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GEEK TECH: Gift Guide 2012

The gift-giving season is upon on us once again!

As the years go by, technology and gadgets permeate the art of gift-giving. Gadgets are better than ever, and everybody seems to want something new, and shiny, and, well, gadget-y.  And everybody else seems to want to be the person to give out the coolest, technologically shiny electronic gizmo.

Of course money doesn’t grow on trees, and the good stuff isn’t cheap, but there are some gifts that give pretty good bang-for-the-buck.

I’ve compiled a modest list of the best of the best.

Netflix / Hulu Plus  ($8/month)

So many people don’t realize the joy of subscription video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Many TV’s come with these built-in these days, and of course all the major consoles do as well. There is a good chance someone already has a device that supports these services but hasn’t signed up yet. Hook them up!

And if they don’t have a device? Keep reading.

Isotoner smarTouch / North Face Etip gloves ($19)

Clever and useful winter gloves with fingertips that will work on multitouch devices.

Mophie Powerstation Duo ($99)

This small, light, rechargeable device can charge two USB devices at a time. It’s can be tossed easily into a backpack or luggage and can prove to be a lifesaver in a pinch.

Apple Airport Express ($99)

A very solid, cheap, easy-to-configure wireless router which also can have speakers plugged into it. You can stream music to it from a Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc. I’m always meeting people that don’t know about the brilliant, cheap device and it’s capabilities.

You can truly transform someone’s digital lifestyle with this easy to setup device.

Apple TV / Boxee / Roku 2 XS ($99)

Each of these have unique pros and cons to be sure. If your gift recipient is an Apple afficiando, the Apple TV is a no brainer. If not, go with the Boxee or Roku. None of these are perfect, but for $99 they are great way to get someone’s TV online and into the 21st century.

Kindle Paperwhite ($139)

You can read my full review of the Kindle Paperwhite here. It’s the best e-reader out there, and isn’t too pricey. Throw in an Amazon gift card for good measure!

Nexus 7 ($199) / Kindle Fire HD ($214) / iPad mini ($329) / iPad ($499)

The four best tablets on the market.

Absolutely cannot recommend a Windows 8 tablet, sorry.

But all four of the above are good choices.

 If money is no object, go with the full size iPad. If they’re an Amazon fan, the Kindle Fire. If they’re an Apple-phobe and/or particularly fond of Google, go with the Nexus 7.

Tablets are the revolution realized, and the sooner you put one of these in someone’s hands, the better.

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