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Hardware Canucks Christmas Wishlist

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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3815-hardware-canucks-christmas-wishlist-wishlist_header_620w.jpg


As Christmas approaches, we should all know what we want by now but there are always those hold outs who wait for the last minute to put in their requests. This usually leaves loved ones running around like checkens with their heads cut off in these final days of 2008 shopping but as long as you get what you want, their sacrifice is worth it, right? There is also a flip side to this coin; what if you are the one looking for that final gift for your tech-savvy boyfriend, girlfriend or office secret Santa? One way or another, Hardware Canucks has you covered.

Since all the staff members here can be considered tech-savvy (if they aren’t, it has been one hell of a charade they have been pulling) we asked them to pool their thoughts so we could come up with a list of products we could recommend this holiday season. So many good ideas were presented that this article will now encompass everyone’s own “best of” list of Geeky gifts that will fit every budget from a few bucks to a couple hundred thousand dollars. One way or another, hopefully our lists help you with your holiday shopping or at the very least give you something to hunt down come Boxing Day.

On a more personal note, everyone here at Hardware Canucks would like to thank you our readers for your support this past year. It has been a year filled with challenges, amazing products, great community discussions and quite a bit of success for this website that started off as a twinkle in our imagination. It is because of you that we will continue to bring you unbiased reviews, in-depth articles and continue to expand Hardware Canucks in the New Year. To all of you: have a save and wonderful Christmas and may the New Year bring you joy, happiness and prosperity.

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FiXT

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Anthony's (AkG) List

Anthony's (AkG) List

Well its that time of the year again and its time to put a big ol’ hurtin’ on Ye Olde Abused Credit Card! All joking aside with the economy on the verge of going into Sir John Crapper’s famous invention, its our civic duty to SPEND our way out of this mess before its tooooooo laaaaaaate and what better to that then on some tech goodies for the geek in all of us!

To help you do your civic duty (and score some really neat tech pr0n in the process…instead of socks…who REALLY needs socks? Heck what kind of “loved one” GIVES sock!?) this my goodie collection for this Christmas:


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/powermonkey_sm.jpg" style="float: right">
For Geeks on a Budget
Product: Powermonkey Portable Charger
Price: Price Compare
Details: Powermonkey Portable Charger Classic

This little handy fella will quickly fill up even the most dead of batteries PDQ (pretty darn quickly for you laymen). Best of all it comes free with a host of adapters to allow you to charge a whole passel of tech goodies! In one easy swap you can go from charging your IPod to charging your Cell phone….all without shelling out extra dough for proprietary adapters. With a price of roughly $49.00 USD at your favorite geek swag shops, it says you care about both your wallet and your toys!

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
Price: Price Compare
Details: Intel® Mainstream SATA Solid State Drives

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/x25m_sm.jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10">
In the mid range category we actually have TWO devices which are must haves for the power geek. On the one hand if you have more than $500 (but less than 1K) to spend for that special someone the Intel X25-M 80GB SSD should be at the top of your list! It is simply the fastest drive out there and like everything on bleeding edge your wallet is going to feel! It is available in limited quantities from most e-tailers for around $800.
<br>
Product: CoolIt Dual Drive Bay GPU Cooler
Price: $200.00
Details: Dual Drive Bay GPU Cooler
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/NV_sm.jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10" Vspace="3">If SSDs are not your thing but hardcore gaming is then the Coolit NV200 VGA Coldplate (now with 280 GTX compatibility) might just float your boat! Lets face it; nothing puts a damper on getting your Frag On like a banshee war cry coming from the OC’ed Nvidia 280 or ATI 4870 x2! Put a silencer on that puppy, overclock it even more and enjoy the bliss of quiet! What could possibly be better than that? Right now they are pre-order only, but I would doubt CoolIT will miss the Christmas rush so drop them an email and get the 411 straight from the (gift) horses mouth!

