It's not easy to shop for the kids these days, and it's definitely a major challenge when it comes to finding the right holiday gift for the increasingly tech-savvy young men of the world. In an environment plagued with cheapo USB Crapgadgets and the ever-present possibility of obsoletion before gifting, Engadget is here to help separate the wheat from the chaff (and invoke all other manner of clichés, we hope). Sit back, relax, let your fingers do the walking, and take a chill pill as we cut through the red tape and help you make an informed decision with our Holiday Gift Guide for son. And don't forget to check out our other guides right here!
$0 - $50
$39.95 - Buy from LapWorks
Skullcandy Metallica Lowrider headphones - So your boy didn't get in the college that you attended, huh? If you're still looking for a way to live vicariously through him, why not set him up with a set of these? You loved Metallica. He'll love Metallica. The only difference is the level of genuineness (and the length of hair).
$49.95 - Buy from Skullcandy
Penguin United Quad Wiimote charging station - Regardless of whether he's shipping off to the university or just to 8th grade, your all-too-popular son is going to throw a few parties. Rather than contributing to his keg fund, your dollars are probably better spent on this quad charger, which will keep four Wiimotes fully juiced whenever the urge hits to slap in a round or three of Smash Brothers. You'll thank us one day.
$44.99 - Buy from Penguin United
$51 - $100
Liquid Image underwater digital camera mask - Kids and family vacations typically don't mix, particularly when you're dealing with hard-nosed gentlemen. But with this camera-loaded mask, you can coax even the most defiant alpha male into tagging along on a family snorkel excursion -- and who knows, he might actually snap a few photos good enough to show to gramps upon your return. Do it for love, do it for parent-son bonding.
$99.95 - Buy from Hammacher Schlemmer
Takara Tomy AeroSpider - Hardly a holiday season went by when we boys at Engadget didn't receive some sort of remote-controlled vehicle. Sadly, Takara Tomy's wall-climbing AeroSpider wasn't available back in the 20s, thus we never had nearly as much fun as the Earthling you're unquestionably peering at above. Bottom line: how could you not want your son's face to light up like that when unwrapping one of these?
$51+ - Shop for Takara Tomy AeroSpider
Meggy Jr RGB - There's really nothing like a little challenge to show your son you care, so if you're looking to discretely keep his brain from crumbling over the break, there's hardly a better gift than the Meggy Jr RGB. It's one of the most programmable handhelds we've seen, and if your youngster can actually figure out how to code his own game for personal enjoyment, is there really anything he can't do? Hooking up with the opposite sex notwithstanding, obviously.
$65 to $95 - Buy from Evil Mad Science
$101 - $250
Guitar Hero: World Tour complete band game - A faux drum kit engulfing the den, or a real set of skins consuming the garage? Your move, pop. Having experienced this quandary first hand, we can definitively say that you'll regret the former option the least, meaning that your sanity is likely safer with the fake instruments in the abode. Not to mention this is infinitely less expensive than an open-ended trip to Guitar Center.
$179.99 to $189.99 - Buy from Red Octane
Sling Media Slingbox SOLO - Placeshifted content and component jacks go together like tea and crumpets, and Sling's Slingbox SOLO will fit equally well under your son's stocking. Oodles of functionality -- STB control, passthrough outputs and support for incoming HD signals -- for a price even you can appreciate. How did we grown-ups actually enjoy TV on the TV again?
$179.99 - Buy from Sling Media
T-Mobile G1 - While your special ladyfriend might be busy downloading all sorts of apps onto her iPhone 3G, we suspect a certain kind of inquisitive son would enjoy spending a little quality time with Android. For even less than Apple's darling, your dear John can wield (and tweak) the world's first Google-powered smartphone. And that's saying something, daddy-o.
$179 - Buy from T-Mobile
$251 - $500
MSI Wind U100 - Junior may be a bit disappointed if he was hoping for a tricked-out gaming system and wound up with this instead. If he already has a Crysis-capable rig, though, he'll no doubt be more than pleased to finally hop on the netbook bandwagon, especially with one of the most popular and capable models out there. The fact that it also recently seen some pretty significant discounts certainly doesn't hurt things either.
$349.00 - Shop for MSI Wind
$250-$300 - Shop for Nintendo DSI
Zune 120GB Gears of War 2 Edition - Alright, so it may not the best choice for the budding Apple fanboy in your house, but if your kid spends more time in Horde mode than he does on his homework, he'll probably flip for Microsoft's latest custom Zune, which not only looks good on the outside, but comes pre-loaded with more than enough Gears content to keep him occupied on the next road trip.
$280 - Shop for Zune Gears of War 2 Edition
WowWee Rovio - It's still hard to go wrong with a Robsapien or one of WowWee's many other robotic creations, but the company's new Rovio sentry bot is certainly one of its most impressive bots to date, and it'll no doubt have you itching to try it out yourself before wrapping it up. Just don't blame us if your dog or cat never look at you the same way again.
$300 - Shop for WowWee Rovio
$501 - $1000
Casio EX-FH20 high-speed camera - If your kid is really looking to get into photography he may be better off with an entry-level DSLR, but any would-be Mythbusters in your household will be besides themselves when they realize this little camera will let them capture their own Mentos experiments at 1,000 frames per second. As a bonus, it'll also let 'em take regular videos at 720p and, of course, some decent enough still pictures as well.
$600 - Shop for Casio EX-FH20
Philips HTS8100 soundbar - It may not be a replacement for a dedicated speaker system, but it sure is a heckuva lot easier to fit into a bedroom or dorm room, and it'll certainly pump out some better sound than any TV's built-in speakers. As a bonus, it's now also readily available for a couple of hundred bucks less than its initial $1,000 list price.
$500-600 - Shop for Philips HTS8100
PlayStation 3 160GB Drake's Fortune bundle - It's not the bargain the Xbox 360 now is, but he probably has one of those anyways -- and he's no doubt been itching to play Little Big Planet and some of the other increasingly enticing PS3 exclusives out there. Who knows? He might even let you slip the occasional Blu-ray onto it.
$500 - Shop for PS3 Drake's Fortune bundle
Blackbird 002 - An HP gaming PC may not have been at the top of many wish lists in the past, but that changed when the company went all out with its Blackbird 002 rig, which is now actually available at a few retail stores for those last-minute shoppers out there. You're also in luck if you're ordering online, as HP is offering a special config that it's actually calling the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer" for just $2,299 until December 31st.
$2,299 and up - Buy from HP
Optimus Maximus - There were times when it seems that the Optimus Maximus would remain on our permanent wish list, but Art Lebedev finally managed to get it out the door and, while not the most practical keyboard, it certainly impresses. The word? Good for gaming and Photoshop, but you may want to skip it if Junior is writing his Great American Novel.
$1600 - Buy from Art Lebedev
Segway PT i2 Ferrari Limited Edition - Really. It's a Ferrari Segway. How can you go wrong?
Around $10,000 - Buy from Ferrari