She loves tech toys -- hey, who doesn't? -- but that doesn't make her easy to shop for. You have to make sure to strike a balance of usability, design, and cachet, otherwise your expensive present is just going to collect dust. We think we've got a few good places to start here, so click on for Engadget's gadgety shopping list for her.
See also: for him.
$0 - $100
Engraved iPod shuffle - You might know how we feel about iPods here at Engadget, namely that they're a bit overhyped, but it's hard to think of a better stocking stuffer for your lady. The most minuscule audio device around, the lack of a screen is actually an interface bonus for the gadget-fearful. Plus you can get it engraved with her pet name or your anniversary date or a little love note, which is sure to flip the swoon switch.
$80 - Buy from Apple
The Ex knife holder - You're all hers now, why not encourage some of that brooding resentment towards the exes that came before you. As far as we know the Ex knife holder isn't imbued with any voodoo powers, but in the off chance you should become an ex too, make sure you un-gift this one.
~$60 - Shop for the Ex knife holder
$101 - $250
Samsung M610 (Sprint) - Face it: she's bored with the RAZR. We all are. Enter Samsung's M610, aka the lux-sounding Ultra Edition, a phone that out-classes and out-styles the ubiquitous Moto device with EV-DO, a QVGA display, 2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, microSD, and is even tetherable. Hell, if she's fool enough not to want it, this is going to be fine to keep for yourself.
$180 (after contract, rebates, etc.) - Buy from Sprint
Nabaztag / Nabaztag/tag
- This isn't the first time we've recommended the excessively cute Nabaztag as a gift for the woman in your life, but there are few gadgets with as broad an appeal as this WiFi-enabled information-sharing rabbit. While it may have been tough to score one for Valentine's Day, getting one this holiday season should be an easier task, what with it actually having a US distributor this time around. Those really looking to impress, however, may want to hold off a bit, with ThinkGeek saying that it'll have the new and improved Nabaztag/tag in stock by December 8th.
$149.99-$179.99 - Buy from ThinkGeek
Nintendo Wii - Slightly harder to get your hands on but no less likely to impress is Nintendo's latest much-anticipated console, which should appeal to both gamers and non-gamers alike -- just don't blow it with your choice of game to go along with it (Zelda's probably a safer bet than Excite Truck). Those looking for a more romantic gaming evening may also want to take advantage of the Wii's candlelight compatibility. Seriously, if there's one surefire chance to get your lady into gaming, this could be it.
$250 (retail) - Any local retailer (if you're hella lucky), eBay if you're ready to go above budget
Casio Exilim EX-Z70 - When it comes to digital cameras that are feature-packed, stylish, and affordable, it's tough to beat Casio's various Exilim offerings. Introduced for $425 earlier this year, the 7.2 megapixel EX-Z70 compact can now easily be found for well under $250, and while it may not be available in quite the range of colors of some other Exilim camaras, the black and silver options work -- remember, black goes with everything.
$250 or less - Shop for Exilim EX-Z70
$251 - $500
DigitalSpectrum's MF8104 Premium - Consider this an early recommendation on a belated Christmas gift. Since it isn't due until January 15th, if you somehow forget a gift for a certain someone, just do what we do and blame Microsoft. That's right, Microsoft. Sure this 10.4-inch 800 x 600 LCD digital picture frame can pluck photos from other devices via WiFi, memory card or USB, but you were just waiting for the much delayed consumer release of Windows Vista and the Vista pictures folder feature to go live, weren't you?
$379 - Pre-order from Amazon
Shure E4c Sound Isolating Headphones - Just 'cause you want to listen to Gary Jules' Mad World remake again doesn't mean she has to. Let her escape with Shure's E4c headphones, designed specifically to adjust to any ear, working as an earplug and blocking out background sounds naturally. This passive approach means there's no artifacts introduced to the audio as with active noise cancellation technology. Diamonds are forever, but these come with a two year warranty. The parallels will be immediately apparent.
$299 - Shop for Shure E4c headphones
iRobot Scooba - You two really need to stop fighting over who's going to mop the floor. Just buy an iRobot Scooba and not only will you save yourself the arguments and effort, it's also almost like you got a pet together too. Ok, maybe that was a stretch, but it's a seriously worthwhile investment if hardwood floors are what you walk on, and if you buy now you get a free $100 accessory kit to sweeten the deal.
$400 - Buy from iRobot
Noteworthy mention: Bose Wave Music system
$501 - $1000
- As any man, woman, or child who's seen the face of a woman who missed the last ep of (pick: America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, Sex and the City, etc.) knows, it is a less than welcome sight. Make sure she has a DVR that treats her right this holiday season. The Series3 sure took long enough to come out, but there are few other devices we can guarantee are both usable and will record your programs in high def. We can't guarantee you'll be able to deal with Dancing with the Stars, but at least it'll look great.
~$700 (plus service) - Shop for TiVo Series3
Sanyo Xacti CG6: Is your special lady a budding moviemaker? Well, even if she's not now, after using one of the Sanyo Xacti CG6, she may want to be. It's loaded up with a 6 megapixel CCD, SDHC support, optical image stabilization, improved low-light capabilities, and a bigger 2.5-inch LCD -- best of all, it'll fit nicely in her hand or her handbag.
$550 - Shop for Sanyo Xacti CG6 (importers only) / Shop for Sanyo VPC C6 (slight downgrade from the CG6)
Noteworthy mention: OSIM iGoGo
Sony Vaio C190 - If he's going to get the Vaio TX on his wishlist, don't you think she should get the one on hers, too? The Vaio VGN-C190 from Sony is available in a variety of limited-edition lid designs that are sure to be the talk of the town (or more likely café), ranging from the understated "Sea Shell White" to the more in-your-face "Red Storm." Configurations start at a grand, offering the buyer a choice of a Celeron M or several Core 2 Duos, 1-2GB RAM, and several hard drive capacities, among other options.
$1000+ - Buy from Sony
Vertu Constellation - If she just can't put a price on making the right technologically-advanced fashion statement, Vertu's latest -- the Constellation series -- fills the bill. Make no mistake, the Constellation is not for gadget freaks; it runs a modified version of Nokia's lowly S40 OS and sports just EDGE for data. And at prices north of $4000, it's not for the faint of wallet, either. But let's be honest: nothing says "I care about the way you telecommunicate" quite like a pink leather and stainless steel handset that comes with concierge service.
$4000+ - Find a Vertu retailer
Tulip Ego - Bad news, fellas: "They don't sell them in the US" is no longer a valid response when the missus asks for the crème de la crème of fashion laptops, Tulip's Ego. With an AMD Turion 64, 12-inch WXGA screen, Bluetooth, and WiFi, it's readily apparently that the Ego's $5000 barrier of entry cannot be explained by its spec sheet, but rather by the lovely interchangeable skins that grace its surface (along with the fact that it's hand-built, yada yada).
$5,000 - Buy from Barney's New York