Komputer Klinic: Last-minute tech gifts for around $50 - East Valley Tribune: Business

Komputer Klinic: Last-minute tech gifts for around $50

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Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2008 3:25 pm | Updated: 10:30 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Great technology gifts don't need to cost a fortune. You'll find fantastic tech toys for everyone on your list for about $50.

Let's start with the kids. They love remote-control helicopters. So why not give the child on your list something even better? Wowwee's Bladestar ($40) flies and hovers like a helicopter. But it's designed for indoor use. Sensors prevent it from crashing into walls.

It can even be guided with your hands. Pair two Bladestars, and you have an in-air dogfight. They can shoot each other down.

What do road warriors want more than anything else? Something to remind them of the comforts of home. HP's DF300A1 portable photo frame ($60) features a sharp, 3.5-inch screen. It accepts a variety of memory cards and has a rechargeable battery.

Go the extra yard and include photos with the frame. Load the internal memory with up to 45 photos. Or put the photos on a memory card.

Shopping for a true geek is never easy. So get them something they'll use. A MIMOBOT flash drive combines fun and practicality. These designer flash drives are shaped like people. Many are limited edition.

I recommend a "Star Wars" MIMOBOT. For example, choose a 2-gigabyte Luke Skywalker or Boba Fett for $50. Nothing appeals to geeks like "Star Wars"!

Few things improve photographs like a tripod. Tripods prevent blurring associated with shaky hands and allow long exposures. Your favorite photographer probably has a full-sized tripod. But you can give one that attaches to virtually anything.

Joby's Gorillapod has flexible legs that wrap around objects. There are several versions of the Gorillapod for different camera types. Buy one for a point-and-shoot for about $20. You'll spend $45 on one that works with an SLR and zoom lens.

Give your favorite runner the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit ($30). It connects to an iPod Nano to track running time, calories burned and more. If your runner doesn't have a Nano, consider the Nike+ SportBand ($60). It offers the same features. But no iPod is required.

Nike+ only works with specially designed shoes unless you throw in Switcheasy's RunAway Anyshoe Adapter ($10). It works with any lace-up shoes.

Grandma may not use the computer much. But that will change when you buy her a webcam. A webcam will let her and Granddad video-chat with the grandkids.

Logitech's QuickCam Communicate MP ($50) works with all major instant messaging services. RightLight technology improves image quality. And there's also a built-in microphone. Additionally, the Communicate MP's Fun Filters add fun effects to video chats.

Most music lovers have iPods. And there's one feature missing from all iPods: FM radio. Apple's iPod Radio Remote ($50) fixes this omission. It adds FM reception to the iPod classic and nano. It also doubles as a remote control.

For older iPods or the iPod touch, consider Griffin's iFM ($50). It provides similar features.

Buying gamers new games is a bad idea. You could select a game they already have. Or you may select one that's incompatible with their system. Jakk's Atari Classics ($20) is perfect for gamers young and old. It looks like an old school Atari joystick. But it contains 10 classic games like Centipede, Asteroids and Pong.

Kim Komando hosts a talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet at noon Saturdays on KFYI (550 AM). To listen to the podcast, visit www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to her free weekly e-mail newsletter sign up at www.komando.com/newsletters.

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