TMO Holiday Gift Guide Part 2

Finding the perfect holiday gift for that special tech person in your life can be a real chore, so the crew at The Mac Observer put together a list of some cool ideas to help out. In part 2 of our gift guide, there’s some ideas for Mac, iPhone and iPad users, music fans, and more.

TKO Solutions X-Band
This product is for anyone who ever has to, or wants to, make presentations to others using their iPad. There is nothing more awkward than trying to hold your iPad with one hand and demonstrating something with the other. The X-Band, at US$19.99, grips the four corners of your iPad and gives you a place to hold tight with one hand. You are not blocking any portion of the screen and you can hold the iPad as high in the air as you wish. TMO recently reviewed the X-Band, too.

Urbanears Platten Headphones
The Urbanears headsets (TMO review) are stylish and light weight. They come in a cornucopia of cool colors. Special features include a special socket so others can plug in and listen as well as a microphone for use with an iPhone. Also, they’re designed to fold up extra small for travel. The Platten Headphones are priced at $60.


Apple TV 2G
The Apple TV ($99) is so easy to set up, it’s hard to resist (TMO review). It opens up a whole new world of Internet TV and also allows one to stream from a home computer and iTunes. Netflix access is standard (and beautiful). For friends or relatives who already have an iTunes account, home Wi-Fi and an HDTV with HDMI, this is a dream product. And if they also have an iPhone or iPad, they can stream their movies and TV shows to the Apple TV with Apple’s new AirPlay.

iTunes Gift Cards
If you’re stumped trying to find the right gift, try giving the gift of music. iTunes gift cards are great for making sure your friends and family get music that’s just right for their tastes, and they can be used to buy TV shows, movies, videos and iPhone, iPod touch applications and iPad, too. Gift cards are available in $15, $25 and $50 amounts, and they’re available at electronics stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, and even Apple’s own retail locations.


Kensington PocketHub
This product lets you charge and sync your iPhone and iPod touch without losing a USB port. It works with iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, as well as all iPod touch models, comes with a hard plastic travel case and a external power adaptor, and doubles as a stand, too. You can plug into a USB port on your computer to sync and charge your iPhone or iPod touch and take advantage of the three USB ports on the charger. You can also elect to plug the charger into a power outlet using the external power adaptor for a stand-alone charger and have the USB port on your computer free, along with the three included with the PocketHub. The PocketHub sells for $39.99.

Genius Mini Portable Speaker
If you’ve ever had to travel and give a presentation in a big room or just want an extra nice speaker to take on vacation or just have at your bedside, this small, stylish portable speaker has good sound (TMO review). It plugs into any device with a 3.5 mm audio output jack and has an eight hour battery life on a full charge. It’s a flying saucer on your desktop for only $25.

Rightway GPS Car Kit
This kit has a swivel-ball adjustable windshield mount that works with both iPhones and the iPod touch. It holds any version securely with a popup/snap down lock. The suction cup feature holds securely and it is easy to adjust the phone or touch to a comfortable viewing direction. It charges your phone or touch while in use (a great feature) and with the built-in speaker, you can hold hands free Bluetooth phone calls. It’s perfect with GPS systems. This system is new and for now is available through the company Web site.



UpStand for the iPad
Made of precision engineered aluminum, this iPad stand is an attention grabber priced at $50. It has a large, stable base, supports the iPad in either orientation, can accommodate some iPad cases, has non-slip feet, and has a dazzling radial finish. It supports the iPad at just the right height for a wireless keyboard in front, and makes for great picture viewing.

iPhone App Coasters
The iPhone may work great for most tasks, but it makes a horrible coaster — until now. Meninos is selling a set of 16 iPhone app icon coasters that work great for keeping your table looking nice without voiding your iPhone warranty. The coaster set includes most of the apps found on the iPhone’s home screen such as Calendar, Mobile Safari and Mail, iPod, Weather, and Maps. The set costs $59.99, which is a lot cheaper than a new table top.

Powis iCase for iPad
New on this market, this iPad case (TMO review) presents in Spanish leather at $79.95 for a sophisticated look and feel. (There are less expensive versions available as well.) Your iPad snaps in place for a secure fit, and a movable hand strap holds the case closed and can also be used to help secure your hand to your iPad when you are carrying it. A fold over flap inside the front cover holds a few business cards, and names or logos can be added to the inside front cover for an additional fee. An unusual, but welcome, addition to this case is a movable plastic strip found under the case that holds a screen cleaning cloth. Your iPad is elevated in the case so that there is no danger of scratching, too.

LapWorks iPad Space Dock
This is a simple, but very strong, two part stand that holds an iPad firmly in place. It is cut from a rod of solid Aluminum and given a brushed finish. The channel that holds the iPad is lined to prevent scratches. The two pieces come apart for transporting. There are three angles of incline: 58°, 62°, and 66°. This stand is ideal for setting your iPad out in areas where there is limited space available, such as watching a movie in the kitchen while you work. It sells for $54.95. TMO recently reviewed the iPad Space Dock.

Looking for more holiday gift ideas? Check out part 1 of TMO’s Holiday Gift Guide.