Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Our Favorite Gear

What's cool: 4 professionals on the business tools they can't work without.

By Lia Steakley, Business 2.0 Magazine

Worldly Wanderer

HTC Universal; $1,050; www.htc.com


Globe-trotters, meet your new best friend. I travel frequently to Korea and Japan, and I quickly grew tired of dealing with the rental and prepaid cell phones I used for communicating while overseas. When I heard that the HTC Universal really does work anywhere, that it's Skype-enabled, and that it comes with an embedded camera for video-calling, I was sold - despite the hefty price tag. The HTC is actually a tiny computer, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 180-degree swivel touchscreen, a "qwerty" keyboard, 128MB of ROM, 64MB of SDRAM, and a 520-MHz processor. It can also operate via an alphabet soup of 3G network standards. Although HTC doesn't sell the Universal in the United States, an I-mate-branded version, called the Jasjar, is available at www.imatephonestore.com. To use all the features, you need a 3G service plan from a GSM-based mobile carrier like Cingular and a SIM card. I now get my e-mail instantly, and the HTC quickly transmits text and video messages. This phone is an international superstar, and it's worth every penny.

Picture Perfect

Sanyo HD1 Digital Media Camera; $800; www.sanyo.com

MIA KIM Founder, Popgadget

I recently saw a dog wearing an iPod Shuffle and listening to soothing "canine lullabies" as a treatment for panic disorder. Odd scenes like this are prime fodder for my blog, so I was really glad I had an ultraportable videocamera on hand. The photos and videos I took on my Treo 700p were grainy, but I also found that I didn't like the image quality on a bunch of videocams I tested - until I found Sanyo's HD1. This little gem not only shoots great video but also lets me take photos. It weighs just half a pound, and it has more features than many high-end still cameras. Switching from video to still mode is a breeze, and I can record nearly 90 minutes of high-definition video (and up to four hours of standard video) on a 4GB memory card.

Burning Man

Omron HJ-112 Digital Premium Pedometer; $40; www.omronhealthcare.com

CRAIG NEWMARK Founder, Craigslist.org

How many calories do you burn walking each day? I didn't know either, and given that I spend plenty of time hoofing to and from meetings, I wanted to find out. I needed a reliable and consistent measure of how many steps I take, which my nutritionist then uses to calculate how many calories I've burned. Many pedometers, I discovered, don't work very well on hills and are difficult to attach to my belt. The Omron HJ-112 has none of these defects. It's durable and easy to use, and it works even when discreetly hidden in my pocket. You can get pricier GPS-enabled pedometers, but I'm not biting - they usually have to be strapped to your arm, measure distance only in miles, and don't really work any better. My Omron is simple, yes, but it tells me all I really need to know: that I walk an average of 8,000 steps each day, burning as much as 500 calories.

Home Brew

Aerobie AeroPress Coffeemaker; $30; www.aerobie.com

BENJAMIN TICE SMITH Assistant photography director, Business 2.0

I'm such a coffee snob that I roast my own beans at home. But getting a good cup of joe at work and on the road can be a challenge. I can't stomach weak office or hotel brews, and I'm too cheap to shell out two bucks for a Starbucks jolt. The AeroPress has solved my problem. It looks like a giant syringe, but it brews a remarkably good - and strong - cup of coffee. I just dump hot water in with some of my favorite grounds and press the plunger, and less than a minute later I'm in coffee heaven. The transparent body is compact and cleans up easily, and it's made of durable Lexan plastic alloy, so I can toss it in my bag when I travel. My world is a happier place now that I know I can always get my high-grade caffeine fix.


To send a letter to the editor about this story, click here.