Christmas Gadgetry

Mari Christmas gadget gifts

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.

Mari Christmas gadget gifts up closeThere’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?

5 thoughts on “Christmas Gadgetry”

  1. jon frederick –

    I got a Harmony 880 recently. I got it because the wife took my trusty Harmony 676. The 880 is OK. The 676 had a nice rubberized feel and the 880 doesn’t. I find it slips out of my hand. Plus the buttons by the display are a bit too small. All in all, I love the Harmony remotes, just not the 880. It does everything I want it to but, those two things are really annoying. Still, it beats juggling 4 different remotes.

  2. It will be interesting to get your thoughts on the new Roku channels and the future for STBs and TV/Internet convergence. I find Revision3, TWiT and Pandora have pretty good content with good audio/video quality. Mediafly and Framechannel are okay. As they are now, the other channels don’t really fit my needs.

    Among the existing channels, I would consider Amazon, Netflix, Revision3, Pandora and MLB (maybe TWiT to a lesser degree) to be “premium” content, stuff people would pay for if the payment model and price were reasonable. I personally love the Roku; however, I think they may need to add a couple more premium type channels (with maybe one being a deal with a sport league, similar to MLB) and provide the ability to stream local content to win the STB battle. With the upcoming release of the Boxee box, rumors of AppleTV bringing premium content to iTunes/AppleTV and other STBs (PopcornHour, WD Live, etc.) sure to make moves, 2010 could be very interesting for TV/Internet convergence.

  3. Bought a Flip Ultra HD for the wife. Big bonus points for me. Now, I gotta figure out the best way to get all of the Mini-DV video off to DVD or TiVo format. itouch for the 8-year old girl.

    Christmas morning was a more economically driven Santa event than past Christmases. My 7-year old son wailed: “no electronics for me?”.

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