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Posted: 12.04

Mobile Tools - December 2004

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By Teresa von Fuchs, Bryan Pedersen and Michelle Maisto




A Touching Stocking Stuffer

The FingerWorks iGesture Pad is the mouse of 2005. Imagine, in place of a mouse, a touchpad big enough to accommodate an entire hand (right or left), and replacing scrolling, mouse-dragging and key commands with finger taps and hand movements. The iGesture Pad is small, light, portable and works with Mac, PC and Linux systems. Plus, its pressure-free design offers a respite from chronic wrist pain associated with long hours of keyboard and mouse use. Price: $149.

They’ll Hear You Now

The scala-500 is Cardo Systems’ entry into the Bluetooth headset market. Weighing in at .58 ounces, the scala-500 is light enough to clip onto eyeglasses and sunglasses, as an alternative to over-ear wear. Other features include nine hours of talk time, one-touch dial, re-dial, on and off, Cardo’s patented WindGuard Technology—which means you can talk while driving, biking or walking down a gusty avenue, without sounding like you’re in a wind tunnel—and one of the lowest industry price points. Price: $64.99.

For a Dangerous Hep Cat

Danger’s summer sequel, the hiptop2, is still topping the charts this holiday season. The hiptop2 is a perfect pocket-sized, keep-in-touch organizer tool—with a Web browser, up to three e-mail accounts, 2,000 contacts, calendar, full QWERTY keyboard and a signature swivel screen. New features include an integrated camera, enhanced audio quality and a speakerphone, all in a 25 percent slimmer body with extended battery life for 4.5 hours of talk time. Price: $100 Internet special after rebate.

Adventure in a Box

For the wireless road warrior sans direction sense comes the TomTom Navigator 2004. The GPS-powered, personal navigation system provides
spoken-word directions on Pocket PC- and Palm-powered handhelds, via wired or Bluetooth. Thousands of points of interest, such as restaurants and hotels, are included in the package as well, so the gift needn’t imply a character flaw. And should you wander off course, the automatic reroute feature ensures the only reason you’ll be stopping at a gas station is to fill up. Price: Wireless $299, wired $249.

Give the Gift of E-mail

It may not be a video game or a Beanie Baby, but access to e-mail on a cell phone is a darn good gift for the mobile set. With usually high overhead costs and fees, it’s mostly been reserved for corporate types, but Remo for Business allows this feature to be gift-able from those with names not ending in Inc. For a $7.99 subscription per month, users can access e-mail, PIM data and calendar information from any data-enabled cell phone.

Your Storage Woes are Over

Data storage and closets share at least one trait—you can never have enough. That is why Kanguru designed its micro-sized Zipper Hard Drive. Weighing a miniscule 40 g, it houses 1 or 2 GB of data transferable at high-speed USB 2.0 rates, and the recipient of this tiny heavyweight will really love its driverless operation on most operating systems. The sleek design will make anyone feel cool—and what’s a better gift than that? Price: $159.95 for 1 GB, $219.95 for 2.2 GB.

For that Special, Rugged Person

The feature-packed Dap Technologies Microflex CE8800 comes with a VGA touchscreen, two Type II PCMCIA slots and an optional integrated V92 modem, bar code scanner and/or RF tag reader. Under the hood is an XScale processor, 64 MB of flash memory and 64 MB of RAM. It runs Windows CE .NET 4.2, weighs only 2.75 pounds and boasts a long-lasting eight-hour battery life. And the Microflex is built tough, to comply with all MIL STD 810F tests. Price: $3,600.

Finally, an Apple BlackBerry

Make a Mac user smile this season, with this third-party application designed to sync RIM BlackBerry handhelds with Apple products and applications. PocketMac BlackBerry Edition offers two-way syncing between Entourage Contacts, OS X Address Book, Entourage Calendar, iCal, Entourage and iCal Tasks, and OS X Stickies. PocketMac BlackBerry
edition offers USB/serial support, integration with Apple’s iSync and the ability to sync on connect. Price: $30.
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