Gadgets on wish list for 2006

Multi-fuctional electronic gadgets that offer to do more top the gadget freaks’ wish list for 2006.

From PDAs that double up as podcast assistants to handheld gaming consoles that can also lay full length movies, the city’s technocrati have plenty to drool over.

on top of the drool list as are the podcast friendly gadgets. Podcasting, according to the Oxford dictionary, is a digital recording of a radio broadcast or a similar program, made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player. For Chennai’s blogging community, it is only a natural step forward to join the podcast bandwagon. Podcast is after all the New Oxford  American Dictionary’s word of th year 2005. Blogging was Miriam Webster’s Dictionary pick last year.

While Apple’s ipod series of mp3 players top the list of podcasting tools, many believe that more economical players are likely to capture the attention in the new year. Some of the players available for as little as Rs 1,300 are capable of voice recording in mp3 format.

Spicing up the home PC

A close second in the wish list are the wi-fi accessories that add spice to the personal computing front – from wireless keyboards and mouse to routers that make house a wi-fi hot zone. Kiruba Shankar, one of the city’s active bloggers said wi-fing was on top of his agenda for 2006. “For the sheer comfort of moving around home with my laptop and working online”

Rajesh Doshi, director of Zebronics, a popular PC hardware store, says the technocrati are obsessed with adding style  to their computer. A new range of night vision products from illuminated keyboards to night vision web camera is doing brisk sales in both the established and the grey markets. For the computer gamers too, there is plenty to look forward to. Graphic add-on cards that significantly power up the computer’s ability to handle high resolution graphics are becoming increasingly affordable. Mr Doshi points out: “high end graphic cards that were prohibitively costly at Rs 60,000 plus six months back are  now selling around Rs 15,000. Basic graphics acceleration cards are needed for playing the latest games are available from 3,000 upward. It is becoming a must-buy for most people buying PCs.”

Flash Drive vs Hard Disk

The biggest temptation for most computer users will come from the storage options : will they get the ultra compact flash drive that is good for the eye or the portable hard disk with storage pieces in excess of 100 GB that is good for the ego.

Shopkeepers on Ritchie street, the city’s one stop shopping bazaar for computer geeks, say either way it will be hard to resist spending anything between 3,000 to 8,000 on storage options.

Though gaming consoles including Sony Playstation and the Microsoft Xbox continue to stir hearts of a few, it is most likely to remain a niche segment.

Bottom line : If we can bet on the one gadget that is most likely to be added to most city homes in 2006, it will be the set top box or direct-to-home dish, whichever is a better bargain just before the FIFA Soccer World Cup kicks off in Germany.

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