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Santa's Wish List

Winter coolness roundup 2004 By Charlie White

Santa's Wish List 2004Wherever you are, Christmas is coming and the pressure is on. Whether youre in balmy Tinseltown where the sidewalk Santa Clauses are much, much too thin, or in the Frozen Tundra where only a self-produced deluge of body-temperature fluids can open frozen-shut locks, youre probably compelled to come up with some gift ideas for that techno-charmed colleague, friend or family member who just cant seem to get enough of those Things That Plug In. Looking for some Winter coolness? Well, were here to help, pointing out the greatest gifts for that gadget guru in your life.

Motorola RAZR V3 cell phone Lets start our esteemed annual Wish List with perhaps the most lusted-after trinket of all this year, the Motorola RAZR V3 cell phone ($670 without contract, $370 with special offers including calling plan). Could there be a more gorgeous electronic device to adorn the hand of the most talkative person you know? Made of gleaming anodized aluminum, this razor-thin bauble is slightly larger than a half-inch thick and has Bluetooth compatibility, an on-board 640x480 camera, and a unique flat touch pad for easy dialing. You can even watch downloaded MPEG-4 video on the thing! Best of all, even though its thin, it offers a fat bunch of talk time, letting you gab for four hours straight before you need a battery recharge. This exquisite and sleek object goes beyond techno-chic think of it as useful jewelry.  

Logitech MX 1000 laser cordless mouse Next, for those computer mavens who keep thinking there must be a better way to mouse around the desktop, well, there is now. Its all done with lasers. The Logitech MX 1000 laser cordless mouse ($80) is able to work even on wood grain or highly polished surfaces, and the company says itll give you a 20x sensitivity improvement over ordinary pointing devices. Offering wireless performance thats as good or better than USB connections, the mouse comes with its own charging stand for its lithium ion battery. It even scrolls from side-to-side, a bastion once occupied only by Microsoft. Best used by right-handers, the ergonomically designed peripheral works with both Macs and PCs. Expect a hands-on review coming up soon on these pages.

Sony HDR-FX1 HDV camcorder Next is a foreshadowing of Christmases to come, where HDTV gear will rule the techno-roost. First out of the gate is Sonys new HDR-FX1 HDV camcorder ($3500 street), the first 3-CCD 1080i HD camcorder to ship that doesnt cost an arm and a leg. If youre an early adopter and cant wait for the HD DVD and/or Blu-ray onslaught next Christmas (2005), get started with HD videography now and youll be ready for the time when everybody has a quick-?n-easy way to play back HD at home. If this camcorders not good enough for you, wait until February, when Sony promises a more advanced pro-level model for about $5K. Either way, the $100,000 club for shooting and editing HDTV is about to disband, and this camcorder is planted firmly in the avant garde

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