A Spring break goes very well with plenty of gadgets in the luggage. Travelers often prefer compactness, lightness and superior function in their gadgets. Innovative features, like a camera with a GPS device that “remembers” where you were when you took the picture. Here are some recommendations to make your adventures more fun and memorable.
Universal Chargers: There are many products you can buy to charge your gadgets. We like the Solio hybrid solar chargers that have a built-in storage cell that can be recharged from the wall or the sun and then makes that power available to many different devices. The Solio Portable Hybrid Solar Charger and the new Solio Hybrid 1000 can both be purchased for under $100. Lenmar sells a universal power pack the PPU1700W that can recharge devices like iPods through a USB connector. It’s great for keeping an iPod going for an entire long plane ride.
GPS: You don’t have to live in Colorado to use Garmin’s new handheld GPS. The Colorado 300 is a handheld unit with a color display and lots of extra travel-friendly features like an MP3 player and book reader. Garmin announced new products at CES including the Garmin nuvi 260 and the Garmin nuvi 850 but last years models like the Garmin nuvi 360 or the Mio C520 can offer some very good values at prices under $300.
High Definition Camcorders: If you’re thinking about buying a new camcorder you might as well go high definition or at least wide screen. You can get camcorders that record to good old tape, DVDs, flash memory, or hard drives. If you’re planning on doing serious video editing, tape may still be the way to go since applications like Premiere and Final Cut have been slow to embrace AVCHD the replacement format to miniDV.
Book Readers: Two popular readers using electronic paper are Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader. The Sony Reader PRS 505 can be purchased for around $300. The Kindle which includes high speed 3G internet access for downloading books and browsing the web sells for $399. The Kindle has received mixed reviews due to some ergonomic issues but gets many rave reviews as a groundbreaking product.
Digital Cameras: If you’re still carrying around that 1 MP camera or you just never made the switch to digital there are some good values in digital cameras. If you want a professional SLR camera Retrevo recommends the Nikon D300 as the best overall value in digital cameras. It’s a 12 MP SLR that gets very high expert ratings and great user reviews. The Canon Powershot A560 can be purchased for around $130. It’s a 7.1 MP compact camera with a 4x optical zoom and face technology but no image stabilization. A step up from the Powershot A560 would be the Nikon Coolpix 5100.
Very Cool Helmet Camera: In case you want to capture the action from a closer point of view, you should consider this helmet mounted camera that stores video to memory. It’s weather proof and ruggedized so you can use it in the snow or rain. It’s an impressive piece of engineering and sells for around $325.
iPod Boom Box: There’s a good chance most travelers will be carrying an iPod or other MP3 player wherever they go. To get a party going wherever you may be, an iPod Boom Box might be a good idea. The Griffin Technology Journi is a good candidate. You can buy it for under $100. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts for 8 – 10 hours on a charge it can also be powered by a USB port and gets good user reviews. Altec Lansing has the inMotion iM600 for around $100. It gets very good user reviews, uses some engineering tricks to make the speakers seem further apart, and even has an FM radio built in.