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Daniel Sieberg: The gift of gadgets

CNN correspondent Daniel Sieberg
CNN correspondent Daniel Sieberg

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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Holiday shoppers faced with finding gifts for techies or the privileged people who have everything might want to consider buying the latest in electronic gadgets. CNN technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg talked to CNN Headline News anchor Robin Meade about several affordable options.

SIEBERG: Robin, you don't have to spend a fortune to impress the technology lover on your holiday shopping list. We have a few gift suggestions here that all run under $200.

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We're going to start with a portable DVD player. This has been getting a lot of attention here in the studio. This is from Initial Electronics. It's also put out under the name Shinsonic, and you know just a few years ago, or even still, a portable DVD player was fairly expensive. What you're sacrificing here is the screen size, but (it still) is a portable DVD player. The battery power is a little bit limited. The screen size is a little bit smaller than what you may typically have. A lot of laptops these days also play DVDs. It's fairly small, but it is portable. You need to recharge the battery. It only lasts for about one movie. That's one of the drawbacks with this.

MEADE: Okay, so one movie, that's it, and you've got to recharge it?

SIEBERG: Right, then you need to recharge it. But it is $200. It also has all sorts of different outputs. It's got digital surround sound output, built-in stereo. It plays DVDs, CDs; all different types of formats, as well. But as you can see, the screen is a little bit small. You can also turn up the volume on it. You can use headphones if you want. It's also got some speakers with it. It's one of, if not the cheapest (models). And it's got this little remote control. People are pretty amazed by this remote control.

From there, we'll move to this T-Mobile Sidekick. It uses T-Mobile service. It goes for $200 as well.

MEADE: What does it do?

SIEBERG: It's one of those three-in-one gadgets (that has) everything. It's got (AOL) Instant Messenger, e-mail and a phone. The coolest thing is, you swivel it around (to) reveal this keyboard. That's what people are often fascinated by. This goes for $200. You also have to pay for the service plan, which goes from about $30 to $50. That's one that gets a lot of attention in the markets. It's just been released in October. It also has a camera attachment, as well.

From there, we're going to go to one that's not quite as flashy as everything else. This one is called the AmeriVoice Connector. ... This gives you cheaper long distance. You pay $22 for the actual device, you plug in your phone, ... the idea is it reroutes your long distance service. So for $20 per month you get unlimited calls, with an asterisk. Because you actually ... get up to 15 calls per day, and none of the calls can last more than 90 minutes. So it's a trade-off.

MEADE: But a lot of people would fall into that.

SIEBERG: A lot of people would fall into that. But if you've got someone who does spend a lot of time on the phone, it might be worth looking into.

MEADE: Good ideas for everyone who has everything.

SIEBERG: Right.

MEADE: Thank you so much.



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