Holiday Gift Guide 2011: 25 Hot Ideas For Your Techie

'Tis The Season

Holiday music has already filled the halls and malls to a maddening level. So, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and hit the stores and the Web to stock up on must-have tech gifts for that gizmo and gadget lover in your life. Here, we corral 25 cool gift ideas for anyone with even the slightest tech-slant in your circle. We've hit nearly all possible price points. Give your techie the hot holiday hookup with one of these sweet gift ideas on our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide.

Pivot Power

The name says it all. The Pivot Power, from Quirky, is a power strip that moves, groves and bends to accommodate large adapters in all six of its outlets. This thing offers 672 Joules of protection, six feet of cord with a flat head plug and easily bends to pivot around furniture and harder to reach places. So far, the patent is pending on the Pivot Power and it's only approved to work in the U.S. and Canada, but for just 30 bucks, it's a perfect idea for the techie who needs a little extra juice.

Amazon Kindle Fire

It's the tablet that's making everyone question why they dropped a small fortune on the Apple iPad. Amazon re-tooled its line of Kindle e-readers recently and as part of that revamp added a tried and true tablet to its roster. The Amazon Kindle Fire is a 7-inch LCD touch-screen tablet that clocks in at 14.6 ounces and runs just under $200. Compared to the iPad's starting price of $500, the Kindle Fire is a holiday miracle this shopping season. And the dual-core processor and the latest version of Google Android give the Kindle Fire a solid dose of horsepower. Add to that the 8 GB of built-in storage, access to books, movies and music and a host of other media capabilities and the Wi-Fi enabled Kindle Fire is sure to get you a kiss under the mistletoe (if that's your thing).


Point and shoot. It's that simple. Lytro launched a light field camera that takes out all the worry. No focusing, no brightness adjustment. Just point and shoot. Photos are focused and re-focused after the fact and photos can be easily shared from the desktop to social media networks. Lytro features 8x optical zoom, but prides itself on what it lacks: There's no auto-focus, no shutter lag, no unnecessary modes, dials, or settings. And, there's no flash. "So, no obstacles to the perfect shot," Lytro said on its Web site. Lytro cameras start around $400 and range from 8 GB (350 pictures) to 16 GB (750 pictures) and come in a variety of colors.


DODOcase got its start the same day as the Apple iPad, and has since become the go-to iPad case for techies, celebs and every day users alike. Hand-made to resemble a hard-bound book, the DODOcase offers protection and a sly disguise to prevent theft. The DODOcase cradles the iPad in a strong and gentle bamboo tray and can be used as a stand for typing and watching video. Since getting its start with the iPad, DODOcase has broadened its scope and added cases for the iPad 2 (shown), Amazon Kindle, BlackBerry PlayBook, Apple iPhone and more, but the iPad will always be the apple of its eye. DODOcase offers various exterior and interior designs and are made to order, so order early to get it on time. DODOcases for iPad start around $60.

Roku LT

Starting around $50 for the Roku (shown) and increasing to about $100 for the Roku 2 XS, Roku has become a top shelf TV streaming device. Roku promises to deliver TV shows, movies, live sports, music, games and more on your TV whenever you want it without a PC (it uses Wi-Fi). Users can access their Netflix subscriptions and Roku constantly adds more entertainment choices. Roku offers a range of options and features based on which model you choose.

Apple iPhone 4S

Siri, what's the best holiday gift for the smartphone-lover in my family? "Why, that'd be the iPhone 4S."

While the Apple iPhone 4S hardware is an exact match to the iPhone 4, it adds enough flare to keep the Apple fanboys (and even casual smartphone enthusiasts) thrilled. Siri, a voice-activated speech recognition engine answers questions and takes commands to become your personal assistant. Siri maps routes, finds locations, schedules meetings, reads text messages and performs hundreds of other tasks. The iPhone 4S also adds a faster, higher-resolution camera with an 8-megapixel sensor and 60 percent more pixels than the iPhone 4's existing camera and sports an A5 chip.

The iPhone 4S comes in black or white, and ranges from $199 (16 GB) to $399 (64 GB version). The iPhone 4S is also the first iPhone world phone, meaning it's compatible on both GSM and CDMA networks at home and abroad. It's available on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon networks.

uNu Power DX External Battery Case

With the power problems plaguing the iPhone 4S, give the gift of a little extra juice this holiday season with the uNu Power DX External Battery Case for iPhone 4/4S. The case protects the device from damage and also recharges a battery that has gone kaput. The iPhone 4/4S uNu makes cases for older model iPhones as well. The 4/4S model starts around $60 for the DX-1700 model (shown).

