Hot Stuff: Summer Gadget Guide 2011

From an extra-rugged smartphone to the perfect grilling fork, these 10 high-tech toys are ideal for summer.

Casio G'zOne Commando

For summer excursions that involve lots of water and mud, an AAPL)" target="_blank">iPhone -- or any typical smartphone -- is just not going to survive. The Casio G'zOne Commando ($199 with two-year Verizon (VZ) contract) is a rugged Android-powered smartphone that meets the U.S. Department of Defense MIL-STD 810G spec for short drops (about 5 feet), water immersions, contact with mud, exposure to scorching sun and other environmental hazards. (The phone is not meant for swimming, though, and it won't stand up to extreme weight, pressure or impact, such as what it would endure if it were run over by a car.) The real highlights are the included apps -- there's one that shows a compass that rotated accurately as I moved, a temperature indicator and one for checking ocean tide conditions. There's even one that counts your steps on a hike. The G'zOne Commando has an unusually loud speaker for playing music at a campsite, includes a 5-megapixel camera and runs all the typical Android apps. (Angry Birds, anyone?)

Republished with permission from Computerworld.