Gift guides are great for late shoppers. No need for research: You can flip through a guide and pick up presents for almost anyone left on your list. And we're making even that easier for you, sorting through the web's best gift guides. While everyone else is frantically hunting for the best tech toys, you’ll be coasting to gift-giving greatness by following our list of the best holiday gift guides and the best tech gifts, from those guides, for the budget-conscious shopper.
Engadget has a gift guide for cameras that can’t be beat. It lists digitals and point-and-shoots for every budget, even up to the $1,298 Canon 60D. Our Christmas budget isn’t that high-flying, and we doubt yours is either, so out of this list, we’ll recommend the Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS for $109.
TUAWIf you’ve got an Apple fan on your list (and who doesn't?), then TUAW's holiday gift guide listing popular Apple toys will give you great ideas. To rescue your kid's ears from the iPod, TUAW recommends MyPhones, $39.99 headphones that limit the volume to 85 db, which TUAW says is between a car’s engine of around 70 db and a gas lawn mower at about 105 db. They also have cool device cases to keep the kids smiling. The maximum volume can be set on an iPod, but this looks like a better way to protect their ears.
GizmodoGizmodo has all kinds of great gift ideas — for cat lovers, beach bums, couch surfers and home-movie mavericks, among others — but our favorite is Gizmodo’s Great Gifts for Bad Drivers. Almost everyone drives, and almost everyone thinks they’re a consummate driver, but from this list the must-get gifts are the MotionX Drive (iOS; $26) and Google Maps Navigation (Android; free). MotionX is currently Gizmodo’s highest-rated iOS navigation app. Though your giftees may already have GPS or an app on their smartphone to get them to Mom’s house for dinner, this will make it a lot easier.
CNETLike many tech websites, CNET has multiple gift guides covering luxuries, gifts for the whole family, gifts for foodies, stocking stuffers and bargain tech. But CNET's editor’s picks list recommends what is becoming the top e-reader — the Kindle for $139. It’s a bargain and has an even better screen, battery life, lower weight and better price than the previous generation.
ZD NetOne of the best gifts that ZD Net recommends in its many gift guides is a $50 Darth Vader clock radio and alarm clock with glowing red eyes that display the time. There isn’t anything techy about it, but some Christmas gifts should just be fun, and this one is.
PCMAG.COMThe top 80 products that PC magazine picked throughout 2010 are listed in its holiday gift guide, with one of the best tech gifts being the $149 Kodak Playsport video camera. Cheaper options are available, but we like this one for not only its 1080p HD video and 5-megapixel still photos but its ruggedness. It’s waterproof up to 10 feet and can be taken to the slopes.
New York Times' David PogueNew York Times tech columnist David Pogue has a holiday gift guide, and he also favors the Kindle. But he has other recommendations, including the Sound Asleep Pillow for $30, which puts music into your pillow so anytime you want you can listen to Celine Dion...or whatever puts you to sleep. Set the self-timer on your music player and you’re set.
Good Causes If all this materialism is driving you nuts this holiday season, consider spending your hard-earned cash on charity instead (what better gift than to give to a worthy cause in the name of your recipient?). Here are some suggestions from eBay's Giving Works for how to spend what you might have otherwise blown on regular gifts:
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