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10 Useful Gadgets for Connected Teens

This post originally appeared on My Life Scoop, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about using social media and technology for a more connected life.

Knowing what gifts to buy teens can be a tough call — after all, what was such a hit just a few months ago can become a big miss overnight.

A teen-friendly gadget is a good bet, though, as it’s a functional item that will prove useful, and if you’re lucky, even educational.

While we wouldn’t dare to suggest anything as personal as choice of phone, portable media player or even gaming device — no doubt your teenager has clear ideas about what’s cool in those areas — we do have 10 terrific products that are perfect for tech-savvy teens.

Read on for our suggestions and let us know any other gadgets you’d recommend for the connected teen in the comments box below.

1. LaCie Skwarim Portable Hard Drive

A portable hard drive comes in very handy for teens who work across multiple computers at school and home. It offers a great way to back up important school work and is a useful way to carry around media files. The compact LaCie Skwarim adds that extra bit of spunk that other devices don’t have, and it provides 60GBs of on-the-go storage.

Cost: $99.99

2. Sony Bloggie Touch

The Bloggie Touch makes posting photos and video to YouTube (YouTube), Facebook (Facebook), Picasa (Picasa) and Flickr (Flickr) a breeze, while the full 1080p HD video recording resolution and the 12.8-megapixel camera should ensure the content is great quality. The flip-out USB arm for uploading and charging is a nice touch and it renders the inevitable lost cables a non-issue.

Cost: From $179.99

3. Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

As more and more books are getting digitized, the Amazon Kindle can offer a solution to carting around tons of heavy tomes. And if the eBook platform excites your teen enough to want to dip into some literature too, then that can only be a good thing, right?

Cost: $139

4. Cinemin Swivel Portable Projector

This super-fun solution will enable your teen to share slide-shows, video and other media from iPods, iPhones, PSPs, digital cameras, portable DVD players, netbooks, smartphones and more. It’s capable of projecting a 60-inch image from eight feet away, perfect for creating a movie theater feel in your own home.

Cost: Around $300

5. Creative D100 Portable Bluetooth Speakers

It’s fairly safe to say that all teens like music and with these colorful speakers from Creative, they can enjoy it without the wires. The D100 can stream music from Bluetooth (Bluetooth)-enabled devices, as well as play audio from other wired devices via an aux-in port. It can run for up to 25 hours of non-stop music on four AA batteries.

Cost: $79.99

6. Logitech HD Webcam C310

Compatible with all the major video chat software, this tidy webcam offers 720p high-def video, giving your teen the ability to grab decent-sized stills, alongside some clever tech to help enhance audio and visual quality. After recording, it features one-click uploading to the likes of Facebook and YouTube, while younger teens may enjoy the bundled special effects such as neon splashes and fish-eye distortions.

Cost: $49.99

7. Parrot Minikit Slim Speakerphone

While most parents try and be reasonable about the various health scares that hit the headlines, sometimes you can’t help thinking there might be some truth in the argument that radiation from phones affects young brains. A speakerphone should help rest your mind at ease during those many hours your teen spends on a cellphone. It also gives teens a fun, flexible way to chat to their friends and can be used in a car as a hands-free solution.

Cost: $99.99

8. Sony ICD-UX200 Digital Voice Recorder

We can’t all pay attention 100% of the time. If your teen isn’t a good note-taker, or is someone who absorbs knowledge best after hearing it twice, a digital voice recorder to record classes and lectures could really help them out with school work. It also doubles as a fun recording device for any budding musicians.

Cost: $99.95

9. Panasonic RP-HTX7 Headphones

A quality pair of headphones will perform better at lower volumes, meaning your teen will not be forced to turn the music up too loud. These old school Panasonic headphones come in various cool colors, and with the size, you can be sure your teen won’t get away with listening to them in class.

Cost: $59.99

10. Chumby One

It’s hard to describe the Chumby. Think of it as an ultra-connected alarm clock. It’s a box for your teen’s bedside table that boasts 1,500 widgets to bring news, weather, podcasts, music, games and more via your Wi-Fi network. And let’s face it, one more alarm in the morning to try and get your teen out of bed really isn’t going to hurt…

Cost: $119.95

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