Do not want
Bad gifts, with an actual product review!
By John ďjaQĒ Andrews† firstname.lastname@example.org
Itís too late.
Itís too late to order that awesome gadget for your favorite geek; no way itíll ever arrive before Christmas. Likewise, itís too late for any company to be launching an exciting new product right about now; November was the month with all the excitement. Zune took the portable media world by storm ó meaning everybody stayed inside for a bit before returning to business as usual. Sonyís Playstation 3 hit the stores with inventory in the dozens, leading fanboys to camp, race and shoot for them, just like in their favorite games. And the Nintendo Wii led sweaty-handed players to hurl their wireless remotes at television screens, windows and friends.
And those were the toys geeks supposedly wanted. If any of the following are under the tree this year, do your nerd love a solid and make sure to keep the receipt.
ē Knockoff iPod Nanos You saw it on eBay. Maybe you actually thought it was an unbelievably cheap iPod Nano. Maybe you realized it wasnít genuine Apple hipness, but thought the low price and added features like FM tuner and voice recorder could only sweeten the deal.
Now, this thing might be perfectly serviceable as a music and video player. There are a couple different models out there, with predictably mixed reviews. Some require you to convert videos to a proprietary format; some crash operating systems when you plug them into a computer; and some just donít sound very good. Most importantly, they donít have that spiffy fruit logo.
ē Floppy disks Not sure if youíve noticed, but computers donít really come with floppy drives anymore. Oh, sure, hardcore dorks run their ancient Linux firewall and print server boxes without hard drives off floppies, but for the most part, people have moved to e-mail or those USB flash drives for transferring files. Floppies donít hold much and arenít very hardy.
ē Corgi iCar I feel bad about knocking this, really, because these guys were so enthusiastic about sending a sample product. It has a certain kitsch appeal, too, but in the end it canít overcome its inherent awfulness.
Basically, the iCar is a model Cadillac Escalade on top of a speaker base. Itís one of the trillions of funky speakers designed for MP3 players, lighting up and rocking back and forth when you connect a music player with the included 3.5Ē audio cable. The multi-colored ground effects lighting is wicked awesome, but the motors that drive the chrome wheels with spinners are so loud that they interfere with whatever music youíre playing. Granted, I donít like hip hop and drive a Prius, so I could just be biased.
You can use the halfway decent speakers to amplify your audio without the light show, so this toy isnít a total loss. You do have to provide your own AC adapter once the six (six!) included AA batteries run out.
ē Spinmaster Elmo Giggle and Shake Chair Basically a Tickle Me Elmo that you actually place your child in/on. No.