Jonathan Takiff: Season’s gadgets

BABE MAGNET: We’re hearing buzz about digital cameras going “bye-bye” (the newly discontinued Flip camcorder line being a sore case in point) because people are content taking digital stills and video with . Yet a dedicated digi-camera with the right features set still deserves attention.


Take, please, the Samsung DualView ultracompact series, boasting a second LCD screen on the front that displays whatever is being captured by the lens. In effect, that second screen serves as a mirror for the subject – great for attracting a baby’s attention. A front screen’s also good for getting a glum teen or grown-up to perk up, after noting, “Eew, I look awful!” Or to help the shooter get properly framed in an arms-length self-portrait.


The latest Samsung ST700 Dual View ($199 after savings at Best Buy) also boasts a super-high-resolution 16 megapixel image-capturing chip, five-power optical zoom (far better than the digital zooms in phones), image stabilization, special effects and intuitive touch-screen control.


THE “NO-BRAINER” BACKUP: For all those who do use an iPhone (3G, 3Gs, 4) or current (fifth) generation iPod touch as their preferred digital shooter, there’s a handy-dandy item to back up your images and contact list. It’s the Iomega SuperHero Backup & Charger ($69.99 at Target and Download the free Iomega SuperHero app to the Apple. Whenever you dock the product in the spiffy Iomega base, your contacts and still photos (not videos) are automatically saved to a 4GB SD card while the device recharges.


Of course, these same (and more) backup burdens can be achieved by connecting to a computer. But Iomega’s solution requires zero thought or effort.


KINDLE WITH BENEFITS: What’s the difference between a conventional Kindle eReader tablet with Wi-Fi and the new Kindle with Special Offers? The latter costs $25 less (a mere $114) but is “ad-supported.” Instead of delivering an opening screen image of a famous author, you might see a monochrome advertisement for a new car, bank card or skin cream.


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