I-giftshops.com - Gift ideas for him and her.Gift IdeasTipsArticlesSitemapResourcesDirectory

Hot Holiday Tech Toys

This is the time of the year when we look forward to friends, family, food—and stress. We may take pleasure in holiday gatherings, but the time leading up to them is filled with hectic preparations and often less than pleasurable. For many, scrambling to find perfect gifts tops the list of ordeals that create worn tooth enamel and short fingernails.

We have a number of ways to help reduce your intake of keratin. As you've probably noted, on the PCMag.com home page, you'll find our Daily Gift Idea, which has links to short descriptions of tech goodies sure to please. And you can hardly miss the link to our massive 2004 Holiday Gift Guide, where you'll find pointers to high-tech holiday gifts for every type of person, from kids to grandparents and gamers to traveling workaholics. You'll also see The Ultimate Holiday Shopping List (click on the "next>" link when you arrive at the first shopping list page); The Hottest Games for the Season, where you'll find an extensive set of reviews; and more.

Those with nails already in danger of vanishing—and hair that's following—need to cut to the chase, though. To assist them, we've rounded up reviews of this year's red-hot high-tech gifts: the Apple iPod Mini, Apple iTunes (gift certificates), the M-Audio GrooveLab, the Nintendo DS, and the Wow Wee RoboSapien.

At this point, no Apple iPod needs much of an introduction. Just try giving a different hard-drive music player. (We did, but our wounds are healing nicely.) Of all the iPods, the Mini, with its color metallic finishes, glows white-hot with cool. But the beauty isn't just case-deep. Quality—in design, construction, and performance—make this miniature sound system a giant.

For people who already own digital music players, what could be more welcome than the gift of music? Here, once again, Apple leads the pack, in no small measure because of the selection and ease of use it offers. And it offers something else—gift certificates. We were impressed with both the store and the Apple iTunes utility when we reviewed version 4.5. (Version 4.6 it out now; stay tuned for our eval.)

Like Don MacLean, plenty of musically talented people think to themselves, "If I had my chance, I could make those people dance." The M-Audio GrooveLab gives them the chance. The package is an incredibly inexpensive combination of software and hardware (including headphones with attached boom microphone) based on a loop/sequencing package used by professional DJs. Everything a budding beat-blaster needs is here.

For the rabid gamer-on-the-go, the Nintendo DS is a ticket to nirvana on a warp-drive starship. We gave this portable gaming system five out of five stars and an Editor's Choice when we reviewed it on its own. The 5.9- by 3.3-inch (WD) clamshell case opens to reveal not one, but two gorgeous screens, one of which is touch sensitive. Graphics quality and performance are astounding. One warning—if you have multiple game enthusiasts in the house, you'd better by multiple units or risk off-screen as well as on-screen wars.

When the Wow Wee RoboSapien appeared in our offices, productivity disappeared. Who can resist watching what looks like the Hulk, in the guise of a black-and-white munchkin, dance to the funky beat? And that's just one of this simian-shouldered automaton's 60-odd (and we mean odd) talents, which also include walking—and the one that brought out the barely latent thirteen-year-old in us—rude noises.

So if you've found yourself a wee bit wound up before the holidays, don't start in on your toenails. Read these reviews and keep your socks on.

© Copyright i-giftshops.com All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.