Big advances in electronics come in gadgets tiny enough to pop into your pocket this holiday season.
Everything from portable DVD players to high-tech global positioning systems is on the market and small enough to stuff into a stocking.
Ryan Williams of Radio Shack said he expects DVD players and remote control cars to be huge sellers this year.
Digital music players are one of the most desired technological gifts this year. Using software included with such a player, one can convert songs from CDs, tapes, even records to digital files or download songs from the Internet, noted an article on the Consumer Reports Web site.
With new features and related gadgets, Apple’s iPod continues to be a huge attraction to electronic stores and has spawned similar products.
“MP3 players always sell a lot at Christmas,” Williams said. “We just started carrying the iPod with HP this year. We’ve already sold a ton of those.”
Williams also recommends Rio models, ranging from $149 to $249 and the less expensive RCA Lyras.
Other brands include Archos, Creative Labs, Dell, iRiver, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony.
Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are another product gaining popularity.
Some companies, such as PalmOne, use the Palm operating system. Other brands, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Toshiba offer PocketPC devices, using a “stripped-down version of Microsoft Windows,” according to Consumer Reports.
Depending on which features are included, a PDA’s price can range from $100 to $800.
Consumer Reports says when choosing a PDA, consider how it will work with your computer and whether you prefer a small size or added features.
Some PDAs include a cell phone as an additional feature.
An article in the winter 2004 edi-tion of Newsweek’s magazine, “Tip” described new global positioning systems: hand-held devices that provide digital maps, driving directions, and updated road conditions.
Digital cameras are another popular present.
“We have a bundle pack right now that’s selling like hotcakes,” Williams said.
The store’s pack pairs the camera with other necessities, such as photo paper and a printer.
Williams had a few simple words of advice for customers confused about various products.
“I always say, ‘You pay for what you get,’” he said.
With the huge variety of electronic gift options available this holiday season, it might be difficult to settle on a certain gadget, let alone a particular brand. If you encounter such a problem, you are not alone.
“The main thing that lot of consumers are buying now are gift certificates,” Williams said.