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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Asus G7 Series Notebook
Price: Price Compare
Details: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/g71_sm.jpg" style="float: right">
Know somebody who already has everything? Need something you know they don’t got? Well then you are in luck! How does a ASUS G71, 17 inch QUAD core Laptop with a Coolit MTEC Docking Station (to keep it from burning your desk!) sound? As this laptop is a Republic of Gamers laptop it not only comes with a QX9300 it also comes with a GeForce 9700M GT GPU, Blu-Ray drive and can hold TWO frakin’ hard drives. Now that we think about it….drop in two Intel X25M SSDs…RAID 0 them…and watch your wallet and credit cards BURN!

This bad boy is by Special Order only and will set up back anywhere from just a little over $2k to more than $3.5K with all the bells and whistles. So get ‘em while they’re hot!
 
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FiXT

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John's (3.0charlie) List

John's (3.0charlie) List

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/vacuum.jpg" style="float: right">
For Geeks on a Budget
Product: Syba USB Vacuum Cleaner (With Turbo)
Price: Price Compare
Details: Syba Web

What’s worst that a cluttered desk with dust balls rolling gently on top of your keyboard, and having to clear your desk to clean it properly? Enter the Syba USB vacuum cleaner with Turbo Button... it’s factory overclocked. A must have for any serious overclocker! I wonder how far the Best of the oc’ers could push that vacuum cleaner... Dirt cheap (pun intended!) at NCIX, on special for 8.99$!

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator
Price: Price Compare
Details: OCZ Technology | nia - Neural Impulse Actuator

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/neural.jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10">
Ok Folks. For the young Guns, this must be a great addition to any game to gain that edge over your opponents. Headshots galore. But for the Old farts like I, I see a powerful tool... I think with some proper tweakin’ and sweatin’, this device can be used to actually control the Wife. For those of you whom are married, can you imagine control She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed’ thoughts? Not having to go through the lengthy debate process over the necessity of having the Latest chip? I know I did. That was the toughest negotiations I ever had. Only if I had that Impulse Actuator...I feel a Tim Taylor grunt coming! 154.70$ (after MIR) for such a powerful object. It’s a Must!

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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Asetek Vapochill LS
Price: $999
Details: http://www.asetek.com - VapoChill LightSpeed [LS]
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/vapochill.jpg" style="float: right" VSpace="40"><p style="margin-right:280px">I’ve tried and used stock Air HSFs: they work, but don’t ask too much of your chip - unless you want a space heater.

I’ve tried high-end after-market Air HSFs: most are very efficient, some are Works of Art. But it’s still Air.

I’ve tried water-cooling: the High-end method of the Prosumer chip cooling. How to bring Ohs! and Ahs! out of your visitors; with the common knowledge that Electronics and Liquids are a match made in Hell, it’s a sure way to start a conversation that can last many hours... but it’s still water that cannot be lower than the ambient temperature.

Enter the Asetek Vapochill LightSpeed phase change system. The Best in Prosumer chip cooling. -40°C while idling, sub-zero loading temperatures, allowing the overclocker to reach new limits... a personal freezer for your chip! Now that is a great gift! It does come with a hefty pricetag – 999$, but for the Geek who wants the Best, that is just it.

The LS can be found in Montreal at Kit-Tronics
 
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FiXT

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Steve's (sswilson) List

Steve's (sswilson) List

So it's that time of the year again, and unless you're a total Grinch, chances are there's going to be some form of gift giving/receiving going on in the near future. If you're like me, seasonal gifts need to be something either completely frivolous, or if practical, something the recipient would never consider buying for themselves. There might be an empty space on the kitchen counter where a toaster oven would be a perfect fit, but please, for the sake of family unity, resist the urge to fill that space until you find one at your favorite boxing day sale.


For Geeks on a Budget
Product: CJ7 Dog Doll MP3 Player with Built-in Speakers
Price: $18 (USD)
Details: CJ7 Dog Doll MP3 Player
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/fluffy.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
In what will be a theme for my picks this year, all of my choices have been influenced by input from HWC members during the past year. Earlier this summer somebody posted a link to a Hong Kong company called "dealextreme" which offered great prices on all manner of gadgets, as well as free shipping to anywhere in North America.

