Top 10 tech toys for the holidays


10 gadgets for the 2010 holiday season

By Heather Camlot

It’s gift-giving season, but what to buy? We’ve rounded up the best tech gifts for everyone on your list, from Baby to Grandpa.

For the shutterbug

The old-school look combined with the latest tech features make the Samsung NX 100 a stunning buy for the photography buff in your life. The camera boasts 14.6 megapixels, a 3-inch display screen, interchangeable lenses and an i-function button that lets you adjust aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure while still looking at the shot. It also features a great interface, it’s quick on the click and it records high-resolution movies that can be viewed right on your HDTV.

Samsung NX 100. Available at Best Buy, $650.  

For the gamer

It feels a little Big Brother having a camera watching and recording our every move, but we want the Kinect for Xbox 360 anyway.  Controller-free gaming means you have to act or speak to play – no more sitting passively on the couch. Toss in a game or two (The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout seems fitting for this time of year) and get ready for an active holiday season.

Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect. Available at Futureshop, $300. 

For the multitasker

Just what is the Nokia N8? Well, it’s a touchscreen smartphone with integrated social networking. It’s a 12 MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, HD video recording and built-in editing software. It’s a navigation system with voice-guidance for anywhere in the world. It’s an MP3 player with 50 hours of playback. Simply put, it’s hot.

Nokia N8 smartphone. Available at Rogers, starting at $80 with select plans

For the entertainment junkie

Watch television. Screen a DVD. Listen to music. Play a game. A typical day? Sure. Now, how about doing all those things with just one remote? Ahh….  The sleek Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote features one-touch controls, a full-colour screen, an ergonomic design, oh and did we mention it works with some 225,000 devices. With its ability to replace up to 15 remotes, this gift may also be a great fit for the decor fiend on your list who’s tired of seeing the coffee table covered in tech gadgets.

Logitech Harmony One Advanced Universal Remote. Available at, $280

For the bookworm

When we first laid eyes on Frank M. Ahearn’s book How to Disappear, our first reaction was, “cool!” Ahearn, an internationally renowned privacy consultant, provides plenty of tips and tricks to vanishing from the face of the earth, but if you’re not so bent on leaving home, you can still glean plenty of information on how to disappear from identity thieves and social media.

How to Disappear: Erase your digital footprint, leave false trails and vanish without a trace. Available at, $14.  

For the head of the family

Grandma and Grandpa want new pictures – now. With Kodak’s new 10-inch Pulse Digital Frame with Wi-Fi connectivity and customizable email address, you can email shots directly to the frame the second you take them by mobile phone or as soon as you upload them to your computer. Yep, you’re the favourite again.

Kodak Pulse Digital Frame. Available at, $200.   

For the music aesthete

That Sony is manufacturing an iPod/iPhone docking station is pretty cool to begin with, but add to that the ability to customize the look of the dock and you’re at a whole new level of awesome. Choose from among the four included skins, find more selections at  or draw your own design.

TRiK Dock for iPod. Available at Sony Style, $200.

For the pint-size reader

The V.Reader Animated E-Book System whisks the written word off the black and white page and pops it into an imaginative and colourful e-reader. We can’t say whether kids learn better with or without technology, but we do know they’ll be more apt to keep reading until the end when a story is accompanied by animation, sounds and games. Separate cartridges, featuring familiar characters like Dora and Woody, are packaged by age – three to five and five to seven.

V.Reader Animated E-Book System. Available at Toys R Us, $50.

For the movie princess

Oh, to be a kid again. Then we could also get away with a stealth video camera hidden in our Barbie Video Girl’s necklace and watch the action unfold on the screen on her back. Free editing software at the Barbie site means getting even more creative with graphics and music. The school-ager on your list is in for a treat. Just be careful what you do in her presence from here on in.

Barbie Video Girl Doll. Available at Sears, $70. 

For the littlest one

Music soothes the soul, no matter what age you are. But there is something special about selecting just the right mix to help a newborn fall asleep or to get your toddler bopping about the house. The SweetPea3 MP3 Player has a simple drag and drop system for both Mac and PC, comes loaded with some songs and stories to get you started, can store up to 32 hours of tunes and tales, and – perhaps most importantly – can withstand the occasional accidental fall to the floor.

SweetPea3 MP3 Player. Available at, $70.

First published November 19, 2010, on


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