Gift Guide: The Gadgets Our Editors Want This Christmas

With all the gear passing through Giz headquarters, we fall in love with our fair share of tech. Sadly, we have to return the objects of our desire. Just as we fall for one, we’re forced to covet from afar. These are the gadgets we’ll be crushing on the hardest this holiday season.

LaCie 6TB 2big Thunderbolt Series RAID Hard Drive
(Luke Hopewell)

My storage situation at home is a mess right now, and frankly, I’m pretty ashamed of myself. I have terabyte disks sitting around my house waiting to be consolidated into one beautiful new home, but I haven’t yet found the right product. I think the 6TB LaCie 2big drive ought to do me. Thunderbolt connectivity, RAID storage and hot-swappable disks? Giddy-up. Shame it’s $840. If I can’t have that well then I’ll settle for a pimped-out 27-inch iMac because sexy.

Asus Zenbook Prime
(Angus Kidman)

OK, this is pure greed on my part. When we gave away three ASUS Zenbooks to the guest bloggers Lifehacker took to Tech Ed earlier this year, I was extremely taken with the machines and would have happily taken one for myself if there was any chance of getting away with it. My current laptop is getting somewhat long in the tooth, and a nice new Ultrabook would definitely fit the bill! That said, my personal Christmas indulgence budget is so small I’ll probably have to settle for a Raspberry Pi.

Cuisinart FP-14MRA 14 Cup Food Processor (Elly Hart)

I’ve been obsessed with cooking these last few months. When I think of something I want to make, I have to do it ASAP. I’ll obsess over recipes, spend money and time I don’t have hunting down and buying obscure ingredients, and then I’ll stay up late making a huge mess in the kitchen. So I’ve convinced myself that I absolutely must have this stunning metallic red food processor by Cuisinart. It costs an eye-watering $650, but it has a list of features that all but promise to save me time and cut down on the mess. And it’s decorative!

Ableton Push Control Surface (Danny Allen)

OK, call me indecisive but I’d happily incorporate a whole range of cool new control surfaces into my music making efforts (even if my skills won’t ever be as sick as Madeon’s: you need to watch that video).
I’m currently using the Maschine mark 1 with Ableton Live as a software sequencer, but Ableton’s own upcoming Push controller – designed specifically to integrate with the software — has me drooling at my desk and ready to switch. See video on the right. The Push packs 64 backlit pads to play notes, samples or loops on a grid, chord or scale setup and support pressure and velocity. Perfect for the studio or live performer. Problem is, we won’t see it until sometime Q1 2013. Pricing will start at US$599; Australian distributor, CMI Music & Audio won’t set a local price until closer to launch.

In the meantime, the second generation of Native Instrument’s competing Maschine control surface has arrived with revamped hardware and software. Then there’s the Akai APC controller series
….Seriously I need help.

Powerball (Mark Serrels)

In my spare time I like to climb stuff: indoor walls, real rock on occasion. To do this you need power. And that’s where the Dynoflex Powerball comes in.

To this day I have no real idea how this thing works. It’s either wizardry or I’m the village idiot. Let’s be generous and say it’s somewhere in between. Basically the Powerball is all about using gyroscopes to create motion and maintain that motion. Inside the ball Gyroscopes are creating this insane uncontainable swirling movement, and it’s your job to um… contain it. That’s where the exercise component comes in. Basically the powerball is like a really belligerent Quidditch Snitch that you have to grip and hold. If you can hold it long enough, and increase the rotation of the internal gyroscopes at the same time? Well then you’re gonna see some serious shit.

The Powerball basically has the ability to tire your forearms quickly and effectively, which makes it a great exercise tool for climbers specifically, but it’s useful in aiding any activity that requires a strong grip. It’s a nifty little gadget and you should totally get one!

Google Nexus 4 (Rob Hussey)

Well I’d love a Nexus 4, but I get the feeling Santa also missed the 30-minute window to place an order with the Google… :’(

GIGABYTE GV-N690D5-4GD-B (Ben White)

Oh man, I’d love to find this in my stocking on Christmas morning. My 670GTX OC handles BF3 just fine though, so I’d put it in my wife’s compy — she deserves a better frame rate.

Lego X-Wing Ultimate Collectors Edition Set
(Jesus Diaz)

I just want it to build it once, look at it for a few days, then destroy it to make my own stuff. Or maybe I would just keep it in the box. You see, when it was released in 2000, this thing was $149.95. Now it is $1,700 and more. You can probably buy a few of these and pay for your kids’ university ten years from now.

Canon T4i (Sam Biddle)

Even though Mario called it a “bummer,” I like the T4i overall. It’s light, super simple to use, not too expensive for a gift, and I’d love to have something to use for photos (and video) that warrant more seriousness than my iPhone.

Zojirushi Induction NP-HBC18 (Nick Stango)

Rice is quick to make, great with anything, and really fills me up when I’m hungry. It’s technically awful for you, but the pros outweigh the cons. The Zojirushi Induction NP-HBC18 rice cooker would rock my world. It eliminates the only issue I have with rice; cooking it. I hate watching it and stirring it and cleaning the pot afterwards. I’d love having this cook me up a perfect batch of rice while I use my time in a more effective way, like playing some video games.

22,500 Fake Twitter Followbots (Kif Leswing)

I’ve got nothing against Twitter bots. Some of my favorite accounts are run by robots! Optimally, I’d like about a million following me– according to Fiverr, that many fake followers would make me “supercool.” The problem is I’m way too embarassed to buy Twitter followers for myself. But if someone signed me up as a gift, well then, I can’t refuse.