While perusing the site I came across this little MP3 player which I feel will make the perfect gift for any young(ish) Anime fan. Not only does it fall into the "it's so ugly it's cute" category, I can almost guarantee this unique gift will be a one-of when it comes to comparing this year's haul. C'mon... how many other folks are going to get a dog shaped MP3 player that connects to the usb port through that particular location?

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower
Price: Price Compare
Details: Cooler Master - Ultimate provider of Computer Chassis

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/HAF2.jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10">
<p style="margin-left:300px">Usually at this time of year there's a clear must-have upgrade path for computer enthusiasts, but this season's offerings have left me waiting in the wings. Intel may have just released i7, but I've never been an early adopter and would much rather wait until the bugs are gone, and prices come down. AMD is making a few noises about their soon-to-be-released Phenom II quad cores, but once again I'm more inclined to let the dust settle before committing to a new (to me) platform.

With that in mind... I'm thinking that a quality case under the tree would be just the ticket for those winter blues while I wait for a new platform to tickle my fancy. A case might seem too practical for my own gift giving/recieving philosophy, but for somebody who'd never consider shelling out the cash for higher end gear, the pleasure of working with a full tower case fits the bill to a T, and those who already have a quality case might feel moving to newer one would be frivolous.

I started salivating over Coolermasters's HAF 932 Full tower case about a week after I finished my Cosmos S internal WC build. Don't get me wrong, I still love my current case, but the HAF offers everything I had been looking for in a case at a clear discount over what the Cosmos S cost me. Once AkG's review (Cooler Master HAF 932 Case Review) hit the street I was even more smitten. Who wouldn't want a case with great Air cooling, excellent options for internal WC installs, well considered cable management, and a rear cut-away CPU socket access? If that wasn't enough, the option to install the PSU in either top or bottom configurations is brilliant.</P>

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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Murderbox PC
Price: Starting at $4000
Details: murderbox

<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/murdebox.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10" VSpace="30"><p style="margin-right:300px">I've always questioned the value of boutique build computers. To me there didn't seem to be a lot of value-added content for ridiculously priced gear. Top it all off, most of these builds seemed to be comprised of cherry picked consumer parts thrown together into a fancy case without much thought of how it all fit together. Mid November one of our members changed my opinion by offering us a peek into the workings of what a boutique build should look like.

Murderbox ( murderbox ) leaves no doubt as to what kind of value-added content can be had for a price. Everything about it screams attention to detail. In fact, it looks like they locked an engineer and a designer into a room without a chance to get out until they got it right. Component placement is bang on, sleeving looks amazing (including sleeved WC tubing if you want), and the customized Silverstone TJ07 (available as a stand-alone purchase) could easily win "top of show" at any lan party. For the true geek in us, the coup de gras has to be the water cooling loop. Anybody who's ever put a custom loop together will appreciate how clean this installation looks. All in all, if I were to hire a team to put together my dream rig, I doubt very much they could come up with something that looks any better than one of these.

But wait... there's one more little tidbit that adds all the more sweetness to the mix... not only does the murderbox look great, its creator Charles Harwood is a fellow Canuck based somewhere out on the Wet Coast! Sounds like a great chance to help out with our flagging economy.

If I've convinced you that you've got to have one of these beasts, better ensure that your credit card is clear. Prices start at around $4,200 CDN, work their way up to over $8,200, and word on the street is that they're open to suggestions so I suppose the upper end might only be limited by how high your credit limit is.</p>
 
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FiXT

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Mike's (lemonlime) List

Mike's (lemonlime) List


I drive my family and friends nuts during the holiday season. I have a particularly bad habit of impulse buying many of the things I want or need throughout the year. Buying things for a computer geek isn’t easy. It’s not like I can just ask a friend to walk into a computer store and buy me a top-end video card. The prices of the PC components that interest me most are unfortunately way out of the average gift buyer’s budget. Generally speaking, when it comes to gifts, I’m a practical person. Having moved into a house recently, I’ve been asking for things like tools and items for around the house. They may not be as exciting as a new motherboard, but getting a gift that I can use on a regular basis does indeed put a smile on my face. Plus getting the things I really “need” as gifts frees up some funds for the finer things in life—like Radeon 4870s and Rampage Extremes.


