So the holidays are almost upon us and if you’re like me, the money is kind of tight. Now in times like these, my motto is “A hug is the gift that keeps on giving.” However some of you might not be as cheap…er, um…intrinsically focused as myself and still want to give that techie in your life something to fill that holiday stocking. Here are some cool gadget suggestions that won’t break the bank.
SanDisk Sansa Clip MP3 Player – No, it’s not an iPod, but those things are a little overrated. The Sansa Clip is small, cute and plays MP3, WMV, podcasts, and audiobooks. There’s also a voice recorder and a digital FM tuner. The 8GB version can hold up to 120 hours of music which translates into about 2,000 songs. An added bonus is the expandable memory via the microSD and microSDHC memory cards. You can also spring for slotRadio and slotMusic cards that are already preloaded with music. So what’s the damage? On the site, it’s $69.99, but on Amazon it’s about ten dollars cheaper and compared to an iPod it’s approximately $80 cheaper.
Stylophone Beatbox – For the wannabe DJ in your life, check out the $25.50 Stylophone Beatbox. It might look a little chintzy, but I prefer to call it retro. Forty years after the release of the original, the Stylophone Beatbox has some new tricks up its sleeve including a built-in looping sequencer, tempo control, and of course some ill scratching effects for when you need to bust out your turntable skills. Some of the samples on the Beatbox have been provided by champion beatboxer MC Zani. The only additional cost you’ll accrue for the portable beat machine are the two AA batteries needed to power it.
Palm Pixi – The Palm Pre’s little sister is going for uber-cheap right now and like Martha Stewart says, “it’s a good thing.” The Pixi is retailing on Sprint.com for $99.99, but Wal-Mart and Amazon are practically giving it away for $24.99 with a two-year contract. Like big brother Pre, the Pixi is a 3G smartphone that runs on Palm’s WebOS platform. It has touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard as well as 8GB of internal memory and 5 hours of talk time.
USB Whirl Wind Warmer Cup ¬¬– The name’s a bit of a mouthful, but that should be right up a coffee drinker’s alley. This USB powered thermos, keeps the coffee piping hot and even better, well stirred. Just plug it into an empty USB port and the hit the button. The lid spins, blending your coffee in between sips. The Whirl Wind can be used with any hot beverage including tea, hot chocolate, or a hot toddy. At $37, this is almost guaranteed to make you and the caffeine fiend on your list smile.
Xbox 360 Wireless N Networking Adapter – Any Xbox 360 owner will tell you that playing the game is great, but it’s even better pwning n00bs on multiplayer via Xbox Live. Let the gamer in your life pwn or get pwned even faster with the Wireless N Netwoking Adapter. Replacing the older model, the N supports 802.11a/b/g/n networks making for a faster, more seamless experience whether its gaming or streaming media like movies and videos. You can find it on Gamestop.com for $99 or Amazon for $83.49.
VestaLife Ladybug II iPod/iPhone Speakers– This wouldn’t be a good list without at least one iPod/iPhone accessory. So here it is. At $99.95, the Ladybug II speakers are cute enough for a lady techie, but strong enough for a man. The speaker wings fold down to reveal a docking station for your iPod or iPhone. The unassuming speakers deliver big sound thanks to the built-in subwoofer and digital amp. Since it’s listed on the Apple Store’s homepage it’s a safe bet that this thing is compatible with about every iPod on the market as well as the iPhones.
Harmony 510 Advanced Universal Remote – A great home entertainment system is not made from a single piece of tech. It is a tandem of four or five pieces that work together to make a home entertainment system solid and mind-blowing. However all those different pieces of the puzzle usually means four or five remotes getting lost at any given time. That is, until now. The Harmony 510 can program up to five devices into its slim physique. The best part about it is how simple it is to program thanks to the “easy-to-use interactive LCD with Help function,” It’s currently retailing for $99 at Logitech or for $82.59 on Amazon.
Casio Exilim EX-S5 10MP Digital Camera – Easy to use, sleek design, affordable price, what more can you want in a camera? How about 10MP with a 3X optical zoom, 4X digital zoom, and a 2.7 inch LCD color screen. Casio has you covered with the Exilim EX-S5. In addition to all that megapixel goodness, the camera also has the ability to shoot video in HD and has auto focus, red-eye reduction, and YouTube capture mode. Cop one on Amazon for only $99.95.
HTC Droid Eris – The reviews are in the Droid with its Android 2.0 OS system is habenero hot. But if you don’t have the guap for the Motorola version, might we interest you in its $99.99 cousin the Droid Eris? The Eris is smaller than the Motorola version but that 5.0 megapixel camera, 3.2-inch touchscreen, and the pre-installed 8GB SD card kind of make that a moot point. Did we mention it was whole $100 dollars cheaper than the Motorola version?
Ultimate Ears MetroFi 170 Noise Isolating Earphones – Yeah, you can get a pair of headphones for $20 these days, but most of those are not packing the bass. For a real audiophile, music isn’t just something you hear, you feel it too. So feel these $49.99 headphones from Logitech. They come with three sizes of silicone earbuds to ensure a custom fit along a pocket-sized hard case to protect your precious gift. In regards to sound, the MetroFi, has the right amount of bass that gives your ears that “I’m in the club” feeling without your ears ringing when the music stops.
The holidays are about giving, but more importantly they’re about being with family and friends and being in the holiday spirit. And trust me, a huge credit card bill come January 1st, will kill anyone’s joy so shop wisely!
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