I know the year in not officially over, but there is really nothing that would change this list unless a V2 Windows Media Extender under $200 is released before the end of the year — not gonna happen. Everything on this list is under $1000 and is an actual gadget I purchased and used this year — and they all make great Christmas gifts!
So here is my Top 5 Gadget List of 2007 / Holiday Buyers Guide:
#5 — The Microsoft XBOX 360 ChatPad.
This device retails for less than $30 and is one of the most seamless product add-ons I have ever seen. Once you snap this keyboard onto your controller you would never think it was an add-on. The backlit keyboard works great and makes inviting and chatting to friends a snap. Highly recommended!
#4 — The 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator.
I use Google Sketchup a lot when I’m designing custom furniture and theaters. The SpaceNavigator by 3Dconnexion makes using Sketchup (or any 3D application) a breeze. The advanced “6 degrees-of-freedom optical sensor” with 2 programmable function key allows you to spin, fly through, zoom in/out, rotate, pretty-much-do-anything without needing to touch your mouse or keyboard. This input device is the most intuitive one I have ever used. It even works great with image editing programs! For $50, this device is well worth it, you’ll never get frustrated working in a 3D environment ever again.
#3 — The Canon HV10 (HD CAMCORDER).
This year was the year of HD and my old SD 3CCD camcorder (Sony TRV950) just wasn’t giving me the resolution my HDTV’s wanted. Solution, purchase a compact HD camcorder. I tested the Canon HV10 at CES and was amazed at the small form factor and quality of video. A few months later I purchased one for my own personal use — haven’t regretted the purchase yet. One deal breaking feature for most might be the lack of external microphone input, if your needs require this input checkout the Canon HV20, which I believe is the replacement to the HV10.
#2 — The LG GGC-H20L BLU-RAY HD-DVD Drive (SATA).
For those that read my blog, you know that I’m a HD DVD supporter. However, I also work for Disney, which is a Blu-ray supporter. So, when I found this LG HD-DVD and Blu-Ray PC drive for under $300, I broke down and became a supporter of both. So to quote Chris Tucker’s character, Smokey, from Friday, “Remember it, write it down, take a picture. I don’t give a fuck” — which format wins. I’m going to enjoy the best quality no matter what. This drive does it all except write in these new formats. It has a SATA interface and supports Lightscribe. The rest of the specs are better than most DVD burners… DVD-RAM 5x, DVD±R DL 4X, the DVD±R 16X, DVD-RW 6X, DVD+RW 8X, CD-R 40X, CD-RW 24X
#1 — The Apple iPhone.
This is huge, I’ve been a MSFT Windows Mobile supporter for years, but something about the iPhone pulled me away.
Was it the slick looking hardware that just works? No.
Was it the Safari’s ability to render web pages like desktops? Maybe.
Was it the iPod functionality? Possibly.
Was it the interface design and user experience. Absolutely!
MSFT, if you want to reclaim the mobile space, you need to take your great software architecture and pair it up with a user experience that is easy to use and blows away the iPhone. Until then folks, the Apple iPhone is Mavromatic’s #1 Gadget Of The Year. It feels really weird for me saying this in a public space… but Apple, you deserve it!