The Geek Wishlist - Ten Tech Toys for the Holidays

Reward your favorite IT guy or gal (or yourself) for a long year of nursing servers, braving user support or helping your elders get online.


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It begins.

Now that the turkey has been gobbled up and geeks of all stripes have perused Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to treat their loved ones (and themselves, who are we kidding?) let's look at gifts that make a digital lifestyle worth living.

In this list, we incorporate 10 product types that represent a healthy mix of computer gear, personal electronics, and in one case, a reach-for-the-stars set of wheels. Some, not all, are bargains, although they can be had for bargain prices if you shop smart this year (the economy is making it easier this year). None, however, skimp on the essential features that place them atop many a gadget lover's wishlist.

Desktop PC: Dell Studio XPS

Dell Studio XPS

The case design is hardly what you would call sexy, but it's screaming fast and has a price just shy of $1,000. Packing Intel's quad-core i7 processor, 6GB RAM and an ATI Radeon HD4850, it can even handle gaming if you don't turn all the knobs to 11.

A solid bang-for-the-buck contender.

Monitor: Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP

Dell Studio XPS

Time to go widescreen... and big! Dell has collected a nice stack of positive reviews for this stunning and moderately priced 1920x1200 pixel, 24-incher that's equally adept at spreadsheet show-and-tell as it is at displaying ultrasmooth HD video and astonishing feats of video gaming (6 millisecond response time).

Link: Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP Product Page

Notebook: 2008 MacBook 13" / MacBook Pro 15"

Apple MacBook Pro

New, faster, shinier and carved out of a block of aluminum. One caveat: no matte screen option, which will irk pixelsmiths and video editors. Use Bootcamp for equally impressive Windows performance on the MacBook Pro with its two, SLI-esque graphics subsystems on the upmarket model.

Links: Apple MacBook Pro Product Page, MacBook Product Page

Link: Dell Studio XPS product page

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Tags: video, Windows, Intel, Dell, desktop

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