It seems like techies should be the easiest group to buy for. But in truth, the gifts that plug in, connect and capture daily life are the hardest to buy, and usually the most expensive. Shelves are lined with 18 different headphone options, ranging from $9.99 to hundreds of dollars. Behind locked cases are 47 choices of cameras, and that's just in your price range. And then there is the endless wall of high-tech accessories.
To ease your buying burden, we've sorted through our favorite tech-friendly gifts for the season. Think of it as our gift to you.
' Be everywhere: Ever wish you could be a dozen places at once? Well, now you can, sort of, with the eStarting Digital WiFi Frame. Through complicated technology I don't really understand, but appreciate, the device works like any other digital picture frame, but also takes images posted on major photo Web sites (like Photobucket and Flickr) and sends the images to several frames at once. Which means you can take a picture of your cute kids opening Christmas presents and send the image to your own frame, as well as to the frames or e-mail addresses of Grandma in Houston and Aunt Ida in Des Moines. The 8-inch black eStarting frame with 4/3 LCD ratio retails for $249.99 and is sold online at www.estarling.com.
' Wire-free control: There's no new, extra hot game console for parents to stand in line for this year. But don't count your extra dollars so fast, Mom and Dad. There are plenty of must-have accessories to go with the consoles of yesteryear. XBox has introduced a rainbows worth of hues for the savvy XBox 360 Wireless Controller. The cord-free controller offers all a gamer could need, including a 30 foot range, adjustable vibration feedback and left and right shoulder buttons. It's a gift to impress even the pickiest teen, but at $49.99, won't break the bank. The controller is sold at area electronic stores, such as Target and Best Buy.
' Picture perfect: It's a simple fact: If you want a good, quality camera, you're gonna have to pay. At least, that used to be the case. DXG recently introduced a 10 Megapixel digital camera, priced under $200, making it the first manufacturer to do so. The DXG-10 boasts a 10 megapixel CCD sensor, 12 megapixel image resolution, 2.5 inch high-resolution TFT screen, a bevy of cool button features and a 3X optical/4X optical zoom. All told, this one's a beauty. The DXG-10 retails for $169.99 and is sold at area electronic stores and online at www.dxgusa.com.
' Orb- errific: Everyone owns an iPod. And the lowly one percent of the population that remains pod-less is probably getting one this year for Christmas. Make the most of the mp3 player with cool iAccessories, like the mStation Orb. The round docking station mixes superb quality with an ultra-funky design. The desktop dock and speaker system boast subwoofer-like sound, and comes with a 10-key remote to adjust bass and treble. Available in five vibrant colors, the orb retails for $129.95 and is sold at CompUSA and online at www.mstation.com.