In case you haven’t noticed, the clock is ticking on getting your 2010 holiday shopping done. Here are some great last-minute gift ideas that are still in stock (at least of this writing) and are sure to delight the green geek in your life.
Curl up with a good e-book this Christmas: Amazon Kindle
Smaller, with a better screen and available in a stylish new shade of graphite, Amazon’s third generation Kindle is the e-reader to beat. Sure, it still doesn’t do color, but neither will you get eye strain from reading on its silky e-paper screen for hours. Plus, it’s the least expensive Kindle yet, at $139 for the Wi-Fi version and $189 for the 3G version with no-cost wireless connectivity around the globe. If you find six inches of e-paper too confining, supersize your reading experience with the 9.7-inch Kindle DX for $379. Either way, you’ll be saving a lot of trees.
Add a little light to someone’s (or your) life: Philips LivingColors – Second Generation
It took a while to arrive in the States, and when it did, it was a generation behind. But now, Philips LivingColors Generation 2 is available on our shores with LEDs that are 50 percent brighter than the previous version. Though it’s a bit spendy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a classier — not to mention futuristic — LED lamp that can bathe your corner of the world with any color your heart desires. If there’s any excuse for keeping your walls white, this is it!
If you want a smaller, less expensive version that can project 256 colors (its big brother does millions), there’s a Philips LivingColors Mini model in black or white for $105.
Banish cans of compressed air: Metro Vacuum DataVac
Your favorite IT admin, user support drone or PC enthusiast (many times one and the same) will *heart* you mightily if you bestow them a Metro Vacuum DataVac. Sure, it looks a little retro, but it’s built like a tank and moves air with such force that it puts canned air products to shame. As a bonus, no cold can syndrome to freeze your fingertips (though it gets toasty after extended use) and its many attachments help you reach every nook and cranny of your server, PC, laptop, and yes, even keyboards. And it’s made in the USA!
At $45, get one for yourself and stop buying cans of compressed air right this minute. Highly recommended!
Movies minus the drama: Netflix
Basically, you have two Netflix gift subscription options: streaming or streaming plus DVDs. Die hard green geeks will opt for the streaming-only plan that costs just $7.99 a month. The viewing options are a bit limited compared to Netflix’s expansive DVD/Blu-ray catalog, but they’re sure to find several titles or TV series that they just never got around to viewing. And if they already own a compatible Blu-ray player, game console or set top box, your gift recipient will can enjoy Netflix streaming on their TV.
Speaking of set top boxes…
Media streaming for iDevotees: Apple TV
The first Apple TV, though sleek, was too pricey and complex for its own good. Apple smartly realized this and released a new, even tinier version of Apple TV that sips energy and expertly streams media for just $99. Folks invested in iTunes and Apple’s universe of media consumption devices will get the most mileage out of it. Sure, there are plenty of other competitors with broader support for different media files and streaming services, but Apple TV integrates best with households with huge iTunes and iPhoto libraries. (It natively supports Netflix too.) Plus, with AirPlay, users can pump entertainment like YouTube videos from their iPads, iPod Touches or iPhones onto their TV. Oh, and it’s an unobtrusive, fanless unit that sips power and may help your recipients give physical media — and its associated carbon emissions — the boot.
Have any other last-minute gift ideas for eco-conscious geeks? Sound off in the comments!