updated 10/26/2004 8:09:21 PM ET 2004-10-27T00:09:21

There is a lot of gimmickry in gadgetry.

In fact, it is safe to say that most of the high-tech products on the market today survive and thrive on gee-whiz coolness and style rather than real world applicability and substance. While consumers may seek out and pay for the newest, latest, hottest technology, too often it is never used either because a) it's too difficult to figure out or b) the user gets bored.

Technology journalists are as guilty as any industry PR flacks of shamelessly promoting each new trendy doodad that comes down the pike as the cure for human misery. I've published a few fluffy paeans to the cult of cool myself -- mea culpa.

Here, then, let's take a moment to highlight a few items that really do fill a need or two. Not all of them will save your life (although some may), but they just might make it a little bit easier or more enjoyable.

© 2012


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