The great gaming gear guide

As the great 20th Century philosopher Will Smith so famously said, the summer months are a "time to sit back and unwind". We couldn't agree more.

  • Spinz Pens

    Okay, we know that a pen isn't exactly a "cool" gadget to include in a Summer Vacation Gear Guide; after all, you spend the rest of the year with one of these things in your hand, so why the heck would you want to hold one in the summertime, right? Well, the Spinz line of pens is special-it's not just a writing utensil, it's also a pretty nifty toy to boot. These customizable and weight balanced pens are designed with twirling in mind and can help even the clumsiest among you grasp simple tricks. Practice enough and might be able to pull off the advance tricks that you can see in the video above. Spend the summer months with a Spinz pen and you might never get bored during class (or a business meeting) ever again.
    (Price varies)
  • The Freebord

    Some graduate students spend their time working on abstract master thesis projects that probably won't have much bearing on the world. Others, like Freebord founder Steen Strand, spend their time actually creating stuff that benefits humanity. Conceived during Strand's time at Stanford University, the Freebord is an awesome product that combines skateboarding with its wintery cousin, snowboarding. Basically, the Freebord is a skateboard with bindings and an innovative truck design that adds a third pivoting wheel to the mix; this allows you to slide your board to the side and experience a snowboard-like ride on asphalt. We put together a little video with two experienced Freeborders who can explain the product way better than we can so have a look and you'll see why we're so geeked to recommend it to you. It's a cool way to spend your summer months and it'll get your butts off the couch so your parents won't rag on you for staying inside all day. Best of all, there's a thriving community that welcomes new riders and organized Freebord rides in cities all around the world, so you probably won't have any trouble finding someone to help you get started.
    (Price Starts at AUD $290.00)
  • EyeClops

    We know what you're thinking: this is an education toy and you don't want to learn when you could be doing something else like watching TV, playing video games or going to the mall with your friends, right? Look, we get that. But that doesn't mean that the EyeClops isn't a damn cool toy, even if it will-SHOCK!-teach you something in the process. This electronic microscope hooks up to your TV and magnifies objects up to 200x, letting you see details that the human eye normally misses. It's a neat toy that's sure to prove popular with parents and kids alike-it's educational but a heck of a lot of fun to boot. So not only can you wile away your summer hours using the EyeClops to have fun, you can get a leg up on all of your classmates who'll no doubt just sit on their butts melting their brains with crappy TV.
    Price: USD$49.99
  • Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1

    In the digital era anyone can be photographer or filmmaker, but it still takes some trickery to capture the right shot at the right time. That's why we're so sweet on the Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1. Although it doesn't sound spectacular because it is only 6 megapixels, what most people don't know is that size doesn't matter... all that much. The EX-F1 has three exceptional features that got us hooked: a burst mode that lets you shoot 60 frames a second, record action shots that will come out in slow motion, and film videos in full HD. Sure, it costs a grand but it's a solidly built camera that delivers professional level results. And we hate to belabor the point but the camera's burst mode is an amazing feature that you're sure to have tons of fun with.
    Price: USD$999.99
  • HDTV

    You know what we love most about the summer? You have tons of free time to just sit in front of the TV. During the other months, when we're busy with school and work, we can't spend as much quality time with the boob tube as we'd like. That's why, this summer, we're treating ourselves to a brand new HDTV, because nothing, and we mean nothing, enhances your television and movie watching and video game playing than a huge hi-def display. If you haven't made the move up to a HD set or even if you did and just need an excuse to upgrade, we suggest you strongly consider buying one this summer. You can thank us for it later.
    (Price varies)
  • Iomega Media Xporter

    As we all know, modern gamers are constantly on the move, so what better way to keep your data handy at all times than with Iomega's latest portable multimedia drive, the Media Xporter? Weighing in at a whopping 160 gigs, you can store 2,960 hours of music, 240 hours of video, 640,000 pictures, or simply use the Xporter as a hard drive for game demos and data. The Xporter has a couldn't-be-easier plug-and-play USB interface with no annoying disc-swapping or driver installation, and is completely universal. That's right - you can use this monster on your Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, or Mac without having to reformat a single kilobyte. The hard drive itself is small and stylish enough to fit in your pocket, not to mention incredibly resilient, so your data is guaranteed safe storage on the tiny but mighty multimedia drive. From sharing your favorite episodes of South Park with friends to bringing your Beatles collection into Liberty City, the Xporter is a great deal for the gamer on the go!
    Price: USD$104.45
  • iFrogz Audiowrapz

