LaCie Neil Poulton eSATA drive - Perhaps you know someone who's a perfect storm of incredible nerd and rampant minimalist? If said individual also happens to require a pile of storage for their collection of Herzog films and Harmonia bootlegs, the LaCie Neil Poulton eSATA hard drive should be just what the doctor ordered. The sleek black box is available in all sorts of capacities, but if you really want to show how you feel, nothing less than the 1TB version will do.
$199.99 - Buy from LaCie
BlackBerry Storm - Okay, as we said in our review, RIM's new BlackBerry Storm isn't for everyone -- but there are whole bunch of guys you know who probably really, really want one. If the target of your gift giving this year is already a Verizon customer, there's few handsets you could get him that pack in more features (or more cool). With a beautiful 3.25-inch touchscreen, GPS, EV-DO Rev. A, and that patented BlackBerry email / messaging on board, handing this over come holiday time should provide you with a whole year's worth of thank-you's.
$199.99 with 2-year contract - Buy from Verizon
Popcorn Hour A-110 - As any good geek will tell you, a media player can never handle too many formats. The Popcorn Hour A-110 streamer is a perfect cocktail of flexibility and affordability, allowing the guy you're getting this for to watch or listen to just about any kind of file you can throw at it. Add in support for 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA drives, HDMI 1.3a (with DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD output), three USB ports, component outs, S/PDIF audio, and a heaping mess of server and web services, and you've got a veritable tech explosion on your hands. So, uh... watch where you point this thing.
$215 - Buy from Popcorn Hour
iPhone 3G - Speaking of smartphones that get all the attention, this one's a no-brainer if she doesn't need to copy and paste, send and receive MMS messages, or run apps that Steve hasn't personally approved. Yeah, everyone knows what the iPhone can't do by now -- but a lot of what it does do it does better than the rest. Trust us, she won't be angry to find one in her stocking.
$199 - Buy from Apple
Flip Mino HD - There's something about the Flip that makes people actually take videos -- and the newest model will let your sweet little Scorsese capture her precious memories in pretty decent high-def. Just make sure you're ready for how cloying your sqeaky-voiced babytalk sounds on tape, Snuggles.
$229 - Buy from Pure Digital
JVC NX-PN7 Dual iPod / iPhone speaker dock - So you and your lady both have iPhones, but only one of you gets to charge up in the alarm clock at night? That's not fair and you know it -- which is where JVC's surprisingly brilliant dual-dock speaker system comes into play. It's the simplest idea, but it works a treat to reduce clutter -- and it's awfully cute when you both plug in at night with differently-colored light strips. Awww. (You'll have to rely on your iPhone's built in alarm to wake you up -- it'll play through the speakers, so it's loud, but check out iLuv's iMM173 if you want more traditional alarm clock features.)
$149 - Shop for JVC NX-PN7 Dual iPod / iPhone speaker dock
Western Digital My DVR Expander (or any DVR-compatible external hard drive) - Let's face it -- when the chips are down, it's your shows that are getting deleted off the DVR to make room for Grey's Anatomy. Not to worry, though -- newer DVR's from DISH Network and TiVo can take advantage of external hard drives like Western Digital's 500GB My DVR Expander to record an additional 60 hours of HD content -- too bad you can't jack in another tuner or four.
$149 - Shop for Western Digital My DVR Expander
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
Motorola ROKR E8 - No handset is all things to all people, but if a musicphone is in your little girl's future, you might want to take a good look at the ROKR E8. Featuring vibrating haptic "keys" and a bright and crisp QVGA screen housed in a glossy black shell, the phone certainly holds its own in the looks department. And while 2GB of flash storage (not including the microSD slot) won't put her iPod out of business, it'll certainly kill time during Saturday detention.
$149.00 (with service contract) - Buy from T-Mobile
iPod Touch - What can we say about the iPod Touch that hasn't already been said? What can we write about the iPod Touch that we haven't already written? Nothing.
