Classic gear gets new and improved, proving you really can teach old tech new new tricks.
By Crispin Boyer
Pioneer • $599
With 3-D HDTVs on the market and home-theater scientists already working on the next big thing (holo graphic projectors with Smell-O-Vision, maybe?), future-proofing your AV setup is a mission impossible. Still, this receiver—which is packed with high-end features at a mid-range price—will keep your system on the cutting edge for years. It bristles with 3-D-ready HDMI ports and loads of other inputs, making it a convenient hub for your cable box, Blu-ray player, gaming gear, and more. It delivers room-rattling 7.1 surround sound, while enhancing music playback by replacing acoustical subtleties lost during MP3 compres si on. And while the included remote is more than ade quate, a free app turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into a mini mission control, letting you tinker with every setting via a slick touch-screen interface.
Flip • $280
Capturing life’s misadventures on Flip’s line of pocket cameras was always a snap, but reviewing footage on the teeny screens sucked. The new SlideHD model relieves that eye strain with a three-inch touch screen and a novel slide control. Both let you easily prescreen your mini cinematic masterpieces before premiering them on YouTube or an HDTV. The SlideHD packs enough memory to record four hours of high-definition video, and it’s as svelte as your typical smartphone, so it’s easy to keep on hand should you ever spot a Sasquatch or find a partner for that sex tape.
Cannondale • $6,500
It started out as a concept for a funky commuter bicycle that could fold down to a third of its full size. Now the pricey nine speed ON bike is rolling into the real world, minus the folding ability but with all its other innovative features intact. Chief among them: a single-arm front fork and a chain that’s completely integrated into the alloy frame of the bike, meaning you never need to maintain the drive system or worry about grease stains on your pant leg. All cabling is routed through the frame, too, giving the ON a futuristic “no wires” look that’ll cause a few double takes as you pedal through the pack on your way to work.
Ironman Global Trainer
Timex • $250
Don’t let the name throw you: This tough timepiece is not part of a merchandising tiein with the Iron Man movie sequel. The Global Trainer is built for endurance athletes who are hell-bent on beating the pack in grueling multisport competitions. Nevertheless, it boasts so many high-tech abilities that it would look right at home on Tony Stark’s red-armored wrist. The built-in GPS tracking calculates your distance, pace, altitude, laps, and speed as you run, bike, or swim. It also logs your performance in past workouts and records waypoints for your favorite routes. Sync the Ironman to your PC to recharge its 15-hour battery and access a suite of hardcore training programs. Oh, yeah—it will tell you what time it is, too.
The Rambler Backpack
Mission Workshop • $219
Mission Workshop, based in San Francisco’s Mission District—ground zero for that city’s hipster bike-messenger culture—crafts bags and backpacks to the exacting standards of urban pedal-pumping cowboys. Its weatherproof bags are sturdy enough for the daily commute but versatile enough for week end trailblazing. This one hits the sweet spot between low-profile comfort and large storage capacity, with two laptop-size pockets and a central cargo compartment that expands into a nearly bottomless pit. The customizable strap system spreads the load across your back and shoulders so long hauls aren’t a pain in the neck.
RC Fishing Boat
Chinavasion • $143
As if the sport of fishing weren’t lazy enough, this two-foot-long remote control speedboat lets you drive and drop baited hooks exactly where you
want them with out the exhausting effort of casting a line. You’ll still have the chore—and enjoyment—of reeling in your catch. The boat’s remote has a range of 1,000 feet and can be operated with one hand, leaving your other hand free to operate your PBRs. A wide hull and twin propellers stabilize the boat in rough conditions, and a red navigation light keeps it in sight in dim light. With four hours of cruising time on a single charge, the boat gives you plenty of time to shut up and fish, then sober up for the drive home.
CR6002 Portable Turntable
Crosley • $149
This lightweight, battery powered gizmo is like a relic out of some alternate dimension where the Walkman and iPod never existed, spinning 45 and 33 1/3 records on the go. Just be sure to plop it down on a stable surface before dropping the diamond stylus needle onto a record groove. The built-in stereo speakers will blast your old-school media at vinyl swaps, parties, the office, wherever, or you can use the dual headphone jacks for a more intimate listening experience. It does have one twenty-first-century touch: a USB port and ripping software that converts analog tunes into the easier-tocarry digital format.