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Tech toys for big kids

We've all got a little kid inside of us. Bring him or her out to play with these gadgets.

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Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Scott Stein
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1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Ion Audio iCade

The retro-awesome iCade achieves the unthinkable: it turns your iPad into a tabletop Bluetooth-equipped arcade cabinet. Ion Audio's clever invention requires a few turns of an Allen wrench, but once it's assembled it becomes an instant conversation piece with arcade-perfect buttons and joystick. It's compatible with Atari's Greatest Hits (not included), which will tide you over with 100 games--plus, a dozen or so indie games on the App Store will work with the iCade, too.
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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Hex Vision watchband and iPod Nano

The iPod Nano by itself isn't eye-catching--but add a watchband, and suddenly it's the coolest digital watch on the block. Surprisingly nongeeky watchbands like the Hex Vision ($70) are a perfect fit, securely locking the Nano into a gunmetal stainless steel housing. The Nano's 18 included watch faces turn the whole package into a sleek albeit non-water-resistant fashion statement for the iPerson who has everything.
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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Hot Wheels Video Racer

Yes, this Hot Wheels car is $50. However, it packs a VGA video camera that records up to 24 minutes of video via a tiny lens and microphone in the front. Play back clips on the tiny screen on the underside, or plug it in via USB and transfer the video to a PC for editing. Not only can the car be used to record first-person stunt races on Hot Wheels tracks, but an included set of wrist straps and sticky mounts turn it into a wearable action cam for biking, climbing, or other hands-free stunt work.
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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

uDraw GameTablet

THQ's uDraw GameTablet is like a Wacom tablet for the video game set. Versions for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 wirelessly work as pen-based sketchpads for a variety of games and software. The included uDraw Studio Instant Artist is a full art program, complete with lessons. Other games it supports include a surprisingly entertaining port of Pictionary.
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5 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

Sure, the iPad 2 is still the slam-dunk tablet of choice, but it's also $500. For a cheaper yet versatile gift, the latest color e-readers from Barnes & Noble and Amazon offer great value for their price. The $199 Kindle Fire has bonus content for Amazon Prime subscribers, as well as Amazon's Cloud music and video store services and plenty of apps. The Nook Tablet, at $249, lacks the Fire's music and video stores, but it still has streaming services like Netflix and Pandora and twice the storage. Read our reviews, and decide for yourself.

Read our review of the Amazon Kindle Fire.

Read our review of the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet.

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6 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku LT

The Roku LT earned our Editors' Choice Award for two major reasons: price and content. Roku's $50 streaming box has a truly impressive lineup of content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Pandora, HBO Go, MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter, Epix, Crackle, Picasa, Flicker, Mog, Rdio, TED Talks, Revision3, TWiT.TV, NASA, and CNET.
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7 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Logitech Harmony 650

A quality universal remote is one of the best gifts to give. A lot of people can't get past the idea of spending more than $50 on a remote, but once they use one they'll never let it go. Logitech's Harmony 650 is the best universal remote to buy for less than $100.
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8 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Limited-edition Star Wars Mimobot thumbdrives

We all have the "Star Wars" junkies in our life, those who can't get enough of the unique and esoteric details and memorabilia. ThinkGeek's limited-edition Star Wars Mimobot drives (4GB) are the perfect something for the fan who has everything. Available in nearly a dozen different characters for $25 each.

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