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More Tech Toys for the Family Geek

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Category: Hardware Published on Tuesday, 21 December 2010

All I Want for Christmas Addendum

Anyone that REALLY knows their neighborhood technogeek, has got to realize the Christmas list posted last week was just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few more tech toys we'd like to see under our trees this Christmas.

The Sony Dash ($149.98), which is actually a Chumby on steroids, can be your favorite geek's ultimate bedside companion (wives and girlfriends not included). The Dash delivers music from Pandora and Slacker Radio, email, updates from your favorite social networking website and other useful applications to your nightstand via more than 1,000 aps that can be activated from the Sony/MyDash website. The only problems are relatively minor:

  • No battery, which means it's not really portable.
  • It's slooooooooooowwwwwwwwww. It can take awhile for aps to load, so patience is a virtue.
  • Don't expect big, high-quality sound from its built-in speakersThe seven-inch touchscreen needs sensitivity training. It works, but it is a bit sluggish.
  • There's no web browser, so you're limited to what the aps can deliver.

But, what it does deliver far outweighs its detractions. You can customize the screen to show you everything from the time and weather to grandma's favorite recipe or your calendar for the day. Also, you can access news feeds from CNN and The New York Times, among others. For a complete list of the features and aps, check out www.sonystyle.com.

The new Panasonic KX-TG6582 DECT 6.0 Plus telephone ($209.99 with extra handset) delivers superior sound plus Bluetooth conectivity with your cell phone. This is actually a slimmed-down version of the Panasonic KX-TG9381 phone we reviewed last year. The only difference is the lack of an LED readout on the base unit of the newer system. Otherwise it's basically the same phone with tons of great features including:

  • It's expandable to up to six handsets.
  • It can either be wall mounted or sit on a desk.
  • You can access the answering machine from any of the handsets.
  • Any registered handset can access the system's 650-name phonebook.
  • You can customize rings for various callers, so you know who's calling without checking the readout on the handsets.
  • Link-to-Call will automatically pick up calls to your cell phone after an initial setup.

There are tons of other features that you'd expect from a phone system of this caliber. Check out the company's website at www.panasonic.com for more details.

The Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer ($49.95) is the ultimate gift for the technogeek that is also a germophobe. This nifty, battery-powered device can be used to clean a wide variety of cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, headsets and earpieces using ultraviolet light. The company says it eliminates 99.9 percent of all germs and bacteria. Of course, I have no way of testing this, so I have to take their word for it. All I know is, the phones I've cleaned "look" clean.

The process is fairly simple. You just put the device you want to clean in the UV chamber and close the lid. You'll see a pulsing blue light that tells you it's working. The whole process takes about five minutes. You'll need three AA batteries, which aren't included.

For more information go to the company's website at http://cellphone.violight.com.

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Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.