As anyone who’s read my posts in previous years knows, gadget giving in my family is practically a competitive sport, especially around Christmas. While I don’t think we topped last year, 2009 definitely brought in some great loot. My household landed a new Roku box, and I personally snagged a Kodak Zi8 video camera and a Droid Eris smartphone. The Zi8 replaces my defunct Flip Ultra, which was relegated to the closet when the mic started picking up static with every recording session. I know I’ll miss the ability to charge up with AA batteries, but HD will have to make up for it, along with working audio input. I’ll put the Zi8 through its paces in a couple of weeks at CES.
Meanwhile, the Droid Eris marks my first foray into the world of smartphones. Yes, I know that sounds pathetic, but I’ve always resisted paying for a data plan, and my netbook has (until recently) served me quite well. My early impressions of life with an Eris are quite good. I love the smooth feel of the hardware, and the app store is much better than I expected it to be. I also like the interface so far, except for the fact that the touch controls sometimes lock up as the device tries to complete too many tasks at once. More to come on that issue in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying mobile phone access to email, Twitter, and loads of free games.
There’s one final gift particularly worth noting: my new Skooba netbook messenger bag. This thing has pockets inside its pockets, with enough gadget sleeves to cover my Zi8, Eris, and Canon, on top of the main compartment for my Eee PC, and pockets for all the necessary power cords. I’ll be sporting this thing all over Vegas.
Anyone else get any good gadget gifts this year?