Tax Refund Special: Mobile gear

Tax Refund Special: Mobile gear

Summary: Things are a bit shaky with the economy right now, but this is also tax refund season for millions of Americans and with the average refund of about $2500 you may want to treat yourself to something nice and help keep the economy going. People are also working and playing on the go more and more as they work multiple jobs or visit with family and friends.

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TOPICS: Browser, Apple, Mobility
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2009 ZDNet Tax Refund Special

Things are a bit shaky with the economy right now, but this is also tax refund season for millions of Americans and with the average refund of about $2500 you may want to treat yourself to something nice and help keep the economy going. People are also working and playing on the go more and more as they work multiple jobs or visit with family and friends. We have five products for you to consider as you think about spending some of your tax refund on gear to go.

Apple iPod touch

If you are looking for an easy-to-use and powerful mobile media, gaming, and social networking device then the Apple iPod touch is an awesome choice. With over 15,000 applications available now in the App Store you will find lots of free and commercial applications to entertain and keep you productive for days. A major focus of the iPod touch at this time (as seen on commercials) is the mobile gaming aspects and with the large colorful display and accelerometer functionality games are quite immersive and a blast to play. The iPod touch is great for watching videos, downloading and listening to podcasts, and listening to your favorite tunes. The device is amazingly slim and built very well.

Price: US$299 for the 8GB, US$299 for the 16GB, and US$399 for the 32GB [Read the review (32GB)] [(16GB)] [(8GB)]

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2009 ZDNet Tax Refund Special

Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

If you have a digital media player, or are picking one up soon, it takes a good set of headphones to make the experience complete. I have found that having a good set of headphones can make all the difference when it comes to music and movie enjoyment on my mobile devices. I have an older pair of Ultimate Ears headphones that give me a pleasurable experience and are well worth the money. If you are looking for a high-end pair of earphones then the Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro are a great choice. These earphones are what the professional use and are engineered to give you a musical experience you won't soon forget.

If you don't want these super high end set of earphones, then you should consider their SuperFi 5 Pro or even MetroFi headphones available for a lower cost with more limited specifications.

Price: US$325 [Read the review]

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2009 ZDNet Tax Refund Special

Aliph Jawbone

In addition to having a nice set of dedicated earphone/headphones, it is also a good idea to have a Bluetooth headset so you can talk on the phone while keeping both hands on the wheel. With many states now having hands-free laws you will need some kind of method of using your phone without your hands or stop using it while driving. I have tested out a few Bluetooth headsets over the last few years and the most comfortable and best quality one I found is the latest Aliph Jawbone headset. I didn't like the first generation Jawbone because it was a bit too big and tough to easily put on and take off. This newest Jawbone is 50% smaller and is extremely comfortable to wear for hours without causing discomfort.

In addition to the size, it is a fashionable and attractive headset. I also found the call quality to be superb with the Jawbone and think it is one of the best headsets on the market. The latest colors available include black, silver, gold, rose, and blue.

Price: US$129.99 MSRP, online as low as $70 [Read the review (black)] [(gold)] [(silver)] [Check out my review]

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2009 ZDNet Tax Refund Special

Archos 7 Internet Tablet

If mobile video is the primary reason for you to have a device other than your phone, then you may be looking for a digital video player. Archos has some high end products that let you fully access the internet on the go. With a 7 inch, 800x480 pixels display you can enjoy video content either stored on the 160/320GB drive or stream that content via a WiFi connection. Archos also has an integrated web browser, email application, and much more so it allows you to perform just about any online task you desire from a PC. Several video partners are available to help you get content on your Archos and there are accessories to help you connect to your existing TV content. There are even some games available to help pass the time.

Price: US$449.99 (160GB) and US$549.99 (320GB) [Read the review]

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2009 ZDNet Tax Refund Special

TeleNav Shotgun

Personal navigation devices (PNDs) are very popular today, but there is one company with a fast amount of experience with mobile phone software that now has a hardware product with their software included. The TeleNav Shotgun is compact enough to carry with you or mount in your car. The soft touch casing is wrapped around a 4.3 inch display. The feature that sets the TeleNav Shotgun apart from the crowd is the internet connectivity that gives you real-time traffic updates and OTA updates. I use the online feature to send addresses wirelessly to the Shotgun in advance of my trips. There are several more improvements that TeleNav is actively working on and they recently added support for mileage capture and online reporting.

There are over 11 million Points of Interest (POI) on the TeleNav Shotgun and the internet can be used to search for destinations over the air. You can also use the internet connectivity to search for the lowest gas prices, check out reviews of restaurants, and traffic monitoring.

Price: US$299, includes 3 months of internet service [Read the review] [Check out my review] [Check out my image gallery]

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Topics: Browser, Apple, Mobility

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