Digital tech delights to get hearts thumping

Nothing says "Happy holidays, Sweetheart" better than an iPhone or plasma television. OK, so high-tech gadgets tend to cost more than classic gifts such as clothing or modest jewelry, but wouldn't you rather receive a sleek BlackBerry Curve than a cardigan? Consider this guide a look at some of the best tech toys of the year. By no means is this a complete list — other guides in this section highlight the best in cameras, inexpensive tech gadgets and more — but these digital delights are worth a look (or listen). Compiled by Marc Saltzman, Jefferson Graham and Edward C. Baig, and written by Saltzman.

MUSIC

The tech choices as holiday gifts are limited only by designers' imagination. Give the gift of music this holiday season, whether it's a portable MP3 player, docking station speaker system or a Wi-Fi radio. Here are a few highlights:

iPod: New features, more storage

It's six years later, and the iPod is as popular as ever as Apple appl continues to reinvent its portable media players by adding new designs, features and more memory. Now, the iPod Classic ($249 for 80 gigabytes; $349 for 160 GB) can store up to 40,000 songs. The new iPod Nanos (from $149) can play video and games. And the iPod Touch (from $299) enjoys the same graceful interface as the iPhone (see below).

Zune: Built for sharing

Microsoft msft has introduced new Zune players (www.zune.net; from $149.99), redesigned Zune software and new online services such as the Zune Social online music community. Along with the ability to play music, podcasts, photos and videos, every Zune player can share tracks wirelessly with other Zunes (with some restrictions) and includes a built-in FM tuner. Available in 4 GB, 8 GB, 30 GB and 80 GB.

Sansa View: Versatile

At just 0.3-inches thin and weighing under 3 ounces, the Sansa View (www.sandisk.com; from $149.99) is a convenient media player offering impressive battery life of up to 35 hours for music or up to seven hours for video. It includes a MicroSD card slot if you'd like to add more memory, plays multiple music, photo and video formats (including DivX files) and features a built-in FM radio.

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin: Speaker heaven

While pricey, the Zeppelin ($599.95) is a high-end Bowers & Wilkins (www.bowers-wilkins.com) blimp-shaped iPod speaker system that sounds extraordinary — and extraordinarily loud with its 25 watts per speaker and 50-watt woofer. The iPod fits on a small cradle that makes it look as though it's floating. The Zeppelin includes an integrated equalizer, S-Video out (to connect to a television) and wireless remote.

OXX Tube: World radio, wirelessly

Access more than 7,500 subscription-free radio stations from around the world — from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe — with the Oxx Digital Wireless Music Center Tube Edition ($299.99; www.oxxdigital.com), a desktop radio that uses your Wi-Fi connection. Search by country or genre, then save your favorites as preset buttons. As a bonus, this tube-shaped stereo radio (with integrated subwoofer) can also wirelessly play digital music stored on your PC in another room, such as MP3s, ACCs and WMAs.

SMARTPHONES

Cellphones have morphed into digital Swiss Army knives, used for talk, music, photography, Web surfing and personal organization. Some of the best of '07:

iPhone: Widescreen wonder

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