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Best Backpacking Gadgets for Your Summer Travels

If you're like many young students graduating from high school or college, you're probably planning a little time off -- perhaps a trip abroad in that great American tradition of backpacking. But stuffing whatever you happen to have lying around your room into a bag is a terrible idea for such a journey. You'll want to be properly prepared, and, if you're anything like us, that means making sure...

Then and Now: How Far We Are From Y2K, and the Tech That Got Us Here

The year 2000 loomed over the world way before 1999 -- see Prince songs, Y2K concerns, and even hordes of science fiction movies set before the end of the millennium. But on January 1, 2000, nothing much changed, jet packs didn't suddenly appear, and we didn't all get rad Jetsons-style hair. While we can't speak for our readers, launch any member of the Switched staff through time from 1999 until...

Ford's 'Smart' MyKey Keeps Those Kids From Driving Like Maniacs

Our parents started getting really uptight as the days between us and that most liberating of birthdays (16) ticked away. The pestering never ended: "You'd better put that seat belt on, first thing when you get in." "Yes, ma'am." Disciplinary threats, filled with images of being driven to senior prom in the station wagon, terrified us. Of course, upon receiving the keys, we jumped through the...

Top 3 Travel Laptops (Video)

Traveling isn't what it used to be, particularly now that you have to whip out your laptop at security checks. (We also can't stand the tight spaces in economy class that make opening a laptop fully on a tray table to work all but impossible.) Luckily, nearly all computer manufacturers are pulling out the stops and creating super-compact, ultra-thin laptops that are aimed...

Top Camcorders Under $200

'Budget' camcorders used to mean "at least $400," but the past year has seen the introduction of a new generation of compact, easy-to-use models that are small enough to fit in your pocket and, best of all, cost less than $200. Plus, these little things are durable, since they use Flash memory, which has no moving parts to break, making them perfect for carrying around. Lastly, the new budget...

Five Things to Consider Before Buying a GPS System

GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation devices -- those talking screens with maps that give you real-time directions to wherever you're going (as you're going there) -- used to be the province of the well-to-do with high-end cars. But nowadays, real-time navigation technology is available for all budgets in all sorts of shapes, sizes and feature packages. So which type of GPS is for you?...

Five Handy Gadgets for Your Next Trip

Going on a trip soon? Whether you need to stay in touch with home while traveling internationally or just need some power for your cell phone while you're out on a long hike, you'll find the gadgets highlighted in the above video to be quite handy. We should know, since we used 'em all on our recent vacation before making our final picks. Take a look. Click Here for a Look at the...

Top 10 Portable Games for Long Trips

Summer is a time to escape -- to the beach, to the countryside, to the other side of the world. And for those of us who just love our down time, there's plenty of it (mostly spent on flying on planes, riding in cars, and laying on beach chairs). So we've compiled a list of the best portable games for Sony PSP and Nintendo DS to pack in your bag this summer; whether you're looking to hit the...

Best Gear for Road Trips (Video)

Considering the sky-high prices of gas these days, it's even more important that you get to your summer road trip destinations on time and without getting lost, which is why you should take the excellent GPS navi system we recommend in the above video (a follow-up to our previous round-up of car trip doodads). We also recommend some other gizmos that'll get you where your going in...

Top Noise-Canceling Headphones

As anyone who has used noise-canceling headphones on a plane can doubtlessly confirm, they make the experience of flying a whole lot less unpleasant. While these sound-blockers can't do much to combat the shrieking baby in the seat next to you (or its shrieking parents, for that matter), they all but remove the low roar of the engines, the hum of the fans, and various (and usually) incessant...

10 Essential Road Trip Gadgets

It's road trip season, and whether you're going cross country or simply cross town, you'll find a lot of tech out there to make your trip safer, more enjoyable and speeding ticket free. Here are the top 10 road warrior must-haves ... don't leave home without 'em! TomTom GO 720 GPS It's time to toss out your archaic AAA maps and join the GPS revolution! The TomTom GO 720, like all GPS...