If that special someone on your holiday gift list is into their Mac, iPhone or iPad, there's a good chance they also have a taste for other cool tech gear, too. That's how we are at The Mac Observer, so we went on the hunt for some great tech gift ideas just for you.
Wren V5AP AirPlay Ready Speaker
Using AirPlay on Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, the V5AP AirPlay weighs in as a 6.6 pound speaker system that's packed with technology. It features, two 3-inch throw drivers, four-layer voice coils, and a pair of 19 mm soft dome tweeters positioned on the front baffle to create a wide soundstage. There is also an audio DSP-controlled digital amplifier with 50 watts of power, and the whole package costs US$399.99.
Kensington PowerBolt 2.1 Fast Charge for Tablets
Ready power for charging iPads in your car is here in the form of the PowerBolt 2.1 Fast Charge from Kensington. It provides a fast, safe charge for your tablet using Kensington's built-in PowerWhiz technology that automatically recognizes your iPad, iPhone, or other tablet or smartphone and then delivers the proper voltage. It works across platforms and costs $19.99.
If you know someone who has Wi-Fi in their home, dorm or office and an HDTV, the Apple TV a very capable little box. It supports AirPlay and 1080p video output. Not only can you purchase TV shows and movies from Apple, but it's also an unexpectedly rich gateway to a wealth of content, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Cable TV news, major league sports, weather, the Disney Channel, and much more. It requires a free Apple ID and some additional services are by subscription, and costs $99.
Tracking how active you are is a great way to help get into better shape, and the Fitbit One is the all around best choice we've found for keeping on top of your running, hiking, or around town steps. It tracks steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned, floors climbed and sleep quality, is water and perspiration resistant, and includes a built-in clock and alarm that vibrates to wake you up. The built-in battery runs for more than a week between charges, and it syncs with your iPhone via Bluetooth. The Fitbit one is priced at $99.95.
Instead of detailing every step you take, the Shine from Misfit tracks your overall activity throughout the day and lets you know if you're on target to meet your fitness and sleep goals, and it looks sharp, too. It's all aluminum body does away with traditional interfaces in favor of light that shines through micro holes in the tracker's surface. It fits into wristbands, necklaces and pocket clips, syncs with your iPhone via Bluetooth, includes a replaceable battery that lasts for about four months, can be worn swimming, and can even survive runs through the wash. The Shine is priced at $99.95.
Withings Smart Body Analyzer Scale
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer scale does far more than tell you how much you weigh: It also logs your heart rate and body fat, room temperature, and air quality. The scale connects to your WiFi network to upload your data to the Health Mate app, but also can connect directly to your iPhone. Its ability to track environmental conditions makes it easier for users to find potential fitness and health issues they might otherwise miss, and can even help pin down problems with sleep patterns. The Smart Body Analyzer scale is priced at $149.95.
SOEN Transit Bluetooth Speaker System
The SOEN Transit, consuming just 32 cubic inches and weighing only 16 oz, offers very good sound in a very portable Bluetooth speaker system. Featuring two 36 mm drivers, and a special breathing port, it's designed to be the very best speaker of its kind. The Transit can be taken anywhere, and it exudes class in packaging, accessories, design, features, convenience and sound for $199.95.
Just because you have an iPhone doesn't mean that an in-dash GPS system for your car won't come in handy. For everyone that wants that and more, but doesn't have an in-dash option, Magellan has the SmartGPS. Along with the usual GPS navigation features you'd expect, it also ties into Yelp! and Foursquare, and gives live updates on nearby gas prices and weather thanks to its Bluetooth link to your iPhone. You can enter destinations via its touch screen, or through a companion iPhone app, and you can even preload multiple destinations through a Web interface when your sitting at your computer. Magellan's SmartGPS costs $249.99, and the companion iPhone app is free.
The PowerPot from PowerPractical is a great gift for campers or for anyone who lives in a disaster prone part area. The PowerPot is a thermoelectric generator -- and 1.4 liter pot -- that emits 5 watts of on demand power by simply adding water and placing on any heat source, including open flame. It comes with a standard USB (5V) port and a three-foot flame-resistant cable, is compatible with everything from your standard Mac products to lithium ion batteries, and there is a solid-state voltage regulator that provides enough power to run speakers, lights, fans, and other low-power USB appliances. The PowerPot weighs 30.3 ounces and is priced at $149.00.
It's one thing to find a great holiday gift, but what about the presentation? As Apple fans we appreciate the unboxing experience almost as much as the products themselves. Why not share that "gift" with the geek in your life this holiday season too? Rick Stringer from the Variant Frequencies podcast turned us on to Spoonflower which sells awesome and unique gift wrap. Some of our favorites include the Doctor Who, Dungeons & Dragons, and geek themes. They have literally thousands of designs, so you're sure to find the one that's a perfect match.