With a few more weeks remaining before Christmas, there should still be plenty of time to buy gifts for your loved ones or significant other as well as for catching good offers on whatever geeky stuff you see fit.
Now, as you can imagine the TechSpot holiday gift guide is not your standard catalog-esque gift guide but one aimed at technology lovers and PC aficionados. So, dads, brothers, husbands and sons, feel free to share this useful list with the rest of the family so they can get you something you actually want, or use it to guide yourself through the load of tech products available these holidays.
Because all of our recommendations fall into the same techie umbrella, we found further categorization unnecessary and instead we have arranged items from least to most expensive, just so it’s easier for you to browse.
Also make sure to vote in our current poll (see it on the right side of your screen), the winning item will be given away during the month of December, so it’s your pick!
Free gift: Ubuntu
It’s free, end of story
Price target: < $1
We are by no means calling you a cheap bastard, but if your budget is a bit tight these holidays and you want to “Wow” (Vista pun intended) your dad, mom or girlfriend, you can download and burn a copy of Ubuntu, give it to them in a nice package, and install it for them at a later time. They may end up reviving their interest in computers after that last installation of Windows suddenly went kaput.
They will feel they are getting something new and shiny, and there is no reason for them to know it didn't cost you a dime.
Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000
Affordable portable mousing
Price target: $25
For $25 you can get yourself a very nice looking and functional wireless mouse from Microsoft. We don’t know about you, but we can’t live on the go only relying on a touchpad… it’s a total productivity killer.
Games and more games
Price target: $35+
We have mentioned this several times in our news coverage, in the forums, and in our blog, it’s such a great year to be a PC gamer. Many of our staff members are still drooling over Crysis but that is only one of the many great titles that were released in 2007, make your pick for the perfect gift: World in Conflict, Bioshock, The Orange Box, Call of Duty 4, Hellgate: London, Command & Conquer 3, Supreme Commander, WoW: The Burning Crusade, Unreal Tournament 3. There are also great driving simulation games like RACE, GTR 2 and DiRT, and sports games are usually the same as those offered in consoles.
Buy a second Wiimote, get free mini-games
Price target: $50
We won’t be recommending any specific game consoles in this guide because by now the choices should be very clear and quite likely you have already bought at least one of them. So for those Wii owners, here is a good way to get a second Wiimote.
Wii Play expands the series of Wii Sports mini-games which could come handy to revive that initial enthusiasm about the console, plus what you get is a bundle with the extra remote which will be needed down the line anyway.
Hardware-level encryption + Pen drive
Price target: $60+
Pen drives can be found anywhere, in any sizes, in any colors… but pen drives like the IronKey are a bit harder to come by, and nearly impossible to break through. If hardware-level encryption sounds like an appealing feature for an USB drive, the IronKey has the reputation of being one of the best with its built-in security features and water-proof exterior.
Digital photo frame
Your digital pictures in the living room
Price target: $80-150
This is something you may have found innovative a few years ago, now it’s more commonplace. What has changed between then and now is that thanks to social media sites like Flickr and the zillions of cheap digital cameras, everybody is now using digital media, grandmas included, so it makes for the perfect gift more than it did before. The digital frames are not as expensive as they used to be either, brand-name models can be had for less than a hundred bucks.
Note: Christmas penguin image modified from this website.