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12. 18. 2008

Holiday Gift Guide: Best Deals



Have you been considering getting a laptop or Blackberry for your tech-challenged relative because they're out of the loop since the rest of the family communicates via email? You probably have hesitated thinking of the endless tech support that you'll doubtlessly be providing over the years. No need for that with the Peek- an email only device which is as slim and stylish as a new smartphone but is super-simple as it's used for email only. And no need for setting up wireless networks or anything else- the Peek comes with its own nationwide cellular network. It's not a phone or a music player or a camera- it's for email, which is made easy with a full qwerty keyboard. And the Peek now supports text messages too. And you can stop dodging phone calls from your Dad, fearing it's another call for computer setup. The Peek is $99.95 and the monthly service is $19.95. (Mia)

Orbit Speaker


At $39.99, the Orbit MP3 speaker system from Altec Lansing is a perfect gift for any music lover on your shopping list.
It easily connects to portable CD players, MP3 players, music-enabled phones, laptops and other audio devices, including iPod and iPhone. Plays for up to 24 hours on 3 AAA batteries. The design does more than provide a cuteness factor since it provides a 360-degree sound field. Good sound in a small package. And did we mention that it's only $39.99? (Amazon.) (Evan)

Discovery Sound Lab


For the budding engineer in your child, this device promises an exciting time in carrying out sound experiments by wiring up the provided circuits. The digital sound and electricity lab is safe and does not require any additional tools or soldering. All you need is to be prepared to hear a range of modulated sounds through the day as your kids explore the lab. Available from Amazon for $27.97 (Kanchana)

Tanita Pedometer


If there's a fitness buff on your Christmas list, they'll be delighted with the new Tanita Pedometer 724 for one reason -- it utilizes unique technology that allows you to carry the pedometer in your pocket or around your neck instead of the traditional method of clipping it to your belt. Apparently, 10,000 steps a day is the recommended amount of walking for long term health and reducing chronic risk of disease. For successful, sustained weight loss, 12,000-15,000 steps a day is recommended. And for those of you that want to burn as many calories as possible during the day, make 3,000 or more of your daily steps fast. We like it because it's easy to use and features a panic alarm in case you're threatened while out walking. $34.99 at The Competitive Edge. Also, because we're going to need to use it after we consume all that Christmas candy. Dark chocolate anyone? (Evan)



If you think that black and white keyboards are so boring and could do with some colors and designs, look no further than funkeyboards. These are jazzy stickers shaped to fit your keyboard transforming them into cool looking accessories.The fluorescent print reflects any light source such as the monitor, making the keyboard letters glow. Get one at $9.99 (Kanchana)



slotMusic promises to do to music what the CD did and with the proliferation of MP3 compatible devices, it might just do that. Just plug in the slotMusic into any microSD enabled phone or MP3 player and you can instantly access your favorite music. With a capacity of 1GB, the cards come with DRM free music from top labels. A logical choice for gifting music lovers. Available for $14.99 from Sansa. (Kanchana)

Reusable Sandwich Bags


Designed by a mom of three who packs around 500 lunches per year, these reusable sandwich bags make for a good eco-friendly gift this season. They are washable, leak proof and the funky designs make them trendy to carry to work too. So do your bit to reduce the waste on our planet by gifting some of these from here for $8.95 each. (Kanchana)

Kidz Headphones

The problem with most children's headphones is that they're ususally cheaply made and provide crappy sound. Not so with the Kidz Gear, adult-featured stereo headphones made specifically for kids. Manufactured with the same high quality components as those used in standard adult headphones, the Kidz Gear Headphones deliver extremely rich stereo sound quality for all their audio needs - DVDs, MP3s, Game Players, Television, Radio and iTunes. On sale for $14.99 at Kidz Gear. Now maybe they'll stop stealing your headphones. (Evan)

Travel Power Outlet


This little number may seem mundane but if they're a travel fan, they'll love you forever. From Kensington, it turns one outlet into five so they can simultaneously power and charge up to five mobile devices, including a notebook, mobile phone, PDA, iPod from one portable wall outlet. Fits conveniently in a travel bag or notebook carrying case and there's surge protection with status LED to defend against power spikes because you never know about the stability in the Amazon, do you?
$24.99 at Kensington. (Evan)

Get Grandma a Jitterbug

We wrote about this product before and thought we'd remind you since it is the perfect gift for "Boomers and Beyond" (on one wants to be called a a "Senior" !) who want a simple phone; easy to use and easy to program. With its big easy-to-read 12 numbers, (or the even simpler 3-button model), the Jitterbug comes pre-programmed and ready to use right out of the box. Push "YES" to call from your personal phone list and you'll hear a familiar dial tone, which a separate Volume Up/Down button on the cover. An operator is always standing by to help, and 911 emergency calls are always free. Service plans start as low as $10 a month, and there's no contract required $147 for a handset. GreatCall has made deals with CDMA carriers across the country and numerous regional service providers, so no matter where you live, they can provide great coverage for Jitterbug customers nationwide. (Evan)

Cooking Mama - Wii Game


We put a game on our "Best Deals" this year, because there's great value in a popular game. Originally for the DS, the new game is like Cooking Mama: Cook Off in that it makes fulll use of the Wii remote, as the player mashes, slices, chops and stirrs, creating more than 300 real-world recipes from 10 different nations. Mama's back with better graphics and real-time cooking effects. You don't even have to like to cook to enjoy this title. On sale at Amazon for $46.00. (Evan)

Digital Photo Frame for Fridge


Along with huge plasma T.V's, digital frames are the popular Christmas gifts this year. You can find them in almost any configuration, for any style of decor. But here's a unique one -- the Royal Royal Digital Photo Frame with Motion Sensor, Magnet and Clip made for your fridge. It automatically turns ON when motion detected, OFF shortly after motion stops and stores up to 60 photos. Conveniently, it also features a kitchen/countdown timer with a built-in clip to hold notes, artwork, grocery lists and more.
Simply download pictures directly from your PC . $29.99 from Amazon. (Evan)


My brother is impossible to buy for since he gets all the newest gadgets as soon as they're released, but I found something this year that not only he doesn't own, but something he needs -- a Power Emergency Kit . The Medis 24-7 power cell powers pretty much all handheld electronic devices (with a variety of adaptors for cell phones) so in case of an outage , ie an earthquake (which is my fear) he'll be be prepared. Nothing says love like a fuel cell. (Get the $59.99 one labeled"Xtreme Emergency Kit.") (Evan)

Acer Aspire One
Think you can't get a real Windows laptop for under $1000? How about for $349? The Acer Aspire One is a 2 lb. beauty that runs Windows XP, not some stripped-down OS, and comes with a big 120 GB hard drive and 1 GB of memory. Small, but mighty. And yes, just $349, with built-in wifi, webcam, and 6-in-1 memory card reader. Available from Staples. (Mia)

Posted by Mia    Category: gift guides 2008
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