’s the thought that counts. At least that’s what they say.
But as someone who’s seen his fair share of not-so-enthusiastic reactions from gifts that I thought were sure things, the road to gift hell is paved with good intentions. The lesson? Don't ask me about purses. But I do have some knowledge when it comes to gadgets.
For folks looking at gadgets for potential gifts, here’s a list of portable electronic devices to consider. For gift ideas for the little ones, don’t forget to also check our guide of Top Portable Electronics for Kids.
Amazon now sells more eBooks than it does actual books. And it owes it all to its Kindle eReader, which continues to have a stranglehold on the eBook reader market. In case you’re not feeling Amazon’s proprietary format for eBooks, however, make sure you check other offerings from Sony and Barnes & Noble in our Top eReader Roundup.
Disc-based media may seem like a dinosaur in today's file-based world. But there's still room for a portable DVD player in folks' list of gadgets. On that note, a nice display mixed with great battery life make the DVP-FX930 one of the best portable DVD players out on the market. Don't forget to check our list of Top Portable DVD players as well.
UPDATE: A new, improved model, the DVP-FX950, is now available.
There certainly are other good players out there. But the iPod line is the closest thing to a universally liked player among consumers. Even non-tech savvy folk will likely know — and appreciate — an iPod. The flagship is the iPhone-like iPod Touch which can surf the Web and play apps and video besides music. Cheaper options include the iPod Nano and Shuffle.
If you’re looking for an MP3 player that also records, here’s one that’s worth a look. With its ability to rip music or audio via any device with a headphone jack, the MiCorder allows you to convert music from casettes and vinyl — or even other MP3 players or your computer — into digital form.
This one’s for the dudes. And yes, that’s a wireless mouse that’s shaped like a car.
This one’s for the ladies — or open-minded guys with a soft spot for Pac-Man. The iBoo is compatible with iPods both old and new and comes with a remote that lets you control your device when docked. Also comes in other styles, including a plant, soccer ball and pig.
For folks who want a more powerful alternative to the iBoo that’s affordable to boot, this Hercules set delivers a lot of bang for the buck. The included subwoofer especially adds a lot of thump for bass lovers.
Professional and amateur photographers alike will love the extra versatility the heavy-duty Gorillapod Focus and Ballhead X provides. With the ability to support up to 11 pounds while wrapping around all sorts of objects, this makes a good addition to any shutterbug’s gear. Versions for smaller cameras and devices are available as well.