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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.