So you want to get your girl something gadgety for the holidays, but don't quite know what. We've got you covered. In addition to our own thoughtful ideas, we also roped in Engadget-ladyfriends Veronica Belmont
and Jill Fehrenbacher
to make some suggestions and ensure we're not too far off base. (In other words, if you're looking for a totally trite list of pink gadgets you'll want to look elsewhere.) Of course, unlike buying gadgets for dude-friends, you shouldn't expect to pick something from this list and call it a day -- always be prepared to supplement with dinner, some time in the park with a bottle of wine, that shirt she's been dropping not-so-subtle hints about, etc., and you'll do just fine this season.
P.S. -Don't worry about mom though, we'll be covering gift suggestions for her soon enough.
$0 - $100
- Nothing speaks love to that special nerdette in your life better than hacked up gadgetry in the form of jewelry. Ok, well, maybe diamonds, but we're working on a budget here. If she's the earth-loving type, there's plenty of recycled stuff at Acorn Studios; perhaps she's a Mac lover and would dig some PowerBook earrings; then there's always the versatile and purtiful Moi. Whatever your taste, we think there are enough options out there at this point to make it possible to indulge her inner geek's feminine side.
$5+ - Buy at Acorn Studios
$28 - Buy Moi
$60 - Buy from 925works
Nike Plus + Incase Armband
- If she's got an iPod nano and even a mild interest in exercise, you can't go far wrong with the Nike Plus. The device involves a tiny sensor she can use in certain compatible Nike Shoes (or strap on to any shoe with a $5 pouch
) which lets her know how far and fast she's running. Team that up with the iPod for the ultimate motivational tool.
$29 + $29 - Buy from Apple
- Does she have a Wii? Good, well, there's a reason this collection of Wii Sports-esque mini-games continually rocks the sales charts: there's a Wiimote included in the package. Most of the games are fun enough, but the bundle is much more exciting than just buying a plain old Wiimote.
$48 - Buy from Amazon
- The keyboard keys might be a little small, and the phone itself is slightly hobbled by an aging Palm operating system, but there's no denying its draw, and the price can't be beat. If she's looking to take a first stab at a smartphone, the Centro is an undeniable bargain.
$99 - Buy from PalmNoteworthy mention: Ultra TV-B-Gone
(it's for your own good, get your ass off the couch!)
$101 - $250
Western Digital 250GB Passport
- Look, just because it comes in pink doesn't mean you have to buy it in pink. In fact, your ladyfriend might also be interested in 250GB of USB 2.0 portable storage in green, white, red or black -- options are good. However, snagging the pink version prompts an immediate donation from Western Digital to the National Breast Cancer Foundation at no additional cost to you. More giving for less, how can you go wrong?
$199 - WD Passport from Western Digital
- Whether she's your girlfriend, mom, or just a pal, the goddess-of-love-phone should be an option. The LG Venus is an unusual cellphone of undeniable beauty, with one of the best looking UI's we've seen. It also supports up to 8GB of microSD storage for all her 2 megapixel snaps or audio / video files. Hell, if she doesn't get the message you can always keep the phone for yourself.
$199 - LG Venus with 2-year contract from Verizon
$251 - $500
Apple iPod touch
- She's already got the world's tiniest cellphone, so just skip the iPhone this year and slip the iPod touch into her stocking instead. Pre-load it with up to 16GB of photos and videos of the friends 'n family and you'll never have to "drop your Blue Steel" just to win her favor ever again.
$299 (8GB) or $399 (16GB) - iPod touch from Apple
Panasonic Lumix FX33
- Look, she doesn't need one of those new 12 megapixel compact shooters -- very few actually do. But she does need an easy to use, full-featured point-and-shoot -- she shouldn't have to rely on that plastic lensed cameraphone to capture life's surprises. We were actually a little surprised to hear the Lumix has become the camera line du jour for sophisticated women-folk (especially since it's also the one we've been rocking for a while now), so why not wrap up a camera with an 8 megapixel sensor, optical image stabilization, and a quality DC Vario-Elmarit lens for the lady in your life this holiday season?
$249+ - Shop for FX33
- Just because the UN has defined use of Tasers as torture
doesn't mean she shouldn't be packing some electrical heat for self defense. Besides, if she ever has to use the thing chances are whomever gets the buzz had it coming (unlike that U of F student, anyway), torture or not. Just hope she never turns this thing on you.
