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25 Top Tech Gifts: Your Guide to Cool Yule Tools

Holiday gift suggestions for the techie on your wish list.

Cool Yule Tools

Before you hit the pavement or head online to go shopping for the holidays, check out our favorite 25 products from this year's Cool Yule Tools holiday gift ideas.

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Dell Studio XPS 16 notebook

Performance and style really do go together, especially with this multimedia notebook from Dell. New Intel Core i7 Mobile processors, 1080p HD support and a 15.6-inch display mix with leather accents, a backlit keyboard and sleek finish to make a system that's not only fun to use (Windows 7 – yay!), but also fun to see and be seen with.

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Blue Eyeball 2.0 USB Webcam

A sleek design in a very portable package, the Eyeball 2.0 Webcam features high-definition audio and video (2 megapixel camera) to give you a better Web chat experience. The 2.0 version features a retractable camera lens for privacy when you don't want to be seen, and a special monitor adapter lets you position the camera on top of almost any monitor. The best part? Driverless installation, with no CDs or long wait to get up and running.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

HP ProBook 5310

HP packs a lot into this SMB-based notebook. Who wouldn't like a notebook with a 13.3-inch screen, 160GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM, a 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Dual processor, and for about $700? Oh yeah, it's wicked thin – HP claims it's the thinnest notebook out there, at 0.93-inches high, besting the MacBook Air at 0.94 inches. The ProBook gets the keyboard right, with separated and raised keys that help you avoid hitting two keys at the same time.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Seagate FreeAgent DockStar

Connect this to your router, attach an external hard drive (preferably a Seagate FreeAgent portable drive), and voila: instant NAS. Awesome software from Pogoplug lets you quickly connect to the DockStar from any PC your home or from around the world.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Epson Artisan 810

A photo printer might give you good quality photo prints, but after you've printed out photos from the Artisan 810, you'll never want to go back. Spend the extra money on this printer and you'll have great looking photos for years to come. And the extra features (copy, print, fax, Wi-Fi connectivity) only make this printer that much better. This year (we loved the Artisan 800 last year), a new feature lets you recharge an iPod through a front-end USB port. Simply awesome.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Targus Laptop Chill Mat

Combines the best features of laptop cooling devices: Two USB-powered fans deliver cooling to your notebook, a soft pad around the mat provides comfort for you and the notebook, an angled design creates a better angle for typing, and its light weight makes it easy for travel.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Logitech Squeezebox Radio

We continue to be in love with the Squeezebox systems from Logitech – this year's favorite is a Wi-Fi-enabled system that plays tons of Internet radio stations, but also connects with Facebook, Pandora and Slacker that lets you listen to music and share with your friends.

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Waterfield Designs Cargo Bag

The goal of a notebook bag is to hold the notebook safely, let you organize your gadgets, cables and what-not, and still leave space for your boarding pass and copy of Network World. We really enjoyed this Gary Waterfield-designed messenger-style laptop bag, it still looks like new after three months of solid usage.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

3M Mpro 120 Pocket Projector

They've shrunk every other tech device, now it's the projector's turn. This pico projector lets you show videos, photos and presentations stored on any video source (your PC, a camcorder or even an iPhone/iPod Touch). Fits in your hand, or you can attach a tiny flexible tripod.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Powermat Wireless Charging Portable Mat

Charging multiple devices at home or on a business trip means bringing along multiple cables and power adapters. This device's magnetic induction technology lets you charge multiple devices without needing the additional power adapters and cables. The three charging blocks fold up nicely, making it easy for travel.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Acer Aspire 5738 3D Notebook

Acer took a pretty impressive Windows 7 notebook and added some fun 3D applications that require the special glasses, but also draw it out from the crowd of other Windows 7 systems on the market. If 3D is the future of computing, this Acer notebook was its great starting point.

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Altec Lansing MIX Digital Boombox

This solid speaker system projects great, booming sound in a very solid package, letting you plug in up to three devices (iPod/iPhone docking station, plus two auxiliary ports) to listen to, as well as an FM radio (with old-school antenna!). Very well designed and slick to look at, whether in the home or out and about (yes, it runs on eight D batteries).

