Gadgets: Give a gadget for Valentine's Day
Instead of flowers or chocolate, how about a holiday themed digital gadget for the upcoming Valentine's Day?
One of my favorite portable devices, the Flip Video camera, has some new holiday themed models that are perfect for Valentine's Day.
The Flip MinoHD camcorder can be personalized with many different romantic holiday designs. There is also the option to decorate it with one of your own photos.
With the pocket-sized (4-by-2-by-0.6 inches) camera, users can shoot 16:9 widescreen MPEG-4 videos at 720p (1280-by-720) at 30 frames per second (fps).
The camera comes preloaded with FlipShare software. This enables video enthusiasts to edit and save the video and then easily share it on any of the popular social network sites.
Using this camera is one of the easiest things to do. After the internal rechargeable battery is charged, turn on the camera and hit record. That's it unless you want to zoom in and out with buttons located on the back. They sit just below the unit's 2-inch, no-glare display.
Videos can be replayed in the camera or just simply flip up the USB 2.0 arm and connect it to any Mac or PC. The camera has a port on the side to connect the included cables to a TV for viewing.
Browsing the company's website, it's easy to find or create personalization for most any holiday. The section for sweet designs for a sweet season has many to choose from but you are not limited to those.
First you must choose the model (4GB 60 minutes or 8GB 120 minutes) and then the design you want. If no design is desired, they come with a black or chrome finish.
Details: theFlip.com, MinoHD 4GB $199.99, MinoHD 8GB $229.99.
A red SanDisk Sansa Clip 4GB MP3 player packs a whole lot of music into a golf ball-sized device built with solid-state flash memory.
Each player has a microSD memory card slot that enables the players to have an endless supply of music.
This feature is what makes the device unique in my mind. With the cost of microSD cards so low now, users can have multiple cards with thousands of songs for any type of playlists.
SanDisk estimates up to 4,000 songs can be loaded onto a 16GB card, but this number can vary in either direction depending on the length of each song.
This is all in addition to the internal memory of each device with the 4GB model being able to store about 1,000 songs and the 8GB about 2,000.
This slot also enables the device to play the SanDisk slotRadio and slotMusic cards.
Another great feature is the clip built onto the player. This lets it be used in a hands free capacity for most any activity.
A feature SanDisk has had in its MP3 players that others are finally starting to copy is the FM tuner. The Sansa Clip is equipped with 40 presets for anyone's favorites.
A rechargeable lithium ion battery will give you up to 15 hours of life.
Details: SanDisk.com, available in red, black and blue -- 4GB $49.99, 8GB $69.99.
Plattan headphones from Urbanears are for the style-conscious and come in many colors, including red.
The full-sized adjustable headphones have padded ear covers for comfort and for portability fold down to the size of your fist.
On the cord is a microphone and remote for compatibility with many cell phone devices, including some BlackBerrys and the iPhone. Two extra cable extensions are included to make the headphones compatible with many more devices.
A port is on each headset that the company calls a zound plug. This lets a second person plug in headphones to listen to the same music.
Details: urbanears.com, available in 14 colors for $59.99.
The Jitterbug J cell phone comes in red and is designed for those who want simplicity and a healthy lifestyle. Included is an easy-to-read keypad, allowing easy dialing on its large and bright display and lots of healthful extras.
The phone is equipped with health and wellness features including American Heart Association Heart Healthy tips. One tip a day will be sent for a full year.
In addition, $10 of each unit purchased goes to the American Heart Association.
Jitterbug is showing its support by donating $500,000 to the American Heart Association to help raise awareness so women can lead longer, heart-healthy lives.
The phone has large buttons to work as a simple device for those not up to speed on the technology. They also display the dialed number in large text.
Wellness services such as LiveNurse provide unlimited access to a registered nurse 24/7.
Other features include an easier-to-use interface with new main screen navigation. Users can personalize the ever-popular ring tones, which have been tested on the phone to work in all ranges of volume including for people with a hearing loss.
Details: jitterbug.com, MSRP is $147 for the phone; monthly rate plans start at $14.99.
(c) 2010, Gregg Ellman.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.