THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best gadgets

campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 17 December 2002 12:00AM

1. MICROSOFT'S XBOX

To compete seriously against the mighty PS2, the Xbox had to deliver. Microsoft's answer was simple: be bigger and better. First, launch the most powerful console on the planet, which promises a revolution in gaming innovation. Then throw in the whale-sized carrot of gaming nirvana with the ability to play against gamers the world over with an online service. Sales have disappointed, but Xbox has upped the stakes and has taken the console battle to another level.

2. O2 XDA

Finally, fruit is starting to grow on the much-hyped technology convergence tree. O2's sleek, silver XDA is a phone married with a PC - complete with a full-colour screen. It's a pretty cool feeling to be able to surf the web and send e-mails while pounding the pavement or being chauffeured around. Its necessarily slightly unwieldy size as a phone - let's face it, no-one wants to be the nerd with the brick-sized mobile - is overcome by how damn cool it is to use.

3. NOKIA 7650

The future is bright, the future is absolutely Multimedia Messaging Services. Like SMS before it, taking pictures and sending them to mates will catch on like wildfire. Assuming the public can afford the handsets, that is. Picture messaging is a real technological leap for the mobile market and the 7650 produces the cleanest, sharpest images around. For now.

4. HANDSPRING TREO 270

This is the one that gets chief executives all excited. The Treo is the best palmtop-phone hybrid around. Forget things such as Flash, music and video and think more a clever, organised way to keep all your information to hand when you're out. There are flashier bits of kit about, but this is a solid and reliable performer.

5. SNAP DIGITAL CAMERA

SiPix Snap is a little gem of micro-technology measuring 55x50x13mm, weighing in at less than 30g and powered by one battery. As proof that good things come in small packages, Snap can store 400 shots, play real video and can capture 160 seconds of consecutive photos in "streaming snapshot" mode.

6. iPOD

The new improved iPod really is the daddy of MP3 playing devices. A higher ranking this year comes from a number of cool innovations, most importantly that it now works with PCs. And how about a 400 per cent increase in song capacity to an unnecessary (but hugely impressive) 4,000 tracks and a stupendous ten-second album download speed with a Firewire connection. Enough said. Last year, iPod came eighth.

7. SONY KZ-42TSI PLASMA WEGA 42" TELEVISION

Sony has lagged behind the likes of Panasonic and Fujitsu in the plasma screen market, but this, its first foray, has been worth the wait. Fitted with a panoramic 160-degree viewing angle and built-in TV tuner, a world first in plasma technology, the WEGA is the simplest, slickest model on the market.

8. NEW iMAC

Apple is the equivalent of a haute couture fashion house. It may only occupy a small part of its market, but it makes the most groundbreaking, fashionable designs. And the New iMac, which looks a bit like an angle-poise lamp with a silver flat screen attached to it, is as good a financial bargain as it is easy on the eye. Class.

9. MOLLER SKYCAR

For the person who really does have everything. With the spare £324,000 you have lying around the house you to can own your own car-plane type vehicle. The M400 can comfortably seat four people, cruise at 140mph and has a range of 900 miles - roads are so 2000. Not strictly digital, but it must have a considerable amount of cool gadgetry to keep this bad boy running and how can it be ignored?

10. PINO

Pino is a 36cm high robot that you have to teach skills such as walking, singing and dancing. Interacting with a sound detector and sensors on Pino's hands, head and nose develops one of three personalities: shy, naughty or friendly, which affects the way he responds to commands as he grows up. The little tyke even sings Happy Birthday when he advances to the next level.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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