Video: Rugged Gadgets

Here are the water, dust, and drop proof gadgets from TVNZ Breakfast this morning:

TVNZ Rugged Gadgets 20090617

Item: Vodafone XP3 Enduro
Price:$799 (or cheaper with a plan)
Rating: 3 / 5
Info: The XP3 can take anything you care to throw at it. Rated to Milspec 810F for dust, shocks and water, which in reality means you can drop it off a roof, accidentally put it through the washing machine, drop it into a cowpat, or even run over it with your car and it will keep on trucking. It’s fairly basic feature-wise, with no 3G or camera. It does have a rudimentary web browser, and Bluetooth so you can use a headset. If you need a super-durable phone, the XP3 is certainly going to handle the knocks, but the price-to-feature equation is not too good.

Item: Panasonic FT1
Price: $799
Rating: 4 / 5
Info: Looking like its carved from a little block of aluminium, the FT1 doesn’t compromise size or looks for its rugged abilties. The FT1 is dust proof, shock proof for a 1.5m drop, and waterproof if dropped in water up to 1.5m deep. You won’t be scuba diving with it, but it will be fine on the beach or the farm, or just a good Auckland downpour. The 4.6x optical zoom is respectable, and AVCHD hi-definition video is a nice bonus.

Item: Canon D10
Price: $749
Rating: 2 / 5
Info: If you’re really keen on underwater photography, you might be better off getting a higher quality camera with an underwater enclosure. The D10 is compact and sturdy, but as ugly as any camera I’ve ever seen. Waterproof to 10 metres, it’s fine for snorkeling or shallow diving, but again, why not spend a couple of hundred dollars on an enclosure for a nicer camera? If you just want a durable camera, not one for diving, I’d go for the Panasonic FT1 – it’s much prettier, and has better features.

Item: Mini Submarine (use coupon code BM5OFF5 for a 5% discount!)
Price: $30 (US $15 plus shipping)
Rating: 4 / 5
Info: What you want from a gadget is fun for your money. For the price, this neat little submarine is hard to beat. It’s not fast or accurate, but you can’t really complain. Use it in the bath or the sink.

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