This page is to detail alternatives to electronic dictionaries.
Smartphones are your best bet for an alternative to an electronic dictionary. With the touch screen interface, many dictionary apps will allow you to enter kanji by drawing it out - absolutely essential when you don't know the reading for it and therefore can't type it out in hiragana.
There are different apps for the different operating systems but whether you are android or iphone, you can probably get similar features you would have in a great electronic dictionary that would cost hundreds of dollars for just a few by downloading a dictionary app. There might even be free ones, but don't expect them to be full featured.
Internet Accessible Options
Google translate is a great place to go when you need a word or two translated, and you happen to be on a computer with internet.
If you just want kanji translated, this kanji converter is a great alternative to google, and in some circumstances, even better.
The Nintendo DS is a great alternative because you can get all the great features of an electronic dictionary, and it is cheaper.