The Friday after Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US, but my Christmas shopping is well underway – and sometimes finished – by that day. I start thinking about good gift ideas for all my friends and family at the beginning of the new year, and I’ve found many great gift ideas right here on The Gadgeteer. Check out my ideas (and my own wish list) after the jump!
Of course, you can imagine that the new Sony PRS-650 Touch Edition ebook reader is topping my list of great gifts this year. I think any avid reader on your gift list would love to have an ebook reader. How else would they be able to carry a thousand or so books in their bags or pockets? The PRS-650 Touch Edition is currently $229.99 at Sony Style.
A programmable universal remote control is a great gift for anyone with a TV and disc player or a more complex home theater setup. I reviewed the Logitech Harmony 600 remote this year, and I found it very easy to program and use. You can control up to five units with the Harmony 600. Programming is easy – just hook it up to your computer and use the setup program to select your devices from the thousands in their database. If somehow your device isn’t there, the Harmony 600 can learn commands from your current remote. Best of all, you don’t have to try to remember key mappings because the little screen shows commands that don’t have a dedicated key on the remote. You can get the Harmony 600 at Amazon.com for $79.95.
You’ve probably gathered that I’m rather fond of my iPad that my wonderful boss (Julie, of course!) gave me earlier this year. The iPad is a bit heavy and far too slippery for me to use without some sort of case on it. Normally I like book-style cases for my devices, but I found that I didn’t like that style case for the iPad. The Belkin Grip Vue is my daily-use iPad case. It adds very little to the size of the iPad, and it has a “grippy” surface that improves my hold on the iPad. Unlike silicone cases I’ve used, it doesn’t attract lint. It protects against bumps and scratches without detracting from the beauty of the iPad. If some lucky recipient on your gift list this year is getting an iPad, throw in a Belkin Grip Vue. They’ll love it! Amazon.com has the Grip Vue cases for as low as $32 in clear, black, and royal purple.
My absolute favorite addition to my audio/video equipment this year is the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD media player. It opened up a new world of streaming video for me. I can watch Netflix instant-download movies now – even in HD – without all the glitches and interruptions I experienced with the on-demand service offered by my local Time Warner cable provider. The Seagate was easy to install and a snap to get authorized by Netflix. Just throw in some popcorn, and you’ll have the perfect gift for the movie lover and his/her entire family! You can pick one up for $79.99 at Amazon.com.
I’m greedy, so I’ve also been thinking of great gifts for me, too. Naturally, many of the things on my wishlist are gadget-related.
One thing I really want but cannot find is a good laptop desk to replace the rickety little laptop desk I’m using now. I spend hours at my laptop each day, so I need an actual desk, not a lapdesk. It needs to be small, because I use it while sitting on my sofa. Wheels would be nice, so I could roll it out of the way when I’m not using it. Because I’m short, I need to be able to adjust the height of the table, and I’d also like to be able to tilt the tabletop. It needs to have a place for my mouse (because I will NOT use a touchpad). I’ve thought about those convertible coffee tables, but they won’t allow me to adjust the height nor the angle. I’m getting desperate to find something, because I’m afraid the desk I’m using now is going to collapse any minute. Santa, could you have the elves whip up something for me?
I’d like to have a MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot to use with my iPad when we travel, but I don’t want to have a multi-year contract and an expensive monthly plan. The Virgin Mobile pre-paid plans for the MiFi would be great for me. I could pay for data when I want to use it, and I could pay for just the amount of data I’d need for that trip. Virgin sells the MiFi 2200 for $149.99. Data plans are $10 for 10MB/10 day usage period or $40 for unlimited usage in a 30 day period.
The gadget I’ve been pining for this year is the new Apple iPod nano – in red, of course. I have a perfectly good iPod touch (2nd gen), but that little nano is almost irresistible! It has the tiny form-factor, beautiful metallic colors, and the clip from the Shuffle, but it has the tiny touchscreen that makes it much easier to use (in my opinion). I tried one out at the local Apple store, and it’s amazing how responsive and easy to use that tiny little screen is. I don’t even care that you can’t purchase apps for it – I have an iPad to run apps. Santa, maybe you could throw in one of those watch straps so I could even wear the nano on my wrist. Black leather would be nice with the red nano, don’t you think? Apple sells the nano for $149 for the 8GB and $179 for the 16GB.
There you have it – my best suggestions for gifts for the gadget-lover in your life. (And the gadget gifts I’m hoping to find under my non-traditional white tree this year.) What gadget gifts are you pining for? What gadget gifts are you planning to give this year?