Devin's pipin' hot holiday best-of list

g11It’s that time again for our annual personal gadget recommendations. I’ve gotten my hands on a ton of stuff this year but I don’t feel safe recommending anything other than my real go-to gadgets over the last however many months. Read on to see what’s been a staple in my stable.

>T-Mobile G1

It’s still in its infancy, but I see a very bright future in Android and I wanted to be a part of that. I regret not having Fieldrunners and the like, but I believe that in a year the Android platform will have matured greatly. The G1 itself is, as pretty much everyone agrees, far from a perfect piece of hardware, but it’s the real thing and I love it. Of course, if this G2 thing is real, I may get angry.

>Samsung Trace


While I’m thinking of it, I just want to eulogize my excellent Samsung Trace. It served me well for a long time, and got compliments up until the day I replaced it with the G1. Thin as hell, sounded great, battery lasted forever. Fantastic phone.

>Canon XSi

My Canon XT had been around the world with me twice by the time I felt it needed replacement, and even as I type this it is still fully functional and taking fantastic pictures in Mexico — even though I thought it was only going down the street, Leah. But the XSi has better image quality, several more megapixels, and an enormous LCD screen among other improvements. The other DSLRs on the market are great as well, but this one gets my personal recommendation to everyone who asks (and some that don’t).

>Razer Deathadder and Lycosa

Razer is taking up my desktop right now. I’m typing on the Lycosa keyboard and mousing with the Death Adder, both of which are absolutely top-notch devices. They replaced a logitech setup I had, although I do covet John’s MX Revolution. Both companies will have something to show at CES, though, so the contest for my affections begins once again!



I had an iPod Classic for a while, but for a pure music player, the Zune is simply a better device. It also helps that I can’t stand iTunes. I don’t care much for the Zune media player either but it doesn’t bug me quite as much, and the hardware is what counts. The FM tuner is handy, the screen is great, and the interface is excellent. I think it unmixed good news that Zune UI people are going over to WinMo. That’s a mini Zune in the picture, I liked that shot better. I use the big ‘un, actually.



Here’s one thing that’s literally always with me. I keep this little guy on my keychain and it comes in handy about every other day. The knife is sharp, the screwdrivers work decently, and the whole thing is smaller than some of my actual keys. At less than 10 bucks it’s a steal for yourself or a great stocking stuffer. I got mine at Eddie Bauer, I think.

>Ultrasone HFI-580 headphones


I’ve been reviewing these for probably a little too long; John sort of meta-reviewed their more expensive cousins (I say meta because he reviewed himself as much as the product), but these are the ones you or I would pick up if we were in the market. They sound fantastic, they isolate great, and if it weren’t for the lack of a microphone I’d use them all the time. They also fold up nice.

>Manhattan Portage Westside laptop bag


Of course, with all this junk, I need a pretty serious bag to carry it around in. I’ve settled on Manhattan Portage’s Westside laptop bag &mash; it’s got a huge amount of space for books, a camera and extra lens, power adapter, laptop, and even a change of clothes for overnight trips (yes, sometimes I leave my apartment). Plus it’s super durable and has padding in the right places. Definitely spring for the shoulder pad attachment if you get one of these.

There you have it: my list of must-have stuff which may or may not look the same once CES rolls around. Have a great weekend, guys, and don’t take no wooden nickels you hear?