For the tech-minded family member or friend, there are numerous gadgets to choose from for holiday gifts. The tough part is singling out the cool, innovative and interesting products from the cheap, lame and boring ones. Here we’ve selected our five favorite gadgets for this holiday shopping season.
ElGato EyeTV Hybrid
If all the space on your DVR is taken up, or all the televisions in your house are being used, you can now use your computer. Elgato’s EyeTV Hybrid allows you to watch, pause and record live TV on your Mac or PC. The TV tuner stick is about as big as a flash drive and can receive both digital and analog signals as well as HDTV channels. Available at the Apple Store, Amazon.com and Elgato.com for $149.95.
The cool thing about Tunebug’s Shake, a portable speaker, is its use of the “SurfaceSound” technology. The “SurfaceSound” technology uses a specially designed speaker that turns anything it lays on into a louder, larger-sounding speaker. Tunebug’s Shake is specifically designed to attach to a bike helmet, turning it into a booming speaker, and relieving you of the dangers of listening to headphones while riding your bike, skateboard, skis, snowboard or any other outdoorsy action sport. It can be wired to any MP3 player with a headphone jack and is Bluetooth capable for wireless listening through an iPod Touch or iPhone. It’s available at Amazon.com and Tunebug.com for $99.99.
Allegro Wi-Fi Radio
In 2010 more and more people are distancing themselves from CDs and embracing MP3s for their music needs. The Allegro Wi-Fi Radio meets those needs in more ways than one. Instead of CDs, a lot of people nowadays keep a plethora of MP3s on their computer’s hard drive. This radio can stream your entire collection from your computer. In addition, it connects to the Internet to access more than 17,000 radio stations, 20,000 programs and 35,000 podcasts. Plus it’s portable! Available at Best Buy, Sears and Gracedigitalaudio.com for $169.99.
There are all sorts of iPod speaker systems to choose from, but Speakal’s iCrystal has a fresh, sleek and unique look that you don’t see anywhere else. The design features two pods that are illuminated and give an ambient blue glow over the two speakers. The iCrystal works with every single iPod with a dock connector and charges them as they play. It can also play music from other sources by plugging into its AUX jack. Available at Speakal.com for $79.99.
Handheld mini-digital video camcorders have been the hot thing for the past few years thanks to the popularity of the Flip-Cam trend. But at the same, the quality of the video and audio of these mini-cams are subpar. The folks at Zoom are hoping to change that with their Q3HD Handy Video Recorder. The recorder captures HD video in 1080p up to 30 frames per second and has built-in condenser mics with 120 degrees X/Y configuration to capture HD audio. The recorder uses SD cards up to 32 GB for seven hours of video. And to make transfers easy, it has a built-in USB cable and HDMI output. Available at www.zoom.co.jp for $299.