Whether they're your boss, cubicle neighbor, IT guy / gal, assistant, consultant, or mail room clerk, they deserve a little something for the holidays. A touch of gift giving at year's end can perk up the dreariest of drones and put a smile on the face of the most tyrannical task-masters. And even if you don't really want to get them something, you might stumble upon that magical key of consumerism that unlocks the door to a promotion, pay-hike, new workstation, or just a little reduction in heat for a few months. Of course, you've gotta pay to play, so we present the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide for colleague -- treat it with respect, it could make 2008 a much smoother ride.
$0 - $100
Logitech's Nano VX - Sit by a fellow (or dame) who's perpetually not leaving their work at the office? Don't you sympathize for those who have to pull out the tethered mouse on the go? Make burning that midnight oil a little easier by blessing them with this oh-so-portable critter, and don't forget to mention that it works outside of Excel, too.
$55 - Shop for Nano VX
Crappy USB gadgets, like a wireless USB missile launcher or USB Ferris Wheel Phone Stand - Spruce up the desk of your unfathomably boring co-worker? Chances are, you won't find something more vivid, useful and downright tacky than your average USB novelty gadget. Just make sure your desk is far, far away if you're not keen on random annoyances.
$35 - Shop for wireless USB Missile Launcher
$27 - Shop for USB Ferris Wheel
WiFi Detector Shirt - Got a colleague that's just as amped up about ubiquitous connectivity as you? Tired of seeing them wear the same threadbare Rush tour shirt from 1972? Whatever your reasons -- and we're sure they're legitimate -- there's really no excuse not to hook someone up with this totally 1337 piece of garb. Unless, of course, you can only afford one. Then things get hairy.
$29.99 - Buy from ThinkGeek
Biometric scanner - Getting your favorite (presumably red) stapler jacked is one thing, but getting your 14-page Word document full of interoffice love letters swiped is a whole 'nother mess. Prevent such catastrophes from ever happening to your favorite cubical dweller with a biometric scanner, but just make sure they have your digital back too, capisce?
Available pretty much everywhere on the cheap
Logitech MX Air wireless mouse - If someone you know at the office is a major control freak, The MX Air may be just the thing they need to maintain some order. Part wireless mouse, part remote control, part Wiimote -- 100% geek porn -- it makes use of embedded MEMS sensors to ensure tight tracking, and the touch sensitive scroll panel, pause / play, and volume buttons will guarantee full dominion over any playlist. Give someone special a chance to micro-manage in style.
$149.99 - Buy from Logitech
Xbox 360 HD DVD player, Blade Runner Ultimate Collector's Edition - We're pretty sure someone in your IT department has an Xbox 360 laying around -- but do they have the el-cheapo HD DVD add-on? If you said no, pay close attention to this combo we've cooked up. First, this is probably the cheapest way to get HD DVD happening for a soon-to-be stoked associate of yours (which your pocketbook will love), and second, what geek wouldn't want this totally killer box set of arguably the greatest sci-fi movie ever made? Right? Right. When you present it to 'em, make sure you get down deep and quote: "He say you Brade Runna."
$199.99, $99.99 - Shop for Xbox 360 HD DVD player, Blade Runner box set
Wacom Bamboo Fun Medium pen tablet - Someone around your office hiding an inner artist? Notice any of your co-workers frantically doodling during meetings? Well, here's just the thing to soothe (or swell) their savage penchant for lewd cartooning -- the Wacom Bamboo Fun Medium tablet. The virtual drawing space comes in a variety of colors, and with four ExpressKeys, the "touch ring" zooming / scrolling controller, a surface akin to actual paper, and compatibility with Macs or PCs, those hilarious depictions of your boss in compromising situations should be getting a lot more detail.
