Out And About

Just because games aren’t your bag doesn’t mean you’ll be left with nothing to do though – there’s always some fancy new technology or gadget around the corner which is itching for a chance to get your attention.

Cameras, portable media devices and MP3 players - these are the really geeky tech toys we all know and love. It may be a bit commonplace for some people now, but there's still something undeniably cool about sitting back on the bus, putting your headphones in and watching your favourite movie right there and then. Who cares if you have to squint to read the subtitles, right?

Whether you’re a jogger or commuter who wants a new media player for those long stretches of empty time on the train, or a budding photographer who wants to get involved in our monthly photography competitions, we know just the type of thing you're looking for. Something that’s cheap, but still good, right? Check out our selection of budget buys below!

Creative Zen 4GB

How To Spend Your Christmas Cash Media and MP3 UK Price: £89 (inc. Delivery)
US Price: $109 (Excl. Tax)

The Creative Zen is the perfect media player for anyone who wants to avoid the whole iPod-alike trend and the 4GB version is a nice middle ground between space and cost, making it a great you-to-you Christmas present.

The internal 4GB memory can be upgraded with changeable memory cards, which means you can carry dozens of movies and TV shows with you wherever you go. The features list is pretty impressive too, supporting all the major audio codecs and combining some useful functions into the media player mix.

With a calendar, recorder, alarm and a one year warranty sealing the deal, the Zen is pretty much our media player of choice right now, especially considering standard batteries can keep it going for around 25 hours without failing.

SanDisk Sansa e280 8GB

UK Price: £79 (inc. Delivery)How To Spend Your Christmas Cash Media and MP3
US Price: $139 (excl. Tax)

The Sansa e260 is still the MP3 player of choice for most of us here at bit-tech.net and we were all big fans of it until Tim turned to the iPhone to fulfil his every need. The e280 is still a fantastic little MP3 player though and as good a music device as anything Apple has to offer in my opinion.

That said, the interface is actually pretty similar to the iPod family, just a little more robust - there's still a wheel with four surrounding buttons, but now the wheel is chunky and has set indentations on it so that you can feel the resistance more easily when you skip through your tunes.

Compatible with the Sansa Base Station too, the e280 is a nifty little device which you can proudly flaunt wherever you go. The sleek design, bright colour screen and expandable memory mean that it’s an excellent buy for anyone more concerned with music than video – we really can’t recommend it highly enough!

Fujifilm FinePix S5700

UK Price: £113 (inc. Delivery) How To Spend Your Christmas Cash Media and MP3
US Price: $166 (excl. Delivery)

We’re well aware that many bit-tech readers enjoy their photography, so what better way to enter the new year than with a lovely new bit of kit with which to win our Photo of the Month competition?

The S5700 is arguably the best digital camera you’ll find in this price bracket and has an impressive arsenal of features going for it. Not only does it have 10x optical and 4.8x digital zoom, but it also has an impressive 2.5in, 230k pixel colour LCD screen on the back, 7.1 megapixels and an intelligent flash system – all of it running off four AA batteries.

The S5700 may look a bit bulky in the picture, but don’t be deceived because it’s actually quite petite in the flesh, weighing in at only 306g without the batteries added on. The S5700 managed to combine the best of all worlds, looking professional and working well whilst also being cheap and widely available. If you’re looking for a new camera to enter 2008 with then you need look no further.
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