Julie’s Christmas Ideas and Wish List

It’s Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when crazy shoppers (you know who you are) flock to stores to buy holiday presents for friends and family. Some of the team here at The Gadgeteer thought we’d get together and offer some gift ideas for products we love. We also wanted to share our own wish lists just in case Santa is reading this. We’ll start with mine and post another team member’s list each day.

Great gift ideas for your favorite Gadgeteer

1. Apple iPad

The iPad is probably my favorite gadget of all time (at least at the time of this writing). The battery life is stellar and all the apps will keep you entertained, informed and amused. I love it for surfing my favorite sites, emailing, reading news, magazines and playing games. Angry Birds anyone?

An iPad isn’t an inexpensive gift, but if you can afford to buy one for someone, you’ll probably hit a home run this year ;)

The price of the iPad ranges from $499 – $829 depending on capacity and if you opt for the 3G version. I just went with wifi.

2. Waterfield Wallet

I reviewed the Waterfield wallet back in 2005, and I’m still using the same wallet to this day. I have the leather version, which costs $25. It still looks almost as new as the day they sent it to me. One of the reasons why I like it so much is because it can hold a little or a lot.  If you do decide to stuff it full, it zips it up, so nothing falls out. I’ve even used it to hold my money, credit cards and an iPhone.

3. Eye-Fi SD Cards

If someone on your gift list has a digital camera that uses an SD card, do them a favor and make their life way easier by buying them an Eye-Fi SD card. I love these things and can’t imagine going back to the days where I would snap pictures, pop the card out of my camera, pop it into a card reader and copy the files to my computer’s hard drive. Why go through all those steps when the Eye-Fi card will do it for you automatically using WiFi. They are fast, easy to use and save you time.

Prices range from $49.99 to $149.99 depending on capacity and features.

What’s on my Santa list…

1. Apple MacBook Air

Ever since my vacation to Sanibel, Florida in October, when I tried to force the iPad to become my laptop, I’ve been thinking about buying an ultra portable computer. I don’t travel that often and already have a unibody MacBook Pro, but that hasn’t stopped me from lusting after the new MacBook Air. I’ve come up with a plan to get one that doesn’t require any help from the Red jacketed present fairy though. Sorry Santa. I’m going to trade in an older 24 inch iMac (White Lucite version) and an equally older MacBook Pro with PowerMax to get credit.

2. Gadgeteer worthy flashlight

I’ve been a little obsessed lately with looking at EDC (every day carry) sites, which is makes me want to update all my pocket / gear bag tools.  I want a really cool small LED flashlight for my gear bag that runs on one AAA or AA alkaline battery. I’d rather it have a tail cap power switch instead of the type that where you turn the top (AKA Ghost Hunter’s spirit talking device) to power it on. If any of you would like to offer me advice on which flashlight I should get, please speak up.

3. Gadgeteer worthy pens and pencils

I recently started writing a daily journal again. I splurged on some Moleskine notebooks and Rhodia webbies and now would like to get my hands on (literally) some really nice pens and pencils for writing and drawing. I’ve even considered trying a fountain pen, but am not sure I want to deal with the whole ink filling issue. Again, advice is definitely welcome here.

There you have it, a few ideas and a few wishes from yours truly. When it comes down to it, the holidays shouldn’t be about ‘stuff’, but about having fun and sharing good times with your family and friends. We all know that gadgets and gifts aren’t necessary, but they sure can make things more fun. Happy Holidays everyone! :)

Posted in: Articles, Miscellaneous

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Gordon November 26, 2010, 11:42 am

    re flashlight: it’s not a single AAA type (it uses three AAAs), but I think the Nebo Redline is pretty neat, and may be suitable for your EDC. Amazingly bright with five modes (100%, 50%, 10%, SOS, and strobe) all controlled by a tail cap switch that also glows in the dark and has a magnet.

