The death of moving parts means your stocking will be stuffed with smaller, faster, stronger — and quieter — gadgets. Our geek rings in the solid-state revolution.
The solid-state revolution is here, bringing extreme performance and durability to holiday hardware. Here, we feature 12 of the coolest SSD-powered devices to add to your shopping lists.
This 46-inch high-def plasma TV has an SD card slot in the front that accepts up to a 16-GB card. Why? Convergence, Mrs. Claus! By sliding an SD card into the TV, you can watch the high-def home movies you shot minutes earlier on your SD-based video camera on a huge, gorgeous screen.
You've just shot high-def video of the missus in a moment of unbridled holiday cheer. But because you used the HF10 with solid-state memory instead of a conventional tape-based camera, you can now watch your new movie on a TV without transferring a videotape or finding that long lost video cable. The HF10 has 16 GB of onboard memory, plus a slot for a removable SD card. So you can simply drop in the card and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas.
For the money, this memory-card reader may just be the most useful stocking stuffer in history. Seriously. The MobileLite reads nine different SD card formats; you can slide any one of them into the device, then jack it into the USB slot on your computer for instant storage. Takes seconds.
BlackBerry, owned by Research in Motion, introduced the Bold, its first 3G smartphone, in early November. And it seems the Canadian company is trying to challenge Apple's consumer-friendly iPhone hegemony. For proof, pop off the bold's back: inside you'll find a slot for a micro SD card, which means you can store pictures, music, or games-and play them back any time.
Recording in uncompressed 24 bit/96 kHz digital stereo makes the LS-10's recordings higher in sound quality than a CD's. Your old tape deck will slink away in embarrassment. The durable, 5.8-ounce aluminum body houses 2 GB of built-in solid-state memory--up to 12 hours of audio--but also has an SD-card slot for even more capacity.
TomTom was one of the first GPS companies to use voice activation--you can tell it where you want to go. But most people don't know the sleek go 920 has an SD-card slot on its top edge, which lets you add SD-card-based maps of, say, Europe. Because while it's fun to ask the French for directions, the TomTom never shrugs and walks away.
More than a billion songs sold on iTunes, and over 100 million iPods sold, and now, shake-ability: the new iPod Nano has a tiny internal sensor that responds to movement. Want to shuffle your songs? Shake your nano in the air like you just don't care--your songs won't skip because they're stored on internal solid-state memory. Comes in 8-gb and 16-gb versions and nine colors.
The ultimate wireless fix for the literati. a built-in cellular phone transceiver lets you download up to 200 titles (each takes about a minute) from a list of more than 185,000; The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and your other subscriptions are delivered automatically. All of it displayed on a so-called electronic-paper screen that looks and reads like the real thing. An SD slot lets you add your own content. Ten ounces.
Out in a server farm in a data center in the Midwest sits your Christmas present, stored as zeroes and ones on a silent IBM BladeCenter server. The new BladeCenter runs solid-state hard drives, not spinning platters, so it's up to 20 times faster and uses half the power. Meaning that set of steak knives will arrive in plenty of time to disappoint you.
Price: Starting at $2,000, but price varies radically by configuration.
More Info: IBM BladeCenter Hs21
Tech wonks heard about Taiwan-based ASUS long before 2007, when it rolled out its first EeePC subnotebook computer. They knew, for example, that the company used to make iPods for apple. But the new EeePC 1000 is a revelation: it's the first in the ASUS line with no moving parts. What it does have: a 40-GB, shockproof SSD drive; an onboard video camera; Bluetooth; and wireless connectivity--all packed into 2.93 pounds. Santa! Baby!
The first SSDNow drives, in 32- GB and 80- GB versions, will show up by year's end (a 160- GB monster may follow), in sizes that match existing laptop and server hard drives. Now, instead of replacing your computer, you can just swap out its tired old spinning disk drive.
This state-of-the-art, ultra high-def video camera uses two removable solid-state p2 memory cards; each holds up to 64 GB (about two hours of the highest-quality video possible) and fits right into the PC/MCIA slot on your laptop. Best of all, P2 cards can function in temperatures between -4?f (North Pole) and 140?f (chimneys) and withstand shocks of up to 1,500 Gs (sleigh rides).