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 seventh installment.
Erica Ogg is an unapologetic Dodgers fan living in San Francisco, has found herself hopelessly addicted to Starbucks chai lattes (with 2 percent milk), and readily admits to being a history geek. And no, she has nothing to do with Ogg Vorbis.
1. LG Chocolate. So the first version was panned by a lot of critics, but the second go-round seems to have garnered somewhat more favorable reviews. But, you know what? I don't care. It's a slim slider phone and it comes in RED. That's all I need to know.
2. SoundArt Speakers. I have a one-bedroom apartment that's in desperate need of wall art and decent external speakers, so I'm stoked I ran across the British company SoundArt last week. It produces speakers that look like a canvas and hang on the wall. Even better, you can choose what type of art you want. I'll take one with View of Delft by Jan Vermeer, and the other with a San Francisco cityscape, please.
3. Apple iPod Nano. Definitely time to upgrade from my iPod Mini. I used to loathe listening to music via headphones, but living in the city has completely converted me. There's no way I could do the Muni ride without my Le Show or ESPN Radio podcasts. Oh yeah, and I definitely want the 8GB red version.
4. Mio Digiwalker H610. I admit I've been slightly obsessed with this thing since I went to its launch party a few months back. This will allow me to stop printing Google Maps every time I drive somewhere I've never been (which is often), and it easily switches from a dashboard to a purse since it's about the size of a deck of cards. Also, it's white, but there are interchangeable face plates available. And no, it doesn't have to be red, but that would be nice.
5. Apple MacBook. My trusty little iBook has been good to me--I have no complaints except the "D" and "N" have almost completely rubbed off my keyboard. And it would be nice to ditch the iSight for an embedded webcam. Otherwise, my iBook does everything I ask, and travels better than my previous iMac. However, I do spend my days ensconced in Consumer Electronics Land, so I've converted to its religion of Bigger-Better-Newer. Do I need a new 13-inch white MacBook? No. Do I want it? Um, hello.
6. Red Maloo laptop sleeve. While I have a nominally stylish black shoulder bag for my laptop, it can be limiting. Everything goes with black, of course, but it's the purse I'm forced to carry should I need to take the iBook on the road. As a colorful alternative, I'm loving this felt laptop sleeve from Red Maloo because of its design--it folds like a box and will fit inside any other large bag--and because I can get one in orange. Now that's how you make a statement at Starbucks.
7. TiVo Series2. I know, I'm so behind the times. I don't have TiVo. Though I've wanted one for a long time, I've resisted for fear of becoming an even less discerning TV viewer, recording shows I'd never dream of watching just because I could. But watching commercials has pretty much become unbearable, so getting a TiVo is really the only solution.
8. Multipot Personal Electric Charger. Exposed cords are a problem for me, and in keeping with the theme of electronics posing as decorative objects, this designer Italian vase has outlets on the inside so I can hide my web of tangled cables all while making an artistic statement.
9. The Reveo. I'm a huge fan of hyper-specific kitchen utensils/gadgets, and this super speedy meat marinater definitely falls into that category. You stick your meat of choice into the plastic barrel and the air is vacuumed out, stretching the meat and allowing the marinade to get way down in there. Marinating takes between 2 and 20 minutes using the Reveo, which is fantastic, because I'm already hungry.
10. Beverly Hills 90210 The Complete First Season. At long last, it has arrived. The chronicle of privileged Southern California high shoolers donning far too much acid wash denim has made its belated debut on DVD. I haven't seen an episode in five years, so I'm mildly concerned that the show isn't as good as I remember it...NOT. I don't care that a bunch of 30-year-olds were playing spoiled/brooding teens, my couch and I are going to become reacquainted very quickly come day after Christmas if I find this under the tree.