The colleague: one of the more difficult people in your life to buy a present for come holiday season. You might not know them as well as your family, but you likely spend an inordinate amount of time with them. Luckily that means you're more familiar with their work habits than most, so you're in a unique position to nab them a gift that not only expresses how you feel about your friendship, but is also something they can actually use. And that -- of course -- is where we come in. The Engadget Holiday Gift Guide is here to quell your fears of office discomfort, and lead you to the promised land of co-worker gift satisfaction. Read on for the full rundown, and don't forget to check out our other guides right here!
Haute Diggity Dog iBone - If your co-worker has an iPhone and a dog, they'd probably be thrilled at this oh-so-modern chew toy. If they don't have an iPhone or a dog, they'll probably take this the wrong way. Your move.
$11.95 - Buy from Haute Diggity Dog
Lite Blue TOOL - Oh yes, you're undeniably jealous that she's rocking a PSP-3000 in the break room while you limp along on your first-gen model with that little nick in the screen, but deep down you feel sorry for her: she's never known the joy of homebrew. This Lite Blue TOOL could solve all that, making hacking a later-gen PSP a breeze. A few shared ISOs later and... is this love that you're feeling?
$30 - Buy from Code Junkies
Solo CheckFast Netbook Mini messenger bag - Your jet-setting colleague slimmed down to a netbook and a phone months ago, but since he's still stashing them in that ghastly messenger bag of his, he's not really reaping the true rewards of traveling light. The Solo CheckFast Netbook Mini bag is designed to TSA's specifications in order to breeze that netbook through security without ever taking it out, and is specially fitted to 11-inch and under mini laptops.
$25 to $35 - Shop for Solo CheckFast Netbook bag
HDD Stage Rack - If they seem to spend more time rummaging around under their desk with a half-disassembled computer than actually working, they might appreciate this HDD Stage Rack, which allows for "plug and play" usage of internal 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives over USB 2.0 and eSATA connections. Then again, maybe they like it under there.
$71.65 - Buy from Geek Stuff 4 U
Steelseries Ikari Laser mouse - Sure, it might say "gaming mouse" on the label, but you know what else takes exceptional eye-hand coordination and can benefit from on-the-fly adjustable sensitivity and ultra-accurate tracking? Excel.
$70 - Shop for SteelSeries Ikari
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 QuietPoint headphones - Yeah, whenever you tell him to turn down that Alanis Morissette -- and to please stop singing along -- he readily complies, but 15 minutes later you're faced with the same situation and life just doesn't seem worth living anymore. Maybe these can help. They're comfortable enough that it shouldn't be too much to ask him to wear them, and if he just won't comply you can ask to "borrow" them and bask in the magic of noise cancellation -- and that Sarah McLachlan mixtape you've been dying to play yourself.
$90 to $170 - Shop for Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7
Nanovision MiMo UM-710 - You can never have too much screen real estate, but sometimes you run out of physical desk to hold it all. Nanovision's MiMo UM-710 can fill that one remaining gap in your colleague's desk with seven glorious inches of productivity, and since it plugs in over USB there's no extra video card to worry about.
$130 - Buy from The Gadgeteers
Verbarius electronic clock - Sure, they've got a clock on their computer, their phone -- even the photocopier they walked past ten seconds ago -- but for some reason they're ever-so-curious what your opinion on the time might be. The Verbarious tells it to them in plain english so you don't have to: "thirty-one past noon" instead of your garden variety "12:31." You can switch between English, German, Spanish, French and Russian to spice things up further.
$199 - Buy from Art Lebedev
SteelSeries 7G keyboard - Everybody loves to feel productive, but ever since your interoffice basketball league started drug testing, those performance-enhancers just aren't going to do the trick anymore. Luckily, the SteelSeries 7G has some of the clickiest, clackiest keys this side of the 90s, which makes even the most mundane of IMs feel like Pulitzer-worthy prose. Another "gaming" accessory that's really better suited to the office, the keyboard's 18K gold-plated mechanical switches put that cheesy came-with-the-computer keyboard of yours to shame. Keep this one for yourself.
$103 to $149 - Shop for SteelSeries 7G
$251 - $500
$299.99 - Buy from Sling Media
Archos 5 - Believe it or not, there's a decent chance your colleague will find a need for a PMP with an expansive screen, inbuilt WWAN and portable PVR capabilities. And even if he / she doesn't actually need those niceties, we dare you to find a co-worker who wouldn't gleefully accept it.
$349.99 to $449.99 - Buy from Archos
ZeeVee's ZvBox - Given just how much internet TV your buddy to the left consumes during the day, don't you think he / she would appreciate a simple way to do so on their television at home? ZeeVee's localcasting box is the cure for the common lack-of-a-HTPC -- just make sure you're giving it to someone with technical prowess.
$499 - Buy from ZeeVee
$501 - $1000
500GB Sanho HyperDrive COLORSPACE UDMA - There are photo backup devices, and then there's the Sanho HyperDrive COLORSPACE UDMA. Of course, we can only wholeheartedly recommend giving this to colleagues who are looking to make that amateur shooting gig into something more substantial, but we can pretty much wager 1 in 5 corporate drones have such a scenario in mind.
$549 - Buy from HyperDrive
Dell M109S DLP Projector + 40-inch screen - So, here's the quandary. You're all about some after-hours Halo action, but you're not down with bringing the kit each time. Solution? Gift your dearest team member with this hot, hot combo and let him / her do the hauling. No one said this had to be altruistic.
$619 - Buy from Dell
LaCie 2.5TB 5big Network - Just like everyone needs more fruitcake, socks and underwear, everyone needs more storage. Really, it's a fact of life. That said, you can't go wrong with LaCie's 2.5TB 5big Network, which should certainly stay well below capacity until you give him / her the same box next year for half the price and twice the room.
$899.99 - Buy from LaCie
RIM BlackBerry Bold - Being that you're out shopping for a colleague and all, it makes sense to get him / her a replacement mobile that's geared for business. Thankfully, the Bold isn't a half bad personal phone either, and we hear it even makes you Usain Bolt-like for the first few days of ownership. No guarantees on that one, though.
$549.99 off contract - Buy from AT&T
Dell Precision M6400 Covet - For those employees looking to really reward their hard-working co-workers, we can't think of many machines more well suited for the task that Dell's appropriately named Precision M6400 Covet mobile workstation. Sure, it'll run you just south of four large, but it pretty much ensures he / she will come to your wedding with oodles of loaded up gift cards.
$3,859+ - Buy from Dell
Drobo + DroboShare - Never mind that you know exactly what kinds of dark, decadent interoffice love letters will be redundantly stored on this thing, the point is to make your colleague happy. And look, giving him / her the assurance that those steamy quips won't vanish forever if the boss confiscates the company computer will undoubtedly make a lovestruck co-worker immeasurably jovial. For better or worse.
$1,198 for the pair - Buy from Drobo
CineMassive OmegaPlex - Nothing says "job well done" quite like 27.6 million pixels across a dozen panels. Or a $12,995 present. Incredibly, you can gift someone with something that fits both criteria in the gargantuan CineMassive OmegaPlex. We don't reckon we need to clue you in on what you could do with 7,860 x 3,600 worth of resolution, but let's just say you'd never have to look at overlapping Excel sheets ever again.
$12,995 - Buy from CineMassive