$199 - Buy from Wacom
Noteworthy mention: Zune 80
$251 - $500
Sony Rolly - It's an MP3 player! It's a wireless speaker system! It's a dancing robot! Yeah, that's Sony's Rolly for you, an overpriced bauble whose charm and novelty wear off after about five minutes -- although it does succeed as a shoulder-bag-sized conversation starter at parties. Rolly: the device no one quite understands for the coworker you don't really know.
$351 - Buy from Sony Japan
Herman Miller C2 Climate Control -- You know that guy at the office who tends to sweat a lot and tends not to wear his deodorant, making for a lethal combo during summer months? Well instead of continuing to mock him on your coffee breaks, it would be much more productive to just shell out a few hundred bucks on Herman Miller's C2 Climate Control, a small desktop device that promises to cool, heat, and even filter the micro-climate that is his cubicle.
$300 - Locate dealers at Herman Miller
Sennheiser PXC-450 Noise-Canceling Headphones - The workplace can actually be a pretty rowdy environment, especially if you work for one of those fast-and-loose Web 2.0 companies, so the one or two people who actually do want to get something done are often foiled by the unruly mob. Well, you can help those diligent workers keep their sanity while also keeping them from tattling on you to the boss with Sennheiser's PXC-450 noise-canceling headphones, a pricey pair of cans that feature second-generation Noise Guard technology and a bundled airplane adapter so Danny Diligent may be inclined to beef up his road trip schedule. (Of course, if you'd rather just buy yourself something nice with that scratch, JVC makes some cheaper more giftable phones, too.)
$450 - Shop for Sennheiser PXC-450
$501 - $1000
Data Robotics Drobo - Your colleagues might've outgrown the robots of childhood, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't love a robot to keep a close eye on their data. Drobo is designed keep all your bits in one redundant, hot-swappable virtualized file store. Meaning your particularly clutzy office mate can finally stop worrying about a drive head crash deleting his latest copy of the TPS report.
$496 + cost of drives - Shop for Drobo
BenQ MP612 projector - The 800 x 600 resolution won't make for the greatest movie nights at the office, but the 2,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,500 ANSI lumens will do wonders for making your colleague's presentations pop. There's also a built-in speaker for blasting all that motivational music that no PowerPoint should be without.
$700-ish - Shop for BenQ MP612
HTC Advantage - Got a featurephone junkie on your hands? If they're the type that can't fit their "handheld" computer into their pocket anyways, you can't do much damage with the HTC Advantage. It's the "all that and the kitchen sink" of smartphones, and they'll have office gadget supremacy for a solid month or so before the HTC Shift hits.
$900 - Shop for HTC Advantage
Moller M200G hovercar - Toyota would like you to believe that the only suitable vehicle for gifting during the holiday seasons is a Lexus wrapped in an oversize bow, but since successful folks like yourselves probably already park among numerous luxury vehicles at the office, something a little less mainstream is required. Enter the Moller M200G volantor, a 100MPG "hovercar" that cruises 10 feet above the ground and promises to make short work of that normally painful commute. Work in a downtown metropolis with limited parking? No problem: Moller also offers a version capable of docking with skyscrapers.
$90,000.00 - Buy from Moller
Dell XPS M1330 - Let's face it, the notebooks that most companies distribute to their employees can most accurately be described as craptops: they're bulky, underpowered, and outdated long before you get them. Why not hook up your favorite co-worker with a svelte 13-inch model that they'll actually enjoy traveling with? The m1330 has enough processing (plus HDMI out) for impressive presentations by day, while still offering enough graphics power and storage to load up games for those long, lonely nights on the road.
$1,249.00 - Buy from Dell
Microsoft Roundtable - Since teleconference meetings are an absolute nightmare, and no one at your company seems interested in upgrading the experience, perhaps it's up to you to push everyone into the 21st Century. Sure it'll cost you a cool $3,000 to put Microsoft's 360-degree Roundtable camera in the conference room, but considering the accolades you'll get from your co-workers and your newfound ability to check out that hot account rep in the New York office, that's probably a small price to pay.
$3,000 - Buy from Microsoft