Review

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Gadgets

The name of the game is portability. Pocket-size gadgets, once the 98-pound weaklings of Tech Beach, are now pumped-up bruisers with big (computer) chips on their shoulders -- like the four products we've listed here. Whether you're a snowboarder looking to shred or a music lover looking to rip, we have the mini-gizmo for you. It's a small world after all. -- Noah Robischon

THE DELTA WATCH Snowboarders are like pilots: It's all about how high they fly. Which is why Nixon invented the Delta series ($200 -- $280). The watches include an altimeter along with the preprogrammed base elevations of 160 snowboard slopes across the country. Consult the digital thermometer and barometer for some real-time weather forecasting. Amazingly, it even tells time. (www.nixonnow.com)

NOKIA 3300 MUSIC PHONE The 3300 ($360) is a mobile trifecta -- a phone, a portable audio player, and a short-text messenger -- jammed into a sleek package that is both modern and homey. Even the most acutely coordination-challenged will have no problem entering contacts and chatting with pals on the split thumb pad. Got tunes? The 3300 can also store an hour of MP3 files and adds an FM tuner with an embedded recorder when you want to save the latest radio hit. A perfect tool for tech-savvy go-getters: a player that makes you a playa. (nokia.com/us)

RCA LYRA AUDIO/VIDEO JUKEBOX One day, everyone will carry around the videos for the music files now on their MP3 players. Oh, wait, that day is already here. With a 3.5-inch color LCD screen, this Audio/Video Jukebox ($449) is versatile -- its hard drive can store large files, including photos, audio files, even PowerPoint presentations. (There's also a CompactFlash memory card slot.) One catch: This high-cool-quotient gizmo won't be available until late September. (rca.com)

iRIVER MP3 PLAYER It's about the size of a Zagnut and sports an FM tuner, and its 512 MB of memory can store up to 17 hours' worth of music. But what really distinguishes this so-called keychain MP3 player and others in iRiver's 300 series ($99 -- $300) is its ability to record -- directly from the radio, from a CD or tape player through the line-in jack, or voice messages via a built-in microphone. With up to 24 hours of power from one AA battery and the great sound that comes courtesy of a supplied pair of Sennheiser headphones, we say, Take me to the iRiver.... (iriver.com)

Originally posted Sep 05, 2003 Published in issue #726 Sep 05, 2003 Order article reprints
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