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December 21, 2010

Ask Ben Anything: Last Minute Holiday Buying Edition


Chances are, you or one of your friends/significant others/loved ones have uttered something similar in the last few days.  To help, I’m pulling a list of my favorite PCs, gadgets and tech accessories that make great gifts, and that you can get on short notice for this month’s “Ask Ben Anything” column. In addition to the stuff I mention below, you can also check out my “How to find the perfect holiday gift in 4 minutes, 24 seconds” blog post.

Great laptops in every size, shape and color

  • If you want super small, check out the Sony VAIO P. I’ve talked about this little guy before – it’s an 8” PC that can fit in your back pocket. Super unique and undeniably cool, and you can get it in several bright colors like orange and neon green.
  • Need something a little bigger? ASUS’ brand new U36 is a good option. This is the new version of the UL30 that I love, and boasts a full-voltage i5 processor, a 19mm thin body, and 10 hours of battery life.
  • My favorite 15” laptop this season is the Samsung SF510. It was a hit at the PC Showcase events we held in NYC and San Francisco, and its elegant curves and beautiful color scheme make it a head-turning entertainment PC
  • I don’t usually rock a 17” laptop, but when I do, it’s usually the HP ENVY 17. Gorgeous design, premium sound and specs, and a stunning HD screen.
  • For netbooks, take a look at the ASUS eeePC1215n. It rocks a dual-core Atom processor and has NVIDIA ION (with Optimus) graphics, so has pretty solid performance for a little guy. And it looks sharp, too.
  • If you need a workhorse PC for the office, Lenovo’s new T410 is the kind of industrial grade power you want. Mine has a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB 7200rpm drive. It’s fully loaded, and it has the iconic ThinkPad design and durability to go with it.

Gadgets as stocking stuffers

  • I can’t get enough of the new Microsoft Touch Mouse. It folds completely flat so it’s a breeze to carry around, and the touch gestures make navigating natural and fun. It’s not quite available yet, but you can pre-order…and I highly recommend you do. It’s a mouse and a party trick in one!
  • My parents are on the East Coast, so we use Windows Live Messenger video chat to stay in touch. For that, you can’t go wrong with the new Microsoft LifeCam Studio. This thing is fully adjustable and shoots beautiful 1080p HD video. I have one on my home PC, and one at work.

And to haul around all of that new gear…

  • Try the medium Timbuk2 laptop messenger bag. Timbuk2 gear offers great laptop protection and you can customize yours with dozens of different fabrics, threads, bindings and linings. Not sure what your give-ee wants? Try Timbuk2’s “Bag in a Box” option and let them build their perfect bag themselves

I hope this helps…good luck and happy shopping! 

One last thing – if nothing on this list strikes your fancy, email me or find me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to help.