<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/UPM.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
For Geeks on a Budget
Product: UPM EM100 Energy Meter
Price: $30
Details: UPM Marketing Inc. - Electronic Energy Meters - EM100

On a budget and looking for something that just about any geek would appreciate? Being the practical guy that I am, an AC power meter fits the bill nicely. The UPM EM100 is a very popular AC meter that can be found at major retailers like Canadian Tire. You can plug in just about any AC device that draws less than 1800W and get a live reading of current draw and KWH usage. You can even input the price you pay for electricity and it can keep a running tally for you. I guarantee you that you’ll be checking how much power everything from your battery charger to your toaster oven uses. Pricing in at less than $30, it’s something any geek will love—and you may just help the environment along the way.

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: nVidia GeForce GTX280
Price: Price Compare
Detail: GeForce GTX 280
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/gtx280.jpg" style="float: left" VSpace="60">
<p style="margin-left:300px">I had a really tough time deciding upon a computer component for my list. It was certainly not because I didn’t know what I wanted—believe me, there are literally dozens of components that I’d love to get. Picking just one was the tough part. This year, I’m going to go ahead and say that the number one component under the $500 mark for me is an Nvidia GTX 280. I’ve always been a step or two behind in the graphics hardware arena. My last major purchase was an 8800GTS 640MB. I didn’t quite spring for the 8800GTX at the time, but this time, I’d like to get Nvidia’s top of the line. A Radeon 4870X2 would also fit the bill nicely but are pricing in at close to the $600 mark right now, unfortunately.

Why a GTX280? It is a monster single card graphics solution. It rocks out some serious FPS in just about all scenarios and its CUDA Phys-X engine makes it a great number cruncher as well. I’d be equally pleased with the new GTX 260 with 216 SPs.

Finding one won’t be difficult. One quick look at the HWC price compare engine turns up dozens of offerings at all of the popular online retailers. </p>
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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Lian Li F1 Aluminum Computer Desk
Price: $3000+
Details: Lian Li Industrial Co., Ltd.
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/lianlidesk.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10" VSpace="30"><p style="margin-right:300px">I can’t tell you how fed up I am with cheap and poor quality computer desks. Right now, I’m actually using a large solid wood kitchen table as my computer desk—I hate it. Not only can I not put my chair under it due to some weird supports in the way, it is way too tall. If someone really wants to make me happy this holiday season they need not look any further than the Lian-Li F1 all-aluminum computer desk—the F1B to be more specific. Being a huge fan of Lian-Li PC enclosures over the last few years, seeing this desk never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Finding a Lian-Li F1 in Canada will be tough, unfortunately. I suppose there is just not much of a market for $3000 computer desks—I have no idea why.</P>
 
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FiXT

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Zac's (Eldonko) List

Zac's (Eldonko) List


Christmas time kicks ass, simple as that. Prices on pretty much everything are at a yearly low and we are bombarded with sales that are often too good to resist. Personally, I don’t ask for much, but I also would not turn down that perfect tech gift... I tend to like the party game type of gift, something that I can get a laugh with, or of course the high end tech gadget or piece of hardware. But we all know that asking for computer hardware is tough, since you have to be so specific that you pretty much have to provide a NCIX link to exactly what you want. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, I did a little thinking (ok, maybe a lot of thinking..) on a few things I may enjoy but would not necessarily buy myself, and came up with this 3 part list!


For Geeks on a Budget
Product: Shocking Thumbwars
Price: £14.95
Details: Shocking Thumbwars
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/shock.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
Tired of boring party games? Ever thought of shocking your friends? Call me twisted, but I must say yes to both of those questions. The Shocking Thumbwars game by hotbox.com is a 3-in-1, head-to-head party game, that gives the user a shocking experience. The first game is 50/50 which is a race to tap the button 50 times (loser gets a nice jolt), the second is Rebound which is a pong-like challenge that involves knocking a light sequence back and forth (you will be shocked to miss) and the third is Endurance which is a test to see who can take the most shocking (no one really wins this one). For about $25 (plus shipping) you have this nifty gadget for hours of amusement. Grab it @ Firebox.

