"Note to self: Buy jacket with extra pockets to hold voice recorder, PDA, cell phone..." That's a voice memo from my digital recorder, circa 2001. Okay, not really--but my point is that stand-alone voice recorders were yet another digital device to carry around. No wonder they've gone the way of the PDA (see below). Dirt-cheap recorders such as the $29 Sony ICD-BX800 and the $54 Olympus VN-8100PC persist, but a smartphone with an app like the free RecForge Free (for Android) or the $2 Voice Record (for iPhone) is the sensible choice for any pocket-challenged gadget lover.
Portable GPS Navigation Devices
Why buy a separate GPS device for your car when your smartphone can perform the same tasks? Portable navigation hardware from major GPS players such as Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom are have grown more powerful and more affordable, but GPS-enabled smartphones deliver similar functionality. Interestingly, GPS vendors may be contributing to the demise of their portable devices by offering apps like Garmin's StreetPilot, which provides turn-by-turn directions for smartphone users. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)