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.

SanDisk Sansa SlotRadio

You can pay 99 cents a track for music-or you can get the player and 1000 songs for $100 with Sandisk's 1.5-inch-square Sansa SlotRadio. The catch? Someone else picks the songs, not you. But with artists like Keith Urban, The Killers, and U2 on the bill, there is sure to be something for everyone.
The SlotRadio takes fingernail-size, high-capacity memory cards; the base model ships with a card that contains 1000 songs handpicked from Billboard charts in six genres (alternative, country, urban), or grouped by theme (“chillout” or “workout”). Additional 1000-song slot cards will be available later this year for $40 apiece.
The device’s touch screen and side buttons enable you to jump between genres and skip songs you don’t like; or you can tune in the built-in FM radio.

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