So we’ve been trying to stay fairly frugal in our 2008 Gift Guide, but we’ve gotten a bunch of email from people asking where all the high-priced items have gone. We figured today we’d answer that with the Wicked Lasers SONAR II Burner laser. We’ve been playing around with one for a few days, and we can definitely say that it exhibits a cool factor (and geek cred!) Why? For starters, it’s a fricken laser. Secondly, the specific laser diode that’s in this one is the same as you’d find in a Blu-ray player. Yeah, a Blu-ray laser, in the palm of your hand. Sick, right? You’ve got a 405nm violet beam at your fingertips. Of course, all that power comes at a price, and if you wanna get in on the action, the Sonar II Burner will cost you $1,999.99. See? We weren’t kidding.
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We’ve been big fans of the Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones since we first got our hands on them. They’ve got a nice style, with a hip-hop vibe, and a fantastic noise-canceling feature. The earcups are surprisingly comfortable, and fold away on the inner side of the glossy black headband, which can then be stored in the included case. The Beats by Dr. Dre studio headphones do requier two AAA batteries for the noise cancellation feature, and you’ll get about 50 hours of listening time on a pair of those. They also include two audio cables, both of which even fit into the original iPhone headset jack, and one of which also includes a mic, so you can take calls. The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre stereo headphones can be found on Amazon for $349.
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Sure, Netflix has come to the Xbox 360, but if you want streaming access to the Netflix service and don’t own a game console, this is your cheapest barrier to entry. Definitely a great gift for movie buffs, the Roku Netflix player is able to stream over 12,000 movies and television shows from the Netflix Watch Instantly catalogue. The set-top box currently outputs at 480p (DVD quality), but we know that high definition streaming is on the way. The box is tiny, so it takes up barely any space, and setup takes just a couple of minutes - very simple. Of course, a Netflix subscription is required, but once you have that, everything else is a piece of cake.
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Yeah, we know, the Time Capsule is a router and backup device. Not that exciting, right? Well, not all gifts are meant to spur excitement - this one is practical and functional. If you know someone who owns a Mac, and doesn’t take advantage of Time Machine, then they need a Time Capsule - especially if they use a MacBook or MacBook Pro. The Time Machine sports either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, and is a combination wired/wireless network attached storage device. Even better, it doubles as an 802.11n/g router as well. The 500GB Time Capsule sells for $299, while the 1TB version will run you $499.
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We’ve been messing with our T-Mobile G1 for a few days now, in preparation for a full review, but we are confident enough in the device to list it here in our Holiday Gift Guide. The T-Mobile G1 is the first phone on the market that features Google’s Android OS. Along with the Google love, the G1 features 3G speeds, a physical QWERTY keyboard, and a 3 megapixel camera. The software itself features all the goodness you’d expect from Google, meaning integration with Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, and Google Maps with the super-cool Street View Compass mode. There’s also a store that allows you to download apps, games, and the like. If you want to get someone a smartphone, and they are on T-Mobile, this is the one to get. You can pick it up from T-Mobile for $179.
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We’ve been big fans of Slacker since we saw it earlier this year at CES. Now, we were big fans of the Slacker Internet radio service, but that meant you had to keep Slacker in your browser. With the Slacker G2, all that Internet radio goodness is now portable. So, why the Slacker G2 over a regular MP3 player? Well, first off, the owner doesn’t have to pay for the music. You don’t even have to use a computer to transfer music to the device, as that can all be done with the devices itself. It connects to the free Slacker service over Wi-Fi, and will update itself with music whenever it has a connection. The 4 GB Slacker G2 supports 25 stations, and retails for $199.99. You can pick one up at Amazon.
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We know, you’re wondering why on Earth we’d be recommending a surge protector as a gift, right? Well, the Belkin Conserve line is actually pretty cool. In the interest of being green, we are recommending a power strip that is great for the eco-concious folks in your life. You’re able to turn off all connected devices with one switch. Outlets are spaced out to support those unsightly bulky ones, and there is even a remote you can use to control the flow of power. Since electronics pull power, even when powered off, that means you’re wasting electricity constantly unless you unplug your devices when you are done using them. The Belkin Concserve fixes that. They retail for $49.99, but we were able to find them for 24% less - $38.24 at Amazon.
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Yeah, we know that the iPhone is probably a little rich to purchase for someone during the holidays, plus there’s the whole activtion conundrum. Instead, focus on the people who already own the iPhone 3G, and get them an accessory that we absolutely love. The Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 3G gives the iPhone more than double the battery life that it has on its own. That means you get up to 250 hours standby time, 6 hours talk time (or 12 hours if on EDGE), 28 hours audio playback, and 8 hours video playback. The cost on this one is $99.95, and is totally worth it for iPhone road warriors.
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The Altec Lansing UHS306 earbuds are, in our opinion, the best pair of wired earbuds that you can get for the iPhone in the under-$100 price range. You’ll find cloth wires that will greatly reduce instances of tangling (which is almost like two gifts in one!) The UHS306 also incorporates both an in-line microphone and in-line volume controls, which means you can use these to listen to your music and for taking phone calls. A switch hook, lapel clip, and mute controls round out these $89.95 earbuds. Even better? We’ve found them for $56.99.
Be sure to check out more suggestions in our Holiday Gift Guide!
The great thing about surround-sound headphones is that you can enjoy those loud, booming movies while not disturbing anyone else around. One of the best pairs of headhones in this category is are the Pioneer SE-DIR800C models. These deliver nice, clear sound, even in action movies, with no audible distortion to be heard. They also stay comfortable on your ears while you sit through multiple full-length movies - that’s a rarity. They may be pricey, but they are perfect for what they are meant to do. They use Dolby Headphone processing to mimic a surround environment, and they do it well. They include a rechargeable battery, which has to be removed in order to be recharged. These run for $399 USD, but can be found cheaper by shopping around. Compare prices on Pioneer SE-DIR800C.
Read More | Pioneer SE-DIR800C on Amazon