Gadgets for geeks on a budget

BUDGET (UNDER Rs 5,000)

Five Thousand Bucks isn't too much for gadget shopping? Think again, these goodies are not just any bargains; they are our top picks for gadget freaks on a slim budget.

1. CORSAIR FLASH VOYAGER 16GB

Buying a 2GB or 4GB USB flash drive is pointless these days, when for a little extra money you can get a really good 16GB drive. Enter Corsair Flash Voyager, a water-resistant thumb drive with smooth rubber-coating. The Voyager can withstand accidental knocks and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. Carry more than 3,000 songs, a multitude of photo albums or several movies in the comfort of your pocket. PRICE Rs.2,800 (US$57)

2.SEAGATE FREEAGENT GO 250

Data brimming over? Is it finally time to buy an external drive? Here's an unbeatable deal: The portable Seagate FreeAgent Go 250GB sells under 5k and provides several good reasons to buy it. Compact and lightweight, the FreeAgent offers quick data transfer speeds. It comes with automatic backup and file synchronization soft ware, and drive encryption tools. And all it takes is just a USB cable to connect to your PC - no extra wires! Easily carry heaps of data with the Seagate FreeAgent drive. PRICE Rs 4,800

3. SANDISK SANSA CLIP 4GB

If you want a tiny, no-nonsense, music-only MP3 player, you can't go wrong with the minuscule Sansa Clip from SanDisk. It's extremely light and clips onto your pocket easily. Features include a 1-inch OLED screen, FM radio and equalizer, voice recording, 4GB of storage (1GB, 2GB models also available) ability to create on-the-go playlists, and more. The Sansa Clip offers good sound quality at an affordable price. PRICE Rs 4,500

4. SENNHEISER HD457

If you are on the lookout for a decent quality stereo headset that can go along with your MP3 player or plug into your desktop PC, the Sennheiser HD457 is a very good buy. Sennheiser is a trusted brand and very little goes wrong: vocals are loud and crisp and the overall sound experience is pretty good. It is light and comfortable, has a flexible headband (with replaceable earpads), and comes with an extendable wire of 3 meters. Overall, a great headphones set for a budget-conscious consumer. PRICE Rs 1,990

5. MICROSOFT WIRELESS OPTICAL DESKTOP 2000

A wireless keyboard and mouse combo can free your PC from some of its tethers and give you the ability to control it from a distance. This Microsoft product is a good value for money and its build quality is impressive. The curved mouse is easy to use, even for people with larger hands and the keyboard is responsive. There are ample shortcut keys as well. Its design and color scheme lends an air of elegance to your PC.

PRICE Rs 1,875

IT'S A DEAL (Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000)

An 8MP Camera, audiophile speakers, latest 8GB iPod and tantalizing gaming hardware! Take your pick and we assure you these toys will bring serious envy from friends and family.

6. CANON POWERSHOT A590 IS

Not many cameras have a 4x optical zoom and 8-megapixel picture quality at an affordable price. But the Canon Powershot A590 IS combines all that and more. Notable features include manual controls (including focus), optical image stabilization to reduce blurry images, and a handy optical viewfinder - something that is increasingly omitted from cameras these days. Video recording is good and image quality surpasses expectations, and with a brand like Canon, you can't go wrong. Your PC is not found wanting in the graphics department. At medium resolutions, the 9800GT should be capable of handling any game up to one year in the future, with DirectX 10 and all the eye-candy enabled. PRICE Rs 9,999

7. ZOTAC GEFORCE 9800GT

Gaming thrives on providing an experience more real than reality. As detail levels increase, showing even the breeze rustling leaves from the correct direction, this card makes sure that your PC is not found wanting in the graphics department. At medium resolutions, the 9800GT should be capable of handling any game up to one year in the future, with DirectX 10 and all the eye-candy enabled PRICE Rs 8,800

8. SONY PLAYSTATION 2

A little long in the tooth it may be, but the Play Station 2 is a great console for India. Considering that most of us don't have the latest large-screen LCD TVs, the PS 2 with its humongous library of games and low-entry price is a great way to spend some quality time. PRICE Rs 7,500

9.APPLE iPOD NANO4G

The latest 4G iPod Nano is one of the most feature-rich and reasonably priced MP3 players in the market. Coming in two storage models: 8GB and 16GB, it has built-in accelerometer, shake to shuffle feature and carries over all the past iPods' outstanding features. The new slim and elegant design with no compromise on performance makes it an attractive music player to have. PRICE Rs 9,700

10. AUDIOENGINE A2

This one is a god-send for Audiophiles who can't stand the word "multimedia speaker system". The A2s fit nicely on your desk and offers big sound that belies its small size (4 by 5.25 by 6 inches, width by depth by height). Clearly geared towards accurate music reproduction, these tiny monsters offer remarkable imaging and excellent transparency. If music is your mantra, and you have 10k to blow on a powered stereo speaker set, the A2s are there for the taking. PRICE Rs 9,500

TEMPTING (Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000)

As Your Budget inches higher, expectations are bound to rise. After endless debate, we manage to squeeze-in some of the most wanted gizmos that you never imagined you could afford.

