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Outdoor Watch – Fenix GPS Outdoor watch by Garmin – This may be the ultimate in outdoor watches. It has a variety of GPS features including the ability to generate a small map, track waypoints, and show location and heading. It also has an altimeter, thermometer, and barometer, as well as a variety of fitness measurements. It is useful in a range of outdoor activities from hiking to camping, geocaching, biking and more. $400
Jawbone jambox – The Jawbone Jambox is available in several colors, it has a really nice industrial design, and generates terrific sound quality across the full audio range. $200
foxLv2 aptX portable speakers with Bluetooth from Soundmatters – The FoxL v.2 aptx has a desk-thumping bass. It will also work as a speakerphone for your smartphone, allowing you to answer calls right from the speaker. The FoxL has an available mount to put it on your bike as well. $200
Headphones – SOL Republic Tracks HD V10 – We were pretty much blown away by the sound response from these modestly priced headphones. They are available with an array of interchangeable colored flexible headbands and aa choice of cables, one of which has a microphone for smartphone use. $130
Samsung Galaxy Camera with Android Jellybean (4.1). While there are a variety of cameras on the market that will let you share pictures wirelessly, the Galaxy Camera takes the incorporation of networking to a new level. The camera has an almost 5” touchscreen, equipped with a variety of Android apps. More to the point, it’s a great feature-filled camera, with some abilities that are hard to find anywhere else, such as a waterfalls mode. This does it all, and also networks over WiFi or 3G. $500
Canon PowerShot SX160I IS – Canon calls this a high-end point and shoot camera. It has lots of good features beginning with a wide angle 28mm lens and a 16x optical zoom. It has a 16 megapixel sensor. It will shoot HD video in 720p But one of the best things about this camera is that it uses standard “AA” batteries, which means never having to worry about not being able to keep it powered up because you don’t have access to a charger. $149
Contour Roam2 – Waterproof HD Action Camera – This is an easy to use action camera that mounts easily on a helmet, bike bar, or goggles. It shoots 720p HD video up to 60 frames per second. It has a longer lasting battery than most in its class, getting up to 3 ½ hours of footage. For most applications, ;including skiing, the waterproof case means you don’t need a separate protective case. The Roam2 features single button recording, so you only use battery power when you’re shooting. It also has a rotating 270o lens and a laser aiming system. Price $200
Camera Bag – Lowepro 16L AW Photo Hatchback– This is one of the more compact backpack style camera bags we’ve seen around. It has room for a DSLR camera, a few lenses, a water bottle, tablet computer, and extra gear. It has a separate interior box with a drawstring cover to keep the camera gear safe and dry. You can remove the gear box and use it as a daypack. It’s an all weather fabric that also comes with a storm cover. Price $89.
Tablets/e-readers – There are so many really good tablets and e-readers on the market that it’s tough to make a decision. For the smaller 7” form factor we like the Kindle Fire HD 7” , especially forreading. It has a great HD display for reading or watching movies. One note of caution, even though the guts of the Kindle are based on Android, the device does not have full access to the Google Play Store, which means you cannot get all the Android apps. Nevertheless, if your main goal is reading, music, or movies, this is a solid choice. Pricing begins at $199.
If what you want is a full sized tablet that does it all, the 9.7” Apple iPad is still at the top of plenty of wish lists. The latest version of the iPad has the extremely sharp and highly acclaimed Retina display. It has access to Apple’s array of 275,000 Apps tailored to the iPad, and features more than ten hours of battery life. But it’s not cheap – pricing begins at $499 for a unit with WiFi and 16GB or storage, and goes all the way to $829 for a cellular-equipped model with 64GB of storage.
Car Audio Gadget – Go Groove FlexSmart X2 in car Bluetooth FM adapter. Most older cars did not come equipped with auxiliary inputs for MP3 players. That means the only way to play music into your car’s audio system is through an FM transmitter that takes the output of your device and feeds it through an unoccupied FM frequency on your car radio. The FlexSmart X2 allows you to connect your MP3 player or smartphone via Bluetooth. It has a flexible arm that fits into a car’s 12 volt receptacle. It will also serve as a hands-free device for your smartphone, and comes with a USB port so you can charge your smartphone as well. Price – $45
Music Player – Apple iPod Classic– 160GB – Of course there are lots and lots of music players on the market. Apple’s newest iPods have tons of features, but if your kids really want to carry their entire music library with them, there’s nothing quite like the behemoth storage capacity of the iPod Classic. With 160GB, it means seldom, if ever, needing to pare down the library to a 32 or 64GB subset of your music library. Price $249
Windows 8 Convertible Computer – Lenovo Yoga 13 – This is one of the most interesting iterations of the new Windows 8 hardware. It’s a thin Ultrabook laptop that can bend over backwards to turn into a tablet. And in between you can use it as a stand to watch movies, or a tent configuration to scroll through pictures or menus on a flat surface. This takes full advantage of all the Windows 8 touch functionality, its live tiles, and Windows apps as they’re being introduced. Pricing begins at $999
Mini Projector – 3M Streaming Video Projector SRM1000 – This little gem allows you to enjoy a big screen experience so long as you have a wall or a ceiling to project on. It contain the functionality of the Roku box, giving you access to lots of streaming video choices, and it will allow you to play content from a smart phone, tablet, or computer. It’s great for dorm rooms, travel, or parties. Price – we’ve seen it on sale from $299.