Yes, yes, it's just two days before Christmas, but there's still 6 days left of Hanukkah, and we'd have been remiss (and gotten lots of dirty looks from the dozens of PopG pets) if we'd forgotten to post a guide for the furry members of your family. And we've always subscribed to the "let's be real" idea of holiday shopping- is anyone really doing it back in October when the magazines come out with their gift guides? Nope- we're here for you- the busy (and the lazy too). Happy Holidays!!! Woof!
The Pet's Eye View camera can be attached to a feline or canine collar and will take snapshots every few minutes of what its wearer has been up to. Purrfect (sorry, couldn't resist) for the pet lover who has everything. (Diane)
Designer Pet Steps
If you have an older dog, or one prone to injury, you've probably considered getting pet steps to make the jumps on and off beds and couches easier on their joints, but may have reconsidered when you saw how unsightly most of those steps are. With Carmen Steps, you're actually adding style to your decor, because they're beautifully designed as well as lightweight, foldable, and of course, made especially for little dog legs. Custom designs are available as well, if you need something just right for the discerning little diva dog. Carmen Steps come in all sorts of heights and styles and start at about $200. (Mia)
Decorative Adjustable Hemp Collars
Well, dog collars do not always have to be boring. And they can be eco-friendly too. Just switch to Earthdog Decorative Hemp Collars and you will know what we mean. These hypoallergenic collars have unique decorative designs and are adjustable, machine washable. They are available in 3 sizes and 19 different styles, what more can your doggie want! Price range is from $20 - $25. (Kanchana)
Feline Drinking Fountain
Inspire your pet to drink water at regular intervals and avoid the risk of urinary tract infection and kidney disease - is the mantra behind the Feline Drinking Fountain. The fountain circulates a soft, continuous flow of water into a reservoir that can hold upto a gallon of water. The fountain also filters the water of impurities before circulation, so you can be sure that your cat has continuous access to clean water. No more worries of having forgotten to feed water to your feline. Available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $70. The replacement filter costs an additional $11.95. (Kanchana)
We all spoil our dogs but we give ours caviar. Of course, it's the holistic pet food called "Canine Caviar," which is based on nutrional needs of cats and dogs. Using easily digested formulas, owners can quickly solve many ailments including stomach upsets, reduce itching, scratching, shedding, and hotspots. In addition,there's recommendations for health concerns like kidney, liver and heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and cholesterol. Unlike most companies, CC use all parts of different animals for their products. Bad breath? Try the "Great White Chews" which are, yes, from the shark. Achy joints? Then "Fish Bites" , made from wild skate tail are a low calorie remedy. On a diet? "Buffalo Jerky" does the trick, because buffalo have 70 to 90% less fat compared to beef, and on average, 50% less cholesterol.There's also kibble and canned food, based on the same principals. My pups were very excited when the box of samples arrived, but one warning for owners: there's is a strong fish smell to some of the bones and chews so encourage your doggies to eat them outside. For more info, check out their website at Canine Caviar. (Evan)
Fish Training at the R2 Fish School
Now what on earth can you possibly train your fish at ? How about a game of soccer ? If that sounds crazy, imagine how crazier it would be to actually watch your favorite goldfish shooting a hoop! The R2 Fish School provides you with all the tools necessary to train your fish to learn tricks like the limbo, slalom, or fetch. The proof lies in Comet, the world’s smartest goldfish which has been trained to entertain based on the R2 Fish School "curriculum". Send your fish to school for $40. (Kanchana)
And now a last minute look at a few luxury gifts for the holidays and beyond:
This new, hi-def desktop planetarium puts the planets on your desktop. The Stella TearStar looks like an unassuming mirror when turned off. When turned on, the backlight shines through with crystal clear stars and planets. This unit uses the same technology as many high-end full-scale planetariums. Perfect for you favorite Star Trek or Star Wars fan. From Audiocubes. $500. (Brian)
Sonic Chair with mounted iMac
If the credit crunch hasn't affected your finances this year (or you're intent on wearing your credit card out before the bank comes calling), perhaps the multiple design award-winning sonic chair complete with mounted iMac will take the top spot on your Christmas list? (If anyone wants to splash out on one for me, I certainly won't be complaining.) Price, you ask? Uh-oh: you probably can't afford it... (Diane)
For the seriously stylish lady in your life who still loves to write letters, what could be better than some seriously stylish personalised stationery from Redstamp, which, like Popgadget itself, carries the Oprah seal of approval. These correspondence cards, from $45 for 12 (plus a one-time illustration fee of $55) guarantee a thoughtful and exclusive (in fact, you could say luxury) gift. (Diane)
Want to work out in the new year, but looking for an exercise machine that doesn't spoil your carefully planned interior aesthetic? How about buying the Fitness Cube, which lets you exercise in style (and is priced at around 99GBP)? The Cube works all your muscles, similar to an at-home Pilates system, but when not in use can be folded away and used as a sleek and minimalist-looking stool. Just remember that this is only suitable for self-gifting: no-one wants to be told how unfit they are until at least December 27th. (Diane)
