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THE COOLEST STUFF IN THE UNIVERSE | HOLDIAY GIFT GUIDE

Slam-Dunk Gifts

November 30, 2000

Apple iBook Special Edition

Price: $1,800

Apple's top-of-the-line iBook is fast and stylish, and its built-in FireWire connector and bundled iMovie software make it a portable video-editing studio. For peak portability, add the $99 AirPort wireless networking card and $299 Base Station to be able to surf the Web without plugging in a modem or network cables.

"Backyard Baseball 2001"

Price: $20

"Backyard Baseball 2001" is the top-selling computer sports game on the market. It holds that lofty position because it is an absolutely fabulous game for children. More than just a baseball simulation game, it demands critical thinking. As managers of their own baseball teams, children make decisions about on-field positions and then control computerized players. What makes this game so interesting is that each computer player has artificial intelligence and a player profile. As managers study the stats and listen to the players, they start to understand how to best use a player. It can take weeks of trying different combinations before you create a world-class team.

Epson Stylus Photo 2000P

Price: $900

This remarkable inkjet printer turns out not only beautiful prints but also long-lasting ones. With archival matte paper and special inks, its prints can last more than two centuries without noticeable fading--a life span well beyond that of even traditional color photos. The six-color 2000P is relatively slow, but the end results are rich and finely detailed images that rival the quality of photographic prints.

Kima KS110n

Price: $150

The Internet is becoming the world's greatest source of audio entertainment, whether it be songs, radio broadcasts or narrated books. Too bad the Net isn't connected to your home stereo. Akoo.com's Kima, a nifty pair of wireless gadgets, is a good--and relatively affordable--way to bridge that gap. Unlike some of the other wireless products on the market, Kima is easy to use and works exactly as advertised. Plug the Kima transmitter into the back of your PC, then link the Kima receiver to a stereo or boom box in another room or the backyard. The transmitter's signals can travel as far as several hundred feet, passing through walls as easily as open windows. The receiver can operate on batteries, letting you move it easily around the house.

Lego Mindstorms Dark Side Developer Kit

Price: $100

Lego Mindstorms combines two of our favorite things. No, not raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. We're talking Lego bricks and microchips. The Dark Side Developer Kit allows budding galactic overlords to try their hand at various building challenges, from an automated Destroyer Droid to a walking AT-AT. It's a way cool toy limited only by the recipient's imagination. And, unlike some other Mindstorms products, you don't need a PC.

MailStation

Price: $100, plus $10 monthly access fee

Even the biggest technophobes are probably intrigued by e-mail. But many don't want to be encumbered with a computer to send these missives. For them, there is the MailStation, a lightweight machine with a keyboard and pop-up screen built exclusively for sending and receiving e-mail. Although simple, MailStation has handy features, such as a spell checker and the ability to create an electronic address book.

Nokia 8890 mobile phone

Price: $450 to $650

This is a businessperson's dream phone. Although pricey, the tiny device is packed with style and features--and works in more than 100 countries. It's small--less than 4 inches tall--and light--just 3.2 ounces. Its buttons are bordering on too small, but Nokia has compensated by including voice-dialing and an infrared port, which allows users to quick-load stored numbers and data from another phone (providing it has an infrared port too) without reentering the information. It includes games, an alarm clock, a calendar and 35 possible ring tunes and vibration mode. It comes with desktop and plug-in charges, plus a hands-free headset. In California, it works with service from Pacific Bell Wireless.

Sega Dreamcast

Price: $150

While your neighbors scrounge all over creation for an elusive Sony PlayStation 2, rest easy knowing that Sega Dreamcast offers more truly great games--from "Samba de Amigo" and "Seaman" to "NFL 2K1" and "Shenmue." With a built-in modem, Dreamcast offers the ability to play online games right out of the box. Plus, it boasts great graphics and all sorts of nice features that make it a truly wonderful system. Oh, and you can actually find one.

Stowaway keyboard

Price: $100

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