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GADGET REVIEWS

Transcend Jetflash V90 2GB USB Flash Drive

$29.99, Amazon.com

Most flash drives are not attractive, but this one actually makes a fashion statement because it's designed to be worn as a necklace. The USB 2.0 drive is fast and can hold 2 gigabytes of information, enough for 500 tunes or thousands of photos. It also can be worn as a key chain.

Transformers Transportable Power Center

$34.99, www.toysrus.com

Summer blockbusters aren't known for stimulating learning, but this Transformer does just that by tempting youngsters to play educational games. The game, designed to look like a robot's face, opens up to display a kid-sized keyboard and monochrome LCD screen. Thirty-six activities range from the merely fun (tic-tac-toe) to brain-boosting (math quiz, word jumble). A cool robot voice guarantees the attention of most any 5-year-old boy. The games start simply enough but increase in difficulty with correct answers. It's designed for children 3 to 7 and includes four AA batteries.

Solio Hybrid battery charger

$99.95, www.solio.com

Dead batteries frequently remind unhappy campers what life was like before the dawn of the cell phone and other modern necessities. Unless they packed the Solio - a fan-shaped solar panel that can charge portable devices directly or trap energy tapped from the sun in its rechargeable lithium battery. One hour of direct sunlight provides an hour of music or about 30 minutes of chatter. The Solio's internal battery can be fully charged by eight to 10 hours of sunlight, and it provides enough juice to fully equip most portable devices twice. Those still on the grid can use the included wall adapter and top the battery off in four hours. A bevy of attachments, including a 12-volt "cigarette lighter" adapter, makes the Solio compatible with most recent cell phones, PDAs and digital music players.

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