by Katherine Walsh

Tech Gifts for the ’06 Holiday Season

Dec 01, 2006 2 mins
Enterprise Applications

The Ultimate Clicker

You can’t control the universe from your living room, but you can control the electronics in your house (up to 15 devices) using Logitech’s Harmony 1000 remote. Ditch the pile of clickers on your coffee table: This universal remote uses infrared and radio frequency technology to control HDTVs, DVD players and even household appliances (like ceiling fans and air conditioners). When paired with the Harmony Wireless Extender ($149.99), which has a wireless range of 100 feet, the remote can control devices in multiple rooms. $499.99

Stargazing, 2.0

For the people on your list with stars in their eyes, Celestron’s SkyScout may be the perfect gift. This handheld device, the size of a small camcorder, uses GPS technology to identify stars, planets and constellations, and provides their history and mythology. Point the handheld at a specific target in the sky, and SkyScout will identify it. Or, choose a star or planet from the database, and SkyScout will help you find it. Using arrows on the viewfinder (much like a GPS mapping system), SkyScout can direct you to your celestial destination. The SkyScout runs on two AA batteries. $399

MP3 Maven’s Stocking-Stuffer

For superlative sound from MP3 files, check out Creative’s Xmod. This device restores details that MP3 files lose during compression. Creative’s Xtreme Fidelity technology analyzes tracks, identifies damaged parts and converts them to approximately 24-bit sound quality (CDs are 16-bit quality) by enhancing high and low frequencies. Essentially acting as a surrogate sound card, this device connects to your MP3 player or Windows or Mac PC. $79.99

A Little Down Time, Circa 2007

Lands’ End has created a beanbag chair the likes of which you have not seen, or heard, before. When connected to an MP3 player like the Apple iPod, the iBeanbag Chair, which features dual speakers and a subwoofer for surround sound, promises to deliver a “live experience.” Feel like watching a movie? It also hooks up to a laptop or DVD player for a home theater experience. Perfect for teens. $199

A Computer Bag Fashionistas Can Love

Today’s notebook PCs are sleek, but most bags that hold them are stuck in Uglyville. A few bags with fashion and business sense have emerged, like the Elegant Leather Tote from Targus. Its padded compartment fits laptops with up to 15-inch screens. Available in red or black, it has plenty of interior pockets. $149.99