Cool stuff: Your 2007 holiday gift guide

More than 50 amazing gifts for the technology lovers in your life

Media phone: iPhone

If you were offended by the prodigious hype Apple's iPhone received before its release, get over it: In the end, the device easily proved worthy of the hype. It's that good.

Apple completely rethought the experience of using a mobile phone, replacing key presses with its remarkably intuitive multitouch interface. Want to type a URL in the Safari browser? Touch the URL text box and an on-screen keyboard appears. Want to zoom in on something displayed in Safari for easier reading? Touch what you want to read.

This radical new interface is so intuitive that Computerworld's usability tests found people often completed phone and media-related tasks twice as quickly with the iPhone than they did with more traditional devices. And it's so compelling and fun to use that many people can't put it down.

The iPhone ($399) is full of other innovations, such as visual voice mail that makes it simple to pick precisely which message you want to listen to. And, of course, this is also an iPod with a gorgeous 3.5-in. display.

Sure, there are a few weak spots. The iPhone doesn't offer video capture or an instant messaging application, for example, and in the U.S., your only cellular service option is AT&T and its slow EDGE data network. But despite a few glitches, the iPhone is a delightful and significant game-changer, which makes it a superlative holiday gift.

Price: US$399, plus AT&T service plan (in the US) starting at US$59
Summary: This game-changing phone and media player is easily worthy of the hype it received prior to its release. David Haskin

Bluetooth phone headset: Plantronics Pulsar 590E

Was it the result of my teenaged self cranking up the AC/DC to "11" too many times, or was it the fault of my otherwise trusty BlackBerry? Either way, I've had a problem hearing callers on my cell phone.

The wired headset that worked great with my other cell phone generated earsplitting feedback when plugged into the 'Berry -- a common problem, I later discovered, that's related to the GSM technology used by AT&T and T-Mobile. Meanwhile, the tiny single earclip headsets I tried neither achieved the volume I needed nor kept me from feeling self-conscious. (Call me neurotic, but I prefer the illusion that no one else on the street is privy to my conversation.)

Thank heaven for the Motorola Rokr and other music-playing cell phones, but not because my suburban self wants to strut to the beat down an urban street like some hipster fool. Rather, it's because they've led to a small wave of double-ear headsets. David Beckham's handsome mug almost convinced me to get Motorola's sleek S9, but practicality won out in the form of the Plantronics Pulsar 590E headset.

With the Pulsar, my calls come in loud and clear. Callers hear me fine on the stubby-but-extendable microphone. The Pulsar also pairs perfectly with my BlackBerry. The controls are as minimalist and intuitive as anything that has come out of Apple's design labs.

Sure, the Pulsar is chunky enough that I look like a communications officer on the bridge of the Death Star. On the other hand, it's got a bit of that club DJ thing going on, which is what my 37-year-old self will pretend to be when my BlackBerry gives out and I upgrade to an MP3 cell phone.

Price: US$63-US$109
Summary: For the hardish-of-hearing, a great-sounding, easy-to-use mobile headset that plays music too.
Eric Lai

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Computerworld Staff

Computerworld Staff

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?