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Christmas Gadgets

Since our family is filled with technologists (one programmer, one technology strategist, one IT worker and podcaster, and one online video performer), it can be a bit interesting to see what everyone gets for Christmas. We’ve had our share of cell phones and laptops, plus lots of technology peripherals in our holiday festivities. Usually I’m less likely to get a gadget than the rest of the family, but this year I received two tech gadgets from Loren for Christmas. The first is a new Garmin nüvi 1200 GPS. I’ve never had my own GPS before, but I’ve used Loren’s a few times very successfully. We are big fans of Garmin, and this looks like another winner.

The second gadget was something I had never heard of before. It is a Parrot Minikit Slim. What is it, you ask? First, some back story:

I used to own a Palm Treo, which I was relatively happy with. I used a wired headset with it for hands-free driving, which I really liked. I had tried a Bluetooth headset, but I often heard that the sound quality wasn’t that good, so I ignored it in favor of the wired headset.

A while back, I upgraded to a Palm Treo Pro. Unfortunately, my wired headset no longer worked, because they switched to a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of the previous 2.5mm jack. Ugh. I looked but hadn’t been successful in finding a new wired headset with the correct size, and was unenthusiastic about returning to a Bluetooth headset.

Enter the Parrot Minikit Slim. The device is a Bluetooth hands free car kit that provides built-in voice dialing and a high quality speaker phone. I was skeptical about the sound quality, as I drive a Honda Element which is not a quiet vehicle. But my preliminary tests allowed me to successfully voice dial, and Loren said the sound quality on the speaker phone was pretty good.

I’m looking forward to getting a lot of use out of it. The big problem I find with it right now: it is too easy to accidentally call a wrong number because I can’t remember how to use it. It basically has 2 buttons and a jog wheel, which sounds easy but isn’t really, since the buttons mean different things depending on the context. But I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually.

Did you get anything cool for Christmas?

Posted by Avonelle on Tuesday, December 29, 2009.

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