Flip MinoHD ($229.00; theflip.com)
There's plenty of competition out there in the ultra-compact video recorder market these days, but the Flip still takes the prize for being easiest to use. Just have her turn it on, press the big red button on the back, and bam, she's recording 720p HD video. Playback is just as simple. There are no tapes, discs, memory cards, or even cords to fuss with; just press a button and a USB jack pops out. Plug it into a computer and her video will be transferred safely to her PC. And if you've set up a YouTube or FaceBook account for her, she can post her video online with just a couple of clicks. Or she can rock it old school and just plug the Flip into her TV using the included A/V cable. Order a skinnable Flip MinoHD and you can even customize it with a permanent picture; perhaps a family photo or her name in a heart. There's no simpler way to bring mom into the age of digital HD video.
TomTom EASE ($129.99; futureshop.ca)
The name says it all. TomTom's budget navigator (in patriotic red and white) is probably the most accessible dedicated GPS on the market. Its proprietary Easy Menu system employs a simple selection of intuitive icons presented on a bright and clear 3.5-inch touch display. Your mom just needs to tap in an address and the EASE will lead her to her destination turn-by-turn with spoken instructions, taking into account traffic, time of day, and user history. Meanwhile, Tele Atlus' reliable and up-to-date maps of Canada and the United States will make sure she stays on track. And should she run into trouble along the way, she just has to tap Help Me! to call up a list of nearby car repair shops, hospitals, and other services. Plus, she can take it with her wherever she goes, in car or out; tipping the scales at a feathery 173 grams, the device-car mount and all-fits easily not just in purses, but also jacket pockets.
Toshiba CV100 720p HD TV with built-in DVD player ($419.99 for a 22-inch model; bestbuy.ca)
Sometimes unemployed sons really need to play Halo in the middle of the afternoon. That can be a problem when mom is watching Oprah on the big screen. The solution? This small and inexpensive high-definition LCD TV from Toshiba. The lightweight panel weighs just five kilograms, making it easy to move around and set up in the bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen. HDMI, component, AV, RF, and PC inputs allow for the connection of a variety of devices, and a slot loading DVD player will let her get cracking on that eight-season collector's pack of CSI you picked up for her last Christmas. Here's the thing, though: If you want to be a really good son you should probably let her stay in the living room and use this TV to frag your buddies (it does have a gaming mode, after all). Even better, you could get a job, move out, and leave her in peace. That might be the best Mother's Day present of all.