$350 - Shop for Taser C2
Sanyo Xacti VPC-E1
- Okay, it's not high def, but as our girlfriend tells us, "It's cute, easy to use, comes in lots of colors, and is waterproof. You know, just in case
." In case of what, we have no idea, but she's definitely got a point. If you're looking to go high def and don't need water resistance, check out the HD700.
$450 - Sanyo Xacti VPC-E1
Dell SP2008WFP 20-inch monitor (with webcam)
- It's not enough just to dole out some additional screen real-estate, take her monitor to the next level with at 20-incher that not only has a gamer-friendly 2ms response time, 2,000:1 contrast ratio, and USB hub, but also a webcam so you two can easily video conference whenever you're away.
Under $300 - Buy at DellNoteworthy mention: Noon Solar bags
$501 - $1000
Colorware that gadget
- Sure, you could get your her a regular, let's say iPhone, this holiday season with the confidence she'll be reasonably excited -- but wouldn't you rather turn up with something a little more unique? Enter Colorware's custom paint jobs -- for only a hair more than stock price, they'll do up an iPod, iPhone, game console, select laptops, and other gadgets in all sorts of color combinations colors. Word to the wise, get your order in before November 30th if you're aiming to have this thing under the tree this year. Second word to the wise, take a look in her wardrobe and find something that will go well with her most frequently worn colors. Unless she idolizes Paris Hilton you can (and probably should) avoid pink.
$549 - iPhone from Colorware
TiVo HD and lifetime subscription or 3-year plan
- Truly a gift that keeps on giving... to both of you. If the woman in your life is trying to get caught up on her TV and loves quiet nights at home, this is might be just the thing. For a low entry fee, you get the brand-spanking-new TiVo HD -- and if she already has one (or a Series2), another few hundies nabs you a lifetime of uninterrupted viewing pleasure. For first-timer TiVoers, you'll be able to lock in 3-years of service for a slightly lower sum. Finally, you two can get up to speed on Dexter
without having to rearrange your calendars.
$299.99, plus service plans - Shop for TiVo HD
- If she's got an eye for photography, you probably can't miss with the Nikon D40X. Delivering ten-megapixel shots with an ISO up to 3200 ain't too shabby, plus you can get really friendly with a wide variety of lenses, a fact which we think she'll appreciate. Bonus: at the current MSRP, this won't exactly rip your wallet to shreds either.
$629.99+ - Shop for the Nikon D40X
- File this one under gifts for her for yourself if you must, but if you just can't take another rerun of Sex and the City (you really don't know what you're missing, bro!), a second TV for the office or bedroom can be a life (or relationship) saver. If you're just not sure where to start, Vizio
is a great jump-off point
.Shop for budget HDTVs
Whirlpool centralpark Connect refrigerator
- We know that a woman's place isn't in the kitchen, but we all spend some time there, and she wouldn't want just any fridge, would she? The stainless steel finish and ample storage space should be a lovely complement to the rest of your tricked out kitchen, and the price tag isn't exactly exorbitant, either. However, the "centralpark" interchangeable connectivity with DAPs, phones, CD / DVD players, and digital photo frames will definitely make food preparation slightly more exciting -- unless she really, really gets into peeling carrots.
$1,999 - Shop for the GD5VVAXTY centralpark connect refrigerator
- If you're looking to prove your undying devotion and love for the girl in your world, the new crop of Santa Rosa-fied MacBooks wouldn't be a bad place to start. We needn't bore you with the details of how this 13-inch, dual-bootin', Leopard-running white or black laptop will make you look like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (or at least some kind
of prince), but we can assure you it will nab at least one serious smooch come gift-giving time.
$1,099+ - MacBook from Apple
Sony VAIO TZ ultraportable laptop
- If she's more of a PC kind of gal, this is most assuredly the place to turn your attention. For the Windows-centric woman who must have it all, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more exciting option. With a petite form factor, an 11.1-inch display, a slew of colors, and a generous selection of robust configurations, there's sure to be something here she'll go bonkers for... and we can almost guarantee you won't mind having this around the apartment, either. Just don't blame us when you can't pull her away from WoW.
$2,099+ - Sony VAIO TZ
Vertu Ascent "Strawberry" and "Cream"
- When you're ready to break the bank, go all out, and truly show your love for the woman in your life (or at least put your obsession on display), Vertu's Ascent "Cream" and "Strawberry" models will say it all for you. The high-high-end designer cell phones don't necessarily have more features than your typical model, but your typical model isn't made from brushed stainless steel, leather, and ceramic -- is it? Did we mention the included concierge service? Yeah, with a price-tag like this, she'll definitely know you care.
€8,000+ - Shop for the Vertu Ascent