Apple’s flashy iPad may render single-purpose eReaders obsolete, but the humble Kindle has garnered a devoted following in recent years, and thus deserves a mention. Journal articles and clinical studies are a breeze to read with the newest model’s built-in PDF reader, and its long-lasting battery runs for a week on a single charge. Amazon.com, $259.00
Sony HX5V Camera
Slated to appear in stores in March 2010, this point-and-shoot Sony Cyber-shot camera is the first of its kind to feature both GPS technology and a built-in digital compass. The HX5V belongs to a new generation of gadgets—beyond phones and navigation devices—that integrate location-scouting technologies in novel and innovative ways. Through integration with Google Maps, casual photographers will be able to store and share location data for every shot taken. Sony.com, $349.99
Introduced last fall, the Droid is a relative newcomer to the smartphone market. Google junkies will appreciate its Android 2.0 operating system, which can be fully integrated with all Google applications, including Maps, Reader, Calendar, Voice, and Gmail. The device also comes with a full physical keyboard— a major selling point for the touch screen–averse. Potential buyers should not be deterred by the phone’s limited app market, which is likely to grow exponentially as Google-powered phones gain popularity. Verizon.com, $199.99 with 2-year Data Plan
HP Mini 311
Despite its arguably inevitable irrelevance, netbooks remain an attractive choice for users seeking the functionality of a traditional PC in a portable, low-profile package. The HP Mini 311 is only slightly more expensive than the most primitive netbooks, and boasts a sleek design and highdefinition graphics processor uncommon in such a small computer. HP.com, $399.99
Google Reader represents gadgetry at its finest: practical, intuitive, endlessly tweakable, and absolutely free. Used wisely, the application has the potential to fundamentally change the experience of reading online. It uses RSS feed subscriptions, available on most regularly updated sites, to gather user-specified content from across the Web and deposit it into a single, personalized portal. This cure-all for clumsy bookmarks and cluttered e-mail inboxes invites experimentation and comes free with any Google account. Google.com, $0.00
For more on the best gadgets for health care professionals, visit MDNG.com, part of the HCPLive network.