Special Report: Dads and Grads Gift Guide

Gadgets for Dad or the Grad

Time flies and before you know it that little kid in diapers is graduating from school and it's time to reward him or her with a gift. Its also that time of the year to show Dad how much you appreciate everything he does for the family. Retrevos gadget experts have some great gift recommendations for todays tech-savvy students and gadget loving Dads.


Laptops for Grads

Whether youre sending your high school grad off to college or your college grad into the real world, a laptop computer is required gear. Todayslaptops are as much internet terminals and entertainment centers as theyare portable typewriters.Good laptopswill have lots of built-in wireless connectivity like WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G along with multimedia capabilites like high resolution widescreen displays.They should offerall flavors of WiFi (802.11a,b,g,plus the latest super fast n), Bluetooth, and in some cases 3G cards (or at least slots) to be used withcell phonecarriers' high speed internet access. A new generation of laptops just came on the market that incorporate the latest Intel chip, code named Santa Rosa. Boasting a faster front side bus, longer battery life, support for the latest WiFi standard, 802.11n, andbetter graphics and video support, Santa Rosa powered laptops are currently not available on Mac OS laptops. TheLatitude D630 is the latest Santa Rosa based laptop from Dell. The D630 hasa 14.1 inch display while the Latitude 830 has a larger 15.4 inch display. They cost between $1,000 and $2,000 fully configured.

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Latitude D630 Latitude 830

On the Mac side, Apple just announced some new and improved Macbooks with faster processors and more memory. Unfortunately if you want one of the latest and greatest Santa Rosa-based notebooks you'll have to stay in the Windows camp for now. The new Macbooks come in black or white and sell for around $1500.



GPS for Dads

Give anygadget loving Dad a GPS and hewill immedately startcollecting statisticsfromcar trips like distance traveled or altitude attained. Today's GPS devices are loaded with features and contain lots ofinformation about points of interest. Many will receive real time traffic data and even play MP3 files. The Garmin Nuvi 360 weighs in ataround 6 ounces, fits in your hand, is a full featured GPS, and even plays MP3 audiofiles for around $400. You can use the built in Bluetooth to turn it into a handsfreedevice to use along with your Bluetooth phone. If you want even more in a GPS than the highly rated 360, you can spend close to $700 for the Garmin Nuvi 660. You get a larger unit with a larger display along withBluetooth technology.

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Garmin Nuvi 360 Garmin Nuvi 660


MP3 Players for Everybody

Its hard to imagine any student not having at least one MP3 player but just in case you want to make a gift of one, here are some to make any kid the envy of all their friends The iPod shuffle is pretty cool but now theres a new kid on the small and cheap MP3 player block. The Sansa Express holds as much as a shuffle and has a built in FM tuner and FM and voice recorders. You can expand the capacity with a micro SD card and the best news is that it only costs around $60.

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Sansa Express

We suggest you also check out these other non-Apple 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.

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Creative Zen Vision M iRiver clixSanDisk Sansa Connec

Oh, you want to be able to use iTunes? Oh well,in that caseyoure going to want to get an iPod and that would be a Shuffle, a Nano, or one of the big capacity ones. 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.

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80GB Video 8GB Nano iPod Shuffle


More Gift Ideas Slingbox Pro

In case you haven't heard aboutSlingbox, here's the concept; take a signal from a TV source like your cable box put it into a Slingbox, connect the Slingbox to a wired or wireless network, run some software on your PC and voila, you can send whatever is on the TV to a remote computer or handheld device running the Slingbox Player. Say the big game is on the TV at home but Dad is sitting at the airport waiting for his flight. A Slingbox and a Windows Mobile device with WiFi or 3G will let Dad watch the game on his new Samsung Blackjack.


Slingbox Pro


Nintendo's Wii

Dads or Grads will jump for joy when you give them a brand new Wii game machine. Its the wireless controller or Wii Remote that really sets it apart from the other consoles. Dad will love the tennis and golf games and the kid will spend way too much time playing adventure games. The best news is it only costs about $250.

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The Wii   Wireless controller


The Perfect Digital Camera for Someone

Here's a great little camera for anyone looking for a reasonably priced camera with all the latest features. The recently announcedNikon 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.

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Nikon Coolpix S500

Useful Links

Other Dads and Grads gift guides

Everythingyou need to know about MP3 players

Latest camera deals

Camera Buying Guides

GPS product recommendations

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