Smaller is better, thinks every small person, feverishly. And the gadget world goes back and forth on that; smartphones are getting bigger, but tablets seem to be getting smaller. High-end cameras are still huge, but now there are advanced compacts and mirrorless cameras that are nice and small. Here’s a gift guide for the modern-day Napoleon in your life who likes tiny gadgets with tons of power to prove size isn’t everything–or just for anyone who prefers things on the small side.
Click above to launch the photo gallery_
Diana Mini Camera
The Diana Mini will make your lucky giftee’s hands look
huge. It’s hard to explain how tiny the little 35mm toy camera is in person, but Lomography also sells it as a necklace, so, it’s pretty small. It also takes pretty cool photos–dreamy, hazy, a vintage look without using digital filters. $100 with flash,
Game Boy Micro
While we’re on a semi-vintage kick, let’s move next to the Game Boy Micro. Introduced very late in the Game Boy Advance’s lifespan–there had already been the clamshell Game Boy Advance SP–the Micro is actually the very last system to have the “Game Boy” name. And it’s one of the best, too: absolutely minuscule, impeccably designed, and compatible with all Game Boy Advance games. It looks especially small when compared to the gargantuan
Sony PSP Vita or Nintendo 3DS XL. Around $30 on
eBay–don’t buy from Amazon (it costs $120 there!)
Lepai Mini Amp
This tiny, palm-sized amplifier won praise over at
CNET and in its Amazon comments for its startlingly good quality. You buy some speakers– these $30 Daytons are excellent–and plug in your phone or turntable or computer or TV, and all of a sudden you have a pretty serious home theater, all for about 50 bucks. It might be tiny, but it packs a punch. $16,
Korg is my digital piano maker of choice–their piano stuff is simple, doesn’t do a whole lot, but feels right. The MicroPiano is a 61-key digital piano (full-sized keyboards are 88 keys), and the keys aren’t standard size, but a bit smaller than normal. That’s usually a bad sign, but all reviews have said that for “mini keys,” these really are excellent. The speaker is hidden underneath a lid that flips up so the MicroPiano looks like a baby grand’s baby’s baby. You can set it on your lap or on a table and play away–it’s kind of the equivalent of a 3/4-size guitar. Perfect for apartment dwellers.
The Jawbone Jambox is another empowering gadget for small folks–big sound, small package. It’s a tiny tiny wireless speaker–shorter than the base of my palm to my outstretched but small fingers–that sounds
startlingly good. Like, enough to fill a room with detailed, non-distorted, and surprisingly loud music. There’s also a larger version called the Big Jambox, but that’s for big people. The regular Jambox is good enough for small folks–and you’ll be surprised how many situations you’ll find it perfect for. $130,
3M Streaming Pico Projector
3M’s Streaming Projector With Roku is the first pico projector–that means “tiny projector” in some combination of Greek and Dork–that I can actually recommend. It’s small enough to fit in your palm, with a built-in speaker and battery so it’s truly portable. The resolution isn’t high-def, and the lumen count won’t blow your socks off, but it’s incredibly cheap and the quality will definitely surprise you. Maybe the best part is that it comes with a Roku Streaming Stick, which pops right into a compartment on the projector’s back, giving you access to Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Amazon, and hundreds of other apps. Pair it with a Jambox and you’ve got a go-anywhere home theater.
Short, the Book
Short: Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall At All, by John Schwartz, “explores the marketing, psychology, and mythology behind our obsession with height.” It’s mostly for kids–Amazon lists it as appropriate for grade 6 and up–but it’s a fascinating look at what being short can mean for a kid. $10 on Kindle,