Published December 06, 2010
This holiday, it's time to get the lady in your life a gadget she can really use. I've compiled a list of my favorite gifts of 2010 -- gear that's sure to warm the heart of the lady of the house.
1. Kodak Pulse Frame: Kodak has made tremendous strides in making photo sharing supersimple across all of its products. And the Kodak Pulse is one of my favorite new photo frames, because it takes the guesswork out of getting pictures on the frame.
Out this year with a bigger than ever 10-inch version, it's incredibly easy to use. With the Pulse, family members can send photos to mom's frame no matter where they live: Just e-mail them to a special address that mom sets up in a few minutes and voila! The photos show up in her slideshow.
2. Sony Dash: If mom loves to listen to music, watch a Netflix movie, or any of the above while she's cooking then she'll love the Sony Dash. It's the perfect kitchen companion. Sony calls it a"'personal Internet viewer" and the company's marketing suggests it would be great next to the bedside. It would -- but I think it's better suited for the kitchen.
The vivid 7-inch color touch-screen is water resistant, and its wedge shape lets mom flip it up or down depending on the viewing angle. With over 1,500 apps, she'll be able to check Facebook, listen to Pandora, view recipes and watch a Netflix movie or cooking demo on YouTube. And when it's not being used for any of those other things the family can enjoy it as a digital photo frame.
3. Macbook Air: Apple's 11-inch Macbook Air is my favorite new laptop -- and it really doesn't get any better than this thing. It's ultra light, extremely thin, and wicked fast. And only half an inch thick!
With its flash memory storage (no spinning hard drive) the Air has instant wake capabilities; that means a simple flip of the lid lets mom get right to work. If the Air is off and needs to boot up, she'll wait just 14 seconds from the time she hits the power button until she's e-mailing. It's so thin that it will fit in a large purse. And the price is just right, too; Apple dropped the cost to $999, putting it in a tie for cheapest Apple laptop.
You won't see me carrying a bulky laptop ever again. Don't make mom do it either.
4. Powermat: It's as certain as death and taxes: Women hate having electrical cords strewn all over the place. Men don't seem to mind -- as evidenced by my monstrosity of an entertainment center.
The Powermat lets you charge your smartphone by simply laying it on a charging mat. Look Ma, no cords! Powermat makes beautiful cases that fit around your new iPhone 4, iPod, Blackberry or other product too. One early complaint was that the cases were too thick; Powermat listened and the new lineup is even thinner and sleeker than before. And they've included a mini-USB port on the bottom of the case that means you can connect to iTunes without having to remove the case.
5. iRobot Scooba and Pet Series Roomba: I don't want to perpetuate stereotypes -- I clean the floors more than my wife, after all -- but most moms would love a helping hand when it comes to vacuuming the carpets and mopping the floors. I've tested a few competitors to iRobot's line of vacuum-cleaning robots and no one has managed to top them. I'm impressed with the Pet Series Roomba, which lets you choose when to vacuum the carpets with a little more cleaning power than the basic model.
Why not schedule it while you've taken mom out to dinner? Return home to find the Roomba back on its charger after it's finished with the carpets. The only thing it doesn't do is empty itself. There's something gratifying about coming home to find your house clean and a Roomba filled with dirt, dust, hair and muck.
If mom has hardwood or tile floors then the Scooba is the choice. Just like the name implies, Scooba mops the floors. When it's all done you'll find a tank of dirty water. And somehow, cleaning THAT out is gratifying in itself!
Clayton Morris is a Fox and Friends host and the tech brain behind the Gadgets and Games show. Follow Clayton's adventures online on Twitter @ClaytonMorris (where he promises to try to answer all your gift questions) and by reading his daily updates at his blog.