2005 Street Tech Gift Guide
Gareth Branwyn says: "The annual Street Tech Gift Guide is up. We've called our guide perhaps the unsexiest gift guide in cyberspace, 'cause we almost exclusively cover products that we've actually used, lived with, and love ourselves. It's not the latest objects of desire, it's tried n' true gadgets we're almost certain the recipient will enjoy. It's 'sucks-less' gift-giving." Link
Mimobots USB Flash Drives ($70-$190, lab.mimoco.com) Here's something for the adult vinyl toy collector on your shopping list -- no, not THOSE kind of adult toys, we're talking about the collectable action figures, dolls and other objects created or inspired by artists who do fringe comic books, anime characters, underground art, etc. Mimobots are hyper-cute little USB "designer drives" which hold up to 2GB of data. They come in nifty packaging and even have drum and bass dance mixes pre-loaded onto them. Prices range from US$70 for 256MB to $190 for the 2GB model. Be the envy of every horn-rimmed geek hipster, club kid, and Japanese schoolgirl on your block.
Alienware Area-51m7700 (alienware.com, around $1,800, after rebate)
We reviewed the Area-51 m7700 a few months ago. You can read that review here. We're still very pleased with the system, with a few notable exceptions. This thing burns so hot it could do double-duty as a dorm room hot plate. Seriously. I guess that's what you get when you try to cram the components of a high-performance desktop system into a laptop form factor. We're thinking about getting one of those laptop cooling pads to go underneath it. This level of heat can't be good, except for maybe cutting down on home heating bills. The m7700 is also loud. Those numerous active cooling fans in the case, and we guess a whining hard drive, add up to a sound that's disturbingly reminiscent of an anxious saw mill blade. Whether you can stand these drawbacks has a lot to do with your need for this type of portable desktop performance and system upgradeability, and the sensitivity of your hearing.