Mari’s in town visiting family, so we met up at the Starbucks to share our newer gadgets. Here’s some of the gear we had on hand:
Flip Ultra Video Camera – I believe this was a holiday gift to Mari and what we used to spontaneously film our table. It shoots an hour of 640×480 video for $150 and includes USB plug – no cables required. Interestingly, the Flip has onboard video editing software (which we obviously didn’t use) that runs on a host computer (Mac or PC). I can see many folks making the quality compromise in exchange for the ease-of-use and convenience of this device. Seems like a perfect gift for kids, too.
Navigon 2100 – This GPS unit was a Black Friday gift to myself. MSRP for the unit is $249 and traffic service runs another $99… Thanks to Staples, I picked it up for just $99 total. Both the exterior and the UI are visually appealing, though interface efficiency and number of POIs doesn’t compare to the Tom Tom One or Garmin Nuvi units. But I’ve got text-to-speech. And traffic!
Monster iFreePlay – Another one of Mari’s gifts. The iFreePlay is a stereo headset that an iPod Shuffle clips right into, losing the wires. I’m a fan of smart designs like this (it also folds up compactly), though I can’t say I’m a fan on MP3 players without displays.
Vudu remote – I brought along the Vudu remote for Mari to check out. I’m still digging the contours and scroll wheel for menu navigation. However, rewind and fast forward functionality could be implemented much better. I’d also appreciate IR (rather than RF) and buttons to map for television volume. Actually, the wheel would make a nice volume control.
Zoom H2 Handy Recorder – Mari needed a podcasting tool, and Brad Linder had a suggestion. She hasn’t opened this gift from her husband yet, but I assume we’ll literally be hearing from her in the near future.
Phones – I had three phones in my backpack, plus one in my pocket. Comes with the job! On the table were the Motorola Q 9m and Nokia N95. Mari helped me acquire this Windows Mobile Moto handset, but she’d never actually seen it. The Q 9 variants have some of the best mobile keyboards. The Nokia N95 offers just about every feature (other than a keyboard) and is surprisingly light for its size. Nokia released a firmware update about two weeks ago which I haven’t gotten around to installing yet…
Not on display: I exchanged my Verizon EVDO ExpressCard for a Sprint EVDO USB stick to work with both computers I carry. The stick also has a built-in GPS which is pretty wild, though only accessible via Windows OS. I also picked up the Blue Ant Z9 Bluetooth headset last week in NYC at J&R. Given the hype, I’m somewhat disappointed with its performance. My old, bulky Plantronics Voyager 510 still sounds better than any other headset I’ve used. Also not on display is Mari’s new laptop bag. I think it was a Samsonite, which looked stylish, professional (compared to my backpack), and roomy.
Special thanks to jkOnTheRun, who I pilfered the post title from.