Geek-Chic Gadget Gift Ideas
Let's face it: Not everyone's all about the iPad. For those in your circle who are Androids, the Kindle Fire is the tablet of choice. Not only does it house books, magazines, and movies, but the makers just unveiled a brand-new proprietary browser called Amazon Silk for all the interweb fun you could ever want. $199 at Amazon.
Rumba VanDam GO Watch
Talk about hands free! This not-so-ordinary wristband acts as a watch and a wallet with a contactless payment chip and an Emergency ID number that helps first responders quickly find out who you are and gather your medical information. It's perfect for athletes who don't want to juggle cash and an ID during a run, bike, or swim, and it's a must-have for anyone with chronic medical conditions. That's peace of mind right on the wrist! $35 at Rumba Time.
Tranquil Moments Sleep Sound Therapy System
For the friend who always complains about not getting enough sleep, this sound machine may just do the trick. Culled from more than two decades of scientific research and armed with 12 clinically engineered sounds — from a summer symphony of crickets to authentic NASA recordings to soothing white noise — this is the season's insomnia cure. $130 at Brookstone.
Apple's tagline is, "It's the most amazing phone yet," and we really can't argue. It's not even its 8-megapixel camera or iCloud wireless storage system that we love. It's Siri. Oh, Siri. The little personal assistant who lives inside the phone and does whatever you ask of it, from rescheduling a meeting to sending a text to reminding you to buy all these Christmas presents. Siri even answers ridiculous questions with quite a bit of wit, which makes us love her, er, the phone all the more. $199 to $399 at Wireless Zone.
Panasonic Lumix Digital Camera
For the amateur photographer of your group, this slim point-and-shoot is the perfect accessory for a glam night out. With just a few swipes on the touch screen, you can add eye shadow, blush, or lipstick to an image and even use setting to reduce shine, whiten teeth and smooth out wrinkles. It's an instant makeover session you can literally keep in your back pocket. $180 at Panasonic.
Soundfreaq Sound Step
Gone are the days when a boom box would ever be included in a techie gift roundup: No one really invests in stereo equipment anymore. Instead they blast sound from their laptops, and the quality suffers. That's why this compact speaker is the ultimate must-have for music lovers. You can either dock your iPad, iPod, or iPhone to the speaker or stream music and movies from them wirelessly. You'll love it so much you'll wish you could rock out with it on your shoulder. $200 at Amazon.
Sharper Image Single Cup Coffee Maker
Want to streamline your coffee-making process in the morning? This one-cup coffeemaker does the same thing all those overpriced ones do, but at a quarter of the cost: It brews a deliciously fresh cup of coffee right into a 15 oz. travel mug. Saves time on cleanup and saves old coffee from going down the drain. $40 at Sharper Image.
Fanny Wang Chrome Angel Headphones
You might not have a professional DJ on your list, but once you gift these studio-quality over-ear headphones, you'll think that you did. This ultra-sexy set delivers the cleanest, most beautiful sound reproduction of its kind. So the look good and sound good. $250 at Amazon.
Panasonic Waterproof Video Camcorder
If you know someone who's heading on a tropical vacation as soon as the hectic holiday season dies down, do two things: First, snag an invite. Second, give them this video camera to document the trip, both on dry land and in the deep blue sea. This handheld cam goes as deep as nearly 10 feet under water, so even if you don't get to join in on the snorkeling trip, you'll get to see it in such high-def, it'll feel like you were there. $380 at Amazon.
Boogie Board Paperless LCD Writing Tablet
Stop wasting all that paper once and for all with this easy-to-erase tablet. Although this gift is perfect for the brainstorming big-wig in your life, it's also family friendly. Leave notes for your husband, make grocery lists, send it off with the kids for school. Truly the gift that keeps on giving. $99 at Brookstone.