Holiday Gift Guide: $251-500

For him

Dell S2409W - Everyone knows it's impossible to get anything done without three or four large LCDs to distribute IM and audio visualizer windows among, and Dell's HD-friendly, 24-inch S2409W fits the bill nicely. The 1080p resolution and HDMI input make it perfect for doubling as a bedroom Blu-ray playback display or for plugging in his Xbox 360 -- there are certainly higher quality 24-inch displays out there, but it's hard to beat the price.
$349 - Buy from Dell

Mio Knight Rider GPS - It doesn't matter if he has zero navigation devices or a dozen, he wants this. The Mio Knight Rider GPS does a particularly average job at being a useful navigator, and a particularly awesome job at using the iconic voice of KITT to gently guide you through turns. And yes, those lights flash when it talks.
$250 - Shop for MIO Knight Rider GPS

Sony Reader PRS-700 - While overshadowed by Amazon's Kindle, Sony's most recent e-book is packed with features that might appeal to his inner-nerd. Most notable of these is a touchscreen display for text entry and annotation, and an LED "reading light" for sneaking his Calvin and Hobbes comics under the covers sans flashlight and Superman cape.
$400 - Buy from Sony

For her

Sony Rolly - Yeah, no one knows what it's for, or why it's even here -- but Sony's Rolly music bot is damn cute, and you can bet that none of her friends are getting one this Christmas. And isn't that all that matters?
$399 - Buy from Sony

Amazon Kindle - If she's a reader the Kindle might well change the way she thinks about books and magazines forever -- and if she's not, well, the Kindle might get her to start. Couldn't hurt to throw in a gift card for the first couple books either -- Whispernet makes racking up the credit card bills awfully easy.
$359 - Buy from Amazon

Canon Powershot G10 - If she's outgrown the compact point-and-shoot you got her last year but doesn't want to deal with the size and hassle of a DSLR, Canon's Powershot G10 is worth a look. It's got loads of manual adjustments and high-quality optics that'll have her channeling her inner Annie Liebowitz in no time. Plus it's built like a tank, so it'll survive no matter where she takes it.
$499 - Shop for Canon PowerShot G10

Vera home automation system + unlimited service - Yeah, this one's really geeky, but if she's serious about greening up, the Vera Z-Wave / 802.11 hub will let her monitor, measure, and control lights and appliances from all over the world -- just be careful, Randy, because it also supports remote security camera viewing.
$400 - Buy from MiCasaVerde

For son

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

Imported Nintendo DSi - You may have to work some magic to get one in time, but if you do, you can be sure that you're little or not-so-little one will overjoyed at getting Nintendo's latest handheld months before his friends. Just make sure he's not too attached to his collection of GameBoy Advance games, as Nintendo's decided to make a clean break with the past in order to make way for some of those newfangled features.
$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

For daughter

Sony VAIO Wi-Fi Photo Frame - We're pretty sure she'll be transfixed for hours looking through photos of her friends and family with this truly attractive, 7-inch digital photo frame. If you're feeling particularly creative, you could always pre-load it full of photographs of cats with hilarious captions -- that brings the laughs at any age, in our opinion.
$299.99 - Buy from Sony Style

Kota the Triceratops - This prehistoric plaything is definitely going to take up a lot of space, and it might give the family Chihuahua the creeps (what doesn't?), but other than that, we're looking at 100 percent herbivorous ceratopsid dino-cuddling action. As far as we can tell, you really can't go wrong with this gift -- as long as your daughter is under the age of oh... say, 30.
$269.99 - Buy from Playskool

Logitech Squeezebox Boom - The Squeezebox Boom seems like one of those gifts you may really be stoked to receive, even though you didn't know you wanted one in the first place. With a built in amp and speakers, this WiFi-enabled tabletop radio will have a serious dance party raging in no time -- though we doubt people will be cutting a rug to anything from Red Carpet Massacre-era Duran Duran.

