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2006 Tech Guide

James Wojcik This year's top new travel computers.

Photo: James Wojcik

Capture

Olympus Stylus 720 SW Dunk it in 10 feet of water or drop it from five feet; this camera, with its rugged, shockproof design, can take a licking. Add in a 35 mm–equivalent lens with 3x optical zoom and a 7.1 mp sensor. www.olympusamerica.com; $400.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 DSLR Sporting Olympus innovation—2.5-inch MOS, supersonic wave-filter dust-reduction system—Panasonic’s professional-level 7.5 mp camera also includes image-stabilization. www.panasonicdirect.com; $2,000.

Nikon Coolpix S7c E-mail photos from any hot spot with Nikon’s 7.1 mp digital camera—and it comes with one year of T-Mobile hot-spot access. www.nikondigital.com; $350.

Sony Handycam DCR-SR80 A user-friendly camcorder: it doesn’t require tapes and it shoots in both 4:3 and 16:9 wide-screen format with a Carl Zeiss lens. Connect it to a burner to create DVD’s. www.sonystyle.com; $800.

Tune In

Archos 604 The brushed-metal player with a 4.3-inch, true-color wide screen (a touch screen with DVD resolution, in fact) lets you not only watch on the go but also record from DVD’s, cable TV, and satellite. www.archos.com; $350.

Creative Zen V Plus This tunesmith has line-in recording capability, an FM tuner, and video playback, plus a 14-hour battery and a re-orienting screen. www.us.creative.com; from $100.

Shure E500PTH Shure’s top-flight earbuds pack three tiny drivers (one tweeter and two woofers) into each channel for juicy, layered levels. www.shure.com; $500.

Toshiba gigabeat S Download unlimited movies for $10 a month through Starz Vongo service, then watch them on the gigabeat’s 2.4-inch screen, on a 30GB or 60GB model. www.gigabeat.com; from $300.

Samsung K5 The only MP3 player with serious built-in speakers, the K5 is a decidedly social device. It also has a 1.7-inch OLED screen and an FM radio. www.samsung.com; from $210.

Connect

Nokia E62 This smartphone with Bluetooth and broadband-speed connectivity is all business. Leave the laptop at home and use it to read and edit Microsoft Office documents and check e-mail. www.cingular.com; from $150 with Cingular service.

Sennheiser BW900 Connect to a landline, cell phone, and other gadgets simultaneously with Sennheiser’s curvy Bluetooth Class 1 headset. www.sennheisercommunications.com; $360.

Helio Hero Pick up the latest multimedia cell—a speedy 3G slider with an eye-catching 2.2-inch screen, 2 mp digicam, and stereo speakers—and you’re buying not just a phone, but also a service. A boutique mobile provider, Helio lets you post photos on MySpace Mobile, and offers a downloadable video service. www.helio.com; $225.

Netgear WiFi Phone for Skype The candy-bar design of Skype’s first Wi-Fi model has a fast 802.11g chip that eliminates the need for wires. If the person you’re calling uses Skype, the call’s free. If not, pay just a few cents a minute. www.netgear.com; $250.

Compute

Lenovo ThinkPad X60s With a high-capacity battery installed, this 2.7-pound ThinkPad can run for eight hours; an internal Verizon cellular card makes it easy to Web-surf anywhere. www.lenovo.com; from $1,470.

Apple MacBook Pro The new Apple (complete with Intel chip) runs four times faster than its PowerBook predecessor and includes a built-in iSight webcam. www.apple.com; from $2,000.

Sony Vaio UX Micro PC Sony’s mini handyman runs Windows XP Pro and combines Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a biometric fingerprint-reader, so only you can log on. www.sonystyle.com; $1,800.

LaCie 60 GB Skwarim Drive This 3.3-inch-square digital storehouse, designed by Karim Rashid, has a fast USB 2.0 connection to transfer files on the fly. www.lacie.com; $200.

Xantrex Powersource Mobile 100 Charge all your gadgets simultaneously with the one-pound lithium-ion power source. The juice inside?Two hours for laptops, 34 standby days for a BlackBerry, and 70 hours for the iPod Nano. www.xantrex.com; $130.

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