Fashion tech accessories
For the girl who loves fashion and gadgets, the Philips-Swarovski range of memory sticks, headphones and bluetooth headsets are beautiful and useful - and will empty your pocketbook quicker than you can say "blinging." (Diane)
Tube-based iPod speaker system
Think speakers, and you may not automatically think "luxury," but if you want some of the best money can buy, the first tube-based iPod speaker system is now on sale, for the bargain price of $4000. They are apparently the next best thing to being at a live gig - the audiophile in your life will love you for them. (Let's face it, they'd better!) (Diane)
Ikepod Horizon Watch
If you are looking for the ultimate chic in watches this year and can afford to spend $39,000 for one, the 2008-designed Horizon watch from Ikepod beckons you. This collection has been designed by Marc Newson for Ikepod and manufactured exclusively in - where else but - Switzerland. The watch has precious metals such as gold, platinum and titanium with a simple sapphire crystal front that almost camouflages its extraordinary origins. There is no need for any winding either as the watch catches on the wearer's movement to power itself. Each watch is stamped with a certificate of authenticity containing the serial number and date of production. Go on to Moss for this indulgence. (Kanchana)
There's still time to pick up a few environmentally responsible gifts for the holidays. Even gadget lovers can go eco-green.
Polaroid PoGo Portable Printer
This is the Polaroid for the digital age. Create high quality photos on the go with this very compact printer. Prints directly from cell phones, cameras, and other devices via Bluetooth. Uses Polaroid's special ZINK paper technology instead of ink, so you can be environmentally conscious and free of worry about running out of ink. Available for around $100 at Best Buy. Also available at Amazon.(Brian)
Nomad Modular Screen
If you know someone whose home or apartment could use a quick makeover, the Nomad Modular Screen system would be a wise gift. Each Nomad set consists of 24 recycled, double-colored cardboard creations (or modules) with slotted corners that fit into each other for quickly setting up personalized indoor spaces. Without the need to use any tools or cause damage to existing structures, Nomad can help create partitions, display backdrops, or just attractive screens in any desired order of arrangement. Available in a choice of three colors at $56 per set of 24 modules. (Kanchana)
Solar laptop bag
A laptop bag might not be the most exciting gift, but if you know someone trying to green up their life it could be a very useful one - for them and the environment. The new Generator bag by Voltaic Systems is powerful enough to charge an entire laptop (an hour in the sun will get you 20 to 45 minutes of typing time). It costs $499, including special adapters for all your gadget needs. Not cheap, but oh-so worth it. (Diane)
Pangea Organics Holiday Gift Set
It is time to take serious note of the fact that the packaging of a product is as important as the contents within. Pangea Organics, makers of organic skincare products, has some amazing holiday gift packs that do this in style. And now, the gift box that each pack comes in is plantable! All you need to do is plant the gift box (first take out the contents, of course) into the soil after soaking it in water for a day, and be the proud parent of a spruce tree that will germinate within 2 weeks. Go ahead and spring a spruce tree surprise on the ladies with the "Joy" ($30), "Harmony" ($35) and "Peace" ($40) gift packs. (Kanchana)
Cuisinart CleanWater Countertop Water Cooler
Don't have room for a full-sized water cooler and tight on fridge space, too? Want to save the planet from plastic bottle overload? This may be your answer. This mini cooler microfilters tap water and then dispenses it in either hot or cold incarnations with the press of a button. Also available in a smaller, cold-only version. Available from Cuisinart. $130/$170. (Brian)
Joy : Recycled Cotton Tote
80% recycled cotton, 20% recycled soda bottles and lovely artwork make for a "Joy" tote from Mel Lim. These limited totes are available in a theme labeled "Sweet Dreams" and have pleasant colors in screenprint on a recycled canvas-like material. Definitely worth the $29 that fawn&forest quotes on it. (Kanchana)
Knu Sustainable Kids' Furniture
Going in for eco-friendly furniture from Knu will ensure that perfect icing-on-the cake touch for a child's playroom. Spread the cheer around by gifting a Knu Kids' furniture set (one table, two chairs) made from toughened birch ply and coated with attractive lead-free dyes. You can even customize the colors to match the playroom, or order extra chairs ($79 per chair) depending on the requirement. This heady combination of style, utility and eco-consciousness is available at $499 for the basic set. (Kanchana)
Betty Belts has a wide range of great ethically sourced wooden, silver and mother of pearl accessories at prices that won't crunch your credit card (the earrings above cost $24) and which just happen to be beautiful. (Diane)
Some of our editors' favorite tech toys - to give or receive:
Chumby - clock radio plus widgets
Chumby, which sells for about $180, may be one of the best inventions we've seen all year. Deceptively simple (and sweet!) to look at, its furry exterior contains a screen which can showcase pictures, play TV shows and podcasts and stream eBay, Facebook, Twitter and more from your computer (download widgets to expand these already impressive specs). And it's an alarm clock, too!
