T-shirts and umbrellas are the first things that come to mind when you think of promotional products. But there's a new breed of high-tech giveaways that is more likely to make an impression with clients and prospects. We tested a variety of gadgets to find those that look good -- and actually work. Here are our top picks.
Custom-Shaped USB Drive
CustomUSB can turn just about any concept, including the Voltron character below, into a custom-shaped drive made of materials such as rubber, metal, and wood.
COST: $1,300 for each design, then $10 and up per drive customusb.com
Pictures and video looked crisp and vivid on this 7-inch frame, which has two speakers in the back. The frame comes with a remote control and has 128 MB of memory, enough to store about 40 photos, plus a memory card slot.
COST: $127 each for 25, plus a $55 setup charge 4imprint.com
Grass Charging Station
Secure prime desktop real estate with this charging station, which cushions gadgets on a bed of artificial grass. Charging cables, not included, run through holes in the bottom.
COST: $31.44 each for 25, plus a $62.50 setup fee iaspromotes.com
A pricier gift for VIP clients, the pocket-size Flip records up to two hours of high-definition video. Add a company logo to the camera, at no extra charge, using Flip's easy-to-use online design tool.
COST: $199 and up; contact Flip for quantity discounts theflip.com
Wingman Travel Speakers
These speakers, which connect to most smartphones and MP3 players with an included cable, sounded better than the others we tested, providing thumping bass during an Arcade Fire song.
COST: $8.67 each for 36, plus a $65 setup fee bestpromotions.com