Your son can be a picky little (or big) boy; if he's over the typical age of college-graduation you may want to look at our for him guide, but if he's still young enough to be in school you should probably click on. We've got some gift ideas that'll turn heads, and make his punk little friends green with envy.
See also: for him, for her.
$0 - $100
USBCELL - We all know batteries are the biggest bummer when it comes to consumer electronics. When they're not blowing up, they're either getting thrown away (what a waste!) or need constant recharging in proprietary rechargers. Well, not anymore. The USBCELL recharges anywhere Junior has a live USB port, so keeping his other gear juiced is as simple as that.
$20 (pack of two) - Buy from USBCELL
Guitar Hero II bundle - Just because you haven't been able to snag a PS3 doesn't mean your PS2 need go to waste. And if you've ever played Guitar Hero, you've probably been waiting patiently to rock with this metal-thrashing sequel. Throw in a second axe so you can compete with him and achieve father and son rock god-dom forever. While you're at it, take him to see Tenacious D, too. We're a long way from dueling banjos.
$90 - Shop for Guitar Hero II
Helmet MP3 player - Something tells us your kid likes his local football team -- if not, consider proceeding to the next gift item. But if so, and should he not be enamored by Apple's lustrous portable audio creations, have a look at some collegiate MP3 player helmets. Remember kids, helmets are cool, especially when riding your bike.
$99 - Buy from Helmet MP3
Noteworthy mention:Mimoco Star Wars flash drives (sorry, pre-order only), WonkaZoid, Samsung SBH170 Bluetooth headset
$101 - $250
Helio Drift - One to be appreciated by a slightly older, more discerning roamer, the Drift isn't just a featurephone with a 128MB of storage, a microSD slot, a 2 megapixel cam, A2DP, EV-DO and both true GPS and A-GPS. It actually makes use of that built-in positioning with Google Maps and Buddy Beacon, which means he'll know where he is (and where he's going) and where his friends are, but will never be further than a Beacon ping away.
$225 - Buy from Helio
Thanko MP4 watch - Looking for a gift for your boy that'll surely attract the attention of his friends (not to mention the ire of his teachers)? Check out the Thanko MP4 watch, which will play MP3 and WMA audio, and NXV video files on its 1.5-inch screen. Plus it's import only, meaning your mini-nerd will be the only dorkus in class with one. On second thought, we remember how traumatic being "different" was in school, so choose this one carefully.
$99 - Buy from Dynamism
Noteworthy mention: Gymkids Step2Play
$251 - $500
Xbox 360 Premium with Live subscription - This one's pretty much a no-brainer: if your boy doesn't have an Xbox 360 yet, he probably wants one (in addition to the PS3, the Wii, and every other gadget we write about). Considering the fact that those other next-gen boxes are going to be pretty scarce through the end of the year, it's a very safe bet, especially what with new games for the youngins like Viva Pinata, and titles for you like Gears of War. And, of course, Xbox Live is a must.
$450 - Shop for Xbox 360, Xbox Live subscription
LRG Sidekick 3 - If your kid has an urban streak to him, plus thumbs of lightning which yearn for a full QWERTY keyboard to blaze through email, IM and text messages, you can help him live the dream with a Lifted Research Group special edition Sidekick 3. Just make sure you add a hefty chunk of text messages to your plan before you let him go wild.
$349 - Buy LRG Sidekick 3 from T-Mobile
Lumenlab Evo Projector V1 - With projectors, if the up-front costs don't get you, the bulb replacements sure will. But there's hope on the horizon: the reining homebrew projector champ, Lumenlab, has busted out the $499 Evo Projector V1, with 1,000 lumens, a 600:1 contrast ratio and dirt-cheap $30 replacement bulbs. Perfect for a gaming-den that'll see plenty of use and abuse from that rambunctious scamp and all his little game-playing friends.
$499 - Purchase Lumenlab Evo V1 direct
QNAP TS-101 NAS with BitTorrent client - If you're not afraid of the RIAA, MPAA, MADD or FBI -- and really, why should you be? -- and are sick of springing a Jackson every time your son wants a new DVD or CD, then boy do we have the solution for you: just bust out the dollars for a QNAP TS-101 NAS, which features a built-in BitTorrent client for the convenient stealing acquisition of various media. You'll need to buy a hefty SATA Hard Drive to stick in this thing to hold all the treasures your son will amass, but just think of the savings in the long run.
$260 - Shop for QNAP TS-101 NAS
Noteworthy mention: Numark iDJ2 (pre-order only) with Technics RPDJ1200 headphones
$501 - $1000
Dell 2407WFP - It's kind of well accepted at this point that greater screen real estate often equates to greater productivity. So don't cheap out on your kid's display. He may not need a 30-incher but he sure as hell could use at least a 2407WFP. Plus, with coupons and crazy holiday discounts the Dell is not only a better performer than most other widescreen displays, it's among the cheapest.
~$900 - Shop for 2407WFP
Yamaha DTXpress III - Every year thousands of parents make the mistake of buying their kids a drum kit to help them fulfill their aspirations of becoming the next, say, Dave Grohl, or possibly Max Roach (if you're kid's especially odd). It's not until a few minutes after the drums are unwrapped that you realize the mistake you made. Why not rock with some Yamaha faux-drums; yeah, we're talking the DTXPRESS III drum synth, which, more importantly than anything else, can use headphones.
$900 - Buy from Music 123
Home Pro Racing Simulator - Seriously, do we need to explain why your son would want this racing car setup in his room? Tell him to squint a bit and he'll think he's driving a real car, which is just as well because he ain't gonna get the keys to your real ride. Think of this $4,499 setup as your alternate motor insurance policy.
$4,499.99 - Buy from Costco
Arcade Legends Full Size Game System - What son (over the age of, say, 16) doesn't love a bit of retro gaming? Even if he is a little distracted by the latestandgreatest, then this purchase will give him a pretty big incentive to let you show him what you wasted your childhood on. We certainly can't imagine a better time than a holiday spent taking turns at Tempest on a full sized arcade cabinet.
$3,695.95 - Buy from Shop.com
Buffalo TeraStation NAS - We're not going to get into a guessing game about what your son would store on Buffalo's 2TB RAID storage solution, all we know is that owning one of these 100MB/s eSATA machines would give him some serious bragging rights on campus. This particular suggestion is a relatively low priced suggestion for the $1001+ bracket, what with the 2TB model coming in at around $1,100. He'll probably argue that this is a fair price to pay for four simultaneous hot-backups of his homework.
~$1,100 - Shop for Buffalo TeraStation
PimpStar / Polycarbonate rims - This last suggestion is on the extreme end of what we could reasonably expect to see you buying your son this holiday season (for reasons of both taste and cost.) Still, you have to think of how pleased your racer boy son would be if you delivered either one of these geek-my-car gifts. PimpStar's wheel kit comes in at $19,500 for a set of four rims kitted out with some customisable LEDs for the ultimate in geek cruising, or for the more understated son, might we suggest a set of $8,000 clear polycarbonate D'Vinci Forgiato Radurra wheels? Just don't get your hopes up for a ride after they're fitted. Cramping his style and all that.
$19,500 - Buy the PimpStar from Custom Wheel
$8,000 - Custom build the D'Vinci Forgiato Radurra