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What to Buy Now: Gadgets That Are Good to Go | Electronics

The latest and greatest technological innovations for the peripatetic set—from cool new digital cameras that play music to a cell phone with superpowers.

High-definition camcorder

Sony's HDR-FX1 is one of the first home camcorders that creates high-definition video to take full advantage of flat-screen HDTVs. Plus, it records at 24 frames per second, which creates a more cinematic look. DETAILS $3,700; 877-865-SONY or sonystyle.com.

MP3 headphones

Etymotic Research's ER-6i earphones for portable MP3 players seal out noises from the outside world and enhance the bass—plus, they're white to match the ubiquitous iPod. DETAILS $150; 888-389-6684 or etymotic.com.

Underwater camera

Underwater digital cameras are known for being bulky, but Pentax's OptioWP is just 22 mm thick. It also comes with 5.0 megapixels, a great zoom lens and a two-inch LCD screen. DETAILS $400; 800-877-0155 or pentaximaging.com.

Digital audio player and camera

Olympus's m:robe 500i takes photos and lets you listen to music: It's a digital camera combined with a digital audio player. Its 3.7-inch high-resolution color touch screen is user-friendly, and it comes with built-in slide-show software. DETAILS $500; 800-645-8160 or olympusamerica.com.

Worldwide cell phone

When traveling overseas, Verizon's 43-million-plus cell phone customers used to be out of luck: Their handsets wouldn't work in Europe and Asia. Now Samsung's a790 cell phone broadens Verizon's range to almost anywhere. DETAILS $350; 800-922-0204 or verizonwireless.com.

Budget iPod

About the size of a pack of Trident and weighing as little as a car key, Apple's iPod shuffle digital audio player uses flash memory instead of a hard drive, so it has no moving parts to break. It can hold about 120 songs; an extra 50 bucks doubles the storage capacity. DETAILS $100; 800-MY-APPLE or apple.com.

3-D GPS system

For the perennially lost, Garmin's StreetPilot c330 car navigation system gives a video game-like, animated 3-D view of the landscape as well as the standard bird's-eye view. DETAILS $900; 913-397-8200 or garmin.com.

Backup hard drive

The Mirra Personal Server M-80 is a special hard drive that automatically makes backup copies of your most important documents—in case, say, you lose your laptop. You use a password to gain access to those files from any Web browser. DETAILS $350; 866-647-7248 or mirra.com.

Portable satellite radio

Commercial-free, CD-quality satellite radio has won a lot of converts (including, most famously, Howard Stern). Now Delphi's MyFi, the first portable satellite radio, lets you take it to Anywhere, USA. DETAILS $350; 866-962-2557 or xmradio.com.

Published May 2005
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