Cool electronic gifts for friends, family

LOS ANGELES There is no hotter electronic gift this year than the Amazon Kindle 2 book reader at $259.

A cool gadget this holiday that won't break easily is the Sonim XP3 Quest cell phone. The Tonka truck of a phone, which costs $400, is extremely durable and completely waterproof.

"If you know someone who's always breaking their phones, I defy them. We actually did our test with this as part of it, we drove nails into wood and it didn't hurt the phone at all," said editor Brian Cooley.

Another item high on the electronic gift list is a portable GPS. TomTom GO 740 Live, retailing at $300, uses Google to help you find your way.

"Navigation systems today, they only do half the picture. You have to come to them with the address that you want and then tell the device what to do. That's almost like it's kind of a dumb device then. If you have a device that will help you search and find things -- and this will let you search at a destination, it will let you search along your route, it will let you search near where you are now, lots of different ways to Google," said Cooley.

For the child ready to take on this high tech world, get them the Disney Netpal netbook.

"They've re-done the whole desktop so children can look at it and see it as graphical things that are large, not lots of little, tiny icons they have to read. And it's very much locked down," said Cooley.

The $300 Netpal has a number of parental control options so parents can limit what their kids can do on the portable PC. They can decide what programs their kids can run, if they can download programs or not, and they can limit the amount of time they can spend on the computer.

Last on our list is a portable Skype system allowing you to make a video call to anyone in the world who is on the Internet without a computer. This is perfect for the grandparents.

"Someone who's just not comfortable with technology and a computer, this is so hard to screw up, they too will be able to make Skype video calls with you back home on your computer," said Cooley.

ASUS Eee Videophone AiGuru SV1 runs about $270.

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