Pocket Power

Portables for your eyes and ears

Dec 1, 2002
Outside Magazine

   Photo: Chris Bartlett

With a water-resistant shell and shockproof playback, the NIKE PSA[128 MAX MP3 player ($200; 800-806-6453, www.nike-town.com) is ready for hard knocks. Strap the 128 MB unit to your arm and secure the cord anywhere on your clothing by placing tiny magnets inside and outside the fabric. Then press play and revel in enough memory to hold the new Beck, the new Sigur Róte's, and an oldie—say, Pink Floyd's Meddle.

Don't ask why automaker VOLVO is selling a portable FM RADIO ($56; www.volvocars.us); just enjoy. The stylish alloy-encased transceiver uses a solar panel to make a simple idea—a slim, credit-card-size radio with earphones—even simpler: No batteries required.

SONY's MZ-S1 MD PLAYER ($180; 877-865-7669, www.sonystyle.com) is a strong argument for minidisc over MP3. This Walkman has a skip-proof, water-resistant design, and connects to a PC through a speedy USB port—a CD's worth of music takes two minutes or less to download. One $3 disc holds 80 minutes of crystal-clear tunes. And the single AA battery goes for 54 hours, way longer than you'll last doing laps in Central Park.

There's no need to drop a bundle on a navigation system. GARMIN has packed its basic GPS handheld with advanced features and, shockingly, knocked $60 off the price. Yup, the GPS 72 ($171; 800-800-1020, www.garmin.com) pulls in the same 12 satellites as $400 models do. With sensitivity to just under ten feet, 22°4'17"N, 159°46'67"W will be a sandy beach paradise, not a tent site out in the pounding surf.

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