Gifts That Won't Break the Bank
Guarantee the loved ones in your life a happy holiday with one of these 12 gift suggestions for music lovers, camera buffs, Star Wars fans, gamers, home-theater connoisseurs, health fanatics, iPad owners, eco-lovers, or gadget hounds.
Best of all, none costs more than $100. Successful shopping, everyone!
Star Wars Wall Decal
What true Star Wars fan wouldn't love to have this large (63.5 inches wide by 47 inches tall) vinyl decal of the Millennium Falcon dominating a living room, bedroom, or kitchen?
The decal's maker says that it will affix to almost any surface and is easy to install using something as simple as a credit card to smooth out any air bubbles.
Best for: The Star Wars fan who is into Early Wookie home décor.
Star Wars Millennium Falcon V.3 Wall Art Decal (WD-299) $59.99
Bamboo Keyboard and Mouse
If you have someone on your shopping list who loves green products, consider this hand-carved keyboard and mouse created from 100 percent biodegradable bamboo material (according to the company). The peripherals are compatible with both Windows and Apple systems.
Best for: A severely eco-conscious computer user, or a style maven.
Impecca Wireless Bamboo Keyboard and Mouse KBB500 | $59.99
Peel Remote Control System for Home Theater
Use the Peel smart remote to control your recipient's home entertainment system--TV, DVR, Blu-ray player and other components, via an app designed for the Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
The design-conscious Peel operates on a home Wi-Fi system. The user simply places the controller about 15 feet from the TV, and then sits back and uses an appropriate Apple device to control the viewing experience via the app. The company says the user can identify personal preferences for content, and the Peel system will respond with information about what's on.
Best for: Entertainment addicts who hate traditional remote controls.
Creative Gaming Headset
The Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma offers an excellent surround-sound experience without breaking the bank. The large, soft cups encircle your giftee's ears, providing maximum comfort during marathon sessions.
The bundled software is the icing on the cake, offering full control over minute audio settings, whether for tweaking equalizers (and sharing those settings with friends) or for altering the sound of user's voice to strike fear into friends and foes.
Best for: Gamers who never sleep--and those who live with them.
Sun Sniper Pro Camera Strap
If you're buying for a serious photographer who shoots with a single-lens reflex camera, you may have heard complaints about how heavy the camera gets after an hour of shooting.
This unique camera strap incorporates a shock absorber for greater comfort. The strap can hold the camera with the lens in place, or it can support the lens alone--and the manufacturer wove steel wire into it to prevent thieves from cutting it to steal the camera.
Best for: An ambitious photographer who has too much gear to carry.
Here's an interesting item for a techophile's bathroom. As water flows through this chrome faucet's glass tray, a sensor figures out the temperature and relays that information to a small group of LED lights. They then turn the glass piece an appropriate color: blue for cold, green for moderate, red for hot, and flashing red for extremely hot.
Best for: Parents of small children. Also good for the elderly, the absent-minded, and anyone who likes to look at glowing lights.
Eskusche Control-I Headphones in Gold
If music lovers in your life are sick of earbuds that fall out with the slightest nodding to a tune, get them these glistening over-the-ear headphones from Eskusche. The headphones' padding contributes to comfort, while the gleaming gold outer covers contribute to style.
The headphones have a single-touch controller for play/pause, and a gold-plated plug for better sound.
Best for: Music lovers with a soft spot for bling.
Angry Birds External Speaker for Tablets, Phones, and MP3 Players
Everyone has played the Angry Birds game. Now let an Angry Bird help your gift recipient play his or her tunes.
This fierce-browed little speaker has 30 watts of power to pump the audio out of a music player, tablet, or mobile phone to share with friends.
Best for: A music lover who isn't sick to death of Angry Birds characters.
Gear 4 Red Bird Speaker | $79.99
Vizio Soundbar for Home Theater
Your friend bought a prized HDTV, but the audio it produces is tinny--and there's not enough left in the budget for a fancy 7.1 sound system. But just in time, a jolly old elf (that's you) steps in with the gift of a Vizio VSB200 soundbar. The long, thin soundbar can't produce surround-sound quality, but it'll substantially improve on what the HDTV's speakers deliver.
Best for: A new HDTV owner who is just about out of dough but needs a sound upgrade.
Vizio VSB200 | $98
La Sardina Domino Retro Film Camera
The technology in this 35mm film camera is so old that it's cool again, and it could wow a techie tired of instant technology. The camera comes equipped with a wide-angle lens, simple focus settings, and long-exposure capability. Film (along with the patience to use this type of camera at all) is extra. Viva la 1970s!
Best for: A camera buff who doesn't require the instant gratification of digital photos.
Apogee Jam Guitar Interface
This tiny interface (slightly larger than a Bic lighter) lets its lucky recipient rock out on electric guitar through an iPad, an iPhone, or a Mac computer. The user plugs a standard instrument cable into it and then runs one of two included cables from it to the Apple device.
Our friends at Macworld reported that the Jam installs without drivers and records to GarageBand software with clear, crisp clean tones as well as with crunchy distorted sounds.
Best for: An Apple-loving guitarist.