Remember the playground chant "Girls rule and boys drool"? It's still true — though its deeper meaning may have more to do with hygiene than style — that boys will continue to drool over all things gadgety. But you don't necessarily need a Y chromosome to bask in the glory of double-wide, true-black plasma or to salivate over a futuristic bike computer. And we certainly don't mean to imply that science kits are more appropriate for boys than girls. That said, the following is a list of totally wicked gifts to make the boys drool.
TOUCH ME: As more and more people embrace their cell device as a one-stop media center for e-mail, music, photos, and video (oh yeah, and phone), the major service providers have entered an arms race to offer subscribers the ultimate multitasking handheld device. The HTC Touch Diamond may not be perfect for everyone, but it certainly has the potential to be a seriously smart solution for most. Features include 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS-ready, 4 GB internal memory, and 3.2 mega-pixel camera with video capability. Plus, it has near-HD quality resolution, a touch screen that changes orientation from vertical to horizontal — not to mention killer good looks. Goes on sale Black Friday, November 28. $199.99 (after $50 rebate) with agreement. See store for details. Cellular South, 4730 Poplar, 683-1186, or cellularsouth.com.
LOST BOY: Take the road less traveled with zero chance of losing your way by using the Garmin Edge 705 cycling computer. Equal parts GPS navigator, heart monitor, and personal trainer, the 705 is not a toy — it's a lifestyle enhancer for those who like to play off the grid. Download data to your laptop after your ride, or share data with other Edge 705 users. Talk about a mobile network! This level of high-tech awesomeness doesn't come cheap: $792 at midtownbikeco.com. But maybe you don't need ALL the bells and whistles. The Sigma Sport model might be your answer. It gives speed, distance, riding time, plus average and maximum speed, comparison speed, and total riding time. Sigma Sport prices start at $30 at Midtown Bike Company, 2091 Madison, 726-4511.
NONE MORE BLACK: Discerning plasma and flat-screen owners have long known the secret to exceptional television viewing is the depth and quality of black. But true black in the plasma world has been, practically speaking, as elusive as the perfect golf swing and as pricey as an Italian sports car. Until now, that is. The Pioneer Elite Pro 151 with KURO display boasts black levels five times higher than standard. This 60" home entertainment masterpiece may just change your life, at least on Sunday. Priced lower than you'll find it online — $6,000 — at Giant TV, 9077 Poplar, Ste. 103, 388-5888, or 465 N. Germantown Parkway, 888-5888.
POWER PLAY: The Power House sustainable living kit by Thames & Kosmos is so much more than a toy. The kit teaches basic concepts in physical science while introducing users to regenerative energy. As you build a solar-paneled model house with windmill turbine and desalination system, you learn the basics of heat and light energy from the sun, wind power, and electrochemical and plant energy. Yes, all of this would be cutting-edge cool on its own, but the folks at Thames & Kosmos have gone one better: integrating a story of a group of castaways learning to survive on a remote island. So you learn while helping the group to survive. It's Lost meets Sid the Science Kid, and the result is nothing short of awesome. It's been written that Bill Gates' success is due in part to his early access to computers. Who knows? Maybe the Power House will lead your child to help save the world one day — no pressure. $169.99, suitable for ages 12 and older. Village Toymaker, 7850 Poplar #12, 755-3309, or 4615 Poplar #14, 761-1734.
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