The team at BYTE had the unique challenge of finding the top business-worthy consumer tech gifts for the holidays. There are lots of top 10 lists out there, but our challenge was finding cool consumer stuff that will also work well in the enterprise. Of course, many consumer products can be brought into the enterprise--that's the raison d'etre for BYTE--but there aren't a lot of them that also make great gifts. We skipped the obvious--the iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire--because we bet whoever wants those gadgets has them already. Our goal: gifts that would surprise, yet also function at work.
Any cube worker would love the Jawbone Nerd
, a thumbnail-size Bluetooth gadget that allows you to pair multiple devices. The Nerd comes pre-paired or hardware paired with the Jawbone Icon HD headset. Once you pair your headset to your phone, plug your Nerd into any Mac or PC. Without needing a software installation, or pairing of the devices, it's connected to your headset. The connection is instant. When a call comes in, the music turns off with a tap.
Range is about 30 feet in an office environment, which is typical for Bluetooth devices. The Nerd's equipped with "military-grade" noise cancellation developed for use for U.S. tank commanders and helicopter pilots. It's priced at the higher end of similar Bluetooth/USB combinations, but for the convenience of not having to fumble through another setting, it just might be worth it. $139