Green Holiday Gift Guide

Wouldn't you know it? Another holiday season is upon us, which means it's time to scour stores and Web sites for gifts to bestow upon friends, relatives -- or oneself.

But what's that you say? You're a tech enthusiast who's resolved to invest only in eco-friendly wares? Well, rest assured that there are plenty of gifts suited for green geekery.

[ For more gift ideas, check out InfoWorld's 2008 geek gift guide and Vintage geek gift guide. | Check out last year's green gadget guide for geeks.]

Anycom Solar Car Kit

Holding a cell phone in your hand and talking as you drive is downright dangerous, which makes hands-free Bluetooth-powered alternatives a smart idea. Even smarter: a hands-free, Bluetooth product that runs on so-lar energy. The Anycom Solar Car-Kit fits that bill splendidly.

The Anycom Solar Car Kit conveniently affixes to your windshield with suction cups, enabling you to have cell-phone conversations while keeping your hands on the wheel. Not only does its rechargeable lithium polymer battery provide up to 15 hours talk time; it also has a high-performance so-lar panel on the back, capable of soaking up sunlight to power your calls. With sufficient sunlight, three hours of charging will provide 30 minutes of talk time.

Pricing for the Anycome Solar Car-Kit starts at around $56.99.

Apple MacBook Air

If your OS of choice is Mac instead of Windows, here's a tasty green Ap-ple for you to sink your teeth into: the slick, slim MacBook Air. The slen-der machine weighs in at a mere three pounds and measures 0.16 inches at its thinnest point. That reduced size mean it contains fewer plastics and other non-renewable resources than other machines on the market.

Among its other green bragging points, the MacBook Air has a recyclable aluminum enclosure, as well as a mercury-free LCD display with arsenic-free glass. Inside, the system contains no brominated flame retardant, and the cables are PVC-free. The system also complies with the European Un-ion's Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS). These green criteria and other have earned the system a Gold rating from EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), which grades computing products based on their greenness.

The lean, green machine consumes the least power among all Macs: It can run for five hours without its batteries needing to be recharged.

The MacBook Air is powered by a 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB L2 cache and includes 2GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive as standard features.

Pricing for the MacBook Air starts at $1,799.

Dell Hybrid Studio Desktop

Like other good things, green computers come in small packages. In fact, a minute form factor is one of the eco-friendly selling points of Dell's Hybrid Studio Desktop computer. The sleekly designed system is 80 percent smaller than standard desktops, which means it contains less plastic and other non-biodegradable materials than its rivals. Moreover, the machine surpasses the requirements of the RoHS.

Adding to the Hybrid Studio's green appeal is its high level of energy efficiency: Consuming 70 percent less power than a typical desktop, the machine surpasses the requirements laid out by Energy Star for desktops. These traits help earn the machine a Gold rating from EPEAT.

Don't let this system's green pedigree or minute size fool you, though: It's a highly capable computing machine, designed to be muscular enough to run Microsoft's weighty Vista Home Premium operating system. It includes up to a 4GB 667MHz Intel Pentium Dual Core processor, up to 320GB of storage space, a CD/DVD writer, built-in wireless networking capabilities, and optional Blu-Ray functionality and TV tuner.

A rainbow of colorful, interchangeable sleeves is available for the Dell Studio Hybrid, though if you want to be extra eco-friendly, you could opt for one made from bamboo.

Pricing for the Dell Studio Hybrid starts at $499.

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