Tech review: Gift ideas for the techie on your list

Nov 22, 2012 by Jim Rossman

The holidays are coming fast, and if you're like me, you've probably gotten very little of your gift shopping done.

Today we're looking at a variety of gifts for the techie and the not-so-techie people on your list.

Some of these items can be found in stores and some are only available online, but you should be able to order them in time for or Hanukkah.

IOMEGA EZ MEDIA & BACKUP CENTER:

-What is it? A hard drive that lives on your home network so you can share files, store all your photos and music and back up your home computers. Works on Macintosh, Windows and Linux computers.

The EZ Media & Backup Center is available in 1-, 2- and 3-terabyte capacities. It is dead simple to set up. It lives next to your home router and plugs into the network via Ethernet.

Major features include a built-in iTunes server so your music is available to all connected computers, Time Machine support for easy Macintosh backups and Iomega's Personal Cloud to access your data from any Internet connection.

It can also stream your video files to your TV if you've got a compatible streaming box or an Internet-connected TV.

Software for backing up Windows PCs is also included.

-Who's it for? Any family that wants central storage for their digital lives. This is a great home for your digital photo, music or video library.

-What does it cost? One terabyte for $169.99, two terabytes for $209.99, three terabytes for $279.99.

-Where can you get it? Online at www.iomega.com , Amazon, Best Buy, Apple store, Fry's.

NETATMO URBAN WEATHER STATION:

-What is it? A wireless indoor/outdoor weather station that displays through an application on your Apple or Android mobile device.

There are two parts, one that lives in your house and one you place outside.

The indoor component plugs into the wall and monitors the temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, carbon dioxide level and even the sound level in decibels.

The outdoor module is battery-powered and measures temperature and humidity.

Once you connect the Netatmo to your home Wi-Fi network, you can download the free app and see your weather stats from anywhere.

Setup was easy enough, and you can set the app to notify you when carbon dioxide rises to levels that you should be warned about - which is great.

-Who's it for? Weather geeks and people who like to know what the temperature is without having to fire up a browser.

-What does it cost? $179

-Where can you get it? www.netatmo.com

3M LED ADVANCED LIGHT:

-What is it? 3M's first foray into the home light bulb market is with the LED Advanced Light, which uses light-emitting diodes (LED) to produce 800 lumens (the light of a 60-watt bulb).

The Advanced Light has a life span of 25 years and costs just $1.63 per year if it's turned on for three hours per day.

The bulb lights instantly and is dimmable.

It's a little intimidating to start buying light bulbs that might outlive me, but my wallet approves.

-Who's it for? Anyone who wants to save money or wants a bulb that might not have to be changed until 2035.

-What does it cost? $25

-Where can you get it? Select Wal-Mart stores. For more information, go to www.3mlighting.com/LED .

STEM IZON 2.0 WI-FI VIDEO MONITOR:

-What is it? A small, wireless video camera that you can monitor remotely with an iOS device.

Think of the IZON 2.0 as a nanny-cam or a way to see who's ringing your front doorbell without getting up.

Set it up on your Wi-Fi network and then plug it in anywhere within range of your network.

It transmits its image with sound to a secure app. You can also set the IZON to monitor noise and motion and to automatically record its video to secure cloud servers. You can upload 25 videos per day. They expire after seven days if you don't save them. You can save 100 videos on the server forever.

You can choose the areas of the camera's field of vision to monitor for motion. This is handy to see people walking up to your front door without triggering on every car driving down the street.

-Who's it for? Anyone who wants some peace of mind - like keeping an eye on your dog or making sure that package left on your doorstep doesn't walk away.

-What does it cost? $129.95

-Where can you get it? Apple stores, www.steminnovation.com

ARTBIRD CASES:

-What is it? Very hip, colorful and eye-catching cases for your phone or tablet.

ArtBird makes some great neoprene zipper cases for tablets and e-readers and smaller slip-on cases for all types of cellphones.

The designs are very retro - featuring colorful art of birds, flowers, old hotel and travel decals, and even old telephones.

They're well-made and are perfect for keeping your devices safe from drops or from scratches if you toss it in a briefcase or purse.

-Who's it for? People who aren't afraid to make a bit of a statement with their case.

Also, I think some of the designs are a bit "girly," but in a good way.

My wife loves the flowers case for her iPad.

-What does it cost? Full-size iPad cases are $29.95, e-reader/iPad Mini cases are $24.95, and phone cases are $17.95.

-Where can you get it? www.artbird.com

Explore further: What's next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?

1 /5 (2 votes)
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