Cool Stuff: Your 2006 Holiday Gift Guide

All the best technology gifts to give (and get) this holiday season

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Product Details

Portable Music and Video | Smart Phones and Cell Phones | On-the-Go Gadgets | Digital Cameras
Home Theater | Family Fun | Computers | Home Office | Weird and Wacky | Five Under $50

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Portable Music and Video

iPod Nano audio player
Apple Computer, Inc.: www.apple.com
Price: $143 to $250 | Tech Specs
Phone: 800-MY-APPLE (692-7753)
Summary: The recently updated iPod Nano remains the most elegantly designed, fun-to-use audio player.

Sansa e200 series audio player
SanDisk Corp.: www.sandisk.com
Price: $99 to $250 | Store Locator
Phone: 408-542-0500
Summary: Sansa's e200 digital audio players are tiny, highly competent and attractive devices that are catching up with the iPod Nano.

604 WiFi video player
Archos: www.archos.com
Price: $450 | Tech Specs
Summary: With a sharp, bright display and Wi-Fi networking, Archos' 604 WiFi is the best way to watch video, listen to music and surf the Web while you're mobile.

E500PTH sound-isolating earphones
Shure Inc.: www.shure.com
Price: $499 | Store Locator
Summary: With amazing sound and noise-cancelling technology, these earphones offer the ultimate music listening experience.

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Smart Phones and Cell Phones

Drift cell phone
Helio LLC: www.helio.com
Price: $225 for the phone, plus $65 to $135 per month for service | Tech Specs
Phone: 888-88-HELIO
Summary: The Helio Drift is a sleek, GPS-enabled slider phone with an advanced camera and stunning screen.

C300 cell phone
Pantech Wireless Inc.: www.pantech.com
Price: $119 | $20 Mail-In Rebate (PDF)
Cingular Store Locator | Phone: 888-290-4613
Summary: The Pantech C300 is the smallest flip phone available in the U.S. but sports two screens, a digital camera and other goodies.

Treo 680 smart phone
Palm Inc.: www.palm.com
Price: $399 | Tech Specs | Palm Store Locations
Phone: 800-881-7256
Summary: The Palm Treo 680 is the newest, coolest and best smart phone available, complete with fruity new colors.

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 smart phone
Research In Motion Ltd.: www.rim.com
Price: $200 after instant discount and rebate | Tech Specs | T-Mobile Store Locator | Phone: 800-T-MOBILE
Summary: The no-compromises BlackBerry Pearl includes features from the most advanced smart phones, but in a size that's small even for a regular cell phone.

theBoom v4 mobile headset
UmeVoice Inc.: www.umevoice.com
Price: $150 | Phone: 888-230-3300
Summary: For the business traveler who needs to speak softly and still be heard clearly from anywhere, anytime.

Voyager 510-USB Bluetooth headset system
Plantronics Inc.: www.plantronics.com
Price: $115 to $170 | Store Locator | Phone: 800-544-4660
Summary: This Bluetooth headset lets you switch seamlessly between mobile phone and PC softphone.

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On-the-Go Gadgets

iPaq rx5915 Travel Companion PDA
Hewlett-Packard Co.: www.hp.com
Price: $480 to $580 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-BUY-MYHP
Summary: This pocket computer cum entertainment center combines PC-level power with fully integrated GPS in a neat package that fits easily in the palm of your hand.

GO 510 GPS device
TomTom International BV: www.tomtom.com
Price: $475 to $600 | Store Locator
Summary: This in-car GPS has the right balance of features and price.

CarMD automotive diagnostic tool
CarMD Corp.: www.carmd.com
Price: $90 | Phone: 888-MyCarMD (692-2763)
Summary: CarMD is a handy diagnostic tool that can help you find out what's wrong with your car in minutes.

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Digital Cameras

D80 digital SLR camera
Nikon Inc.: www.nikonusa.com
Price: $880 to $990 (body only); $1,100 to $1,400 (w/ lens kit) | Rebate Offer (PDF) | Tech Specs | Store Locator
Phone: 800-NIKON-US
Summary: Rich with features, the 10-megapixel Nikon D80 hits the sweet spot between price and performance for those who are serious about their photography.

