Gadget Teaser’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1

Flip MinoHDpure-digital-flip-mino-hd-custom
Pure Digital was kind enough to send me a MinoHD as part of its custom screen-printed series this year and I love it. For such a small camcorder it takes fantastic, 720p video and the thing couldn’t be easier to use. Flip also introduced customizable skins to the mix this year, so you can gift a Flip with the image of your choice, or use their design/pattern generators to make this a little extra special.

You can get the MinoHD in either 60min (4GB) or 120min (8GB) storage sizes for $199.99 or $229.99 respectively. Customization does not cost extra, so get something funky unless you want that classic industrial design.

Also Consider: Flip UltraHD

Joby GorillaMobilejoby-gorillamobile-tripod-flip
What’s a camcorder without a good tripod? No good at all, that’s what. Part of the problem with handheld camcorders is a lack of grippable parts for stability. Joby’s GorillaMobile can be bent around just about anything, including your wrist if you want to rig up a little wristmount system. Really, though, I like the GorillaMobile because it’s so small and versatile. It’s perfect for throwing in a bag to use at casual family functions and parties, keeping the 720p video on your new Flip nice and steady.

If you want something a little more substantial you could also consider the larger GorillaPod. Joby also makes a GorillaMobile specifically for the iPhone 3G/3GS and the GorillaTorch, a light sporting the same bendable legs. Check their official site for prices on each.

Also Consider: Vanguard VS41

Mophie Juice Pack Air1059_JPA-IP3G-BLK-8T
I tend to change my mind on iPhone cases all the time, but I always come back to the Mophie Juice Pack Air when I’m low on power. It minimally augments the size of the phone while providing an extra 60-80% battery life on the go. There are more powerful options out there, but they tend to be a little too bulky for my taste. Mophie’s Juice Pack, on the other hand, is a close fit without too many frills.

Mophie recently updated the line to include a soft-finish variety with the same power rating. It’s a nice addition, especially if you live in a humid climate like I do. You can get the Juice Pack Air in white, black, purple, or red for $79.95 from Mophie’s website.

Also Consider: Incase Power Slider 3G

Boa Nerve S/Lboa-nerve
I tried to make a conscious effort to recommend a bag other than the Boa Nerve from Booq but I just couldn’t do it. I’m in love with this messenger and I’m sure you know someone who would be, too. The Nerve comes in small and large sizes to accommodate different sized laptops. There’s a removable laptop sleeve, which is perfect for a quick trip to the coffee shop, and plenty of pockets should you be headed for a full day of work. One of the best features is the stability strap, which pulls bag snug against your back if you have to run for a train or take the fixed-gear for a spin.

Booq was having trouble keeping these in stock, but they’re available now and ship within 24 hours. You can get the Boa Nerve for $129.95 at the Booq website.

Also Consider: Timbuk2 Commute Slim

Barnes & Noble Nookbarnes-and-noble-nook
I hesitate to recommend this because I’m generally averse to ereaders. There are those among you who like these things, and you all probably know someone who wants one, so I’ll go against my best instincts for the sake of your friends. The Nook is best of the ereaders I’ve seen. Since no one, not even the major sites, have had a chance to review these it’s tough to say how that little color screen will pan out, but it seems like a decent idea. You also get the ability to lend your ebooks to your friends and share your own media between your computer and your iPhone.

One BIG caveat for this one: The Nook is completely sold out for shipments arriving during 2009. The next flight will land January 4th, so you could always give the gift of the late present, which can be pretty cool. Barnes & Noble wants $259 for this one.

Also Consider: Amazon Kindle

AeroPress Coffee/Espresso Makeraerobie-aero-press
Now that your loved ones will be spending all their hard-earned money on ebooks, they’ll need an inexpensive way to stay perky for those long reading sessions. The Aerobie AeroPress should be in every coffee lovers’ home, at least if they’re on a budget. It brews a decent cup of espresso and great Americano if you add a little water. Get a cheap frother and you can make your drink of choice in under two minutes and far cheaper than you’ll find at any cafe.

The press comes with a year’s supply of filters and everything you’ll need to make your perfect cuppa. The best part is the price, a mere $25.95 with free shipping from Amazon.

Also Consider: MyPressi TWIST

More good stuff to come in the Gadget Teaser 2009 Holiday Gift Guide tomorrow.

  

Accessory review: Joby Gorilla Mobile

Joby's Gorilla Mobile.The Joby Gorilla Pod has become one of the most popular tripod solutions that allows you to mount a camera almost anywhere. Joby’s taken that idea and shrunk it down to provide the same flexibility for mobile applications.

I’ve always been impressed with the quality of Joby products and the Gorilla Mobile is no exception. The joints hold up well, even under constant use (I used mine to entertain an 18-month old for a couple hours). Joby has also added extra functionality by including interchangeable mounts for different devices. There’s the standard camera mount – which is perfect for your point and shoot or a Flip video – an adhesive mount for anything without a camera bracket, and a suction cup which is for anything with a smooth surface (yeah, it’s pretty much for the iPhone, though your Blackberry might be alright there).

There’s really nothing bad to say about this little tripod. It’s functional, fits most any device, and can be tucked into a pocket. My only hang up was getting the suction cup to fit the phone, but a quick cleaning and little spit gave it a solid hold. My one piece of advice is to make sure the interchangeable lock is in place before setting your camera anywhere. If you don’t have the locking ring in place, any kind of tilt could send your camera/phone sliding to its death.

You can get the Gorilla Mobile direct from Joby for $30.