NOTE: From now through December, every few days a different Crave expert will be posting his or her top 10 gadget picks for the holidays. See what we crave, and maybe you'll get some ideas! Here's our sixth installment.
Whether her wanderlust leads to GPSing cross-country, searching for cell signals on the Lido, capturing the Tuileries' twilight with a DSLR, or dragging an iPod through Kauai, Candace Lombardi always finds her way back to tech-crazed Cambridge.
1. Sony Reader. I pack way too many books when traveling, and my laptop and iPod batteries never seem to last the flight. The Sony Reader has a "paper" screen, ultralong battery life, about 80 e-books of storage, a microSD card slot, and can be loaded with e-magazines, RSS feeds, JPEGS and MP3s.
2. Koenigsegg CCX. The Autobahn is not yet on the map of places I've been to. But when I do go, I'll need a car that can keep up with the speed and style of other European drivers. If the Koenigsegg is too much to ask for, I'll more than happily settle for something with gullwings.
3. The Complete New Yorker Portable Hard Drive. At one point during my childhood, my parents had to order two subscriptions for the house to keep everyone from fighting. This Hitachi hard drive has everything from February 1925 to April 2006 and room for future updates. I could have Ackerman, Capote, Flanner, Hersh, Liebling, McPhee, Nabokov, Parker, Roth, Salinger, Thurber, Trillin and E.B. White all to myself anywhere I go.
4. Cingular 8525. So, it's a little heavier than others. I'm willing to carry a smidgen more weight in my pack in exchange for a cool slide-out keyboard, push e-mail, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Windows Mobile 5.0. This Gauguin of smart phones will keep track of all my "Where have I been? Where am I? Where am I going?" info. And unless the smart phone is Opera Mini compatible like this one, why even bother trying to browse the Internet?
5. Samsung SCH-V920 world-roaming cell phone. The world-roaming cell phone works on CDMA, European GSM and JCDMA signals, making it usable in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. If I get it for my boyfriend, he'll have no excuse not to call and check in--even when he's in Siberia. Given the amount of globetrotting people do today, I don't understand why there aren't more of these.
6. H2 Audio casing for iPod. What I really want for my iPod is an iTunes subscription service that includes music, audio books and e-books. Until that happens, I'll take protection from Waimea Canyon downpours and Block Island sand storms for my iPod video when I hike. The H2 Audio casings are even submergible in up to 10 feet of water.
7. Sling Media Slingbox AV. I know you can catch Jon Stewart on CNN International in the wee morning hours, but I need my Colbert fix too. How else will I really know what's going on back in the States? With the Slingbox AV, I can watch anything my cable service provides, or anything my DVR has recorded, as long as I have an Internet connection for my laptop or smart phone.
8. Navman iCN 720. While there are several great GPS navigators that will fulfill my needs, this is one of the cool GPS must-have gadgets. I can use it with the NavPix library, an online photo library of cool places tagged with GPS info. The library consists of photos from Lonely Planet guides that you can download to your Navman. The Navman also allows you to take your own GPS tagged photos to share. See a picture and think I have to go there, but have no idea where there is? Not a problem.
9. ScanGauge II. Frequently braving the traffic between Cambridge, Mass., and New York, I often find myself playing chicken with the fuel light on my FJ. I mean, who wants to stop for gas and jinx things when traffic is going well? This car diagnostics reader will tell me my distance to empty, time to empty, average speed, average rpm, and my fuel usage per trip, day or tank.
10. Joby Gorillapod SLR. The flexible tripod attaches securely to a DSLR camera and can wrap around almost anything. It would allow me to actually be in some of the pictures I take, and would improve my chances for crisp photos in shake-sensitive low-light settings. I also wouldn't have to climb up a gargoyle to get that perfect shot looking out from a cathedral; I could just attach my camera to it.