Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Card
Need a cool tech gift for the camera lover in your life? Consider an Eye-Fi card, a wireless SD memory card capable of uploading photos to the Web as fast as you can press the shutter button. For $99, the 8GB Eye-Fi Explore card is ideal for experienced photographers and neophytes alike, as it eliminates the work of transferring images from a camera to a PC. The Eye-Fi card automatically uploads photo and video through a wireless network or a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot to sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube.
Remember how great it was to spend hours building your own little world with Lego bricks, or to watch your kids play? The new Lego Creationary board game brings that classic feeling to the gaming table for sharing with three to eight relatives or friends. For $35, Lego Creationary comes with 341 pieces, a customizable die, and figures to build, change, and rebuild. Players draw from four decks of construction cards (buildings, vehicles, things, or nature) and assemble their own unique creations.
Micorder Portable MP3 Recorder
The MiCorder is a portable MP3 recorder capable of recording high-def audio from any stereo output and writing it as an MP3 file to an SD Card. This handy gadget is perfect for any audiophile seeking a little more creative control over their digital music library. Hear a new song you like, or an oldie you love? The $80 MiCorder plugs into any radio, computer, stereo, CD player, turntable, cassette deck, 8-track, reel-to-reel, DAT, or anything else that has a stereo output. You can record high-quality audio at your leisure, thanks to the 10-hour battery.
ErgoMotion Laser Mouse
Is carpal tunnel cramping your gift recipient's style? Check out the $50 ErgoMotion Laser Mouse, #61 on our list of the best products of 2010. It features a pivot base that permits the mouse to move with natural hand and wrist positions, adapting to the user's unique movements while they work. In practice this takes a little getting used to; but once you get accustomed to locking your wrist and moving the mouse with your arm and shoulder, any chronic wrist pain quickly evaporates, making even extended Excel sessions a breeze.
Zoom H1 Portable Recorder
The Zoom H1 portable recorder is perfect for the budding journalist or musician in your family. For less than $100, you get a pocket-size audio recorder sporting twin condenser mics capable of recording any interview, speech, or concert at 24-bit/96kHz fidelity and saving it to a MicroSD card as an MP3 or .wav file. The H1 runs for nearly 10 hours on one AA battery; after the show's over, you can review the audio via the built-in speakers or your own headphones. The H1 also has a USB 2.0 port for connecting to any computer, making it easy to share clips online.
IdeaPaint is a chemical paint that turns any surface into a reusable dry-erase board. For $60 you can get enough white IdeaPaint for someone to cover 20 square feet of their home or office and create message boards wherever they need them. You can use your fridge as a shopping list or your bedroom door as a notepad with this white water-borne paint. It's a fun, offbeat product that's perfect for sharing ideas in unconventional office setups or providing a creative (and washable) outlet for kids, family members, and friends.
PlayStation Move Starter Bundle
If you or someone you know owns a Sony PlayStation 3, you might make a gift of the new PlayStation Move motion controller. For $99 you get an introductory package that includes one Playstation Move controller, the Playstation Eye camera, and a copy of the motion-controlled game Sports Champions. The Move wand (the thing with the glowing orb) holds a triaxial accelerometer, a triaxial gyroscope, and a magnetic field sensor that work with the camera to pinpoint the controller's exact position in 3D space, what Sony marketing calls "the world’s most accurate motion gaming experience."
Have a musician friend or relative who loves to jam but lacks the space (or the forgiving roommates) to rock out at home? Enter the AmpliTube iRig adapter, a simple $40 device that allows any aspiring rock star to attach their instrument to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch and follow their muse with the free version of digital-amp app AmpliTube. Simply plug the iRig interface into a mobile device, plug an instrument and headphones into the appropriate jacks, and play along to any song in your iTunes library--or mix your own tracks with an expandable effects suite of up to 11 stompboxes, five amps and cabinets, two microphones, and four-track recording.
Roku HD-XR Player
Need a gift for the TV addict who's paying way too much for cable? The Roku HD-XR is a $99 set-top media streamer that does a superb job of streaming high-definition 1080p video from MLB.TV, Netflix, Revision3, and several smaller services to your HDTV, via ethernet or 802.11n Wi-Fi. The Roku family of players are reliable, easy to set up, and simple to use, with rock-solid wireless performance and support for almost every popular media service.
Dodocase for iPad
If you need a gift for the early adopter who buys everything, consider a classy geek accessory such as the Dodocase for the iPad. Every Dodocase cover is handcrafted in a San Francisco workshop, and thus each iPad case is slightly different with a unique number and identification slip tucked into the front sleeve. The exterior of the $60 case strongly resembles the popular Moleskine journals, with a faux-leather cover wrapped around a bamboo cradle that supports and protects the iPad while allowing easy access to all the switches and ports.
For more gift ideas, see "The Best Tech Holiday Gifts Under $200."