By The Kiplinger Washington Editors November 8, 2010 Best tech gadgets Smartest ways to read, phone, view and store. 1. What weighs 8.5 ounces and holds 3,500 books? The Kindle, of course, Amazon's slender e-reader that manages to stay a step ahead of a growing list of competitors. Not only does the latest Kindle feature a higher-contrast screen than its predecessor, it costs less, too: $139 for the Wi-Fi model; $189 for the 3G cellular edition. 2. Data backups don't have to be dull. Iomega's line of eGo Portable Hard Drives bring attitude to your archive. Featuring eye-grabbing cases with funky designs, an eGo drive brings you an extra-large, 500 gigabytes of storage for $120. 3. The Motorola Droid X ($200 with a two-year Verizon Wireless contract) leads in a crowded field with its dazzling 4.3-inch touch screen and excels as a portable media player for Web videos and Verizon's VCast shows. The 8-megapixel camera shoots sharp still shots and high-def videos. 4. Apple's multitalented media player, the iPod Touch (8GB model, $230; 32GB, $300; 64GB, $400), keeps getting better. The latest model adds two cameras: a front-facing one for video chat and a rear-facing eye for shooting HD videos and still pictures. Advertisement Best cell plans, with and without a contract Wal-Mart Family Mobile is a no-contract plan that's a good deal for families seeking low-cost wireless service, or for individuals who'd rather talk and text than surf the Web. Unlimited calling and texting is $45 a month on T-Mobile's network. New users can download 100 megabytes of data, which can be shared among family members. Additional lines are $25 each. Some cell-phone plans will “nickel-and-time” you with sneaky usage fees, but Sprint's Simply Everything plan has no surprises. For $70 a month, you get unlimited calling mobile to mobile (and 450 minutes for daytime mobile-to-landline calls), plus unlimited text and data for Web browsing, video streaming and music downloads. The deal requires a two-year contract (naturally). Customers whose phones use Sprint’s new and faster 4G network pay a $10 surcharge for unlimited data with no monthly cap.