It’s time once again for Mavromatic’s Top 5 Gadgets Of The Year. Last year, the iPhone was the #1 gadget on my list and I even hoped that a V2 Windows Media Extender would be released for under $200 — it did in 2008 and made this years list! Due to the economic conditions I have selected gadgets that are priced less than $300. Again, these are gadgets that I have actually purchased and use myself.
So here is my Top 5 Gadget List of 2008 / Holiday Buyers Guide:
#5 — Eye-Fi Explore Wireless 2 GB Secure Digital Card (EYE-FI-2EX)
Priced at $129 this little SD card packs a lot of features. My favorite is that it can Geotag (add latitude and longitude location) photos based on WiFi locations — even if you’re not physically connected to the wireless access point. The card is great for shooting photos around your house since they can automatically be sent to the host computer or even your online photo service like flickr automatically. The EyeFi software is a cinch to install and works with almost any camera available these days. I even used it with my Canon 40D which is a CF based camera using this adapter.
#4 — Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
Ok, this isn’t a gadget you’d typically see on Mavromatic — you can thank my wife (www.frillas.com) for bringing this into my life. What good is a home theater without great popcorn? For those of you that haven’t had proper popcorn the Whirly-pop makes the best popcorn around. I even prefer the popcorn made from this gadget over the theater popcorn my commercial popcorn machine makes — it’s that good! Priced at $20, this gift fits everyone’s budget in these tough times!
#3 — Linksys Media Center Extender (DMA2100)
Linksys hadn’t released the DMA2100 in time for last years top gadget list. When first announced it carried a $350 price tag, now you can get a V2 Windows Media Extender for $110! This small, compact device streams all your digital media from a Vista Media Center PC — full video review here. ‘Nuff said!
#2 — XBOX 360 Console w/60gb Hard Drive
Who would have thought a three year old gadget would still be relevant in today’s marketplace? Well, Microsoft’s XBOX 360 made it on this years top 5 gadget picks because of the recent price drop! For $299, you get the console, wireless controller, 60gb hard drive and a couple games. But, wait, there’s more! The XBOX 360 is a media extender ($110 value), a HD Netflix Streaming device ($100 value), a DVD player ($50 value) and a gaming/community platform (priceless). So if you have been holding out on an XBOX 360, there is no better time than now to purchase one!
#1 — TED 1001 – Electricity Monitor, Energy Monitor, Power Monitor
Lets face it, we all love electronics, but we also need to be responsible with the power they use. That’s why this years #1 Mavromatic Gadget Of The Year is Energy, Inc’s T.E.D. 1001. I originally blogged about this in Aug. 2007, and a full video review in Jan. 2008. This product allows you to monitor your power usage in real-time and ultimately cut back on your total energy use. The available API and TED Footprints allows you to monitor usage and log data to you computer and even my custom software, Myro Control, will be able to render data from the TED. This will be the best $145 you’ve ever spent — it may even pay itself off and make you money!