$299.99 - Buy from Logitech

For mom

ASUS Skype AiGuru SV1 videophone - Despite all odds and grooming habits, you've actually grown up to be quite handsome, so let Mom check in on her little snookums with ASUS's Skype-approved AIGuru SV1 WiFi videophone. The 7-inch screen will let her soak in your charming smile, but the 800 x 600 res is low enough to let you skip shaving for a day if necessary. Just make sure you clear all the beer bottles and empty whippits out of the frame before picking up, alright?
$259 - Shop for ASUS AiGuru SV1 Videophone

Parrot Andrée Putman digiframe - So you've decided to punt and give Moms a digiframe. It's okay, we've all been there. Class up your callousness by giving her Parrot's sexy Andrée Putman-designed frame. The 7-inch, 720 x 480 display isn't gigantic, but this is definitely one of the better-looking frames out there, and that counts big with El Madre.
$450 - Shop for Parron Andrée Putman digiframe

Navigon 7200T GPS - Navigon doesn't really do the deep geek features, but that's not necessarily what's going to interest Mom -- on the other hand, the widescreen 4.3-inch touchscreen with Reality View and Landmark View 3D displays should get her safely to that efficiency in the outer boroughs you've been calling a "penthouse" for the past six months.
$399 -

Sony Cyber-shot DSC T700 - Your mom might remember you being cute as a button during those awkward formative years, but from the pictures you were mostly dozing off, Blinky. Sony's 10-megapixel DSC-T700 adds blink detection to its facial-focusing system, firing off another shot when it notices closed eyes to keep everyone looking awake. Add in eleven scene modes, ISO 3200 sensitivity, and 4GB of internal storage, and Mom'll be taking her best photos ever. Too bad her subjects can't comb their hair and put on a tie for just this once.
$379 - Buy from Sony

For dad

Sony's BDP-S550 - The HD DVD format is dead and HD over broadband is still in its infancy -- Blu-ray sits somewhere in between just like dear ol' dad. So if you've got the cash, why not gift the man a Sony BDP-S550 with BD-Live, 1GB of storage (and USB for more), and 7.1 channel analog outs. If he gets the hint, then you can kick back with the extra-large 1080p panel he'll likely buy before you return home for Spring Break.
$350 - Buy from Sony

Numark's TTi turntable - Give the guy a break, it's not easy for dad to make the jump from analog to digital. This might help: Numark's TTi, a turntable that rips vinyl straight to the iPod without any kind of PC futzing up the process. It'll also rip direct from vinyl to PC/Mac if 2001 technology still makes his ears bleed.
$250 to $300 - Shop for Numark TTi

For colleague

Sling Media's Slingbox PRO-HD - It's common knowledge that no one around the office talks about, but we all like to keep a small window of TV streaming in to dull the pain of being locked in a cube for eight (or more) hours by The Man. To that end, there's hardly a better gift for your fellow cube-dwellers than the Slingbox PRO-HD. Hey, it'll even save you a few vacation days during March Madness.
$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

For enemy

Meizu M8 reviewed, worth the wait?

Meizu M8 - So close, and yet so far. Want to be doubly annoying? Hand it over and then immediately start lecturing about how deeper codec support actually makes the M8 far superior to the iPhone instead of just a late, overpriced KIRF. Everyone loves when you talk about that forever and ever.
$?? - Shop at one of Meizu's retail stores

Crystal Icing - Everyone secretly wants their expensive gadgets aggressively bedazzled, right? We recommend something with dragons, flames or skulls, like a flaming dragon skull. Go with your douchebag gut.
Prices vary - Buy from Crystal Icing

Inkjet printer (any brand) - It's loud, it's clunky, the drivers are minimally functional and they'll be paying through the nose for ink until they break down and just buy a whole new one. There's nothing like an inkjet to say you sort of secretly hate someone.
Prices vary - Buy from whatever bastion of big box commercialism your enemy hates the most.