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: Biostar TPower x58 Motherboard
Price: $350+
Details: BIOSTAR
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/gigabyte.jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10">
<p style="margin-left:320px">I'm thinking most of us are just itching to go to i7, even if our 775 systems can run anything we throw at em with ease. Well I am no exception. It is a tough choice which board to get, everyone has one out (or coming) and there are few results up thus far. I chose the Biostar TPower X58 because of the success of the TPower P45 s775 board. Benchers are still shattering FSB World Records with the TPower P45 and Biostar really earned my respect putting out such a great product at half the price of boards comparable in performance.

For that reason, this is my first choice for X58 at this time. Plus the simplicity of the color scheme on this board makes it a pleasure to look at! As far as I know, the board is not available in Canada yet, and it is hard to say what the price will be (maybe $350-$400?). Maybe we will even see the TPower X58 by Xmas though, here’s hoping anyway.. </p>
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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Mountain Mods Ascension
Price: $439.99+ (USD)
Details: MountainMods.com-Computer Cases-Ascension
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/MM.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
This is the section where I really had to dig deep and do some thinking. If I could have something (regardless of price) that I don’t really need it what would it be? I seriously could make a page long list for this, stuff from cascades, to copper GPU pots, to an AMD system (haha just joking AMD fans). Using watercooling and constant hardware upgrades / changes hardly make cases practical for me as I haven’t used on in three years. However, I must admit that I miss the fun of a new custom case build and am fairly jealous of some of the builds I see going on lately.

This brings me to the absolute coolest case I can think of, the Ascension – Duality by Mountain Mods. Now don’t get me wrong, this is no regular wimpy case, this is a case that eats regular-sized cases for breakfast; and best of all Mountain Mods allows full customization! The Ascension – Duality is completely modular, can fit four PSUs and two motherboards, and has plenty of space for running two full water loops and full-sized rads! By the time you get it in your hands it would be probably $700+, but if you have the money is it worth it? Hell yes.
 
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FiXT

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For Geeks on a Budget
Product: Wi-Fi Detector Shirt
Price: $29.99
Details: ThinkGeek :: Wi-Fi Detector Shirt
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Forum/wifi_shirt.gif" style="float: right">
From the store that has brought USB gifts to nerds everywhere, ThinkGeek has holiday shopping for your special geek (or geekess) well thought out. The WiFI detector t-shirt brings new pleasure to receiving the cliché Christmas clothes and has a practical use! As many of us geeks are wirelessly tethered to our internet, (the inability to Google can cause a mental breakdown), having to start up the laptop or other wireless device in search of a signal wastes precious moments that could be spent furthering our knowledge of quantum physics or meeting chicks. The WiFi signal bars of the live display on the front of the shirt, change with the surrounding signal strength. Never again will you be at a loss for the web when you need it most. Imagine all the ladies impressed by your resourcefulness as you effortless inform them of the current wireless signal strength.
How about that blinky nosed Rudolph sweater.

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
Price: Price Compare
Details: Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB Drive
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Forum/FSG%20(1).jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10" Vspace="20">
<p style="margin-left:320px">I like storage, correction, I LOVE storage. You can never have enough hard drive space…ever. Being a digital packrat, I find it difficult to delete things. Even during the semi-annual reinstall, a copy of my documents, settings and installation partition gets saved in case I ever need that one file I always wish had been saved. Between backups, downloads, game installs and the plethora of other things that inevitably make their way into the recesses of my C drive, I tend to run out of space rather quickly and I am sure these sentiments are shared by many others. Thankfully hard drive manufacturers have come to the rescue. One Terabyte (1TB) drives, have become the new standard, and without a doubt the best $/GB deal around. While not the everyday price, these drives have been spotted on e-shelves with only double digit pricing as the holiday season approaches. The Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB hard drive in particular has proved to be an incredibly fast and rather quiet unit, with a very attractive price tag attached. This really is a gift that can’t go wrong, whether for the geek who is permanently attached to his keyboard or for the technical tinkerer, everybody needs more space.</p>
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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Toyota iReal Personal Transportation...Chair
Price: $4,000+
Details: Top Gear - Toyota Chair- Video
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Forum/ireal.jpg" style="float: right">
No matter the geek, chances are he (or she) doesn’t have one of these. The innovative minds at Toyota have developed the ultimate in comfort, style and technology. This is the creme de la creme, the cream of the crop, the top dog, this is the Toyota iReal. Not just an ordinary chair, the iReal is a concept battery powered personal transportation system, a.k.a, a really fast chair. The user controls the chair by joysticks at their fingertips, but this baby isn't just for fetching drinks from the fridge; the top speed of the chair is a blistering 30km/h - in performance mode of course. The iReal also is a plates a digital smorgasbord with a social networking features (in case your neighbours decide to get one as well), wireless connectivity and touch control computer. Now while the iReal is not scheduled to be debut publicly until 2010, those willing to spend should not be deterred. This toy with make Christmas one to remember, and it should help you one up the in-laws..
 
