Cool stuff: Your 2007 holiday gift guide

More than 50 amazing gifts for the technology lovers in your life

Navigation is a breeze, with audible turn directions and a display that constantly updates the distance to the next turn. This unit lacks the higher-end feature of text-to-speech, which allows for audible directions in which the service pronounces actual street names, such as "turn left at Main Street," for example, instead of "drive 1.2 miles and turn left." You can display your elapsed time, estimated time of arrival, compass direction, average speed, time spent stopped and more.

Price: US$199-US$254
Summary: The Garmin Nuvi 200 is an inexpensive way to obtain basic GPS capabilities in an easy-to-use unit. David Ramel

Mobile phones and gear

Whether you're looking for a plain-old cell phone or today's richest media-embracing model, you'll find the cream of the crop here -- with a great Bluetooth headset thrown in for good measure.

Mobile phone: Helio Fin

The Helio Fin, Helio's branded version of the Samsung SPH-M513, looks innocent enough -- and thin enough. The blue-black magnesium clamshell phone is less than half an inch thick, 4 inches tall and 2 inches wide. It's the thinnest clamshell phone you can buy in the United States.

This phone is beautiful -- I mean iPhone beautiful. The elegant hardware and software design is breathtaking. Overall, the phone is optimized for a thrilling user experience -- and for pictures and video.

Although not a "smart phone," the Fin (US$200 with a two-year contract) boasts features that are superior to those of most high-end phones. For example, the camera is a 3.0-megapixel monster. Special software ties together the built-in GPS to "geotag" photos, which means the location of the phone when pictures are taken is encoded into the picture file.

Push a button, and pictures are uploaded to Flickr's geotag service, so your peeps can see your pix on a map showing where they were taken. Fin-captured videos are instantly uploaded to YouTube.

You can use the superfast 3G connection to get turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic information. Helio's "Buddy Beacon" service tells you where your friends or family are (as long as they're Helio customers, too). The phone's "home screen" shows your favorite RSS feeds. The Fin also supports microSD, USB, Bluetooth, voice-activated dialing, speakerphone, video caller ID and T9 text input.

Honorable mention: Do you know someone who wrecks, breaks, drops and destroys cell phones? If so, give them the Casio G'zOne Type-S. It's shock-, dust-, freeze- and water-resistant, which is something of an understatement.

You can drop it in the toilet, then use a Bluetooth headset to take calls on the phone while it's still underwater. (We're not making this up -- it's been done.) You can literally carry on conversations underwater in a swimming pool (also been done).

The G'zOne (US$150 with a two-year service contract and a US$50 rebate) supports Bluetooth and has a nice speakerphone. The phone has a unique but low-tech round black-and-white LCD panel on the front, which displays the time and date, plus caller ID and battery information when the phone is closed. Inside, a middle-of-the-road 1.8-in., 176- by 220-pixel screen is good enough.

The phone has a wimpy VGA camera, no V Cast support and is, overall, a feature-poor phone. But the sound quality is great, the keypad is very usable and -- best of all -- it's the ruggedest phone you can buy directly from any major U.S. carrier.

Helio Fin Price: US$200 with a two-year contract
Summary: The thinnest clamshell phone available in the U.S., this phone is optimized for fun, with high-quality camera, GPS and cool applications to put the impressive hardware to work.

G'zOne Type-S Price: US$149.99 with a new two-year service agreement and a US$50 rebate
Summary: The Casio G'zOne Type-S meets military specs for ruggedness, plus it's a really good phone on the basics of call quality, keyboard usability and Bluetooth support. Mike Elgan

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Computerworld Staff

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?