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Gadget Crazy

Holiday gift guide for the techie
Steve Morgenstern
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Costner, Nov/Dec 00

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This slender, featherweight (2.26 oz.) handheld voice recorder has a voracious appetite for vocalizing--it can digitally store up to eight hours of audio, far more than competitor's models. The SVR-5285 can record your own musings with a built-in or clip-in microphone, or set it down in a conference room and discreetly capture the proceedings for later review. It even comes with an adapter to tape phone calls, plus software for uploading and editing voice files on your PC. Whether you're a busy exec who needs to dictate voice memos or just love great James Bond toys, this one's a winner. $189  


The Danish audio/video/industrial design team at Bang & Olufsen, best known for sleek, modern stereo equipment, turns its attention to television with this wide-screen HDTV-ready set. Typical TV screens have a 4:3 width-to-height ratio, creating a boxy rectangle that makes it impossible to watch full-screen movies the way they were originally shot. This B&O set, though, has a cinema-friendly 16:9 screen, plus built-in Dolby decoding to make the most of DVD movie soundtracks. And it offers distinctive convenience features, including a remote-controlled motorized stand so you can rotate the set to match your viewing angle, and a sensor that automatically brightens or dims the picture in response to room light. $8,500  


Like the familiar Palm PDA, the iPAQ lets you carry your address book, schedule and to-do list in a convenient handheld device--but that's just for starters. Boasting a beautiful color screen that's legible indoors and out (other color PDAs we've tried wash out in sunlight), the iPAQ lets you play MP3 music, work on Microsoft Word and Excel documents, read and write e-mail, browse a digital photo album, display full-color interactive city maps, and much more. It even makes a pretty good Web-browsing device, though you will have to add Compaq's PC Card Expansion Pack ($150) and a phone modem (about $100) to get connected. $499  


The most significant development in couch-potato tech since the wireless remote control, digital video recorders provide unprecedented power over your TV viewing routine. Say you're watching your favorite show and the phone rings--just hit the pause button and live TV stops and waits until you return. If you miss a line of dialogue or a key fumble, you can rewind and play it over. And if you want to record a program, just choose it from the on-screen program guide and, with a click, it's scheduled. The Replay TV3030 shown here provides up to 30 hours of recording time, a 30-second Quick Skip feature to buzz through recorded commercials, and a free on-screen program guide service. (The Panasonic PV-HS2000 is its virtually identical cousin.) $600

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