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FiXT

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Greg’s (Babrbarossa) List

Greg’s (Babrbarossa) List


At risk of giving away my age, I’ve never had someone buy me anything much more high-tech than a “ghetto blaster” for a Christmas gift. My Luddite parents’ idea of a techno-gadget is an el-cheapo keyboard vacuum cleaner they found at the checkout counter of a men’s clothing store. I still can’t convince my dear, dear wife that the term “hard drive” does not refer to the entire computer. But this is the reason that the people in our lives are reluctant to try to buy us nerds the things that we really want- they haven’t got a clue, and if we tried to tell them they would just blink at us. A friend on this forum once told me that his technique was to place NCIX links on his wife’s desktop around the holidays- very clever, but the problem with that is that they find out how much we’re actually spending on these things, and that won’t do, right? Well here are three things that I would love to have this Christmas and I think I could actually feel safe sneaking a link to the first one on my wife’s desktop. As for the others, well they might have to wait until F@H starts paying out a hundo per WU.


For Geeks on a Budget
Product: Sidewinder Cell Phone Charger
Price: $30.00
Details: IST : SideWinder Cell Phone Charger
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/sidewinder.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
Now I don’t know how broad the appeal of this little device would be, but to me it’s pure gold. As a field biologist, one of my daily annoyances is running out of cell phone juice. I’m often out in weak signal territory where the phone wear’s itself down constantly searching for a signal. Next thing I know I get back to the truck at the end of a long day and the tire’s flat, I forgot to inflate that spare like I’ve been meaning to, and I’m S.O.L. (stuck outside longtime!)

Well, the SideWinder is the smallest, lightest and most powerful portable cell phone charger made. Two minutes of cranking delivers 5-6 minutes of talk time, or up to 30 minutes standby. Includes carrying case, connectors and LED emergency light that provides over five minutes of light, with only 30 seconds of cranking. Includes adapter tips for most models of *****, LG, Samsung, Kyocera, Sony/Ericsson and Motorola Razr phones (see "Tech Specs" below for a full list of compatible phone models or click the "Zoom/Additional Views" button for images of the adapters).

It could save a life…well, it could! And the best thing of all? Only about $30 to land one of these puppies.

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: Sling Media Slingbox SOLO HD
Price: Price Compare
Details: Sling Media - Slingbox PRO-HD
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/slingbox.jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10"><p style="margin-left:290px">This item may not be the kind of item that jumps immediately to mind when you think computer hardware, but it IS something that might be straightforward enough to ask for for Christmas (just imagine trying to explain NVidia's or ATI's card naming scheme to your grandma). This is a product that I had never known to exist, and the idea of it is quite intriguing- The Slingbox™ SOLO allows you to watch and control your favorite TV source from anywhere in the world on your laptop or cell phone. You can watch your DVR, digital cable, satellite receiver, or DVD player wherever you choose. With the Slingbox SOLO, you can watch your favorite TV shows and sporting events from anywhere. You do, of course, need to have access to internet to “phone home” to this little guy. Apparently this thing sends HD content as well. These actually only cost about $175 so who knows- I might be able to get away with posting a link to this fella on my wife's desktop as well.</P>
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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Suissa Computers Enlighten
Price: $10,000+
Details: Suissa Computers - Enlighten
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/fixt/ForumImages/Christmas/drumcomputer.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
We all look at the custom builds from the fancy salons and drool for a little while, but after we think about it a bit we realize- wait a minute! That’s just a tricked out Lian Li with a nice cable sleeving job and already out-dated hardware! But we still appreciate the craftsmanship involved with making a computer beautiful. We like to see the things we’re passionate about elevated to an art form and sometimes we just like to have nice things in our homes. Well I’ve always thought that it would be nice to combine computers with another thing that I’m passionate about: wood (hey- no snickering). Suissa computers has taken custom build to a new level and truly make building a computer a craft and an art form (although I’ve read the comment “they look like trophies for being a rich white guy). Well maybe, but if you’ve accrued enough wealth to afford one of these you deserve a trophy (and the privilege of buying one of these for me).

