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Last-minute holiday gifts for the tech gadget lover

What do you give to the tech gadget lover who already has the latest tablet, gaming system or smartphone? Here are some ideas.

Tech gadget lovers are quick to buy the latest and greatest tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and game systems. You name it, they probably already have it.

So what do you give to the gadget geek who has it all this holiday season?

If you didn't hit Black Friday, Cyber Monday or last week's $99 Dell Venue Pro 8 blowout, here are some ideas from our informal poll of gadget geek advisors.


With holidays upon us, everyone's caloric intake takes an upswing. For those who want to stay fit, gadgets that can track runs such as Garmin's Forerunner sport watch may help. Other models track exercise and activities such as cycling and golf.

"Since I'm in the gym daily, I wanted to have these fancy GPS watches that takes your pulse without needing bands," one IT advisor said.

These devices can set you back $130 for the low-end model all the way to $400 for the high-end touchscreen unit. Smartwatches from TomTom range in price from $170 to $250. Nike, Timex and others also make exercise smart watches.

There are less expensive options as well, such as the $100 Fitbit Flex or $130 Fitbit Force.

Other wearables such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch are hot, too, but that device costs $300. That's steep for a device that offers little more value than your smartphone. But the smartwatch is more of a luxury item for those who want to pseudo-replicate the function of their phone on their wrist, simply because they can.

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house,
Geeky tech advisors sat waiting
For their foldable Microsoft mouse.

The tech watchers wondered what they would get,
Maybe a smartwatch or a wearable
Or a coveted phablet.

Santa's booming laugh could be heard through the night,
Delivering that slim mobile charger
To power your smartphone just right.

But despite the geek gifts that Santa might bring,
Remember it's not all about the gadget-y things.
Bring some holiday cheer into your hearts;
It will give you and yours a new and fresh start.

Mobile power

Tablets, phablets and smartphones are fine for many IT, business and consumer users, but what the road warrior really wants is long battery life.

"What I'm concerned about is that all these devices are still battery-operated," one geek advisor said. "I'm worried all these nice gadgets will run [out of power] by noontime."

Products such as I/OMagic's Slim Portable Power Pack or Universal Rechargeable USB Battery Power Pack cost only $30 each. These battery chargers provide the necessary juice when an emergency hits and the battery life in your smartphone, tablet or digital camera is running low.

If you're a road warrior and carry every mobile device on the planet with you, you might also investigate the off-the-grid solar panel bags from companies such as BirkSun, Eclipse Solar Gear and Voltaic Systems. These bags allow you to charge your smartphones and tablets while they're in them, but they are not cheap. Pricing starts around $150 and can run more than $200.

Some geek advisors also showed interest in Microsoft's Arc Touch Mouse. Although the $60 product is not new, its ability to serve as a wireless mouse that flattens out for portability was particularly appealing for those who carry a mouse.

Home automation

Sometimes, when you leave the house, you wonder whether you've turned down the heat or locked the doors. Home automation using your smartphone could fit the bill for those forgetful homeowners.

One geek advisor recommended the Wi-Fi-enabled Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The device not only alerts the home's occupants of smoke or carbon monoxide detection using voice, but also describes where the problem is. And it can send a notification message to a smartphone or tablet if the alarm goes off.

Although the $130 product costs much more than a standard $30 smoke and carbon monoxide detector, the advisor felt it was a small price to pay for keeping his home safe.

For those who want to stream music throughout their homes, another geek advisor said he wished for a Sonos system. A starter pack that includes the music bridge, wireless speaker, Ethernet cables and speakers starts at $200. Music lovers can control their music with an iOS, Android, Mac or PC application.


Those who simply use too much technology during the day and want to simplify their life can check out The New York Times and Amazon best-seller lists and buy a book -- you know, the kind made of paper.

Or, better yet, get yourself outdoors and go for a walk or hike without all the tech gadgetry. You'll be surprised how closely you can reconnect and recharge yourself to enjoy all the holiday activities with friends and family.

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What do you want for the holidays?