Vuxis iWear - video eyewear
The downside to watching TV and movies on your laptop is that you can sometimes be overcome with the urge to check your email or Tweet about what you're doing. Next thing you know, your relaxing evening's been abandoned as you discuss the finer points of John Waters' oeuvre... With some Vuxiz iWear, however, you can switch off your mind, wrap your movie around your head and settle back for an intense viewing experience. And gamers LOVE them! Priced from $145. (OLED and wide screen versions are also available).
Rolleiflex digital camera
The original Rolleiflex camera with its waist-level viewfinder was a design classic that went out of style as cameras became more sophisticated (and we started holding them up to our eyes and stuff). Now it's back, in a new digital version, and it's better looking than ever, in a choice of classic black or this vibrant seasonal red. It has 5 megapixels and a 1.1 inch square TFT LCD screen. The price of nostalgia? From around $339.
Finally, if you've had enough of hearing about netbooks, don't want to buy a laptop, and money is no object when purchasing a computer for the love of your life, look no further than HP's posh and pretty Touchsmart desktop for $1,299. Who needs Apple?!
Bladestar indoor flyer
The Bladestar is a cool radio-controlled flying toy for kids ages 8 and up. The Bladestar is an indoor flying star with motion sensors that allow it to avoid people, walls, and other options while gliding around the house. You can buy the Bladestar for about $19 at Amazon.
Youtube demo: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XEuw86on0f4
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)
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)
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)
Looking for stocking stuffers that won't end up in the back of the closet by New Year's? Here are a few of our suggestions for quality gifts that won't break the bank.
For the fitness fanatic, Sony has the MDR-AS20J headphones, which conveniently fit around the outer ear with an earbud that sets inside the ear canal and because they feature a convertible ear hanger, you can transform them from over-the-ear headphones to a traditional earbud style. But take it from me, if you're running full-out on the treadmill, you're going to appreciate the over the ear function.In addition, all active style headphones have moisture-resistant features. Reasonably priced at approx $20.00. (Evan)
Tokidoki goes high tech? Well, not exactly but you can buy one of these dangerous looking mouse pads for only $16. I am a big fan of "Bastardino" but the others are pretty cool too. (Evan)
LOLcats have been the internet (sorry, "teh internets") hit of the decade, and what better way to celebrate than with these cute magnets, which will have you LOLzing every time you look at the fridge. (Diane)
If you're in the UK, you still have a few days to add some disembodied lego head earrings to someone's stocking (or your own ears) thanks to Plastic Bat. They're much cuter than they sound, look:
And speaking of retro objets, if you know someone who had to stop drumming after they downsized - I do), these Finger Drums could tide them over 'til they find a place to stash their bass. And if not, they're still just good fun. (Diane)
The KingMax 8GB Super Stick USB Drive is compatible with all Windows and Mac operating systems, is super small, and - get this - is washer/dryer safe! Buy it here
for $24.99. (Shelley)
Here's a great, affordable Christmas gift for anyone on Santa's list! Griffin's "Tune Buds" which come in 5 snappy colors (Silver, Light Blue, Purple, Light Green and Red). At $19.99, you're not going to expect the quality of your Shure earbuds, but they're surprisingly good, especially with the bass, which is always tricky. The secret is not only the neodymium dynamic drivers, it's the specially-engineered ear cushions, shaped to perfectly conform to the shape of the inside of your ears, which means enhanced audio isolation from outside distractions. Size matters, folks. With 3 sizes of interchangeable soft washable silicone ear cushions included in every package, there's a size for everyone, so no more "ear-fatigue." (Evan)
Did Dad get the 62 " flat panel he wanted for Father's Day? A new home theater system? You'd better get him Zip Express as well then (and get one of the other siblings to kick in).