These are all custom built so the price varies from very expensive to extremely expensive, but from what I could find from looking around the net, I was surprised how low the price was when you consider what it costs to have furniture custom made. They have models that vary from mATX to large units that look like home theatre centers made from any number of exotic and native hardwoods. They have a slightly art-deco flavor and look like a computer you should be playing bioshock on. The hardware, you ask? Well, when you’re in this spending bracket- who cares- swap out at will because you’re not paying for components when you buy one of these. Check out their website and see the designs they offer.
 
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Michael's (SKYMTL's) List

Michael's (SKYMTL's) List

For Geeks on a Budget
Product: Dream Cheeky USB Stress Button
Price: $35.00+
Details: USB Stress Button
<img src="http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/imagehosting/2404941dca7dda27.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
I am one of those people who has a horrible fetish with everything USB related. I have a USB drink warmer, USB a missile launcher for tormenting the girlfriend’s cat, a small USB powered fridge and the list goes on and on. However, the latest thing on my Christmas list is the Dreamlink USB Stress Button. You can literally beat the shyte out of this thing without it dying on you (or so the advertisement says) but to make matters even better, it carries with it a unique cover-up feature. Basically, you can set the included software to switch your screen to a fake Excel sheet, a nuclear explosion with countdown or a face you can virtually “punch” whenever you press the button. This is great for covering up your flash gaming at work or your other…*ahem* fetishes at home.

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For the Hardware Geek
Product: J&W MiniX 780G-SP128MB
Price: Price Compare
Details: J&W MiniX
<img src="http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/imagehosting/2404941dd296daf1.jpg" style="float: left" Hspace="10" VSpace="40">Well, I am in a bit of an enviable position to have access to nearly everything hardware-related…and yet my main rig currently sports an s939 AMD Athlon X2 3800+. I know it is on the pathetic side of things but this thing has been trucking along for the better part of three years now but currently I find myself wanting something…more. Enter the J&W MiniX 780G-SP128MB mini-ITX motherboard. This little thing supports AM2+ processors, sports HDMI, VGA and DVI ports, has 128MB of Sideport memory and not one but two SO-DIMM slots. All of this comes in a compact package that will fit in any of those sweet looking and compact mini-ITX cases. This motherboard really shows us that performance does not need to be sacrificed if you want to miniaturize your setup. The only thing that will probably hold you back is this baby’s eye-watering price: about $220 here in Canada. Convenience doesn’t come cheap folks.
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For the Geek Who Has it All
Product: Suborbital Flight via Virgin Galactic
Price: Deposits from $25,000 - $300,000 CAD
Details: Virgin Galactic Voyages
<img src="http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/imagehosting/2404941dca7f2162.jpg" style="float: right" Hspace="10">
Yes, this may be a flight of fancy from nearly every one of our readers but when I dream, I dream big. Seriously, if you are a geek like myself and have everything else you could possibly want (unlike me) why wouldn’t you want to spend $300K to take a flight on Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipTwo? Granted, the price of admission is a bit much for us land lubbers but the possibilities of this adventure are definitely enticing even for those of us without the necessary financial backing. If you are fine with being at the end of the “let us fly” a $25,000 deposit is all you need…with the rest of the money being paid at a later date. Considering most of us will never set foot on these flights, the precedent they set is breath-taking. Flights for Canadians can be booked via TTI Canada’s Robert Kershaw.







 
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