I forgot to post my favourite gadgets of last year with the preview of what I’m lusting after this year. This is always the most closely read article in my house as it gives Charlene a glimpse into what I’m going to be wasting money on investing in this year.
I got a good number of toys in 2008, although I managed to mostly restrain myself, especially when it came to the iPhone, which I nearly bought on several occasions. The key to this year has been keeping costs down, and while it may look like I bought a lot of stuff, I try to maintain a “revenue neutral” position when I buy stuff. For example I sold stuff to buy the PS3 (my HD DVD player and movies). This year there are things I covet which I doubt I’ll get (like the eBook reader), and others that I’ll get if I can get them cheap enough (iPod touch).
Best gadgets of 2008
HP MediaSmart Home Server
I bought a home server early in the year, and I use it for a lot of different things. It does automated backups every night, I use it to store all of our photos, music, and videos (and the photos are mirrored so that we’ll never lose them). It keeps all of my documents and websites, and I can access it remotely. It’s pretty much a perfect storage solution. My life is pretty much purely digital, and this is a perfect solution for that.
PURE Digital Flip Ultra
Like most of my gadget purchases, Charlene rolled her eyes at this one, and then later decided that it was pretty cool. I love this little camera. It’s small enough to toss in your pocket, yet it takes really good video, and has terrific audio. I was never a big believer in this form factor, but this made me a believer in the fact that a video camera doesn’t HAVE to look like a video camera to be good.
I have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with the PS3, and I almost sold it at one point. However there have been a couple of games that have almost convinced me otherwise. I like the fact that they use dollars as the pricing system rather than “points” like Microsoft does. I know that Flower cost me $9.99, wheras with Microsoft it would cost 800 points (which equates to about $12.00 CDN). It’s got a lot of problems with the social aspect, Home is goofy, and there are no movies available for rent in Canada. That said, the hardware’s quiet, it hasn’t crashed on me yet (unlike my beloved Xbox), and the games are getting better.
Canon Selphy Photo Printer
A gift from work, and it’s awesome. It makes beautiful prints, does them fast, and costs about double what we’d pay at Costco for a print…but the convenience is worth the cost.
What I covet for 2009
I love to game, and it’s my one hobby that I can’t really share with my children right now. The PS3 and the Xbox are far too complicated for them, but I think Kaylin would get the hang of a wii pretty quickly. Plus all of the games she wants to play are wii games.
Amazon Kindle or Sony eBook Reader
eReaders are the future of reading. The Kindle is ridiculously cool, but the Sony eBook Reader is pretty nice too. Unfortunately Amazon’s Kindle isn’t really available in Canada, and even it it were, it would be so crippled (the best part about it is its ability to purchase books via a built in EVDO wireless network connection). The big problem with both of these units is price. To me this is a $150.00 device, but they’re more than double that price. For an electronic book…that’s crazy.
iPod Touch (or iPhone)
I really can’t justify doubling my phone bill every month, but an iPod Touch would do 70% of what I want from an iPhone, so maybe I should go that route? At least this way I’d get to play with the iPhone apps, and fool around with the mobile browser. I need to store about 16gb of music (my current iPod has 120gb, but my library is ridiculous).
I love the Flip, I’ve established this, but this unit beats its bigger brother (the Flip HD) in all of the reviews I’ve seen. With an SD card slot, as well as higher quality video…this one had me at hello.
Guitar Hero World Tour
It’s true I don’t play Rock Band as much as I used to, but if we had the space to keep the set-up around all the time I’d play it more…or at least if everything was wireless, like it is with Guitar Hero WT. Until it drops down to the sub $150 range though, I’m not gonna bite.
Nice list Brian!
Re: the Flip/Zi6. How do you find the output video? Is it obvious that it is shot on a pocket camera, or would it hold up against a blind taste test? I’ve been considering one of these little guys 🙂
Re: iPod Touch… do it! I couldn’t live without mine. It’s a pocket sized web browser, and the apps make it truly awesome. Careful. 99 cent apps add up 🙂
I love the Flip, the sound on it is really good, and the video quality is quite good. In my opinion the video I’ve seen from the Zi6 is richer and has better contrast, but they’re both really good little cameras (especially for under $200.00).