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HP TouchSmart 300 PC

Last year's very impressive all-in-one system designed for computing in other rooms in the house (kitchen, living room) has gotten even better with the inclusion of Windows 7 and the TouchSmart overlay that includes more app-like services such as Twitter, Hulu and Netflix. If you just want to use it as a PC, you can switch to "productivity mode" and utilize Windows 7 features. The TouchSmart PC line includes a 20-inch model (the 300) as well as a 23-inch version (the 600).

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

DXG-125V High-Definition Video Camera

This 720p HD camcorder fits in your hand, records movies and still images to internal Flash or SD card, and includes an HDMI output and 2-inch color screen. Add an MP3 player, a compass and rugged features, and you have a camcorder that can take a lot of damage for outdoor activities.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Samsung DualView TL225 Digital Camera

We were thinking that camera vendors wouldn't be able to do anything new with point-and-click cameras, then we saw this model. The 12.4 megapixel digital camera includes a second LCD screen on the front of the camera, letting you take a good photo of yourself with others, or by yourself in front of a tourist location. The 3-inch screen on the back is a touch screen, letting you choose features like portrait, landscape and smart mode with your finger.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Shure SRH 440 Headphones

Sometimes you forget how music is supposed to sound when you use tiny iPod ear buds. While far from mobile (at 0.6 pounds), these headphones provide amazing sounds for those times when you're sitting at a desk, riding a train, plane or otherwise in one place. The headphones provide superior listening quality and can also block out ambient noise.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000

Made exclusively for Bluetooth-enabled PCs and notebooks (no dongles!), this mobile keyboard uses the Comfort Curve design to encourage natural wrist posture, and also has a portable number pad (many notebooks eliminate this feature from their keyboards). The thin design allows you to not sacrifice the keyboard on business trips.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

BlueAnt Wireless S1 Sun Visor Bluetooth Handsfree with Multipoint

Place this on your car's driver-side visor and you won't need a Bluetooth headset. Good quality speaker phone and microphone, and it isolates road noise very nicely. If you hate wearing the Borg-like Bluetooth headsets but still want to make safe phone calls while driving, this is a good alternative.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Roku HD-XR Digital Media Player

Future home entertainment is likely to be delivered digitally via your cable (or fiber) provider's set-top box, but until then you could always connect this handy box to your network. The latest version streams video content from Netflix, Amazon's video on demand service and MLB.com to your TV (via either wired or wireless network). Coming soon – more content that you can pay for and watch. We can't wait.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Sanyo Eneloop Batteries and USB Charger

Being green is in again this year, so we were impressed by these rechargeable batteries and USB charger, which can recharge both AA and AAA batteries through the USB port on your computer or other USB hub.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

TV TrickleSaver

Even if your TV is off, you could be using electricity through "vampire power" from accessories connected to the TV. The TrickleSaver helps stop this leakage, by shutting off accessories (amplifiers, satellite receivers, game consoles) when the TV is switched off.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

MyLight HugLight

We figure this was invented one day by a guy on a ladder, in the dark, holding a flashlight and trying to accomplish some type of chore – then he dropped the light. The HugLight is made of flexible wire that forms into any shape you want, including around your neck. LED lights at each end of the foot-long device let you shine the light brighter if both are illuminated. Picture yourself under the hood of your car or under your sink trying to fix something, and you'll see its value. The light is also great for taking early morning or late evening walks and you want to be spotted by cars on the road.

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PC World Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Sodastream Home Drinks Maker

A few years ago we showcased the Maytag Skybox home soda (and other beverage) machine, which we still utilize in our offices. This takes our love of soda further, letting us create our own soda anytime we want. A portable CO2 canister lets you create carbonated water easily and instantly, just add some syrup, mix carefully and you have a bottle of soda. Also lets you create sparkling water from a regular glass of water as well. Making your own soda also lets you be more green, reducing the need for plastic bottles from regular soda purchases. $120 (for starter kit)

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Westin Heavenly Travel Blanket

If you've ever stayed at a Westin Hotel, you know how soft and comfortable their Heavenly Blanket and beds are. Take a bit of that comfort with you on your next trip with this blanket. Fold it up into a hidden pouch and it becomes a travel pillow.

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HexBugs

This year's robotic toy favorite are these tiny robotic creatures, which react to sound, light and can even move around obstacles. The tiny nano bugs vibrate and move so quickly, you might think an actual bug is running around on the floor. Fun, yet kind of creepy.

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