Gear of the year

Forget boring tech: Here are some of the most innovative, interesting products we’ve seen (or are waiting to see) this year.

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HP Mini 1000 (Vivienne Tam Edition)

In this year of the netbook, few will be as stylish as the Vivienne Tam–designed HP Mini 1000, with designer handbag looks — and a price tag to match (US $700). Basic black versions running XP Home or HP’s own Mobile Internet (Mi) interface built on top of Ubuntu Linux start at $360. All three 2.5-pound base models feature surprisingly spacious keyboards, 9-inch screens, and up to 16GB of solid-state storage or 60GB hard drives. One option lets you access high-speed 3G wireless networks.

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