If your dad's anything like ours, he probably doesn't need as much help with his gadgets as you think. But he still needs someone to buy him the damn things, and that's where you and your strapping young wallet come into play. Maybe you've got some ideas in mind already for the latest additions to his power tool collection, but we've got a few selections to help you help him get his geek on, Engadget style.
$0 - $100
Oregon Scientific's Crystal Weather Station
- Got a dad that's perpetually wondering if the weather's right for a round of 18? What about one's that obsessed with the slickness of his clocks and paperweights? If you answered yes to either of the above, this one's a no-brainer. Oh, and even if he hates it (not that he will) you can always plant it on your desk, instead. Then again, we say that about every gadget we recommend.
$99.99 - Shop for Crystal Weather Station
SATA HDD Stage Rack
- Picking up an external HDD for pops is so played out. This year, show him you really do
care with the SATA HDD Stage Rack. What multitasking hard drive-swapping father wouldn't appreciate the enormous amount of utility and convenience stuffed into this thing?
$46.79 - Buy from GeekStuff4U
Eye-Fi Wireless 2GB SD card
- Granted, we didn't find
the Eye-Fi to be perfect, but that's not to say your padre won't be thoroughly pleased to find one addressed to him. And hey, we totally understand if you're downright tired of getting a phone call each time he tries to upload a new batch, but handing him this sure beats fessing up to the truth.
$99.99 - Shop for Eye-Fi
Noteworthy Mention: JVC's HA-NC80 noise-canceling headphones
$101 - $250
SanDisk Sansa TakeTV 8GB
- Your dad's down with downloadable video? Really? Well then, make sure he gets a high five and a hug when you hand 'em that swiftly wrapped box with a TakeTV inside, a digital media adapter that's actually easy enough for the 'rents. Of course, whether or not his other housemates will appreciate your encouragement of his TV domination is another matter entirely, but we're pretty sure that's the least of his worries.
$143.99 - Shop for TakeTV 8GB
Hawking HomeRemote system
- Your papa just may not be able to shake that controlling demeanor, but thankfully you can channel that habit into something a bit more productive with Hawking's HomeRemote system. And before he asks, yes, you can indeed login and play dictator from any web browser on the planet.
Around $180 - Shop for HomeRemote
JVC HA-NC250 noise-canceling headphones
- Ever wonder how he puts up with taking flack from everyone in earshot? If not, it's about time you started sympathizing. Show a little compassion by bestowing these noise-canceling cans upon him. Just make sure you pick up a AAA cell to bundle in -- no one likes battery shopping on holidays.
$199.99 - Shop for HA-NC250
Nikon Coolpix S51c
- This sexy shooter just slipped down into your price range, and we've got a sneaking suspicion your old man would be delighted if you took advantage and picked one up for him. The 8.1-megapixel sensor and integrated WiFi are surefire winners, and the expansive 3-inch LCD monitor should be plenty large even for his aging eyes. We just wouldn't recommend you phrase it that way when presenting the thing to him.
$239.95 - Shop for Nikon S51c
$251 - $500
- Bestsellers? Check. Free EV-DO wireless connectivity? Check. Glorious-70s-white aesthetic that'll make give him a wishy washy way back when smile? Maybe. If you're feeling that pop's gonna need some paperless reading distraction over the holidays then Amazon's Kindle may be just the ticket. Featuring a store packed with some 88,000 books, access to news, blogs ("What the hell's a blog?"), newspaper subscriptions, and even magazines, we have a feeling this thing already sold itself.
$399 - Buy from Amazon
1TB hard drive
- Nothing says I love you like a cool 1,099,511,627,776 bytes of storage for whatever digital media makes his blessed old heart sing. Seagate, Hitachi, and Western Digital all have you covered for internal drives and external options can be found from the likes of Iomega, LaCie, etc.. Of course, if you ask yourself if he needs storage for 350,000 MP3s the answer may be no, but, if you ask him, we're pretty sure you're gonna get the big thumbs-up.
$350+ - Shop for 1TB drives
- The AT&T Tilt (aka HTC TyTN II) features what a dad needs: HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, quad-band GSM for international roaming, Bluetooth, GPS, and the screen frickin' tilts. If your Dad's a cellphone geek -- or just aspires to be one, like his kid (read: you) -- there is just no better place to get started then at the very top of the Windows Mobile world. Just think, he'll never have to stop to ask directions again. Speaking of which...
$299 (on contract) -- Buy from AT&T
$501 - $1000
TomTom GO 920 T
- Look, we're not saying dads constantly get lost. But, like, all of ours do. Which is why you want to hook him up with a little something featuring, say, a 4.3-inch screen, "Enhanced Positioning Technology" -- an accelerometer that helps out when your connection drops -- 4GB of internal memory, and even a Bluetooth remote. Like the GO 920 T, for example. Now, thanks to you, your father will never again get lost on the way to a family gathering -- be that for good or bad.
$595 - Shop for TomTom GO 920 T
The ultimate flight sim kit
- If your dad's a jet pilot (or still has aspirations), he'll know that to get the job done in the flight sim world -- both bombing and landing -- you need quality gear. None of that kid's stuff. We've decided that by pairing CH Fighterstick Pro, Pro Throttle, Pro Pedals, Saitek Independent Flight Sim LCDs, and other like products, his buddies will be calling him Maverick faster than his wingman can pull a failed ejection.
Starting at $100 per - Shop for CH products
Teac GF-650 Vinyl-to-CD kit
- If your dad's Dylan and Zep vinyl is simply gathering dust and taking up space, here's a chance to bring him into the new millennium with ease. The Teac GF-650 not only packs a retro turntable look, AM / FM Radio, and wireless remote, it'll also transfer his old tunes to CD with nary a hassle. Plus, by rounding out the bundle with a few hundred printable CDs, he'll be down in the basement converting his collection well into the new year -- and maybe even next.
$400 + shipping - Shop for Teac GF-650
$30 per hundred CDs - Shop for printable media
Dell Latitude XT
- Sturdy enough to take a beating, tablet-y enough to impress his pals, and expensive enough to show the full extent of your gratitude, the capacitive touchscreen on this bad boy will make a convert out of him yet. C'mon, do it for the old bastard -- he bailed you out of juvie for underage drinking and didn't even tell mom, remember?
Starts at $2500 - Buy from Dell in the very near future (ships before Christmas)
Optimus Maximus Keyboard -- Impressing Zeus can be complicated (just ask Hercules), but we're sure the god of keyboards is a winner. 113 fully customizable keys with their own 32 x 32 OLED can make the perfect keyboard as complex or simple as your patriarch would prefer. He won't question whether it was irresponsible to spend this much on an input device, but will instead applaud you for your forward thinking by ordering in advance. You did pre-order, right?
$1,536 - Pre-order from Art Lebedev
Steelcase Walkstation - Dad hasn't taken a break in years, and the Steelcase Walkstation can help keep the streak going. The man just needs to figure out that last step -- keeping in shape while he gets his work done -- and everyone's happy. Except us, after he creates a blogging empire and we are crushed under his incredibly-efficient and well-trained thumb.
$6,500 - Call Steelcase (800-333-9939)