Basically, Zip Express partners with retail outlets (in-store and online) to provide next-day and five-day installation options for consumers, regardless of where they bought the goods. Or, you can just purchase the service when you buy Dad's new gizmo. Depending on the item, the prices range from $199 for a standard Home Theatre system to $399 for an on the wall TV installation package.
Unlike most service/installation calls, Zip Express guarantees you will be given a ONE hour window of time for the CE-certified installer to arrive. It's easy to schedule on the Web, and the installers take all the e-waste trash away with them, but you know what's the best part? They show Dad how to program and use the new remote! ($149 for Universal Remote programming which includes reviewing the existing TV and A/V components to make sure that they are compatible with the remote control; programming primary commands for up to 8 devices; and finally, training Dad.)
Father's Day is just a few days away . . . but there's still time to grab that perfect gift for your dad to make him believe you've been planning the moment for weeks (or at least an hour or two). Here are some of our favorites this year:
Almost indestructible camera
If your dad can't bear to put away the camera, even while at the beach or pool, or while say, trying to escape a monsoon, then he'll surely appreciate what is deemed the World's Most Durable Camera. The Olympus Stylus 1030 SW is both shock-proof and waterproof, and can resist up to 222 lbs. of pressure. With 10.1 megapixels, a 3.6x zoom lens, and a transreflective LCD screen that is viewable even in bright sunlight, it's good enough to be dad's only camera. $500 at Hammacher.
This is not a beauty product - it's a "shaving aid"
Many men act a bit twitchy and nervous when they're in the "personal grooming" aisle but give them the comfort of a few "For Men" bottles, and they're more excited about moisturizer than Estee Lauder. Clarisonic seems to understand this and they've made a manly dark gray version of their electric skincare brush, and positioned it as a "shaving aid." Like a sonic toothbrush, the Clarisonic skincare brush uses sonic frequency for an extra-squeaky clean face. Just don't tell your dad that the pink version is exactly the same. From Sephora for $195.
A charging station for the gadget-head dad
The sanctuary charging station lets your dad charge up to twelve devices at once, while keeping them neat(ish) in the reversible-fabric finished tray. The sanctuary is compatible with just about anything- from Blackberry to iPod/iPhone, and Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, and LG phones. More than 1500 devices are supported. The cords stay hidden and your dad won't be hogging all the outlets anymore. $130 from Red Envelope.
iPod in the shower
Upgrade your dad's singing-in-the-shower routine with the iHome Shower Station. This shower station keeps the iPod totally dry and protected in its case and provides external controls. $70 from Brookstone.
Starting July 1st, all drivers have to be hands-free in California. (Watch the video of Gov. Schwarzenegger announcing the bill here.)
Personally, I wonder what took them so long. As the Terminator said, "The simple fact is it’s dangerous to talk on your cell phone while driving. CHP data show that cell phones are the number one cause of distracted-driving accidents."
So being the law-abiding citzen that I am, I was thrilled to see this Bluetooth Hands-free Parrot MiniKit because I'm not crazy about looking like an alien, and really don't find headsets comfortable.
The compact Parrot is Bluetooth compatible, and works with practically all Bluetooth mobile phones, including my iPhone.
The site says It features the "very latest generation of DSP-2 signal processing algorithms and a high-definition 2W speaker for crystal clear conversations in any situation" which, simply translated, means you get clear transmission.
True plug-n-play, it took me less than 5 minutes to synch with my phone and select the language. I also like the compact size -- you could stick it into your purse if you wanted to (though why would you?).
In honor of the Big Day - of course, I'm referring to Mother's Day this Sunday - Sony Electronics is offering a special package for all of you out there who are gift-challenged; the Sony DCR-SR45 Handycam camcorder with the DVDirect VRD-MC5. Tape those priceless family moments with the Sony Handycam camcorder and then transfer them to DVD with the DVDirect VRD-MC5 recorder. The VRD-MC5 recorder can transfer home videos to DVD without using a computer from virtually any camcorder, VCR or digital video recorder. Tthe Handycam camcorder has a built-in 30GB hard drive for storage and up to 20 hours of recording time (LP). A big 2.7" touch panel LCD monitor keeps all the controls at your fingertips, while a 40x Optical/2000x digital zoom keeps all the action up close and personal.
As a nice little bonus: receive $180 in instant savings when purchasing them both together. Buy yourself a little something with the savings! We broke it down for you:
- HandyCam DCR-SR45: $499.99
- VRD-MC5: $229.99
- Total: $729.98
Instant savings: $180.00 when purchased on the same receipt. Available at Sony Style.