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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2010 Holiday Gift Guide For Gearheads


In this line of work we get to play with a lot of neat gadgets. Sure the cars are great, but sometimes the gadgets are just as fun. Companies are always sending us info on electronics, tools, chargers, clothes, parts, accessories and the like that promise to make motoring safer, more enjoyable, more efficient or more expressive. At trade shows like SEMA and CES we actually get to play around with many of these items to see whether or not they do what they promise to, and more importantly, whether they are worth plunking down our hard earned dollars for. Some are, some aren't.

I've put together this buyers guide aimed at enthusiasts, with some practical and some whimsical gift ideas. The list below is not an exhaustive one, but it represents some of the items I got to try out in 2010 that I truly felt were worth the money. Consider this a starting point for creating a shopping list for the gadget-focused gearhead in your life this Holiday Season. Have a Happy Holiday and may 2011 bring you and yours many miles of happy motoring.

Bossco: Luma Lite - A go-anywhere light for mechanics and hobbyists 
The all-in-one light that replaces the wall light, flashlight, lantern and headlamp. • 4 LED lights featuring a wide beam and super bright illumination • Bulbs that last 100,000 hours and enough battery power for 100 hours • Sticky Velcro to adhere to any surface • Magnets in every light for sticking to metal surfaces • Water and shock resistant
Available at: Ace Hardware and Amazon Price: $7.59 Website: www.bosscointernational.com


ClingBlings: Pole Girls Air Freshener - A bit of cheeky fun
This is not your grandfather's hula girl
• She Spins As You Drive • Mounts instantly to your dashboard with supplied double-sided foam tape • She rotates, spins and changes position as you accelerate or brake • Insert optional Air Freshener accessories into base in seconds • Pole Girls can also be used on your desktop. Flick her with your finger and watch her spin.
Available at: ClingBlings.com Price: $8.99 Website: www.clingblings.com

 
Joby: Gorillatorch Flare - Most versatile flashlight around
Powerful 100 Lumen flashlight with red LEDs and strobe option for emergency situations
• One ultra-bright white CREE LED and three red LEDs can illuminate any target or send a hands free emergency signal
• Users can choose between low, medium, high and flashing white light or between steady and flash- ing red light
• Flexible, wrappable legs and magnetic feet allow Gorillatorch Flare to be attached to any surface • Compact, lightweight design allow it to be stowed in a car or backpack • Three AA batteries provide 20 - 240 hours of operation depending on power setting
Available at: Joby.com, Amazon REI Price: $34.95 Website: www.joby.com

Lemur Monitors: EconoDriver - Easy to use reminder of how economically you're driving 
Driving feedback accessory displays real-time fuel consumption to help you drive greener and save money
• Program in the current cost of gas and it will indicate how much money you are wasting by accelerating and braking too quickly or idling too often
• Installs within minutes and requires no additional tools or computer connection • Simply plug the sensor into your vehicle’s Data Port which then wirelessly relays the pertinent info
to the display on the pocket-sized key fob
Available at: Brookstone and The Sharper Image, Amazon Price: $79.95 Website: www.lemurmonitors.com/EconoDriver.html

Lemur Monitors: SafeDriver - Easy to use monitor of how safely you're teen is driving 
Driving feedback accessory provides peace of mind to parents of teen drivers
• From the moment your teen backs out of the driveway it will record real-time information of your teen’s driving habits
• Displays maximum speed, distance traveled and any sudden brakes • Installs within minutes and requires no additional tools or computer connection • Simply plug the sensor into your vehicle’s Data Port which then wirelessly relays the pertinent info
to the display on the pocket-sized key fob
Available at: Brookstone and The Sharper Image, Amazon Price: $79.95 Website: www.lemurmonitors.com/SafeDriver.html

