We first talked to Anthony Scarsella, Gazelle's Chief Gadget Officer, last year to find out what devices topped his list of must-haves. But a lot has happened in 18 months or so! And even though there still "isn't enough time to try every gadget" in the world, we did manage to find out his top five new favorite gadgets.
Sony Xperia Z GSM Android Smartphone
($479.99 with free shipping, a low by $35)
If you've ever had nightmares about dropping your iPhone in a pool or the toilet, Scarsella can sympathize ... but he's not in the same boat. "Not only is this the best looking smartphone on the market, it is also completely waterproof," he says. "The large 5-inch screen is perfect for gaming and movies while the 13MP camera has made my point and shoot obsolete. The 16GB of onboard storage and 32GB microSD card (which I added) provide me with plenty of additional room for music and movies when I travel. For me, the Xperia Z is the ultimate vacation device. It's like having a waterproof phone, MP3 player, GPS, camera, and movie player in your pocket, all at once."
Apple iPod nano 16GB MP3 Player (6th Generation)
($229 with $4.62 s&h, a low by $56)
Whether you're pumping iron or pounding the pavement on a morning jog, "the 6th generation iPod nano is by far the best MP3 player from Apple if you're an athlete," Scarsella says. "The compact design allows me to just clip on my belt, as no giant armband is needed, as with the iPod Touch or newer Nano. With 16GB of onboard storage it provides plenty of music as well as easy touch screen controls to quickly find any song on the Rocky soundtrack as I beat up on my speed bag in the backyard."
Apple TV Media Receiver (2nd Generation)
($329.99 with free shipping)
It's hard to find this 2010 model, brand new, refurbished, or even used. But if you do, there's one huge perk: "Jailbreaking! Once you jailbreak the 2nd generation Apple TV (MC572LL/A) you will get tons of new channels and streaming features directly on your TV. With new content and channels being added every day, my drawn-out break-up with the cable company has become a reality."
Grimac La Valentina Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
($1,725 with free shipping)
If you saw this one used at a garage sale, you might think it was your typical $10 coffee maker. No way. "Call me a coffee snob, but once you live in Italy, Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts just don't cut it anymore," Scarsella says. "A proper cappuccino in the morning can make or break my day. My Grimac La Valentina lets me play the role of the barista, and let's be real, 'Latte Art' is just plain cool." Weighing in at 50 lbs., this solid steel machine produces what Scarsella describes as "perfect 'crema' each and every pull, as the commercial heat exchange boiler offers 17 bars of consistent pressure. This means I don't have to wait between brewing and frothing, which is ideal when entertaining."
Conair GMT900 iStubble
($39.99 with free shipping, a low by $7)
With all the high-tech gadgets he's seen and tested, Scarsella still sees some unclaimed beachhead out there for inventive types. "Personal care tech is such an untouched category at the moment," he says. "While I was scratching my beard, I tried to think of what other piece of tech I use everyday other than my phone. I look to my iStubble to give me that perfect, scruffy 5 o'clock shadow. The electric trimmer from Conair offers 15 ultra-precise length settings that can keep you looking liking Spartacus on daily basis. The GMT900 in the title makes it sound like a Samsung phone, while the iStubble makes you think it's from Apple. Hopefully we see a gold Galaxy iStubble 'S' arrive in time for this holiday season."
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