TechMan: Santa may not bring these, but a TechMan can dream
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Now that most of you have eaten your fill of Meleagris gallopavo along with stuffing and gravy, it's time to turn our attention to the next festival of conspicuous consumption. So here is TechMan'as annual Christmas Tech Wish List.
In the several years that he has been doing a list, TechMan has yet to receive one of the items requested. So, since he does not have to worry about actually getting these gifts, price is no object.
TechMan enjoys podcasts, audiobooks and digital radio and Microsoft's ZuneHD covers all the bases. Throw in a beautiful OLED screen, WiFi and ease of use for $260-$290. TechMan had a ZuneHD to test, but he had to send it back. Now he pines for it.
While an MP3 player is fine for entertainment, a lightweight computer for more serious work would be handy -- in other words, a Netbook. Asus, a pioneer in the field, still puts out a good product. The Asus Eee PC 1005HA ($350-$390) would do just fine.
Sometimes TechMan needs just a little more power but still wants to keep things light. So a lightweight laptop is just the thing. Apple's MacBook Pro with a 13-inch screen ($1,199) fills the bill nicely.
With the proliferation of digital media, it is TechMan's duty to keep up. The Logitech Squeezebox Boom ($299.99) has a 30-watt amplifier and can wirelessly play music files from your network, Internet radio or music services Pandora and Rhapsody.
When TechMan got his 42-inch HDTV, he turned to TechMaam and said, "How could anyone want a bigger TV?" But then he learned about Sharp's 108-inch LCD set available in Japan. Weighing in at 429 pounds and available for just under $100,000, I think it would satisfy my renewed yearning for screen real estate. But don't hurry, I have to reinforce the floor in my living room first. In fact, I think I'll have to build on to the living room.
But until I get that carpentry done, the 82-inch Mitsubishi WD-82737 rear projection model ($3,800) will have to do. Ah, well, we all must suffer.
Of course to store all this digital media, I will need a home network. The HP MediaSmart Server EX490 running Windows Home Server with Power Pack 3 would be fine ($499.99). But it only has a 1TB hard drive. So if you're feeling generous, the EX495 ($699.99) with 1.5 TB would be better. I'm sure I could fill it.
And then of course, there is the stocking. Because of coverage issues, TechMan is not an iPhone user. But almost as good is the new Motorola Droid ($199 ($299 with a $100 rebate and two years of service)) from Verizon, which runs Google's Android operating system. It is elegant and fast, with a slide-out keyboard, and it easily fits into a stocking, at least TechMan's stocking (he has what is referred to as "piano legs.")
Also for the stocking, Spracht makes a small portable speaker set called the Aura BluNote ($99) that can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device. You also can make phone calls while listening to music from your phone.
TechMan has become a fan of watching TV on the computer, especially from Hulu.com, which has a surprisingly wide range of choices. But this, of course, means he needs a honkin' big monitor.
The Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC ($1,199) looks very nice at 30 inches.
And finally, some transportation. Due to the economic downturn and because TechMan is all about being green, he's not going to ask for a Bentley again this year.
Instead, Tesla motors is taking reservations for their 2011 Model S sedan. This all-electric beauty has a 300-mile range on one battery pack, charges in 45 minutes and can do a sprightly 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. All for only $49,900.
So there it is, another list of gifts that Santa won't be bringing to TechMan's house this year.
First Published November 29, 2009 12:00 am