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Genius Gadget Gifts

Submitted by on November 28, 2011 – 10:06 pmNo Comment

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Each year the holidays usher in a novel assortment of gear gifts sure to thrill the techno-phile in your life, whether at home or at work. Here are few of this season’s favorite finds.

GoFlex Slim Portable Drive (www.seagate.com) – $89.99
Here’s a perfect gift for the tech-savvy looking for a practical storage solution. The ultra–sleek GoFlex Slim portable drive – the world’s thinnest at just 9mm – slides effortlessly into a pocket, purse or messenger bag. This go-gadget, which is roughly the width of a pencil, enables transport, access and enjoyment of your digital content from anywhere, making it a great complement to today’s mobile lifestyle. Equipped with a 7200RPM drive and a USB 3.0 interface to accelerate transfer speeds up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0, this modern super–slim drive delivers quick access to your data – even large, multi–media files such as HD movies and video games. The faster drive speed takes full advantage of the included plug–and–play USB 3.0 interface, while still maintaining compatibility with USB 2.0 ports. The GoFlex Slim portable drive can store up to 320 GB of digital content, also allowing for use between Windows and Mac computers, interchangeably, without formatting or performance loss. Also rugged, the GoFlex Slim comes in a super sleek, black, anodized case that helps resist against damage – especially when traveling.

NeatReceipts (www.neat.com) – $199.95
NeatReceipts is a portable scanner and digital filing system that helps you manage all of your paperwork from the computer. NeatReceipts includes NeatWorks scanner software that identifies and extracts the important information from receipts, business cards and documents and automatically organizes it for you.  All scanned documents can be searched by keyword to find exactly what you need, when you need it. NeatWorks software also gives you an easy-to-use, intuitive application to manage all of your business and personal paperwork. Developed by The Neat Company and weighing less than a pound, NeatReceipts provides business travelers with a simple way to organize and archive receipts, travel expenses, and business cards while on-the-go. Whether it’s down time between meetings or long hours at the airport, tech savvy business travelers can easily store their data in one safe, accessible location. Users can digitize expense reports by scanning receipts and exporting the data to PDF or Excel files. Business cards can be scanned and the data synched with Outlook, Plaxo, or Mac Address Books. Other ideas for using NeatReceipts include scanning itineraries, airline and hotel confirmation, visas and international travel documents as a back-up, and travel information and maps to create an electronic travel guide.

Livescribe Echo Smartpen (www.livescribe.com) – $99
This year, wow the tech enthusiasts and kids on your holiday shopping list with a back-to-basics gift – one that adds a high-tech punch the last bastion of low-tech activities: putting pen to paper. The Livescribe Echo Smartpen digitizes what you are writing and drawing in your notebooks and syncs those pen strokes with audio – what’s being said around you.  You can then upload your notes and audio, save them to your computer or mobile device or send them to online destinations including Google Docs, Google Sites, Evernote and Facebook by using its micro-USB connector. Other features include a standard 3.5mm jack that fits your own earphones or the Echo 3-D recording premium headset to allow for binaural recording; a high-contrast OLED display that makes it easier to navigate the Smartpen apps; capability to hold 400 or 800 hours of recorded audio (4GB and 8GB models); and a replaceable ink tip. And if that wasn’t enough, it has a microphone to record meetings and lectures; a built-in speaker that produces rich, full sound; and a soft, rubber grip and ergonomic design to make it as comfortable as possible when writing.

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Mobius (www.etoncorp.com) – $80
Mobius is a new eco-friendly rechargeable battery case with solar panel from Etón Corporation designed to keep your iPhone powered-up wherever you go. Differentiating itself from other solar phone-charging solutions on the market today, Mobius features a quick charge time and the ability to store charge until you need it. The high-efficiency, monocrystal solar panel re-charges the 1800 mAh lithium ion battery pack on the back of the case. Only one hour of solar charging provides an additional 25 minutes of talk time. Mobius can also be charged via the included Micro-USB cable and will sync with iTunes for maximum convenience. It features a standby switch to turn off direct power transfer to the iPhone 4, allowing the case to charge and store energy in its own battery so it only uses the power when you need it.

Iomega SuperHero iPhone Backup and Charger (www.Iomega.com) – $59.99
The Iomega SuperHero Backup and Charger for Apple iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, 3G and 4th generation iPod touch can provide invaluable peace of mind should your device be lost or stolen. Also extremely efficient and convenient, this gadget lets you secure your contacts and photos while simultaneously recharging. The Iomega SuperHero sits easily on your counter or desktop and simply plugs into your wall outlet. Just insert your phone or touch and it will automatically backup your contacts and camera roll photos while re-juicing the i-device. A progress bar lets you know when your backup is complete. If your device is lost or stolen, you can easily restore your contacts and photos from the included 4GB capacity SD card for transfer onto your new one. Painless and practical, the way I like it.

OnLive Game System (www.onlive.com) – $99 plus subscription costs
OnLive delivers high-end video games from the cloud at blindingly fast speeds, so you can play the games you want, the second you want them. No discs. No downloads. No fancy hardware. Just you, the Internet and the games you love. Play on your PC or Mac through a simple browser download, on HDTVs via the OnLive Game System and even on mobile devices. OnLive games are available across all devices with no additional charge, so your games are available where you are, on whatever device is at hand. With a comprehensive library of well over 150 games, there’s amazing options in every genre: shooter games, action/adventure, driving, sports and family. OnLive will also be launching its service into select TVs and Blu-ray players later this year and is delivering its AAA quality games to some of the hottest gadgets, including the iPad and Android-based tablets. Virtually every game on the OnLive Game Service has a free demo available. You can also purchase PlayPack, a $9.99/month flat-rate video game plan that offers unlimited access to a regularly updated library of recent, indie and classic games. A PlayPass grants users access to play a game on the OnLive service for a specified period of time.

Emerson Portable Karaoke MP3 Lyric Player (www.overstock.com) – $49.99
The Emerson Portable Karaoke MP3 Lyric Player with 3.5-inch Color Screen features 100 pre-loaded classic songs, which include fun songs for kids as well as some of the oldies but goodies.
This portable karaoke player, which is constructed of lightweight plastic, is iPod and MP3 audio compatible. Its hard drive can store up to 1,000 songs and the device has the ability to change the key of a song. It features a SD card slot, microphone volume control, and an alarm clock with date and time functions. It comes with a personal player cradle, AC power adaptor, instruction manual and wired microphone. The portable karaoke player measures 15.7×8.13×15.63 inches and comes with a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. It does require four C batteries, which are not included in the purchase. When using just these batteries, it can play for up to 36 hours.

Mint Plus Automatic Floor Cleaner (www.MintCleaner.com) – $199.99-$299.99
The Mint Plus is a robotic appliance that automatically dusts and wet mops hard surface floors using popular cleaning cloths, such as Swiffer brand dry and wet cloths and other similar products. Guided by NorthStar technology and featuring an innovative square design that breaks the mold of traditional round robots, the Mint Plus cleans all the way into corners while tracking where it has been and where it needs to go. Building on the award-winning first generation of the product, the Mint Plus offers an enhanced wet cleaning system, including a self-dispensing reservoir, faster recharge and a larger battery providing up to four hours of run time. As a great gift for the holidays, busy moms will have more time to relax and that bachelor will be able to get his pad ready for date night and still catch the game. Either way, the Mint Plus offers consumers a simple, easy and affordable way to keep up with life’s demands while maintaining a clean floor and healthy home.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s)
detailed above were provided at no cost and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions
expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any
way as per the disclosure policy on our “Legal” page***

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