The Ultimate Geek Pen

When it comes to bells and whistles, The Ultimate Geek Pen from Accoutrements has 'em. A turn of the tip one way reveals a ballpoint pen. A twist the other way pops out a stylus for PDAs and games. The top button ignites a laser pointer and the bottom button cycles through a flashlight and an ultra violet light. What's more? The flashlight comes on a flexible rod for precision aiming. The Ultimate Geek Pen measures 5 ¼-inches-long, starts at about $10 and comes with three LR41 batteries included.

Victorinox Presentation Master

Have a high-priority, confidential presentation that needs to be on lock down? Victorinox's Presentation Master combines up to 32 GB of storage with data encryption and biometrics to ensure only you can get to your files. The Presentation Master also integrates a Bluetooth remote control for a PC or notebook and a laser pointer. Add in Victorinox's staple features like a blade, a nail file with screwdriver and scissors, and there's an all purpose data storage and protection tool that also adds the cool factor. Oh, and the memory is removable, so it can safely travel on airplanes or other places where knives are a no-no. The Presentation Master starts at around $170.

Akitio MyCloud Duo

The Akitio MyCloud Duo is billed as a "personal cloud server" for network attached storage that lets users save and share digital content with friends, family and whoever using Akitio's iSharing software. The MyCloud Duo can stream media files on the local network and includes a Web-based file browser and media player to manage and playback files. The device features a Web portal for remote access and a Gigabit Ethernet connection. The Akitio MyCloud Duo starts around $150 at some retailers.

Cyber Clean

Put this one in the "as seen on TV" column, but that doesn't make it any less useful. Cyber Clean is the perfect techie stocking-stuffer. The glowing green goo can pull debris, dust and dirt from keyboards and devices quickly. It's sticky and slimy and great for wedging into hard to reach crevices, like keyboards. It works on PCs, laptops, smartphones and other devices to get the gunk out. Once the grime is collected, roll the blob around and use it again. Cyber Clean ranges from about $4 for a small bag, to $50 for a big bucket.


While it won't ship until early next year, an IOU for a Swivl from Satarii will be just as good, especially since the manufacturer is promising very limited quantities will be produced. Swivl is a video blogger or perpetual YouTuber's dream: An accessory that removes the challenge of filming yourself. It works with iPhones and Flip cameras, Swivl is a sensor-enabled, motorized base for a mobile video device. It comes with a pared market that the user holds like a remote control, or wears, to allow the base to follow the marker to ensure it's in the camera's field of view. Swivl can be reserved online or sent as a gift.

ThinkGeek Bluetooth Watch

Tired of pulling your cell phone or smartphone from your pocket or holster to see who's calling? Worry no more. ThinkGeek has combined laziness and function into the ThinkGeek Bluetooth Watch with Caller ID Display. The traditional analog watch features a digital screen that when paired with a mobile device via Bluetooth shows who is calling. But that's not all. A text icon appears when a text message is received, the ringer can be muted by pushing a button on the watch and it features a rechargeable battery with power save functionality. The stainless steel watch comes with a leather band, and the Bluetooth pairing code is 0000, making it easy to sync with any device. The Bluetooth Watch is a timely gift for just about $70.

X-Mini II Capsule Speaker

Big sound comes in small packages. This pint-sized wonder is small enough to pocket, but powerful enough to rock. The X-Mini II Capsule Speaker is collapsible, so it fits nearly anywhere, and several can be connected together in a daisy chain configuration to really pump up the jams. Original in black, white and red, the X-Mini II Capsule Speaker runs about $30 each and comes equipped with a standard 3.5-mm jack.

Celluon Magic Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard

Tired of tap, tap, tapping away at the iPhone or iPad keyboard only to be stuck rewriting due to annoying autofills and typos? Yeah. We get it. Well, Celluon is putting an end to that with its Magic Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard. Small in stature, but big on the wow factor, the device projects a laser keyboard onto any flat surface so iPhone and iPad users can type like they're on a real keyboard. Heck, typing can even be accompanied by simulated key clicks. It offers a 63-key fill QWERTY keyboard and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth to iPhones, iPads and a host of other devices, including Android. And in "mouse mode" the Magic Cube lets users use their finger as a mouse rather than typing. The device charges via USB and a full charge lasts about 150 minutes of continuous typing. The laser keyboard runs about $170.

Microsoft Arc Touch Wireless Mouse

Microsoft's Arc Touch Wireless Mouse offers a slick design and reliability for computing on the go. IT can be used anywhere thanks to Microsoft's BlueTrack Technology and the wireless range is up to 30 feet. The mouse automatically powers off when flattened, and powers on when curved. The Microsoft Arc Touch Wireless Mouse responds to fingers on the scroll pad and uses Haptic feedback to scan through documents or Web pages. The mouse syncs with a transceiver that 's plugged into a computers USB port. The Microsoft Arc Touch Wireless Mouse retails for about $70, but can be found cheaper elsewhere.