    We love our iPod Nanos and we take ours everywhere we go-to the gym, to work, the beach, the park, outer space, you name it. Unfortunately, that exposes our shiny expensive MP3 players to a lot of abuse. That's why we're so intrigued by the Audiowrapz. These inexpensive sleeves are made of a squishy material that can protect your Nano from all sorts of scratches and dings; they also feature a built-in speaker that allows you to listen to your tunes sans headphones. It's the perfect way to make sure your Nano stays as pristine as the day you bought it.
    Price: USD$14.99
  • MyVu Crystal

    Okay, we know that the summertime is all about hanging out with your friends and family but every now and again, you just need some alone time. As in, 'leave me the hell alone' alone time. This is when the MyVu Crystal comes in handy. This wearable display lets you watch movie files that you've downloaded to your favorite MP3 player-hello iTunes and episodes of Lost!-in completely privacy; it projects the image in front of your eyes and includes earbuds that help block outside noise. It's the perfect way to pass the time on plane trips and to get away from your nagging parents on family outings. Plus, it'll totally make you look like some sort of person from the future.
    Price: USD$299.99
  • Creative Vado

    No matter how boring your life may be, chances are you'll do something worth documenting this summer. Whether it's a cross-country road trip, a day at a theme park, a summer concert or even just sitting around your backyard with a bunch of friends, something interesting is bound to happen and that's when you're going to be glad that you got your hands on the Creative Vado. This pocket sized device lets you easily and effortlessly capture up to two hours of video with the touch of a button. Its built-in storage means you don't have to deal with tapes or memory cards and its integrated USB plug makes downloading your clips a snap. Best of all, it comes with software that lets you quickly post your vids to Youtube and your still images to Photobucket, which means you can effortlessly share footage of your buddy getting hit in the nuts by a football with the rest of the world! Be sure to send us a link, okay?
    Price: $99.99
  • The Wave

    The Wave is a cool hybrid skateboard product that offers a unique sort of ride. Instead of getting on and pushing off with your feet, you shimmy your body in a wave like motion to get going; it's sort of like surfing on concrete. The board has two independent parts that are connected by a torsion rod and freely rotating wheels, which allows for some fancy moves that you can't do on a traditional skateboard; it sounds weird but trust us, it can be tons of fun, especially once you get the hang of it. You might not be as good as some of the hardcore Wave riders featured in the video below but even if you just get on and ride for fun, it's still a cool way to get around.
    Price: USD$79.00
  • Ultimate Ears 4

    We've long preached the benefits of upgrading from the cheap pack-in earbuds that come with every MP3 player because they're usually craptastic. We normally don't look down our noses at something we got for free and truth be told, most freebie earbuds are serviceable. But we're huge audiophiles here at GamePro and we won't plug just anything into our ears; nope, we only rock quality earbuds like the 4's from Ultimate Ears. These slick earbuds feature the same tech that makes Ultimate Ears' studio monitors a favorite of professional musicians; they have great bass response and their in-ear design ensures that outside ambient noise won't leak in and ruin whatever track you're listening to. They also feature a stylish gunmetal silver design and come with a set of different sized tips to ensure you'll find a comfortable fit. If you're still using the cheapo earbuds that came with your MP3 player, look into the 4's right away-you won't believe the difference they can make.
    Price: USD$129.99
  • Toshiba X205-SLi6 Gaming Laptop

    Gaming laptops are sort of like the Swiss Army knives of the computing world: not only can they run the latest games but you can also use them to write up your term papers or your TPS reports. They also sport huge screens, have tons of memory, feature fast graphics as well as high-octane CPUs, which also makes them good for other things like watching movies, video editing and writing code. There are a lot of boutique vendors who make awesome systems but don't overlook units from companies like Toshiba. Their X205-SLi6 lappie comes loaded with three gigs of RAM, an Intel Core 2 Duo proc, and nVidia's slick SLI Dual GeForce 8600M GT video hardware. That, along with the 17-inch screen will help ensure that your games and movies look their best. Oh, and all that "work" you'll be doing on it will look great too.
    Price: USD$1449 (base); USD$2449 (tested configuration)
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