  • Nick November 26, 2010, 12:29 pm

    For a flashlight I would go with something from 4 sevens preon series, proven lights more than capable for edc and as a bonus you can get a titanium version
    For a Pen i would try benchmade’s pen series, solid aluminum construction and it takes fisher space pens

  • Adam November 26, 2010, 1:10 pm

    Hi Julie,

    The Zebralight SC51 is the top of the heap in single-AA flashlights right now. The brightness and runtimes are amazing (200 lumens for 0.9 hours on high, for example). Zebralight’s side-clicky user interface is also superior:

    http://www.zebralight.com/SC51-Flashlight-AA-200Lm_p_43.html

    The factory is out of stock, but you might find one at a dealer.

    good luck,

    Adam

  • Dan November 26, 2010, 6:56 pm

    Fountain pen is what you’re looking for. Makes for a unique writing experience; and if you use disposable cartridges, it is the same as replacing the ink in a bic. You have to take your time and find the right one, however; so don’t be in a hurry ……

  • Tetsubo November 27, 2010, 8:08 am

    For a LED flashlight that won’t break the bank I would look at an Inova. I have also found that I like the Nite-Ize LED conversion kit for a standard MagLight 2 AA cell model. It has a butt-cap switch. You might also just check out a local target. They often have some decent LED flashlights. They used to carry a River Rock model that I love. Wish I had bought more than one. I like flashlights.

    While Benchmade makes an awesome pen, I think it is vastly overpriced. I recently bought a Smith& Wesson tactical pen off of Amazon for $23.

  • Larry November 27, 2010, 5:38 pm

    Thought I wanted a fountain pen, so I acquired several over the years…never use them – too much trouble. The Namiki Pilot with ink cartridge and retractable is a pretty good option. I am now sold on rollerballs in a Retro 51 case with machined knurled retractor

  • Top Toys for Christmas November 27, 2010, 8:26 pm

    I love the idea of having an iPad, but am waiting for the next generation. There are a few improvements I would like to see. As for #3 (the Eye-Fi SD card), where have I been?! I didn’t even know those things existed. I will definitely be picking one up soon.

  • Julie November 27, 2010, 11:17 pm
  • Dave Wise November 28, 2010, 8:54 am

    You could check out some of the reviews I do for good flashlight ideas. Some basic guidelines though, I’d stay away from 3xAAA lights since they usually don’t have quality electronics regulating their output. Pay close attention to the user interface of the light before you try it to see how you think you’d like it. Some lights have a really confusing UI. I have found myself recommending the Sunwayman M10A lately to people looking for a good EDC. It’s a new company that looks very promising. You can find them at batteryjunction.com

  • Jeff November 29, 2010, 4:53 am

    Re flashlight: you should look into the 4sevens Quark Mini123 S2 (http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php?cPath=297_416&products_id=2489)
    I love mine. Its compact and really really powerful for such a small package!

  • Raph84 November 29, 2010, 9:32 am

    For a flashlight recommendation, you may want to take a look at Fenix lights. They are cheaper than the 4sevens, but the quality is fairly decent for the price point.

    I have a tk-11 which is way more flashlight than you are looking for, but it has been super durable and easy to throw in my edc bag. Their clicky AA light is the LD10 and looks pretty nice

  • Andrew November 30, 2010, 7:19 am

    Fountain pen for sure! Get a vintage one! I have lots of them. To get started try these sites:
    http://Www.pentrace.com — check out the marketplace to purchase
    http://Www.richardspens.com — this guy does custom nibs and stuff and also sells some restored pens.

    The way fountain pen ink looms ons moleskin paper can’t be beat. I generally use a medium blue on mine.

  • Steve November 30, 2010, 5:52 pm

    just a quick comment about LED flashlights …
    on the one hand, they provide crisp, even, powerful illumination …
    on the other hand, it is very easy to get one that is too powerful for your needs.
    – if you need general illumination such as lighting up a dark room, car, or backyard then go for the power
    – but if you need to see small details in close quarters you might be better off with an incandescant light …

    just a thought
    Steve

  • Adam November 30, 2010, 7:38 pm

    Steve, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you.

    How often does one say “darn it, too much light”? Not often, I’ll bet (“darn it, this computer has too much RAM!”).

    If your LED is too bright, use one of the lower levels, and enjoy fantastic battery life instead.

  • Steve November 30, 2010, 9:48 pm

    Adam, I use a multi-level LED light at work and often find that it casts too harsh a light when illuminating reflective surfaces such as aluminum. To get around this, I’ve fashioned a snap-on neutral density filter which does help quite a bit.
    But I still also carry a small incandescant light as well.
    – and yes, I like a ton of light too at times … for that, I have a special 2 cell (lithium) LED light that puts out 242 lumens – it lights up my 1/4 acre backyard like a bonfire!

  • Jaime November 8, 2011, 3:30 am

    The SD card is close to what i am looking for. Considering that as a gift for the kids this xmas. Nice list. Thanks Adam!

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