Gallium (Ashley Feinberg)

For those unaware, Gallium is a metal with a melting point of 29.5°C. It’s a metal that will melt in your hand. Though I’ve never experienced the phenomenon in person, I’ve watched enough YouTube videos of the process to know that my life will always be a little worse until I’ve liquified metal with my body temperature. Plus, it’s widely available on the internet, relatively cheap, and, unlike Mercury, it’s not poison! Everyone wins.

MamaRoo (Brian Barrett)

My wife and I are expecting our first child (*gulp*) in a month, which means that the gadget I’m most excited about in the world right now is the MamaRoo. Seriously. We’re talking five speeds, five unique motions (Rock-A-Bye? Ocean Wave? Car Ride? You’re goddamn right it can move like that), five built-in nature sounds PLUS an MP3 hook-up if you want it to play your own weirdo nature sounds you recorded. Or music, whatever, it’s your world.

Oh, you’re thinking, that sounds pretty swell. Fuck swell. This thing is amazing. While your baby’s rocking five different ways at five different speeds to five different types of butterfly sneezes, she’s also staring up at the MamaRoo’s built-in mobile.

John Boos 18-by-24-Inch Maple Cutting Board
(Joe Brown)

My cutting board is getting worn out—dished in the center and covered in scars. I need a new one, and I don’t ever want to need another. Enough of this bamboo Bed Bath & Beyond bs. Somebody buy me a professional cutting board. Like this one! Boos blocks are found in actual pro kitchens for good reason: They’re bulletproof. This reversible model has a “gravy groove” on one side (blood groove in my house) and a perfectly flat surface on the other. It’s made of rock-hard maple, expertly joined and smooth. I wants it.[clear]

Apple Airport Express (2012) (Harry Sawyers)

Is it sick that I spend all day on the internet, and still just want more internet? My apartment’s wi-fi router is a lame little Belkin. I want to get some serious coverage. I want an Airport Express–the best router ever


Fender Classic Series ’65 Mustang (Mario Aguilar)

My Gibson Les Paul Jr. is my baby. I love her. But after suffering a great fall recently, she’s in the shop, and who knows if she’ll ever be the same. A suitable replacement for a long discontinued guitar that’s in good condition is out of the question for the moment. For a reasonable price, Father Christmas might drop me one of these reissue Fender Mustangs.

OK, guitar nerds, I realize they don’t make Mustangs quite the way they used to, but the truth is, the Mustang was never the cream of Fender’s line anyway. People loved um even though they’re kinda tricky to play and because they sound kinda f**ked up some of the time.


Chemex 6-Cup Glass Coffee Maker (Leslie Horn)

I’ve really been nerding out over coffee over the last several months. So much so that my palette can no longer handle that crap I buy at Trader Joe’s. The Chemex is widely regarded as one of the best pour over systems you can get. And while it certainly takes more time and energy, but the better taste is worth it. I’m dying to have one.


Whisky Advent Calendar
(Brent Rose)

Growing up I loved advent calendars, even though the chocolate behind every door tasted the same. Now I’m a grownup, and I like whisky. Scotch whisky. This is the pretty much the best thing you could get a whisky lover. Behind every door is a 1oz bottle of scotch. Each day a different brand and year. I peaked and saw that Dec. 1st is Oban 14 yr. Somewhere in there is a 50 yr old Scotch, a full bottle of which would be well over $500. This thing is awesome. I’m going to take notes on every whisky I taste so at the end, I’ll have a list of the new ones I like.


IWC Portuguese Automatic (Peter Ha)

Maybe I’m jaded but there aren’t too many doodads out there that I’m lusting over. Sure, I have the luxury of testing out most any gadget out there that I want to but they honestly all kind of suck. What? They do.

So I’m going with something simple that can stand the test of time. Say hello to the IWC Portuguese Automatic 500107. Why? Just look at it! It also has a seven day power reserve and a Pellaton winding system. And in-house movements as opposed to those other overpriced and oversized watches that use a movement bought from some other guy.


Porsche 917 Le Mans Raceway (Andrew Liszewski)

Even the most hyper-realistic of racing games on the 360 or PS3 can’t compare to the unmitigated joy of guiding a 1:32 scale racer around a slot car track. Unfortunately, I can’t find anyone willing to pony up the exorbitant $US125,000 price tag for this gorgeous LeMans raceway that hides away inside a Porsche 917 painted in authentic period livery.


Pimped-Out 15″ MacBook Pro (Brent Rose)

I wanted to pick something romantic, fun, fanciful. I can’t. My five year old computer is dying a rapid, horrible death. I need a new one, and I need it to chew through 1080p video rendering like a bowl of over-cooked grits. 15″ retina screen, 2.6GHz i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and AppleCare. In my lifetime my body will not produce enough sellable sperm to pay for it, even with an educational discount bringing it down to $3000, so I’m gonna have to figure something out.

Olympus E-PM2
(Michael Hession)

The bodacious guts of the OM-D EM-5, only bite-sized. I am a Sony NEX-7 owner, but I want badly to make use of all those luscious micro 4/3 primes. The E-PM2 would be my grab-n-go camera. Pocketable, with the ability to churn out top-notch pictures.

American Optical Flight Gear General (Andrew Tarantola)

These sunglasses have gone to the moon. AO has been producing military spec eye wear for the US Armed Services since 1958 and literally invented the classic Aviator style. If they’re good enough for Neil Armstrong’s lunar landing, just imagine what they’ll do for my commute.

Got a better idea? Share it with us. We truly want to make sure these guides help people buy epic holiday gifts, and many minds are better than a few.

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