The calendar year 2012 is winding down, so it’s a good time to suggest gifts for tech-minded legal professionals. There are several options costing less than $100 and a few pricier options. The gifts below include the manufacturer’s suggested retail price or prices from e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com.
As one might expect, many items relate to Apple i-series of personal electronics. So, here’s a look at some choices for a happy Chanukah, festive Festivus, merry Christmas or wintery Solstice.
• $64 Cadence binary four-bit wristwatch for the e-discovery wrangler: Other wristwatches also tell time in binary format, but typically they only show lights and make the wearer do the math. This one is actually a nice watch you’ll not be embarrassed to wear in public. As expected, it counts from 1 to 1,100, but the numbers are in the same places as 1 through 12 on a standard watch, so there’s no need to pull out a calculator.
• $72 Keyboard Buddy iPhone 5 case: Attachable iPhone keyboards have been around for a while, but this one is nice because it has its own battery, rather than draining a smartphone’s juice. It’s backlighted, and it has a notch for the iPhone’s camera and flash. Unfortunately the company’s site only shows availability in black right now, so owners of the white iPhone may be out of luck.
• $79 Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: This paperback book from the Federal Judicial Center and the National Research Council was updated in 2011 with new chapters about forensic science, mental health and neuroscience — but not computer science. Still, it’s useful for anyone dealing in complex scientific litigation. Tip: The PDF download is free.
• $79+ CardScan personal business card scanner: Beaming your business card on a Palm-brand device seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird, because we all still swap paper business cards. Digitize them. The entry-level scanner only works in black-and-white and has fairly low resolution, but it’s a good start.
• $95 Photojojo makes the iPhone Rangefinder: You get three lenses (fisheye, telephoto, and wide-angle), aperture markings, shutter button, tripod mount and viewfinder. Put another way, it’s “a phoneography system that gives your iPhone all the style of a classic camera,” the company says on its website.
• $200+ High-end digital voice recorders: Law Technology News‘ Sean Doherty this summer reviewed three premium devices from Philips, Olympus American and Sony. They are ideal for recording depositions, telephone calls, seminars and client meetings.
• $129+ Wearable AirStash products: Maxell resells these, which are flash memory cards with built-in wireless network antennas. These can stream files to just about any iOS or Google Android device. They come with 8 gigabytes or 16 gigabytes of SD memory, but you can replace those with any other SD card. They are future-proof up to 2 terabytes.
• $89+ WiDrive series: Kingston makes a wireless flash memory gadget, but it’s larger than a USB stick and has more capacity: The WiDrive series comes with 64 or 128 gigabytes.
• $99 Satellite: Seagate makes a wireless drive called the Satellite that’s huge — 500 gigabytes, which is half a terabyte. But this one requires a larger pocket than the Maxell or Kingston options cited above.
• $99+ Duracell Powermat wireless device chargers: There are iPhone 4/4S and Samsung Galaxy S3 editions; a Duracell representative said the iPhone 5 version is due early in 2013. This is a nifty technology: Put the device into a special case, and then whenever the device needs charging, put that onto a special tray.
• $159+ Small tablets: There are many good, small tablets available, such as the entry-level version of Amazon Kindle Fire, the midrange Google Nexis 7, and the high-end Apple iPad Mini. These are sure to make anyone happy. Lawyers tend to prefer the iPad. The budget-priced iPad Mini starting at $329 is a good value.