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Looking at hot tech gifts

Jody Gilbert, a long-time contributor to the TechRepublic blog, has released her list of the top geek gifts for 2010 which may be worth sharing for those with a geek on their list. Some of the gifts are less than $100; a few are quite higher.

Computer related items on the list starts with the most expensive gift of the lot with the Alienware M11x gaming laptop. It's small but it packs a real wallop in computing ability. Next up is the Apple iPad, the most successful touch-based tablet ever released. The iPad does some things really well, like information consumption, and other things so-so, like word-processing. For less than$100, the last gift suggestion is the Cyborg R.A.T 7 gaming mouse. The futuristic looking mouse designed for playing computer games can be found at many on-line retailers.

Toy-like devices on the list include the Parrot AR.Drone Wi-Fi quadricopter, Kinect for Xbox 360 and the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0. The quadricopter is touted as a flying video game that can be controlled by an Apple device like an iPad, iPhone, etc and comes with two cameras that are viewable on the controlling device. The Kinect is actually a sensing device that allows for Nintendo Wii style game play sans remote. Younger geeks may appreciate the LEGO Robot. The NXT 2.0 is the second generation Mindstorm with increased functionality over the first.

Three entertainment devices round out Jody's geek gift guide. Amazon's Kindle has been a huge success from day one; the new 3G model has a few noteworthy improvements. Vizio's M470NV is a 47-inch LED LCD TV with 1080p definition, built-in Wi-Fi and Internet apps ready to go. The Roku XDS streaming media player marries a high-speed Internet connection to the TV in order to stream Internet content.

Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Poland is certified in computer repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant. Questions may be sent to him via e-mail at ron@ronpoland.com.

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