The Geek's Guide to Christmas Shopping

Five high-tech gifts sure to bring holiday cheer.

By The Editors|Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Pinnacle PCTV HD Mini Stick, Sanyo Xacti HD1010

Pinnacle PCTV HD Mini Stick, $119–$129, There are times when live television can’t be beat—for breaking news, major sporting events, or even just the finale of your favorite reality show. If you don’t have access to a TV, this thumb-size gadget lets you watch high-definition digital broadcasts on your Mac or PC—and even record and rewind live television like a DVR.

Sanyo Xacti HD1010 $800, As the price of high-definition camcorders descends from the stratosphere, additional features become big selling points. Sanyo’s new camcorder incorporates a technology that can track up to 12 faces simultaneously and optimize focus and brightness accordingly. It also has a slow-motion mode that captures video at 300 frames per second for 10 seconds.

Memorex Singstand, Eye-Fi Explore, Expresso Bike

Memorex  SingStand, $70, Hook up your iPod or other MP3 player to this karaoke machine—complete with built-in speakers and microphone—and sing along to your favorite tunes. The SingStand even has a feature that suppresses the lead singer’s vocals from most tracks, putting your performance front and center.

Eye-Fi Explore, $129, This wireless memory card for cameras lets you snap pictures and upload them straight to your computer via a Wi-Fi network. It can also bypass your computer and place your photos directly on photo-sharing Web sites such as Flickr. The Explore has a 2-gigabyte capacity and can tap into a database of Wi-Fi signals that lets it estimate your physical location and tag your photos accordingly.

Expresso Bike, $5,145, The stationary bicycle-cum-video game continues to move from high-end gyms to the home with the first Web-enabled fitness bike. Online access allows you to compare your times and training with those of others. Although such features are still basic—you can’t race your friends live yet—free upgrades of biking courses and music promise this exercise equipment will stay fun...and be used.

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