Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Extreme Tech - Extreme Sports Athlete's Tech Gadgets

Extreme Tech - Extreme Sports Athlete's Tech Gadgets

Do you know Tony Hawk? He's cemented in the skateboard extreme sports history as the most famous guy to ever ride a skateboard, let's take a peek at his gadgets favorites and the technology in his pockets and desktop

Tony Hawk: Skateboard superstar, entrepreneur, philanthropist, gadget geek. Find out what tech toys this frequent traveler and tech enthusiast uses to keep himself in touch while he’s on the go.

Extreme Tech (© Tony Hawk)

Tony Hawk, tech aficionado
Tony Hawk may be the world’s premier skateboarder, but he’s also an avowed tech enthusiast. When he’s not doing 900s, stalefishes or 360 varial mctwists, he’s checking out the latest technology. Though the video games that bear his name are best-sellers, technology is not just a professional interest. Electronic gadgets have been a lifelong passion. When MSN Tech & Gadgets spoke with Hawk recently, he talked at length about his current gear and hinted at his wish list for the future. So, if you were Tony Hawk, what tech would you require?

Extreme Tech // Sony AVCHD camcorder (Image Courtesy © Sony)

Sony AVCHD camcorder
Hawk shoots a lot of his own video for His camera of choice: a Sony AVCHD camcorder, the HDR-SR7. He likes the fact that his camcorder has a 60GB hard drive and that it creates fairly small files. Hawk likes to shoot while he’s skating. “It's also small enough to do handheld shots,” he says. The camcorder’s Super SteadyShot® optical image-stabilization capability keeps images clear even when Hawk is in motion. Featuring Zeiss lenses and a 10x optical zoom, the HDR-SR7 creates a crisp, clear picture that makes you feel like you’re there on the half-pipe with Hawk. Sony has since produced several more models in this line.

Extreme Tech // T-Mobile Sidekick LX (Image Courtesy © T-Mobile)

T-Mobile Sidekick LX
When you’re a globe-trotting skateboard superstar, a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and family man, you’ve got to stay in touch. One way Hawk stays connected is with his T-Mobile Sidekick LX, much more than a mobile phone. Turn it horizontal, slide it open, and you’ve got a high-resolution LCD screen topping a full QWERTY keyboard for sending e-mail, surfing the Web and sending instant messages on most of the major messaging services. A 1.3 megapixel camera with flash allows you to take pictures no matter where you are. And a slim profile lets you slip it into your back pocket without a second thought.

Extreme Tech // MacBook Pro (Image Courtesy © Apple)

2.6 GHz MacBook Pro
Tony Hawk says that for “speed, power, storage and editing capabilities,” the MacBook Pro is his laptop computer of choice. The MacBook Pro contains Intel Core 2 Duo processors that run up to 2.6 GHz, plus full size screens at either 15 or 17 inches (or plug it into the 30-inch Apple Cinema display for a truly epic experience), exactly the tool Hawk needs for editing his own videos. The MacBook Pro offers many features similar to its competitors, and is still portable enough for a frequent traveler looking to keep his load light.

Extreme Tech // iPod (Image Courtesy © Apple)

Where would any of us be without our iPods these days? Hawk didn’t specify which model iPod he takes with him when he travels, but each model offers its own advantages for someone constantly on the go. The iPod classic offers up to 160 GB of storage, which translates to up to 40,000 songs or up to 200 hours of video. Hawk’s interest in video might also point him to the iPod nano, which offers up to five hours of video, with a smaller profile and a lighter body than the classic, making it a little more comfortably portable.

Extreme Tech // Griffin 9781-TRP30BK iTrip FM Transmitter (Image Courtesy © Griffin)

Griffin 9781-TRP30BK iTrip FM Transmitter
Sometimes an iPod just isn’t enough. Among the gear Hawk always travels with is the Griffin iTrip FM transmitter. This small device plugs into your iPod and turns it into a portable radio. The iTrip offers a choice between LX and DX modes, which allows you to adjust your reception for the clearest signal possible under a variety of conditions. And the iTrip is a great way to maximize your iPod on the road, expanding its versatility.

Extreme Tech // Panasonic Lumix camera (Image Courtesy © Panasonic)

Panasonic Lumix camera
Hawk’s current camera is Panasonic’s DMC-LX2, a compact camera that packs a punch. It offers 10.2 megapixel resolution, 4x optical zoom and video, as well as still shooting capability, a nice option to have when he’s not toting his camcorder with him. That kind of versatility works well for a working dad with a tight schedule.

Extreme Tech // Sony PSP (Image Courtesy © Sony)

Sony PSP
Hawk lists the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as one of his must-have gadgets on the road. Not only does it allow him to play games instantly anywhere, he can play music downloaded from his computer, watch movies on universal media disc (UMD , developed by Sony for use with the PSP) or from a memory stick, share photos and play games with other PSP owners via Wi-Fi, among other things. Its 4.3-inch wide LCD screen provides a bright, clear image for playing games and watching video.

Extreme Tech // MacBook Air (Image Courtesy © Apple)

Wish List Topper: The MacBook Air, plus …
When we asked Hawk what was on his tech wish list, it wasn’t a product already on the market. He told us that he’s waiting for a MacBook Air with a bigger hard drive. Currently, the MacBook Air comes with an 80 GB hard drive, apparently not enough for Hawk’s dream laptop requirements. With its 13.3-inch LED screen and full keyboard, and weighing in at only 3 pounds, it’s already a frequent flier’s dream. But given his need for light, portable and -- most important -- powerful technology, it’s easy to see why the MacBook Air of the Future would be Tony Hawk’s ultimate laptop goal.