Motorola Droid RAZR

The RAZR is back, and it means business. Running on Verizon's 4G LTE network, the revival of Motorola's best selling device -- now packed with an Android OS -- has earned a spot at the smartphone table. Featuring a Kevlar backplate and Corning Gorilla Glass to protect from scratches and such; a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor; 1 GB of RAM; and a 4.3-inch super AMOLED display, the new RAZR is designed to be an eye catcher. The new RAZR has the iPhone 4S looking over its shoulder this holiday season. The Motorola Droid RAZR runs about $300 with a two-year Verizon agreement.

Lark Silent Alarm Clock

Calling itself the "un-alarm" clock, Lark aims to put an end to rude awakenings. The wristband/sensor/app combo sync with your iPhone and gently nudges users awake as to not disturb their sleeping partners. The sensor tracks sleeping patterns, which can be digested on a mobile app on the iPhone or in an online Web application. The Lark system starts at $99 and goes up to $159 for the pro edition.

Fitbit Ultra

Mobile devices that help you get fit? Where do we sign up. If you have someone on your holiday list that's looking to burn some extra calories, the Fitbit Ultra might be the thing. Wear the tiny device to track how many steps you take, the stairs you climb, the mount of calories you burn and how well you sleep. It wirelessly syncs data to a Web portal where you can examine your results. It also offers projections and helps track progress. The Fitbit Ultra is $100 and measures 2.125 inches high, 0.75 inches wide and 0.5625 inches deep.

Logitech Ultimate Ears 700 Noise-Isolating Headphones

The Logitech Ultimate Ears 700 Noise-Isolating earbuds reproduce highs and lows separately with two custom-tuned drivers per ear, producing a crisp, cloud sound in a micro-design that fits snuggly into the user's ear. And with outside noise reduction of 26 decibels, the Logitech Ultimate Ears 700 ensure a quality listening experience for $150.

HP Folio 13 Ultrabook

HP threw its hat into the ultrabook ring earlier this month with the HP Folio 13. Clocking in at 18 mm and running just under $900 with an Intel Core i3 processor, the Folio 13 features a 13.3-inch display size and storage with a 128 GB SSD drive. The HP Folio 13 ultrabook promises nine hours of battery life and adds a backlit keyboard, RJ-45 Ethernet , an SD card slot, USP 3.0 ports and a built in Webcam. HP plans to have the consumer model available in early December, and the business version sometime in January.

Bose SoundLink

Give the gift of music. Music whenever. Music wherever. The Bose SoundLink capitalizes on smartphones bursting with tunes. The SoundLink setup shares mobile music with Bose sound quality via the Bluetooth speaker. The compact speaker works wirelessly with the Apple iPhone, Google Android and BlackBerry devices, along with tablets and laptops, for truly portable wireless music; anytime, anywhere. The price tag of $300 may sound steep, but Bose sound is a gift that keeps on giving.

Avaak VueZone System

Peace of mind makes a great gift, and Avaak VueZone System for wireless IP webcams bring a lot to the table. The remote video monitoring system features built-in motion detection. The Avaak VueZone System prides itself on quick setup and offers users a way to check in on their home, pets, kids, family, business and more. Users can set up their own personal video monitoring network and view it from smartphones and web browsers. The system runs about $200 for one camera and base, and about $90 more to add a second camera.

Garmin Nuvi 2350LMT

For the directionally challenged, GPSs still make a great gift. And the Garmin nuvi 2350LMT is among the most straight-forward, accurate GPSs out there. As with Garmin's previous models, the 2350LMT adds in a host of points of interest, an easy to use interface, improved graphics and a faster processor. It also comes with the promise of free map updates and traffic reports for the life of the device. The Garmin nuvi 2350LMT retails for more than $200, but can be found at some retailers for around $150.

HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275

The HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 just landed and has already created quite a stir. It offers printing, copying, faxing and, the feature which earns it the "TopShot" name, a 3D object scanner. Measuring 18.4 inches by 16.1 inches by 10.6 inches, the 30-pound color MPF offers 17 pages per minute black printing speed and a max copy resolution of 600 x 600. It adds in a USB 2.0 jack, a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port and 802.11n Wi-Fi for wireless printing. It also works with Apple's AirPrint and ePrint for cloud-based printing. The HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 sports a 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD and can leverage apps like contact management, 0postage and document collaboration. The printer runs $400.