Linear-Logic: ScanGauge II - Auxiliary gauges for the techie  
Ultra Compact 3-in-one Automotive Computer
• Trip Computer - Digital Gauges - Scan Tool • The integrated Trip Computer provides realtime feedback while simultaneously tracking three sets of trip data. The Digital Gauges give you realtime data for your vehicle and the built-in Scan Tool allows you to read trouble codes and diagnose potentially expensive problems before they get out of hand.
• All this in a small and simple to install unit that can be easily moved from vehicle to vehicle.
Available at: AutoZone, Amazon Price: $169.99 Website: www.scangauge.com/

Moshi: Voice Control Bluetooth Car Speakerphone - A Godsend for California's hands-free scofflaws 
Hands-free car speakerphone allows you to activate 13 commands by your voice alone
• Activated by user saying “Hello Moshi”, voice control works right out of the box with no programming or buttons needed
• Responds to 13 voice activated commands including setting up to five speed dial faves, call back last incoming call, check battery and cancel call
• Features include removable visor clip, ambient noise suppression, echo cancellation and 7 hours of talk time
Available at: MoshiLifestyle.com Price: $79.99 MSRP Website: www.moshilifestyle.com

Moshi: Voice Control (VC) Digital Clock Radio - You can tell it to shut up 
Compact ‘listening clock’ that allows you set the time, alarm and play the radio by your voice alone
• Activated by user saying “Hello Moshi”, voice control works right out of the box with no programming or buttons needed
• Responds to 12 voice activated commands including setting dual alarms, play radio, set alarm, today’s date and snooze
• Features high quality stereo sound, 6 station presets, 3 alarm and 3 sleep sounds and AUX-IN to play any MP3 player such as iPod
Available at: MoshiLifestyle.com, Amazon Price: $69.99 MSRP Website: www.moshilifestyle.com

PLX Devices: Kiwi Bluetooth - Data recorder for your Android 
Turns your Droid mobile device into a powerful automotive monitoring tool
• Works with your iPhone, iPad, or iTouch via the Wi-Fi Signal • Features include: Check Engine scan tool, MPG Gauges, Engine Sensors, Real time Dyno, Data Log-
ging, GPS Tracking and Skid Pad • Easily installs via your car’s OBDII plug located underneath your steering column • Downloadable apps available on iTunes include Rev, Dash Command and Fuzzy Car
Available at: www.PLXKiwi.com, Amazon Price: $99.95 Website: www.plxkiwi.com

PLX Devices: Kiwi Wi-Fi - Data recorder for your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch 
Turns your iPhone/iPad into a powerful automotive monitoring tool
• Works with your iPhone, iPad, or iTouch via the Wi-Fi Signal • Features include: Check Engine scan tool, MPG Gauges, Engine Sensors, Real time Dyno,
Data Logging, GPS Tracking and Skid Pad • Easily installs via your car’s OBDII plug located underneath your steering column • Downloadable
Available at: www.PLXKiwi.com, Amazon Price: $149.95 Website: www.plxkiwi.com

Roadside Safety Supply: Duro Flash - Fireless flare replacements are reusable and indestructible 
Indestructible, Convenient and Safe LED Road Flare Kit
• Used worldwide as a flare replacement • Made with longevity in mind • No moving parts to break off or become damaged • Water and weather proof • Available in Blue or Red
Available at: Public Safety Sites Price: $199.95 Website: www.roadsidesafetysupply.com

Scosche: flipSYNC II - Keychain fob guarantees you'll always have your iPhone adapter handy 
Keychain with full-size USB charger and sync cables for Blackberry & iPhone/iPod
• Attaches to a keychain so users always have a convenient way to charge and sync their phone or MP3 player
• Features USB 2.0 for fastest data transfer possible • USBMM model features both Mini and Micro USB connections • IPUSBM model features iPhone/iPod connection
Available at: Scosche.com, Apple.com, Amazon Price: $19.99 Website: www.scosche.com

Swann: PenCam Mini Video Camera & Recorder - Pen camera for the 007 or Maxwell Smart wannabe 
Real working pen conceals color camera and DVR shoots video & still images
• Captures color AVI videos in 640 x 480 & still images in 1280 x 960 resolution • Footage recorded on 2GB internal memory; 1 hour of video & 9,000 still images • Integrated USB connector allows for easy video/image back-up • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery lasts 90 minutes on a full charge
Available at: RadioShack.com, HomeDepot.com, Amazon Price: $99.99 Website: www.swannsecurity.com