Digital Rebel XTi digital SLR camera
Canon Inc.: www.canonusa.com
Price: $725 to $800 (body only) | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-385-2155
Summary: While not quite as full of features as the Nikon D80, Canon's Digital Rebel XTi is smaller, lighter and more affordable.

PowerShot SD800 IS Digital Elph subcompact camera
Canon Inc.: www.canonusa.com
Price: $340 to $400 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-385-2155
Summary: "Cool" is something that fits easily in your pocket -- and does all the things the SD800 IS does.

PowerShot A630 compact camera
Canon Inc.: www.canonusa.com
Price: $225 to $275 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-385-2155
Summary: Larger than its subcompact cousins, the A630 takes excellent pictures and offers a great value.

HDR-SR1 AVC HD 30GB Handycam Camcorder
Sony Electronics Inc.: www.sony.com
Price: $1,140 to $1,500 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 877-865-7669
Summary: The new Sony HDR-SR1 is the first camcorder to allow high-definition video recording onto a hard disk drive.

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Home Theater

TH-50PX60U 50-in. plasma HDTV
Panasonic Corporation of North America: www.panasonic.com
Price: $1,925 to $2,800 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-405-0652
Summary: If you're into high-def quality and you like saving money, this Panasonic model offers a 50-in. screen for around $2,400 on the street.

Bravia XBR KDL-46XBR2 46-inch LCD HDTV
Sony Electronics Inc.: www.sony.com
Price: $2,650 to $3,800 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 877-865-SONY
Summary: It's bright, offers image quality like no other LCD and can handle the 1080p standard. Sony's KDL-46XBR2 is a pretty impressive HDTV.

LUX high-definition media center
VidaBox LLC: www.vidabox.com
Price: $3,499 to $8,000 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 516-730-7500
Summary: The LUX Dual HD from VidaBox is the only home theater system with integrated Blu-ray and HD-DVD.

HT-TQ85 home-theater-in-a-box
Samsung: www.samsung.com
Price: $470 to $530 | Tech Specs (PDF) | Store Locator
Summary: Excellent 5.1 sound quality at a bargain price. Who knew home theaters in a box could be this good?

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Family Fun

Wii console gaming system
Nintendo Co.: www.nintendo.com
Price: $249 | Tech Specs| Store Locator
Summary: An innovative control scheme heightens the fun factor in Nintendo's newest console gaming system.

Xbox 360 console gaming system
Microsoft Corp.: www.xbox.com
Price: $400 | Store Locator
Summary: With a vast library of games and excellent online services, the Xbox 360 can't be beat for a traditional, hard-core gaming experience.

Guitar Hero II console game
Activision: www.activision.com
Price: $73 to $80
Summary: With a bundled plastic guitar and an arsenal of high-powered rock music, Guitar Hero II unleashes your inner Keith Richards. Or Slash. Or...?

PC Games:

Sid Meier's Railroads
2K Games: www.2kgames.com
Price: $35 to $40
Summary: A splendid blend of strategy gaming and railroads.

Space Empires V
Shrapnel Games Inc.: www.shrapnelgames.com
Price: $40
Summary: Strategically deep science fiction, but accessible for the entire family.

Flight Simulator X
Microsoft Corp.: www.microsoft.com
Price: $40 to $47 | Tech Specs
Summary: Gorgeous graphics make Microsoft's tenth version of Flight Simulator a truly lifelike experience.

Sid Meier's Civilization IV
2K Games: www.2kgames.com
Price: $45 to $50
Summary: Guide your nation from a huddle of barbarians into a full-fledged global power with a combination of science, military, diplomatic and economic gameplay.

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Computers

iMac Core 2 Duo desktop computer
Apple Computer Inc.: www.apple.com
Price: $999 to $1,999 (base) | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-MY-APPLE (692-7753)
Summary: Speed, power, good looks, multimedia savvy -- the newest iMacs have it all.

MacBook Pro laptop computer
Apple Computer Inc.: www.apple.com
Price: $1,999 to $2,799 (base) | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-MY-APPLE (692-7753)
Summary: The MacBook Pro is Apple's top-of-the-line, fashionable, fast and fun laptop -- and it does Windows, too.

