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The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Want to make sure your gift list includes the latest and greatest? We've come up with the hottest, highest-tech gadgets to give (and get) this year.

• Fun On The Run

• Road Ready

• Home Theater To The Max

• High-Class Home Office

• Digital Cams 1: Stellar Stills

• Digital Cams 2: Poetry In Motion

• Offbeat & Off-The-Wall

• Product Details

• Browse the
  Gift Guide Photo Gallery 

As technology editors and writers, we spend most of the year carefully testing, evaluating, and reporting on business hardware and software. But when December hits, we go as nuts as anybody else.

When we should be assessing the relative merits of the latest firewalls or following the vagaries of the chip market, we're actually using our tech savvy to choose the best-ever MP3 player, rockin' personal game machine, or kick-butt large-screen HDTV. After all, how else can our families and friends know exactly what to get us?

This year, we decided to let you in on our findings. The result is the story you're reading: the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide. It's the one and only truly honest list of what guys and gals like us want for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all twelve days of Christmas.

Here are just a few of the categories we offer gift recommendations for: digital cameras, smartphones, ultralight notebooks, noise-canceling headphones, personal GPS devices, digital camcorders, large-screen HDTVs, Media Center PCs, 21-inch LCDs, even robots — more than 30 recommendations in all. Somewhere on this list is the product for you — um, we mean, that you want to give as gift, of course.

You should know we settled on one or two ground rules. First, we made it a point that all our best-bet gift ideas must be fun the first day they're received, not in some vaporware-like haze of the future, when the software finally gets written or all the functionality is eventually turned on. Just say no to brand-new platforms. We're all about instant gratification.

Second, the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide is highly selective. No me-too products. Nothing beige. The high-tech gadgets and high-end electronics that made our list did so because they're white-hot, wicked cool, sick, intense, and insert the totally far-out adjective of your choice here. So read on. And don't forget to add TechWeb to your holiday list. We need this stuff bad.

Brought To You By...
The 2005 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide was such a big undertaking that TechWeb Pipelines Editor Scot Finnie enlisted George Jones, former Editor-in-Chief of Maximum PC, to co-author it. TechWeb's Features Editor extraordinaire, Valerie Potter, was the story editor. Our top-notch Reviews Editor, Barbara Krasnoff, contributed much to this piece both behind the scenes and as a writer, as did TechWeb staffers Justin Launderville and Rose Circeo. We'd also like to thank several of our significant technology advisors, including Fred Langa, Bill O'Brien, Mike Elgan, Fredric Paul, Brian Carlson, Jim Freund, and Mitch Wagner.

Editor's Note: Want to buy that special someone a desktop or notebook computer this year? Check out Desktop Pipeline's A Guide to Gift PCs.

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