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Gadgets smaller in price and size

Kevin Pereira of G4-TV's "Attack of the Show" in the Marketplace studios.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

TESS VIGELAND: Well, the holidays are almost here and only a handful of shopping days are left. Better get out there. But for those of you budget-conscious gadget geeks, we've got a few suggestions to add to the wish list.

G4's Kevin Pereira is hear with us to talk about some of the smallest gadgets I've ever seen. And, apparently, most affordable. Welcome back to the program.

KEVIN PEREIRA: Yes, thank you, Tess. Small in size and in dollar amount.

VIGELAND: All right, well, what's topping the wish list this year?

PEREIRA: I think topping the wish list, everybody loves MP3 players now. They're ubiquitous. They come free with boxes of Tide in the mail. We know this. It seems that Apple has such a stranglehold on the consumer conscious that you don't hear about anything else other than the iPod these days. So, I wanted to bring an alternative, so I have the Sansa . . . this is the 8-gigabyte clip. So . . .

VIGELAND: Oh, my goodness. You're just handing this to me. How big is this? That's like 2 inches.

PEREIRA: Two-point-nine ounces in terms of weight here. I mean, this is Olsen twin tiny. Uh, and it can literally clip anywhere. And it's the perfect device for joggers or for gym rats because it is so incredibly light and small. And that's eight gigs of storage in your hand for $79.99.

VIGELAND: There's eight gigs of storage in this teeny tiny thing that's, I don't know, well, it's about as tall as my thumb.

PEREIRA: Yeah, it's the size of a thumb. It's got a built-in FM tuner for tuning in to radio or, if you're at the gym, tuning into the stations there. And, it's even got a built-in line input. So, you can record your voice, tape memos.

VIGELAND: Please tell me it'll do the dishes for me, as well.

PEREIRA: Well, I mean, you could scrub. It's pretty resilient. But it won't get the grime out. No it will not.

VIGELAND: All right, what other toys do you have here that I can play with?

PEREIRA: This is the Motorola Motozine ZN5.

VIGELAND: Excuse me?

PEREIRA: Exactly. Not the most catchy name in the world but . . . They could have just called it the camera phone. This thing has a five megapixel Kodak camera built into the back of a really nice, really sleek, stylish candy bar phone. And you'll notice on the back it's got a little protective screen there, covering up the lens. You slide that bad boy down, it goes into photo mode and you are using a five [megapixel] . . .

VIGELAND: All right, am I an idiot? I can't . . .OH! [snap of camera] I just took a picture!

PEREIRA: Oh! You blinded yourself! Oh my god, that picture looks amazing. I don't know if you can see it. You have to put that on your site.

VIGELAND: Beautiful. . . . OK, so I would just pull this out and it's . . . so I can see . . .

PEREIRA: Yep, you flip it around and you use the phone screen . . . becomes your viewfinder. You can use it to shoot video or five-megapixel stills. And the price -- $99 with a contract.

VIGELAND: All right. I will reluctantly give this back to you.

PEREIRA: Thank you, very much.

VIGELAND: And number three?

PEREIRA: Number three: A little bit more on the pricey side here. We're going up now. We've done two gadgets under 100 bucks. I want to take you to the $200 range, with a great device by Flip. This, which you're holding in your hand right now, is like the size of a deck of playing cards, if you will. A little bit taller.

VIGELAND: Yeah, it seems about the size of an iPod.

PEREIRA: Yeah. That's actually a 720p, high-definition, 16-by-9, widescreen video camera.

VIGELAND: This is a video camera?

PEREIRA: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Fits in your pocket. I mean, you can use it for stills as well. But you can record up to an hour of high-definition video on a device that small. And it's perfect for the holidays because . . . Well, hello! High, Mom!

VIGELAND: Hello! We're recording you as you tell us about this.

PEREIRA: Yeah. You don't want to miss your uncle stumbling drunk into the Christmas tree and knocking it over and the ornaments going everywhere. And now that YouTube has gone high-def, you need to upload that video to the Internet in high-def. So now you've got it. This is the Flip Mino HD for 200 bucks.

VIGELAND: So, do you think these companies are actually trying to come down in price this year because of what's going on in the economy.

PEREIRA: Absolutely. I mean, people say that the tech sector is one of the most resilient sectors. And it tends to be. But resiliency only goes so far. I mean, we're the last to go and it's happening now. You're seeing layoffs on the dot-come side in record numbers. Profits are down pretty much across the board. So, really it's all about getting cheap, affordable gadgets and getting them into the hands of people. Because the days of $3,000 high-def cameras are slowly, slowly waning.

VIGELAND: All right. KevinPereira from G4 Television's "Attack of the Show." Thanks for attacking our show.

PEREIRA: Thank you, Tess, my pleasure.

About the author

Tess Vigeland is the host of Marketplace Money, where she takes a deep dive into why we do what we do with our money.

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