7 must-have gadgets*

*Or cool items to talk about at yoru next cocktail party




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11-inch MacBook Air, from $999, Apple.com I’ll never forget the time I saw a friend struggle to carry his bulky desktop tower down the quarter mile in a wind storm. If only he’d had one of these. Coming in at 2.3 pounds with an Intel 1.4GHz Core Duo chip and 2GB of memory, the 11-inch Macbook Air is the ultimate hybrid of power and portability.

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It’s amazing how rapidly technology has developed since I graduated from RIT six years go. I remember running Windows Me on my painfully slow desktop, saving work on a glitchy Zip disk instead of a cloud, and thinking it was cool that I could play a primitive version of Snake on my pre-app cellphone. In other words, if you’re still doing any of those things, you’ll want to pay especially close attention to the gadgets on this list—all must-haves for the tech-savvy RIT alum. 

Katie Linendoll ’05 (information technology) is a technology expert for CNN and CBS. She was an Emmy-winning producer on ESPN’s SportsCenter and host of A&E’s We Mean Business.

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11-inch MacBook Air, from $999, Apple.com I’ll never forget the time I saw a friend struggle to carry his bulky desktop tower down the quarter mile in a wind storm. If only he’d had one of these. Coming in at 2.3 pounds with an Intel 1.4GHz Core Duo chip and 2GB of memory, the 11-inch Macbook Air is the ultimate hybrid of power and portability.

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Cruizin Cooler, $350-$1,400, CruizinCooler.com We’d all love to go places without having to exert any effort. But until the (obviously inevitable) invention of teleportation, this is the next best thing. Just fill it up with your favorite chilled beverage and roll away.

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Darth Vader Toaster, $50, ThinkGeek.com Everyone needs a good toaster, right? Wrong. Everyone needs a good Star Wars-themed toaster. Each piece pops out bearing the deliciously charred image of the Sith lord himself.

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Gelaskins.com, prices vary Why blend in when you can stand out? Use this great site to find cool removable adhesives for your phone, computer, Kindle and more.

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Eye-Fi, $50-$100, Best Buy I lose SD cards and thumb drives like crazy. That’s why I love Eye-Fi. You can just leave it in your camera and utilize the built-in Wi-Fi function to upload your pics straight to your computer, iPhone, iPad or Android-enabled phone.

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Camera+, $2, iTunes Of the thousand or so apps that dominate my existence, Camera+ is one of my faves. It makes any photo look amazing. Apply fun filters like retro ’70s, toy camera or antique and edit them on your own virtual lightbox.

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Water Bobble, $9-$13, Waterbobble.com A low-tech gem. The Water Bobble self-filters tap water from anywhere, so you don’t have to waste your cash on the environmentally unfriendly bottled variety. Comes in three sizes and a bunch of cool colors.