11. BENQ E2200HDA

Traditionally, if you wanted full High Definition (1080p), you had to get at least a 24-inch monitor. The high sticker price, and space restrictions meant that most people would rather stick with a 22-inch monitor and forego full HD. BenQ has stepped into the fray with a 21.5-inch, full-HD (1920x1080) monitor for a sub- 15k price tag. The HDMI with HDCP interface allows you to plug in a Blu-ray player and watch the latest releases. PRICE Rs 13,500

12. SONY DCR-HC52E

This able camcorder is a tempting buy. It is based on mini-DV recording media, which though older, is still popular, especially at the low-end range. It makes up for this with features such as a 40x optical zoom lens and a touch panel LCD screen. Minus the battery and tape it weighs 380 grams, making it easy to carry. It records sound in stereo and includes an 'Easy Handycam' button that locks out advanced features for novice users and only essential controls are available.PRICE Rs 14,999

13. LINKSYS DMA2200

A Media Center Extender like the Linksys DMA2200 allows you to stream your videos, photos and music from your Media Center PC onto your TV and home theatre setup. The device supports Wireless-N which allows high speed transfers and the ability to place the PC anywhere in the house. Combined with its remote learning feature, DVD playback, upscaling video to 1080p, it functions as a complete entertainment solution for homes. Priced at about $350 in the US, you can add this to a visiting friend's shopping list. PRICE Rs 14,999

14.MICROSOFT XBOX 360

With a great library of games to choose from and problems with reliability largely sorted, the Xbox 360 is amazing fun at this price. The PlayStation 3 might have Blu-ray, but the Xbox 360 is almost ten thousand rupees cheaper. Online gaming adds to the fun, and with Indian content available on the Xbox servers, this machine is more than just a gaming console. Most retailers will have special offers and bundled games available around this time, so shop around before you put down the cash.

PRICE Rs 14,999

15. MAPMYINDIA NAVIGATOR A-MAX 06GP5A

Travelling by yourself in a new city might require a fair bit of help from passers-by. Driving on the highway and through city routes can be much simplified by investing in a GPS device. This satellite device makes use of MapMyIndia Navigator 2.0 to show you the route on a 3.5-inch touchscreen. It has maps for 174 Indian cities and even guides you on the road with voice instructions. PRICE Rs 14,500

SPLURGE (Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000)

Have money, will spend. These premium picks are yours for the taking. The range is vast and there is a lot of money on the line, so we help you choose the best from the rest.

16. NOKIA N82

If there ever was an all-in-one phone that was worth your money it's quite simply the Nokia N82. It's light at 114g, and smart-looking. The candy bar design packs in a powerful 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics and Xenon flash, GPS support, TV-out port, and a lot more. It outperforms any other phone when it comes to providing a truckload of features without burning a hole through your pocket. iPhone still, anyone? PRICE Rs 19,615

17. ACER ASPIRE ONE

The mini-laptop market is well and truly exploding with products from several top vendors. From what we have seen, the Asus Eee PC and HP Mini-Note are overpriced, so it all boils down to the MSI Wind and Acer Aspire One. And there's not a lot to choose between them. Our vote goes for the Acer Aspire One for bundling in sleek, designer looks with excellent portability and good performance. Easily available and priced at Rs 20,000, you can comfortably carry around this trimmed down laptop. PRICE Rs 20,000

18.NINTENDO Wii

The console that redefined gaming. Everyone enjoys playing the Nintendo Wii, from three year-olds to your grandparents. The motion-based gaming strikes a chord with everyone who tries it, and Nintendo has launched a slew of excellent games that make the best use of this innovative control system. The Wii was only available through the grey market route till a few months back, but HCL Computers have officially launched the console in India on the 30th of September, so getting your mitts on one is just a matter of going down to your local electronics store. PRICE Rs 19,500

19. LOGITECH Z-5500 DIGITAL

Kick back and play the latest blockbuster, with very little distortion at maximum volume. These stylish-looking Logitech 5.1 Surround PC Speakers also double up as a wall-mountable home theatre setup. With a thumping output of 505 Watts, these speakers connect via 3.5mm jacks to pump out 6-channel Dolby Digital sound. The last time we checked, Indiatimes and eZone were selling these speakers for just under 20k. PRICE Rs 19,999

20.SONY CYBERSHOT H50

If you want image quality, optical zoom, faster response time, better video shooting and handling and feel a DSLR is an expensive and bulky proposition, an ultra zoom advanced point and shoot is what you should get. The Sony Cyber- Shot H50 is one of the best models out there. An image stabilized 15x zoom lens, 9MP images, complete manual controls and VGA 30fps video will appeal to many budding photographers. Image quality is also very good. PRICE Rs 19,990

This story, "Gadgets for geeks on a budget" was originally published by PCWorld.

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