Holiday Gift Guide: For the man in your life

Technology News Blog

You want to pick out a great gadget gift for that special guy in your life, but you have no idea where to start? Well, we'll let you in on a little tech expert secret here — start by matching the device to his personality. We've spent countless hours doing extensive research on this subject ("extensive research" = playing with each and every gadget you see below, with the exception of the JetLev) and talking with many a man here at Tecca and beyond, to create the perfect list for that special dude in your life. We've even given you a price range in each type, so whether you're on a budget or feeling like a big, big spender these days, there's something here for every guy on your list!

Type #1: The digital dad He's the king of the castle, the master of the minivan, the ruler of the remote — so his gift has to give him a little metime in a way he can truly appreciate.

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Best budget pick: $
DeviceRoku 2 XS TV streaming device
Price: $99

The Roku 2 XS streaming entertainment device packs a whole lotta awesome into a $99 price tag. You plug the little box into your TV and it instantly delivers more than 350 internet channels via wifi to your TV. No more waiting for the mail to come with your Netflix DVD — this delivers NetflixAmazon Instant VideoHulu Plus, Disney, and so many more.

Mid-range price tag: $$
DeviceLogitech Harmony 900 universal remote
Price: $250

I know what you're thinking: 250 bucks for a remote control? Is she nuts?! Nope. This just isn't your typical remote control. The Logitech Harmony 900 replaces up to 15 other remote controllers — basically, the controllers for all of your home entertainment devices — even if they're tucked away behind cabinets or otherwise out of site. It's like magic. The PC-programmable device features a sleek design, a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and a docking station. The best part? It's very easy to set up.

Hey, big spender: $$$
DeviceSamsung PND8000 series big-screen TV
Price: $1,900

If your digital dad has been a very, very good boy this year, give him this Samsung 3D plasma TV. When he asks how you knew exactly what he's always wanted, tell him that you picked it out especially for him because of the amazing picture quality and the Smart Hub internet portal, which is loaded with so many apps and streaming internet services, it will blow his tech-savvy mind.

Type #2: The fitness fanatic When he's not hitting the gym, he's downloading the GPS coordinates from his latest run and mapping out where he's going to ride his next century race. He's tough, casual, and sporty, and he enjoys being active, indoors and out.

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Best budget pick: $
DeviceJawbone Up
Price: $99

First of all, this little wristband fitness tracker justlooks like a cool, hipster kind of groovy man bracelet. And that's a good thing, as early adopters to this latest wearable fitness dashboard craze are coming back with mixed reviews of how well it actually holds up. (By the way, I'm on day 17 with mine, and so far, it's all been great. So it stays on my list of really great gifts for your man.) Along with an iPhone or iPod app, it promises to track your movements, sleep patterns, and eating habits to help you make healthier lifestyle choices. It comes in a variety of colors — and did I mention it just looks cool as a bracelet?

Mid-range price tag: $$

DeviceMotorola Motoactv fitness bracelet
Price: $250 (8GB), $300 (16GB)

This is another gadget that you wear to track your every step, stride, snore, and stat necessary to reach your ultimate health and fitness goals. What's cool and different about this device is that it also stores up to 4,000 songs to get you pumped and performing at your best. It even creates a special performance playlist for you based on the songs you tend to burn the most calories listening to. You can also race against your saved personal bests. The online Motoactv training portal comes with more than 400 workout plans. You can link it to your Android phone via bluetooth 4.0 to receive calls and on-screen texts. Basically, it does everything except sweat for you.

Hey, big spender: $$$
Device: ElliptiGO
Price: $1,800 to $3,500

To quote one of my favorite fitness fanatic friends, ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes, the health nut in your life will like it because it's awesome! The ElliptiGo is an outdoor fitness device that combines the best of running and cycling with the low-impact, less jarring advantage of an elliptical trainer. It's great cross-training and gives him a way to get outside and exercise hard, without having to pound his joints running all the time. And there's a good chance your guy will be the only one on the whole block — heck, maybe even the whole state — who will own one. For now.

Type #3: The big kid He's grown up, but in many ways he's still just a little boy at heart. He loves to watch sports, play video games, and get into his fair share of high-tech high jinks.

Best budget pick: $
DeviceSharper Image Crossbow Snow Launcher
Price: $40

The Crossbow Snow Launcher is one of the best big-boy toys on the market today. Why? Because it can shoot snowballs distances of up to 60 feet. It just doesn't get much cooler than that! It also comes with a snowball press that churns out three perfectly sized snowballs at a time. Oh, the joy. Just make sure to pick up a Triple Snowball Blaster for yourself!

Mid-range price tag: $$
Device: Xbox 360 Console Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle
: $450

Give your big boy anything Star Wars-related and you'll likely be his little Ewok for the year. But if you really want  to win his love, give him this particular special edition Xbox Kinect and chances are, you'll be his wuving wittle Wookie for life. It brings his favorite Star Wars characters into the room with the R2-D2-themed console, classic sound effects, and full-body mad Jedi gameplay. Want to score even more points? Fashion a Slave Leia metal bikini and grab a few cinnamon buns to join in on the fun right along with him. Now, that's what I call using the force.

Hey, big spender: $$$$
Device: JetLev personal jetpack
Price: $99,500 (or rent for $250 a day)

As if you need to ask why he'll like it... He'll like it because it turns him into a real live Rocket Man, of course. This gravity-defying, water-powered jetpack uses a massive hose to propel him about 30 feet into the air. The JetLev is expected to release to the public in the spring of 2012. For those who can't quite stomach the price tag, the company will apparently rent out its first model version for about $250 a day in places like Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, and Nevada.

Type #4: The dialed-in dude This man is the undeniable grand master of gadgets. He's the first in line at every new iWhatever launch, wants to name his children Face and Siri, and is happy to "educate" all the electronics salespeople in town about every last tech spec detail, no matter what gadget.

Since he already owns all the latest smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles and a dozen other digital devices, this section focuses on gadgets that that will make him feel like the true Geekogogue that he is.

Best budget pick: $

Mophie Juice Pack Air charging case
: $80

When your man is a real geek, battery life (or the lack thereof) is likely the bane of his existence. Mophie's iPhone portable battery chargers double as cool phone cases to truly save your dialed-in dude's day. If he has an iPhone 4 or 4S, get him the Juice Pak Air. Giving your gadget-obsessed man a way to stay charged up 24/7 will do a whole lot more than simply fire up his handset. 

Mid-range price tag: $$

Device: Viper SmartStart remote starter system
: $299 and up

Controlling your car from your iPhone? Yep, there's an app for that. He can just leave his keys at home and use his iPhone to start, lock, and unlock your car, and control the doors, trunk, and alarm system from basically anywhere. You can even set it up to receive text messages if your car alarm goes off.

Hey, big spender: $$$$
Device: MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D
Price: $1,299 and up

By nature, your dialed-in dude is also a DIY guy (though often his inventions seem a little strange to the rest of us). The Thing-O-Matic basically takes two-dimensional computer images and creates actual 3D plastic objects. Need a new soap dish, cell phone holder, or hoodie hook? Your modern MacGyver will love inventing one for you. He'll be so happy about this gift that he'll print you up a love token. Like a flower vase shaped like an aorta. (True geek love.)

Did you have another great idea or personality type that pertains to the man in your life? Let us know in the comments section below this post. Happy holidays!

This article was written by Jennifer Jolly and originally appeared on Tecca

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