PENTAX OPTIO S4
How does Pentax pack 4 megapixels into such a tiny form? Good question. The 3.5-ounce S4 actually fits inside an Altoids tin (go ahead, try it) and features a sliding lens system that allows the lens to move up and flush with the camera body — all at a reasonable price. (www.pentax.com; $399.99 at Amazon)
Sony calls its new CLIÃ‰ PEG-UX50, but we like to think of it as something more than just a personal entertainment communicator. With built-in wireless capability (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), a built-in digital camera (for pictures and video), and an LCD screen with a flip and rotate design, the Palm-based device offers more than its bland moniker indicates. (www.sonystyle.com; $699.99)
SONY CLIE PEG-UX50
These days, technology is as much a fashion statement as it is a means of getting business done. If you don’t believe this, consider a tool like the cell phone, which has evolved from resembling a weighty shoebox to a device that weighs mere ounces and fits in the palm of your hand. Sure, Michael Douglas was cool in Wall Street when he sported that brick of a cell phone while strolling on the beach. It was state of the art in 1987; but would you really be caught dead with it now?
The question now for technology is not whether a product is a tool or toy (it can unapologetically be both), but whether it also ups your cool quotient. In other words, these gift guide products are not Gordon Gekko’s toys.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason not to like the Siemens SL56 cell phone. With its formed egg shape, platinum-pearl titanium case, and slider design, the mobile device answers the chicken/egg conundrum. It’s definitely the egg. (www.my-siemens.com; $249.99)
APPLE POWER MAC G5
Have you been naughty or nice? When it comes to the Power Mac G5, it really doesn’t matter. You deserve one. We could give you a laundry list of the specs for the “world’s fastest personal computer” — 64-bit desktop processor, optimized Velocity Engine, but why bother? The G5 is fast and furious and runs on Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar. (www.apple .com; starting at $1,999)
PALM TUNGSTEN T3
Is the new Palm Tungsten this season’s new Terminator? It just could be. Like its shape-shifting counterpart in the film, the handheld features a new stretch display that lets you switch from the standard portrait view to landscape — with 50% more viewing area in the 320×480 display. Now you can view Excel documents with ease. And with the increasingly popular Bluetooth built in, you can connect wirelessly. (www.palmOne.com; $399)
Want to really be the envy of your friends? Pull out this pocket-size video camera and start rolling. The device features 10x digital zoom and delivers images so sharp you’ll have to see it to believe it. It also features a rotating LCD monitor (180 degrees) and rotating lens, so you can be in the picture, too. (www.panasonic.com/d-snap; $999.95)
Do you sense a theme here? It’s a digital world now, and what better tool to prove