Swann: RemoteCam- Keychain spy cam isn't just for pervs 
Mini video camera & DVR housed inside a car remote control for covert surveillance
• Captures color videos in AVI format and color still images in JPEG format • Includes a 2GB MicroSD card capable of recording up to 25 minutes of video • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery can record for 60 minutes per charge • Easily upload pictures/videos to social networking sites via USB port
Available at: B&H Photo, NextDayPC, Amazon Price: $99 Website: www.swannsecurity.com

Thrustmaster: Ferrari Wireless GT Cockpit 430 Scuderia - Not perfect, but still awesome 
Unleash real racing power with the ultimate drivers cockpit from your living room
• Adjustable and foldable cockpit for any size user, multiple positions and easy storage • Wireless cockpit ensemble with range of 10 meters and a 50 hour battery life • Features HallEffect Accurate Technology system for absolute precision • Programmable wheel Ferrari 430 replica with internal memory
• Magnetic resistance pedals provide a real long distance travel effect • Wide solid base provides optimal stability
Available at: Amazon Price: $249.99 Website: www.thrustmaster.com

Thrustmaster: Ferrari Licensed GamePads - Guaranteed to cut 3 seconds off your lap times 
Symbolizing the most prestigious Ferrari cars, each controller features a unique personality
• Optical wheel with an automatic centering feature offers unrivalled precision • Dual progressive triggers for acceleration and breaking power • Fully programmable, equipped with internal memories and offers PS3TM and PC compatibility • Extremely comfortable grip with “peach skin” texture
Available at: Buy,com, NewEgg.com, Walmart.com, Amazon, Microcenter and Electronics Expo Price: $39.99 - $49.99 Website: www.thrustmaster.com

Tunebug: Shake - Lets you "wear" a tweeter, midrange or woofer helmet depending on the size of your head 
An ultra-portable “surfacesound” speaker for bike, ski and skate helmets
• When mounted on a helmet, the Shake creates a great listening experience • Enables bikers, skateboarders and skiers to enjoy their favorite music while still being aware
of their surroundings • Can be connected to iPods, MP3 players & mobile phones wirelessly via Bluetooth technology • Has a LiPoly battery with about 5 hours of playtime and charges via the included USB cord
Available at: Amazon Price: $99.99 Website: www.tunebug.com

Urbanears: Medis Headphones - Best stay-put earbuds made 
Sleek & fashionable earphones with EarClick technology provides maximum comfort and fit
• EarClick technology anchors the ear-piece securely in place to provide ultimate comfort • Features custom microphone and remote compatible with the iPhone and Nokia, HTC and
Blackberry phones • Includes 4 interchangeable inserts to ensure a secure fit on any ear • Available in 12 fashionable colors like Army, Ocean and Chocolate
Available at: Bloomingdales, Rock and Soul, Turntable Lab and Amazon Price: $50 Website: www.urbanears.com

XtremeMac: InCharge line - Great line of adapters and chargers 
Charge iPod, iPhone or iPad while at home or on the go
• InCharge Duo compact dual docking station can charge iPad and/or any combination of iPod and iPhone simultaneously
• InCharge Home dual USB wall charger for iPad, iPhone or iPod features compact, low-profile design allowing access to a second wall outlet and 2.1 amps of power to ensure rapid and efficient charging
• InCharge Auto mobile charging solution for iPad, iPhone or iPod features integrated safety fuse to protect device while charging
Available at: Amazon, XtremeMac.com and Apple stores (InCharge Duo) Price: $59.99, $34.99 and $24.99, respectively Website: www.xtrememac.com

Even more Holiday gift ideas in my end-of-summer road trip gift guide.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article - thanks! It seems that you have answered the best related to the Topic with all best example as well... Thanks again for spreading the good work in the Society ...

    Automotive Tools

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