Ten Gadgets For ChristmasBy Kara Jones
10. Lego Star Wars Sets
The coming together of two massive brands give birth to one huge geek fest.
Price varies: $20 – $1999
9. Beats by Dr. Dre In-Ear Headphones by Monster
Our friends over at GearCrave highlighted this item a little while ago, and with good reason. When one of the world’s premiere music producers (and an infamous perfectionist) endorses audio equipment, you should probably pay attention. The Beats by Dr. Dre In-Ear Headphones are sleek in design and come with all of the quality manufacturing we’ve come to expect from Monster. Audiophiles won’t be the only ones putting these down on their wish lists this year.
8. NuMark TTi USB Turntable (with LP-to-MP3 Converter)
Gadgets and technology are revolutionizing the music-listening experience. For the oldschool collectors who haven’t gone digital yet–now is the time. And this way you can future-proof your music collection without having to spend thousands of dollars repurchasing it again on CD or through iTunes. The fact that it doubles as a working record player while allowing you to rip songs from vinyl onto your iPod or a computer instantly makes this slick turntable from NuMark a worthwhile buy.
7. Ion Drum Rocker, $300
Eeking out Logitech’s new premium Guitar Hero drum kit by $100, the Drum Rocker for Rock Band 2 is more extravagant, with full-circle cymbals, a metal bass pedal, quiet drum pads and an aluminum frame to hold everything together. Alesis, a manufacturer of professional electronic drums, helped with the design, which explains why you’re paying almost as much as an actual drum kit.
6. VPad+ for Video Conferencing
Viable’s VPad+ is a video conferencing device for sending and receiving video over the Internet. What makes it extra useful for the hearing impaired are the flashing lights that alert a user to an incoming call and the availability of third-party interpreters, should the person on the other end not understand sign language. And at $100 for the basic unit, it’s as affordable as it is accessible.
5. X-Arcade Tankstick, $200
Pac-Man just isn’t the same on the keyboard, and neither is Street Fighter IV. X-Arcade covers it all with the Tankstick, a massive board with two arcade-style joysticks and eight big buttons per player, plus a trackball that works as a mouse. Getting the classic games on your computer will require even more expense, unless you, ahem, get creative.
4. iLuv iNT170 WiFi Enabled Internet Radio Clock
Music is available from a plethora of sources these days, so why not consolidate your listening experience? The iLuv iNT170 lets you do just that, not only serving as a FM radio, but also connecting to your network either wirelessly or with an ethernet cable to stream music from the Internet. Wake up to your favorite online music sites like Pandora or Slacker, or hook up other audio devices through an auxiliary 3.5mm jack input. The elegantly functional design will be a good fit anywhere in the house.
3. ThinkFlood RedEye Transforms IPhone Into A Home Theater Remote
The ThinkFlood RedEye makes your iPhone or iPod Touch a remote control. The dock communicates with the iPhone via Wi Fi and then sends out infrared signals to control the TV and other home theater equipment. An app brings the recognizable controls of a standard remote onto your touchscreen and you can easily configure it to reflect your system, and add other units to control multiple rooms.
2. Optimus Maximus Gaming Keyboard, $1,600
The price tag on the Optimus Maximus keyboard has little to do with its responsiveness or comfort. It’s all about the keys themselves, each of which has its own individual OLED screen. That means when playing Half-Life, letter keys become icons appropriate to the game. Technically, anything is possible thanks to configuration software. It may not help you pwn in Counter-Strike, but you’ll be the envy of the LAN party nonetheless.
1. VRX Mach 4 Racing Simulator, $24,995
Perhaps we cheated a bit on this last entry, as it includes three 37-inch high-definition LCD televisions, but at an estimated price of $24,995 (VRX doesn’t list pricing on its Web site), how could we resist? The Mach 4 Racing Simulator is as good as it gets, with three Xbox 360s (one for each view), a Bose Acoustimass sound system with a Harmon Kardon receiver, a 7-inch rear view display, a vibration feedback system and a wind simulator. There’s even a “beverage containment system” for that big jug of milk you’ll be chugging at the end of the race. If you’ve done well enough in life to purchase this beast, you deserve it.