Top 10 tech toys to blow your tax refund on

Sure, you could invest it, but this is more fun

Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 high-speed digital camera

Let's face it. The reason your digital pictures suck has nothing to do with the number of megabytes in your camera. Even if you had a 30MB camera, you'd still capture your wife blinking, your kids just after they made that spectacular catch or the dog before he even jumps to catch the Frisbee.

That's why the Casio EX-F1 is so revolutionary. When you snap a photo, the camera doesn't take one, but 60 frames in a single second: 30 frames in the half-second after you press the button, and -- miraculously -- 30 frames in the half-second before you pressed it. Then, you can quickly scroll through those 60 frames, pick the perfect one and capture it for saving to the camera's storage.

Even the flash is fast; a secondary LED flash can keep up with that 60 frame-per-second rate. And video! How about shooting super slow-mo at 1,200 frames per second?

Casio retail price: US$1,000

Husqvarna Automower solar robot lawn mower

Rare is the gadget that satisfies your rabid lust for technology, your wish to be greener-than-thou and your laziness all at once.

The world's first solar electric hybrid robot lawn mower cuts the grass so you don't have to. This nearly silent mower is built from 90 per cent recyclable material, runs on electricity from the sun and puts out zero emissions. (If the sun ain't shinin,' you can plug it in to charge it.)

Instead of collecting cut grass in a sack, the Husqvarna Automower turns it into a fine mulch and lays it over your lawn, which both provides both fertilizer for your lawn and the elimination of another chore for you.

You simply lay down an included "boundary cable" as a way to tell the robot where your lawn ends (and where your flower bed or the sidewalk begins). Turn it loose in the yard and the Automower will do all the work.

Husqvarna MSRP: US$4,000

Gamers Cockpit GT3 race simulator

The neighbor's kid can beat you in just about any PlayStation or Xbox game. But you have a tax return coming and he doesn't, so you win!

The GT3 is an all-inclusive racing chair, steering wheel console, sound system and display all in one, compatible with either PlayStation 2 or Xbox 360 Pro. Plug it in and you're off!

You can spec out your system with a variety of options, but all come with in-seat subwoofer, so you can feel the rumble of the track where it counts.

Gamers Cockpit retail price: about US$3,000, depending on options

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Mike Elgan

Computerworld

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