If you don't want to spend uber-dollars on a laptop this season, but you have an IM-er in the house, you might want to take a look at other options for them. Zipit's Wireless Instant Messaging system is a neat idea for people in that category.
With audio playback and photo viewing available, you can enjoy a host of fun features this baby has to offer. The Zipit has a few pre-requisites, you must have existing IM accounts (those are free with MSN, Yahoo and AOL/AIM) and a wireless connection either at home or a hotspot abroad. This makes IMing free, with no monthly fee or pay per use bills coming in the mail.
The photo sharing requires a miniSD card for storing, but many digital cameras need those so this would pair up well with one of those. The audio offers Internet Radio or again, the miniSD card for storing your favorite songs. You use the Zipit Wireless site for themes and extras, to help you personalize the screen, and you're ready to chat!