Whether your dad is a music lover or a video game junkie, Nino Marchetti, tech expert for about.com, shares the latest and greatest portable electronics perfect for any dad.
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Klipsch iGroove is a speaker system for your iPod. It puts out a great sound, while charging the iPod at the same time. It isn't quite portable, it is more of a shelf-style system, but is one of the more popular stereo speaker iPod accessories. $250, www.klipsch.com; iPods, $299-399, www.apple.com
The iTrip from Griffin Technology is an FM transmitter. You basically plug it into the iPod and it lets you broadcast the audio from your iPod onto your car stereo, which is the most common use. You can enjoy hours of audio when you are driving. $50, www.griffintechnology.com
Apple and Nike Sports kit
The Apple and Nike Sports kit works with the Apple Nano. There is a special Nike shoe with a sensor that wirelessly transmits your exercise data, like how fast you were running and how many calories it thinks you were burning, to a transmitter that is attached to the bottom of the Nano. It stores the information in the device's memory. You can then sync it to your computer and keep a catalog of your exercise. $50, www.apple.com
Sony PlayStation Portable
The nice thing about the Sony PlayStation is that it's become the most popular portable gaming device in the market. It plays very realistic-looking 3D games and also plays mainstream movies. It has its own format called the Universal Media Disc, which is basically a small shiny disc in plastic casing. The other interesting thing about this particular device is that you can play head to head with friends wirelessly. You can also use the built-in technology to surf the web, download video clips or music to the player. The level of the gaming on it is something that older people get into just as much as younger. Sony targeted a slightly older audience with the Sony Portable. They definitely recognize that 16- or 17-year-olds are going to be interested in this device. But there are also a lot of games out there which really require older gamers to figure out the complexities. $199.99 for basic player and $250 with accessories, www.sonystyle.com
Sony Portable DVD Walkman
What is particularly interesting about this just released device is that it is known as a tablet-style portable DVD player. Unlike mini DVD players, which have a screen that pops open, this particular one has a seven-inch screen that takes up the front side of the player. It has plenty of viewing space and the DVD loads in the back. It has a built-in kickstand, so you can actually prop it up and watch it on a plane or at home or wherever. The screen quality is excellent and it has good battery life, enough for at least one or two movies. It also comes with a charging cradle, and speakers built into the cradle, so you can get a listening experience while it is charging. If you're on-the-go and you want to share it with someone, it has dual earphone jacks. $200, www.sonystyle.com
XM Satellite Radio delivers digital content (news, music, sports, talk, a variety of shows) and is most commonly known for something you can listen to in your car. What they have more recently been doing is taking the technology and putting it into more portable devices. This Pioneer Inno is one of the latest, and it has a small, integrated satellite receiver built into it, so you can actually listen to the same stations that you could listen to in your car. It is great for on-the-go use. It, like other satellite devices, doesn't have the best reception indoors, especially if you aren't near a window.
Pioneer and XM have built in the ability to have on-the-go content as well. You can either record up to 50 hours of XM programming for later listening or you can transfer MP3 music files from your computer onto the device and listen to it when you can't get satellite reception. It is like the Apple iPod in the sense that you can listen to portable audio on-the-go and it is in a digital format. It can store and play MP3 files like the iPod, but the difference between the two is that this one gives you the ability to listen to live channels of music or sports, where as with the iPod, everything is pre-recorded. You can also “bookmark” a song, and attach the Pioneer Inno to a computer and it will bring up a list of what you “bookmarked.” You can then go to Napster and actually purchase the complete digital audio of that song that you heard. $400, plus a $13 per month service fee; www.xmradio.com
Shure Personal Audio E4c Earphones
These earphones provide one of the best portable listening experiences that you will ever have through headphones because of the unique sound isolating in-ear design. Included in the kit is a variety of small pieces that you can attach to the earpiece for the perfect fit. This helps a lot with the sound isolation as well. $320, www.shurestore.com
For more information, check out about.com.
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