New Tech Gadgets

New Tech Gadgets

Every year Freeskier nerds out and tests some of the top tech gear. We’ve picked a handfull of items this year that we think can help improve your life.


Apple iPhone

apple.com $599 for the 8 GB model Carrier: AT&T
Here it is, folks, the product of your dreams: the iPhone. The tech magicians at Apple have been busy cramming absurd amounts of features into this must-have device. The initial sticker shock may send you running for the hills; however, the ability to play music, movies, surf the internet, chat with friends and make phone calls all on the same device makes the money spent worth it. The only thing that is better than that hefty feature list is that it runs a version of Apple’s rocksolid OS X operating system. This means you can expect an interface that looks smoother than glass with its fancy transitions, smooth fonts and fast response. Expect people to beg, borrow and steal just to get one of these babies in their hands. But, like most good things there is a catch. The iPhone is exclusively on AT&T (Cingular) and requires a twoyear contract and a pricey data plan. Surely that is a small price to pay for every techno-weenie’s dream gadget, and this may be the only phone that will ever get you chicks.



apple.com $399 for the 160 GB model
Tired of watching TV shows and movies you’ve been buying from the iTunes music store on your computer? I know I am. AppleTV fixes all of that! Simply plug the device into your HDTV, follow some really simple setup instructions and RESTO, all your iTunes content synchronizes to your HDTV. Music, photos, downloaded TV shows, Freeskier podcasts and movies are all there for your viewing pleasure. Create a home media server of your favorite ski flicks, pics and songs that you can easily show off to an audience of jealous onlookers. There are, however, a few shortcomings with AppleTV. First up, you’re going to need an HDTV. Standard definition ones aren’t compatible. Also, you can’t buy content from iTunes through the AppleTV, you’ve still got to use your computer for that. These are just two minor problems to an overall sweet device that should find its way into your entertainment center.


Microsoft Zune

zune.net $299
People don’t give the Zune enough credit. It’s a great portable media device and a worthy alternative to the iPod. The Zune comes jam-packed with more tricks than a seedy Detroit street corner; some that even Apple’s portable player can’t claim to do. It plays music (naturally), allows you to watch videos, listen to FM radio and comes equipped with a real nifty trick that allows you to wirelessly send songs to other Zune players over Wi-Fi. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Microsoft device without some hideously cumbersome catch: The songs you swap to other users can only be played three times, then they become as useful as ice skates in hell. But hey, it’s still a good idea and a neat way to share music that will most likely be improved upon in the future.


Helio Ocean

helio.com Price with new plan: $295
It’s a phone, but don’t dare call it one. Helio’s latest offering, The Ocean, is a texter’s delight. This gizmo has something never before seen in a phone: two sliding entry pads. Slide the phone vertically and a number pad snaps out to dial phone numbers. Push the phone horizontally and reveal a full QWERTY keyboard! Typing text messages on a 9-digit keypad is so 2006. Since you’ll be firing off texts faster than ever, you’ll be thankful that Helio includes unlimited text and pix messaging to any network with the standard plan. Also, this baby isn’t some one-trick pony. Out of the box you can surf the internet, utilize GPS location services, check e-mail, play games and wirelessly download music from Helio’s massive music store. They’ve also thrown in all the features you’d expect from any cell phone, like a two megapixel shooter with a flash, speakerphone and headphone jack.


Garmin Forerunner 305

garmin.com $325
Do you have a friend who claims everything about his ski day? Tired of listening to him go on and on about getting 25,000+ feet of vertical in a single outing? Think he’s completely full of crap? Strap the Garmin Forerunner 305 to his wrist and fire it up. This amazing GPS receiver tracks everything one could ever want to know about a day on the slopes. Best of all, at the end of the day, you can plug it into your computer via USB to charge and sync information
to your computer, showing you exactly how many vertical feet per day you skied, how fast you were going, your average heart rate and how many miles you traveled. If that wasn’t enough, you can subscribe to MotionBased, an online website that takes the tracking information from the Forerunner and overlays the data onto Google Maps for archiving all of your adventures. If you are a skier, runner, hiker or biker this is a must have accessory. Garmin is going to have to pry this test unit from my cold, dead hands.


Nikon D40

nikonusa.com $599
Ready to ditch the point-and-shoot and move over to a D-SLR camera? Don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on photo equipment? If you answered yes to either question you should immediately purchase this camera. Nikon’s D40 is an affordable way into D-SLR photography and the ultimate stepping stone from your film body or point and shoot. This six megapixel shooter allows you to fi re off 2.5 frames a second and is compatible with hundreds of lenses, meaning that when you’re ready to move onto a bigger and better camera body, your lenses can come with you. At just $599, grab one and get the shot of you and your buddies in the park, backcountry or bar.


Canon 30D

canonusa.com $1399
Want to shoot photos like the real-deal superstars? This is a step in
the right direction. Canon’s 30D is an essential tool for those who want to get the shot without breaking the bank on a full-frame camera. Expect vibrant colors and true-to-life photos with Canon’s Digic II image sensor. Shoot professional sequences at five frames per second with up to 30 photos per sequence! Don’t worry about schlepping dozens of pounds of gear with you as this baby keeps it light with its magnesium-based body. Best of all, since you’re saving a bit of money on the camera body, you can splurge on some sweet lenses. Now all you’ve got to do is worry about minor details like which pro to shoot.

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