$229.00 - Buy from Apple
Speakal iPig speaker system - What do you give the girl that's got everything? As in, really, truly everything? How about the iPod docking iPig, a unique speaker system that offers 360-degree sound distribution, a 4-inch subwoofer and adjustable bass controls. In a plastic pig. It's your call whether she'll find it adorable or atrocious.
$139.99 - Buy from Speakal
Audiovox DPF711K Homebase Digital Message Center - Sure, you don't want to pigeon-hole her as a domestic, but she likes to keep track of the fam, and Audiovox's DPF711K is one seriously great bit of tech to help her do that. Surrounded by a decidedly low-fi whiteboard, the Digital Message Center has a 7-inch display for displaying photos, and audio recording for leaving memos. You can even record video messages with the premium version, using the built-in camera. Just don't "forget" to give it to her -- we know you want.
$120 to $180 - Shop for Audiovox DPF711K
ColorWare her favorite gadget - While completely lacking in practicality (just like flowers, hugs and most other things your mom really wants from you), offering to have her favorite gadget spruced up by the folks at ColorWare is a great way to say you care. We'd recommend letting her pick out the color scheme, however, because we're not certain her glowing opinion of your kindergarten artwork qualifies as knowing "exactly what she likes."
$65 and up - Buy from ColorWare
BlackBerry 8820 - If she's ready to make the jump to a smartphone, but she finds the iPhone's lack of buttons intimidating or the G1's OS a bit rough around the edges, she might find the BlackBerry 8820's streamlined, advanced email experience to her liking.
$99 from T-mobile, $250 from AT&T
Toshiba XD-E500 - Look, the man is attached to his DVD collection, and there's nothing wrong with that. Your father may not be so hip to getting a whole new batch of hard media at this stage in his life, so why not ease him into HD with the XD-E500. This low-price-point, upscaling DVD player should be just the thing to bridge that gap -- allowing for dad to still enjoy the collection he has, while gently nudging him towards a high-def future. He'll thank you someday.
$83-140 - Shop for XD-E500
Canon Powershot SD880 IS - We've already established that the man likes to take photos -- but he may not be as technically inclined as some (say, yourself). In that case, the SD880IS is the perfect choice -- nice, juicy megapixels (10 of 'em!), plus a super easy interface make this a solid selection come photo-snapping time. C'mon, the kids won't hold that pose forever.
From $234 - Shop for SD880 IS
Eye-Fi Explore - It's a no brainer, right? If your dad is the more adventurous type, he probably likes to get out there and mix it up. What better way to handle all the photos he's taking then the Eye-Fi Explore kit. The 2GB may not be tons of storage, but the Skyhook geotagging will ensure that he not only gets the picture, but remembers where it was taken. At this price, you'd be a fool not to spring for it.
$129.99 - Buy from Eye-Fi
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
Celio REDFLY - Oh, the REDFLY... the Windows Mobile equivalent to Palm's (intelligently) abandoned Foleo gets right to the heart of what you're trying to say: I dislike you enough to get you this expensive, terribly unexciting, and borderline useless companion for your WinMo device. Hey -- at least their phone will have a friend, right?
$229 - Buy from Celio
Solid Alliance 2GB USB Skull Ring - This is a distinctly non-holiday-spirit-inducing gift sure to underwhelm or horrify the recipient. Unless your enemy is Lemmy Kilmister, you probably can't go wrong with this "gift."
$206 - Buy from Geek Stuff 4 U
CherryPal Cloud PC - "Hey, I got you this really great PC by CherryPal! Yeah, I've been hearing great things about it for years -- it's not out yet, but I pre-ordered it for you. You'll be one of the first to own it!" That's right -- CherryPal's been promising this one for ages, and it's not likely to appear anytime soon, so if you want to really let someone down, just tell them you got them this doozy. It's pretty likely they'll be waiting a long, long time for the gift to materialize.
$249 - "Buy" from Amazon (Warning: woefully, eternally "out of stock")