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G Drive Mobile – Portable USB 3.0/2.0/FireWire Drive for Apple Laptops – This external drive is specifically formatted to work with Apple laptops. It’s especially well suited to the FireWire port on the MacBook Pro. Price $170.
Lexar – 64GB S73 Jump Drive – USB 3.0 – Remember the days when you were happy if you could get 64 megabytes of storage on a thumb drive? The new S73 drives from Lexar feature USB 3.0 connectivity, which means you can transfer most or all of you music library in about a third the time of a a USB 2.0 transfer. Pricing for 64GB is $100. Prices for other sizes are $50 for 32GB and $28 for 16GB.
SanDisk 128GB SD Cards and SanDisk 64GB MicroSD Cards – Gone are the days of going on vacation and worrying about juggling a bunch of storage cards. High speed cards like the 128GB card from SanDisk are large enough to capture up to thousands of pictures from your vacation. The smaller micro SD cards fit most smartphones and most action cameras. Prices for the 128GB SD card range from roughly $138 – $190. Prices for the 64GB micro SD card range from $45 to $70.
Power to Your People – In the Digital Age, you never seem to have enough power, whether its for your cell phone, your camera, or your electronics. Here are a couple of ideas to get you juiced:
Verbatim AA Power Pack – If you spend a lot of time on the road, sooner or later your smartphone, iPhone, iPad, or iPod will die on you. And if you’re not near a power supply, you could be in trouble. This little gadget uses two standard “AA” batteries that you can pick up almost anywhere. It will give you up to 8 hours of extra talk time on your phone, or hours more tunes on your music player. Price – anywhere from $9 – $20.
Innergie Pocketcell – This is a really clever device. It’s a portable charger that’s a little bigger than a big lipstick. It comes with a three way cord with a plug for Apple, Micro USB and Mini-USB. It fits anywhere and will let you double the talk time of your cell phone, or even keep a tablet going to read more books or watch movies. Price $70 – $80.
Pivot Power Mini – Whether as a guest in an older hotel, or at a friend’s house, many of us find that there are never enough electrical outlets to handle all our gadgets. Quirky’s Pivot Power Mini is a small butterfly looking folding plug with two outlets and two powered USB ports to charge your devices. It’s easy to tuck into a knapsack and is likely to come in handy in lots of travel situations. Price $25.
Play and Plug – Newer Technology 7 Port USB 2.0 Hub – The thinner that laptops get, the fewer ports they seem to have. This gadget has 7 USB ports and a power supply to run them all. With this hub you’ll be able to attach a camera, an external hard drive, sync up your music player, or charge your cell phone. Price – $25 – $28.
DBest London Portable Speakers – If you travel, or work away from home a lot, or just want to free yourself of all day headphones, this is a fun alternative. The rechargeable DBest speakers have Bluetooth so they will work with a tablet, smartphone, or laptop. DBest claims the battery will give you 40 hours of play if you’re wired to your device through the headphone jack, 20 hours on Bluetooth. They are small, cute, and have a much bigger sound than you’d expect from their size. Price $50 – $70.
SuperTooth HD In-Car Speakerphone – Even if your state doesn’t legally require use of a hands free device when using your phone in the car, it’s still a sound idea to keep both hands on the wheel. The SuperTooth is a Bluetooth car speaker that uses two speakers, two microphones, and two noise cancelling circuits to improve performance. The SuperTooth recognizes voice commands so you can initiate calls, answer calls, and perform other functions. It was a PC Magazine Editor’s Choice. Price $109-$129
Sony Action Camera – Sony’s entry into the action camera business may not be cheap, but it certainly is small, and that’s why it’s here in the stocking stuffers. The camera comes in two flavors: regular and wireless. The wireless version allows you to control the device from a smart phone as well as instantly share videos. Both provide full 1080p HD recording. It comes with a water resistant case. Sony also offers a range of accessory bundles for sports like biking, snowboarding, racing, and, for those of you really brave; skydiving. Price $200 for the base model, $270 for wireless. Accessory bundles sold separately.
Joby Ultrafit Sling Straps for Men and Women – This is a great gift for the avid photographer in the family. The sling strap attaches to the tripod mount of a camera and is worn bandolier style. It keeps the camera close and secure, and out of your way. It’s designed so you can go from secure carrying position to shooting position instantly. I’ve traveled extensively using a sling strap and find it a great improvement over traditional camera straps, it is far more secure, comfortable, and convenient. Joby makes separate versions for men and women to adjust for size and anatomical differences. Price $50.
That’s Entertainment – Gift cards and gift subscriptions to entertainment are an easy last minute gift idea. Here are three we like:
iTunes Cards – Most of the folks I know have settled on Apple’s iTunes as their music library of choice. The Apple Store offers iTunes cards in holiday designs in denominations of $15, $25, and $50. Or you can buy the regular iTunes cards from retailers and e-tailers, often at a discount.
Sony Music Unlimited – Why buy your tunes when you can rent? That’s the theory behind Sony’s music service, which offers access to millions of tracks on your computer, iOS device, or Android Smartphone. With a premium subscription you can not only play music from the cloud, but also download it to your device. Price for a premium subscription is $10 a month or $60 for the year.
Hulu Plus – The Hulu Plus service allows you to instantly stream thousands of television shows and movies to any Internet connected device. The quality is terrific (depending on the speed of your Internet connection) and there’s no long term contract to sign. Price $8 per month.1 2