Dec 6, 2010 12:30 PM
1. The Apple iPad ($499,16GB Wi-Fi). Someone needs this badly, and it might just be you. The iPad is merely the ultimate gadget juju. If your maladjusted loved one ignores its siren call because it lacks a front-facing camera, see number 11 below.
2. They said the iPad killed the laptop. It didn't die -- it was just getting a makeover. And it looks like the new Macbook Air 11.6" ($999, 64GB).
3. Streaming movies on Netflix is usually better than watching the movies themselves. But the internets is bigger than Netflix, and the latest incarnations of the Roku player ($60, HD) deliver the goods on a variety of your favorite sources. Hulu Plus, anyone?
4. 2010 was the year of the App, and while not technically gadgets, these suckers were found on just about anything shiny and handheld. Step foot into a store without the Amazon Price Check (Free, iTunes) or Google Shopper (Free, Android) apps? Not on your life.
5. The Sony NEX-5 14.2MP Digital Camera ($700, 18-55mm lens) blends form and function in an irresistibly compact package that will have the lucky recipient going all Ansel Adams or Austin Powers or both.
6. The powers of the Kinect for Xbox 360 ($150) are mysterious. The power to find one even more so.
7. Nothing says "I love you" more than the gift of the Mini Donut Factory ($20). It's a waffle iron gone very right that serves up mini donuts in less than four minutes and is small enough to fit on a desk. USB-powered version not yet available.
8. The Android mobile OS really came into its own this year, and the Verizon HTC Droid Incredible (from $0.01, contract) lives up to the bombastic name with a built-in 8MP camera that blurs the line between phone and camera.
9. The Scosche motorMOUTH II ($53) makes hands-free calling and streaming audio hassle-free for once. This little Bluetooth microphone plugs into the front auxiliary input of a car stereo and prevents loved ones from flying off the road.
10. For the antisocial survivalist on your gift list, the Primus ETA Solo Stove ($88) will have them disappearing even deeper into the woods. Now if they will only go pick it up at the post office.
11. Is there room for another gotta-have-it tablet on this planet? The Samsung Galaxy Tab ($600, T-Mobile) is making room and doing it on all four major carriers. And it's got your front-facing camera, you narcissists. (Yay!)
12. Last but not least, the 2011 Nissan LEAF, the latest gadget-friendly EV (electric vehicle, peoples). It boasts 99 MPGe (dude, like, 99 miles per gallon) and hookups for gadgets galore. But you can actually sit in and drive this gadget. Whoa.