Gadgets for Mom
Nothing says "I love you, Mom," more than a useful gadget. Whether it's something to capture memories, help her find her way, or let hergroove to her favorite music, you may want to join the thousands of husbands and children giving Mom something more special, and longer lastingthan flowers and chocolate. Research studies reveal that a trend to give Moms electronic gadgets for Mother's Day is growing fast. Retrevo's own research indicates digital cameras and MP3 players top the list of Moms' wish lists. A 2006 survey from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) discovered that 32 percent of Moms wanted a gadget for Mother's Days while 55 percent of Moms would have chosen a digital camera over a $200 gift certificate for a home cleaning service. On the other hand, you can get a roomba, vacuum robot for the about the same price. Retrevo's gadget experts have selected the best gadgets and gear to show everyones Moms how much they are appreciated. Digital Cameras, MP3 Players, and Camcorders which top Moms' lists, we've add some more high tech gadgets like GPS devices, Digital Picture Frames, and even a couple Photo Printers.
The Perfect Digital Camera for Mom
This year, "M" is for the megapixels. Whether it's time to replaceher old film camera, upgrade her outdated 2MP point and shooter, or buyMom hervery first camera that she can carry with her everywhere, there is a wide assortment of quality cameras to chose from. The Fuji Finepix F40fd is a brand new 8.3 MP point and shoot camera incorporating the latestfeatures like image stabilization and face detection technology. Features like these willmake it hard to take a bad picture. You can buy this camera for under $300.
The recently announced Nikon Coolpix S500 is a$250, full featured, point and shoot camera. The 7.1 MP camera incorporates optical image stabilization (carried over from Nikon SLRs), face detection, and an ISO rating of 2000 that should give you better pictures inall kinds oflighting conditions.
The Casio Exilim EX Z1000 is a 10.1 MP camera with an extra large LCD screen, digital image stabilization, 3200 ISO, and compact size for under $250. User reviews are generally very positivehowever, some users complain about image quality and other problems.
A recent entry in theCanon Elph line of cameras is the Canon SD1000. This highly rated 7.1 MP camera has the latest face detection technology, and an ISO rating of 1600. It lacks image stabilization however, you can buy it for around $250.
If you want to go the all the way, and make Mom look like a pro photographer than consider spending over $700 for a decent SLR like the very popular, highly rated, 10.1 MP Canon Rebel XTi
High definition (HD)has been sweeping the video market. You pay a little more for HDbut the image quality is amazing. If you want to get Mom the ultimate camcorder (hey, maybe she'll let you borrow it), there is a new crop of HD camcorders that produce stunning results for around $1000. There are also plenty of SD (standard definition) cameras that can record in widescreen format to view on that new widescreen TV. These camcorders store video on tape, DVD, or built-in hard drives. With 10X optical zoom,optical imagestabilization,and a large 2.7 inch display in a handy form factor, the Canon HV10 gets high marks from users who rave about the image quality and protability of this HDcamcorder.
The Panasonic HDC-SD1 is a 3 CCD, 12x Optical HD camcorder that stores video on SD flash memory cards. These cards are getting cheaper every day.You can buy a 4GB card for $50 that will hold up to one hour of HD video. However the point is to get the video off the camera into your computer, edit it andburn a DVD.
The Sony HDR-HC5 HD camcorder records HD or SD video to miniDV tapes. The camcorder also take 4MP stills.
We hate to say it, but youre probably going to want to pass on all the good quality non-Apple MP3 players like Creative Zen Vision MiRiver clixor the SanDisk Sansa Connect and get Mom an iPod. Theyre just too easy to use and they dominate the market. You can go with the high end video ipod, a sleek 8GB nano, or even the very affordable shuffle. Mom can use it when exercising, at work, at home, or even to just escape from the family into her own space. If you want to go with a non-Apple player (don't say we didn't warn you) check out these players. You can get some important features that Apple left out of iPods like FM radio/recorder and voice recorder. You can also use some of the alternative (less expensive) music libraries like Napster and Rhapsody.
|Creative Zen Vision M||iRiver clix||SanDisk Sansa Connect|
As far as iPods go, you'll need to decidebetween the $240 30GB iPod video, the $340 80GB version, the $190 4GB Nano, the 8GB, $240 8GB Nano, or the $75 1GB Shuffle. Your choice, they all use iTunes software, havetons of accessories available, and have the all-important Apple "cool factor."
|80GB Video||8GB Nano||iPod Shuffle|
Mom will never get lost again after you fix her up with her own GPS. These devices are very portable, work as well on a hike as in the car, are fairly easy to use, and can even play music. The Garmin Nuvi 350 weighs a mere 5 ounces, fits in your hand, is a full featured GPS, and even plays MP3 audiofiles for around $400. Users like the portability, high quality speech, readable display, and overall quality. For a few dollars more you can get the Garmin Nuvi 360 which adds bluetooth for use as a handsfreedevice along with your bluetooth phone.
|Garmin Nuvi 350||Garmin Nuvi 360|
If you want even more in a GPS than the highly rated 350, you can spend close to $700 for the Garmin Nuvi 660. You get a larger unit with a larger display and bluetooth technology that allows you to use it with a bluetooth phone as a handsfree telephone.
Digital Picture Frames
Small framed LCD panels displaying digital photos look great on the mantel and some even play MP3 files for a soundtarck to your slideshow. Kodak's Easyshare EX811 picture frame adds a WiFi interface that lets you load photos from your computer using a wireless connection. This 8 inch frame costs around $230.
Philips offers an 8 inch, highly rated, photo frame minus the WiFi for around $200.
For the ultimate camera bundle why not throw in a photo printer while you're at it. They're real cheap (manufacturers make all the money on the ink cartidges), fast, and crank out photos as good as you'll get from your local drug store. Here are a couple of great values. Canon's Pixma ip4300gets high marks from experts and users even though some say it's a little on the large side and a bit noisey. You can get this fast, high resolution printer for under $100.
The HP Photosmart D7160 printer gets high marks from users for high quality prints.