Aurora m9700 gaming laptop
Alienware: www.alienware.com
Price: $1,599 to $3,499 | Tech Specs | Phone: 800-ALIENWARE
Summary: A tandem SLI graphics configuration makes the m9700 laptop a mobile gaming monster.

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Home Office

VX Revolution wireless mouse
Logitech: www.logitech.com
Price: $55 to $75 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-231-7717
Summary: The VX Revolution is a dual-laser wireless mouse that's large enough for desktop use, small enough to travel with, and provides useful convenience features.

MX 610 laser cordless mouse
Logitech: www.logitech.com
Price: $45 to $60 | Tech Specs | Store Locator | Phone: 800-231-7717
Summary: The MX 610 is a great basic wireless mouse -- it even comes in a left-handed version.

Rev 70GB USB 2.0 external drive
Iomega Corp.: www.iomega.com
Price: $410 to $599 for drive; $56 to $69 for single cartridge; $200 to $230 for cartridge four-pack
Tech Specs | Store Locator
Summary: This external hard drive with swappable 70GB cartridges is perfect for the person who has everything -- and needs someplace to store it all.

Mirra Sync and Share personal server
Seagate Technology LLC: www.seagate.com
Price: $435 to $500 (320GB model); $520 to $600 (500GB model) | Tech Specs (PDF) | Store Locator
Summary: Seagate's Mirra Sync and Share allows home network users to effortlessly store, share and synchronize documents and media.

CS70 wireless office headset system
Plantronics, Inc.: www.plantronics.com
Price: $220 to $340 | Store Locator | Phone: 800-544-4660
Summary: The CS70 wreless office headset system brings you phone chat that frees your hands and that's free of wires.

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Weird and Wacky

iKaraoke microphone
Griffin Technology: www.griffintechnology.com
Price: $50 | Store Locator
Summary: The magic microphone that turns your iPod into a karaoke bar.

Mimobot USB flash drives
Mimoco LLC: www.mimoco.com
Price: $75 to $120 | Store Locator
Summary: Shaped like a variety of characters ranging from Darth Vader to Elvis, Mimobots offer a cute-but-twisted way to store your data.

SushiDisk USB flash drives
SolidAlliance LLC: www.dynamism.com
Price: $79 to $99
Summary: Satisfy a techie's fetish for the sublimely odd with a USB flash drive shaped like raw fish.

Spy Video Car
Wild Planet Entertainment Inc.: www.wildplanet.com
Price: $140 ($99 at Target and Toys R Us through December) | Phone: 877-945-3752
Summary: This remote-controlled car with built-in video camera is perfect for the little spy on your holiday list.

USB Roll-Up Piano
Brando Workshop: usb.brando.com.hk
Price: $46
Summary: Plug this USB piano keyboard into your PC and make beautiful music -- then roll it up and stuff it in your pocket.

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Five Under $50

Color-Call Caller ID System
Brookstone: www.brookstone.com
Price: $30 | Phone: 866-576-7337
Summary: The Color-Call Caller ID System clues you in as to who's calling -- from across the room.

iPod Radio Remote
Apple Computer Inc.: www.apple.com
Price: $37 to $49 | Phone: 800-MY-APPLE (692-7753)
Summary: Add FM-radio capability to your iPod simply and cleanly.

DVD/CD Disc Repair Plus
Aleratec Inc.: www.aleratec.com
Price: $25 to $40 | Store Locator | Phone: 866-882-5372
Summary: Give new life to damaged and scratched CDs and DVDs with Aleratec's DVD/CD Disc Repair Plus machine.

Lexar JumpDrive Mercury 1GB USB flash drive
Lexar Media Inc.: www.lexar.com
Price: $48 to $49 | Store Locator | Phone: 800-789-9418
Summary: This flash drive has a capacity indicator that stays on after the device is removed from the computer.

Wireless Weather Forecaster with Temperature Display and Self-Setting Atomic Clock
Oregon Scientific: www.oregonscientific.com
Price: $30 to $45 | Store Locator
Summary: Keep an eye on the weather without getting out of bed, with Wireless Weather Forecaster from Oregon Scientific.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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