IT Stocking Stuffers
If you're having trouble finding the perfect tech gift for a high-flying, always-on-the-go CEO, don't fret: We've searched high and low for must-have business gadgets that will help the savvy entrepreneur in every aspect of their life--from shaking hands to finding blissful silence on a plane. Here are 15 useful, stylish, and fun business gadgets for your favorite executive.
Businesspeople these days are loaded with gadgets--smartphones, tablets, GPS devices, Bluetooth headsets, you name it--and carrying all of the separate cords around just in case something runs out of juice is a real hassle. The $40 iGo Everywhere Car and Wall Charger solves the cord-carrying quandary: One universal charger features interchangeable power tips (one free, others sold separately) for all of your miscellaneous gadgets. This convenient charger plugs into any wall or car outlet, and it works worldwide--no voltage converter necessary.
Credit Card Lightbulb
Know somebody who's always looking for something? This $5 Credit Card Lightbulb may help them find it. This tiny, ultrathin lightbulb is the size of a credit card and slips easily into a wallet. Whenever the owner needs the aid of a flashlight, all they have to do is pop the bulb up, and the light turns on. Flip it back down, and it's back to looking like a regular card.
If your gift recipient spends all day in meetings and conferences but loves taking notes the good, old-fashioned way, the $150 Livescribe Echo Smartpen is a great device. This ingenious piece of technology features a microphone for recording as you write, plus an OLED display for navigation. It comes in 4GB and 8GB versions, roomy enough for storing hundreds of hours of recorded audio. The pen also "remembers" what audio it recorded at the time you took particular notes.
For businesspeople who are constantly in the air, high-quality active noise-canceling headphones are practically a must. Even if you don't feel like settling down to some tunes, blissful silence is always welcome. Bose's $300 QuietComfort 15 Acoustic headphones (pictured) are a classic choice, but be sure to check out the $90 ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint headphones from Audio-Technica, too.
iPad Case With Keyboard
The iPad can be a useful tool for business professionals, but its lack of a physical keyboard is a serious drawback. Make the iPad user you know happy and productive with the Kensington KeyFolio ($100, but available for as low as $66 online). This sleek, synthetic leather case has a built-in, rubberized Bluetooth keyboard that won't scratch the iPad, as well as an adjustable stand. The result is practically like having a netbook.
Stylish TSA-Approved Laptop Case
Airport security is enough of a hassle without having to worry about taking your laptop out of its case (and possibly dropping it on the floor in your rush to get through security quickly). Frequent fliers will love traveling with the $60 Kenneth Cole Reaction R-Tech Polyester EZ Scan Laptop Portfolio or the $175 Tumi Voyageur T-Pass Luxembourg Laptop Carrier (pictured).
OXO Cord Catch
One of the most brilliant inventions of the modern era is the little hole in the desk that keeps all of your cords from slipping into the void. But what if you're so unlucky as to not have one of those revolutionary desks? Enter the OXO Cord Catch. This $7 gadget from cookware company OXO promises to keep your cord on the desk, nightstand, or table--no installation needed.
Star Wars Lightsaber Pen
Just because your gift recipient wears a suit doesn't mean they're boring. Help your favorite exec spice up their office life with a $20 Star Wars lightsaber pen. This sci-fi inspired ballpoint pen comes in red, blue, or green, and ships with a Star Wars collector tin. It's perfect for writing Force-inspired office memos and dueling with colleagues across conference tables in a galaxy far, far away.
Another traveler's dream: Thanks to Amazon's third-generation Kindle, there's no need to lug around a bag full of paperbacks. The Kindle ($140 for Wi-Fi; $190 for Wi-Fi and 3G) features a 6-inch E-Ink display, wireless connectivity, and serious battery life (the Wi-Fi-only version lasts three weeks). Plus, the Wi-Fi-and-3G version offers all of the free 3G you could ever want.
Jabra Extreme Bluetooth Headset
Every businessperson needs a reliable Bluetooth headset, and the $80 Jabra Extreme is one. But it also goes one step further, providing superb noise cancellation (dubbed "Noise Blackout Extreme"). This sleek headset tops PCWorld's current Bluetooth headset charts and features A2DP for streaming music, double device connection, and voice command support.
Digital Photo Travel Mug
Now your loved ones can take their pictures the same way they take their coffee--everywhere (oh, and with two sugars). This $25 Digital Photo Mug sports a removable photo frame with a 1.5-inch LCD screen that holds up to 45 digital photos. You can easily transfer photos via the included USB cable, and the mug is even dishwasher-safe.
IronKey Personal Flash Drive
Most people have a flash drive (or six), but how many have a supersecure, hardware-encrypted, ruggedized flash drive? Perfect for keeping personal identities and company secrets safe, the IronKey Personal Flash Drive--about $80 for 4GB--meets the Security Level 3 requirements of the government's heavy-duty FIPS 140-2 standard, with always-on data encryption.
RIM BlackBerry Presenter
Have a PowerPoint lover on your list? Snag them a $200 RIM BlackBerry Presenter, a companion gadget that transmits PowerPoint presentations from BlackBerry smartphones or other third-party Bluetooth devices. Just plug the Presenter into the projector, and voilà: perfect PowerPoint presentations without the clunkiness of a laptop.
Talking Digital Hand Exerciser
Everyone knows that the key to a good first impression is a firm handshake--and what better way to train for that than with aTalking Digital Hand Exerciser for $17? This hand exerciser measures grip force from 8 to 200 pounds, announces your workouts, and displays your total and maximum force.
If you're willing to drop big bucks, Apple's tablet (Wi-Fi only starting at $500; Wi-Fi and 3G starting at $630) is at the top of everyone's wish list this year. The 9.7-inch iOS-running tablet is chock-full of useful business apps, and it has even proven to be a business-oriented gadget (Apple's top-apps charts showed that iPhone users are gamers, while iPad users favor productivity apps).