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Grab Bag o' Computer Gadgets

Gift Ideas for the Technologically Obsessed

By Jim Fisher

We all know someone who is crazy about tech gadgets. Whether they spend hours tinkering with their computer, are amazed by shiny things, or just like being the first person on the block with the latest gizmo. Here are some ideas for presents for your favorite gearhead….

Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000

Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 - USB (Slate)Microsoft hit a home run with naming this one: adding "3000" to the end of anything makes it sound infinitely cooler. Don't believe me? Just ask André Benjamin.

Clever monikers aside, the mouse is a fantastic accessory for notebook users who don't feel that a trackpad provides adequate control. The wireless mouse features a compact USB transceiver, which can be stowed inside the mouse when not in use. It is powered by a single AA battery.

 

 

D-Link RangeBooster N Dual Band Router

D-Link RangeBooster N Dual Band RouterLooking to replace that aging wireless router with something that's faster? This router features dual band operation, allowing it to operate on the standard 2.4GHz band was well as the less-crowded 5GHz band. This is a great option for urban areas, where interference from other routers can slow your connection down.

802.11n also delivers more speed and wider coverage areas than the older 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11a protocols. While the router is fully backwards compatible with these protocols, you'll need an "N" card in your computer to fully reap the benefits of this latest Wi-Fi protocol.

Aluratek Internet Radio Alarm Clock

Aluratek Internet Radio Alarm ClockInternet radio is pretty awesome, but having to be near the ol' computer to listen is, in the words of The Buckinghams, kind of a drag. Thankfully Aluratek has come to the rescue with this nifty gadget.

This clock radio is a musical virtuoso of sorts: it can play audio from Internet radio stations, digital audio files from USB thumb drives, and audio stored on your home computer. You can even listen to your local stations thanks to its traditional FM tuner. It features an integrated Wi-Fi connection, a standard Ethernet port, and a USB port for digital connectivity.

 

 

IOGEAR Bluetooth 2.0 USB Micro Adapter

IOGEAR Bluetooth 2.0 USB Micro AdapterHere's a quick and easy stocking stuffer – although, unfortunately, it's pretty tiny, so it won't take up much space in the stocking. The tiny device adds Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity to your computer.

This standard wireless protocol, ubiquitous in cell phones, is also frequently found in wireless mice, keyboards, and headphones. Due to its small size, it's a great choice for notebook users whose computers lack out-of-the-box Bluetooth connectivity.

Sling Media Slinbox Solo

Sling Media Slinbox SoloEver wish you could watch your favorite local programming while on the road? Tired of paying hundreds of dollars for premium sports packages, only to be out of town during the big game?

This is where the Slingbox Solo comes into play. Plug it into your TV and Internet router, and you'll be able to watch and control your television via the Internet. You can even stream TV to a PDA or Smartphone. It's a great gift for TV addicts, sports fans, and frequent travelers alike.

Logitech USB Desktop Microphone for ComputersLogitech USB Desktop Microphone

Logitech USB Desktop Microphone for ComputersLogitech USB Desktop MicrophoneA perfect choice for online gamers, this microphone connects via USB. Your favorite WoW or Second Life junkie will be able to talk to friends and foes alike while battling orcs, or simply enjoying the life in a virtual universe. It's also a great choice for more banal activities, such as VoIP communication.

 

Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000

Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000Also from Logitech, this compact webcam is a great option for anyone who wants to take their Internet communication to the next level. The camera captures video at an impressive 2 megapixel resolution, and fluid 30 frames per second through its Carl Zeiss Tessar lens. It also captures high-quality audio.

The QuickCam comes with an impressive software suite for Windows. You'll be able to use the software to apply fun video effects to your video, capture still images, and more. The camera is also compatible with popular instant messaging applications.

 

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