The iPhone 4 or iPad (or both) might be on everyone’s Christmas list this year, but if you’re in the same boat as so many Americans, they probably aren’t in your budget. Here are some non-Apple stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank.
If you haven’t been to Flip Video’s website recently, you really should. You can now customize the Flip Video camera in a hundred different ways. The company offers tons of pattern and design choices, or you can upload your own image. Flip Video also has teamed up with several consumer electronic companies to offer a line of accessories that makes the Flip experience better. Accessories include a wide-angle lens, two different types of enhanced external microphones, waterproof cases, battery chargers and a pocket projector. iGo, an Arizona-based company, also is offering a battery extender that doubles the Flip Video battery life. $150 – $250, www.theflip.com.
We all wish we were one of those hipsters at the holiday party with the fancy camera around their necks taking impossibly beautiful shots. Sigh. For the rest of us, a really good point-and-shoot is in order. The Canon PowerShot A495 does the trick and delivers high-quality features usually reserved for much more expensive cameras. For less than $100 it also has some creative modes that will get any photographer on your list excited. Some stores had it for as low as $89.
The iPad is hot, but as far as e-readers go, the Kindle is still killing the competition and the third generation of Kindle does not disappoint. If you know a bookworm, this is the gift to give this year. It now has an improved screen for higher contrast (oy my eyes), faster page turning, built-in 3G, superior battery life, and a slimmer weight and price tag. $139 at www.amazon.com.
Find your way and then some
Yes, there are some people who still want a stand-alone GPS unit despite just about every phone on the market now being GPS enabled. I personally didn’t understand this until I checked out the line of Garmin nuvi devices. These little guys do so much more than map. The slick and affordable Garmin’s nuvi 295W is a nice package of best-in-class navigation, plus some fun features. I’m talking about a built-in 3 megapixel camera, WiFi that let’s you e-mail, and a super easy user interface. Even your mom could figure this one out and ENJOY using it. Staring at $100, www.amazon.com.