Tag Archives: holiday gift guide 2011

Cult of Mac’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

It’s that time of year again. Not the holidays — I’m mean yeah, sure it is, but that’s pretty obvious. No, it’s the time of year when we drive ourselves (and others) a little crazy running around trying to find gifts at the last minute. Especially those pesky stocking stuffers — the little gifts that fill in the gap between “it’s Christmas? Geez, I completely forgot” and “honey, I bought you a Lexus.”

Walter Isaacson’s Biography of Steve Jobs ($15)

If you’ve got an Apple nut to buy a gift for, and said nut hasn’t already read this riveting bio about one of history’s greatest visionaries, your work is done — this is a no-brainer. And what better way than to read it on an iPad with the eBook version.

Glif iPhone Stand and Tripod Mount for iPhone 4/S ($20)

This is one of those Kickstarter projects that just made us think “well, duh” when we saw it. It’s amazing how much functionality Studio Neat, its creator, packed into its tiny form: Besides being able to prop the iPhone up in either landscape or portrait mode (the latter is an unusual find in a stand), it also acts as a tripod mount for the iPhone — a cool trick, especially now that the iPhone 4S has even more bona fide photographer creds.

Logitech Joystick for iPad ($20)

I can’t remember the last time I had as much fun playing Pac-Man as I did when I played it on the iPad at Logitech’s sneak-peak earlier this year. Why? Because I was playing it on an iPad that had Logitech’s Joystick for iPad suction-cupped to it. Makes a huge difference with any game that uses a virtual joystick, and it even comes with its own cloth case.

HEX Core Case for iPod Touch ($30)

Don’t let the iPod-brandishers of this world feel left out! Hex just introduced the awesome-looking, unusually stylish washed canvas Core Case.

Steve Jobs Quote Copper Money Clip ($30)

Here’s a hand-made copper money clip by Renee Gardner, inscribed with a quote attributed to Steve: “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money.” Ah, life is full of irony. Or copper, in this case. Or clip.

Incipio Bespoke Custom iPhone 4 Case ($30)

We thought this was one of the coolest case ideas that came out of CES earlier this year. We still do. Start by downloading Incipio’s free Bespoke app, then pick a design from their deep selection of graphics within the app — or better yet, upload your own design or photo; Incipio does the rest, and ships a brand-new custom case (based off their ultralight Feather case) to wherever you choose.

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Cult of Mac’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Kids

Children and Apple stuff mix pretty well — iDevices cap the top three slots on kids’ wishlists, right? So it’s a good bet that there’ll be a bunch of Apple stuff underneath the trees or the Menorah this year. So we’ve put together a short list of icing-on-the-cake type gifts — or great follow-ups if you got ‘em iDevices last year.

Real Racing 2 HD ($10)

This is one of those games that makes you want to go out and buy an iPad. Yes, it’s another slickly polished racing game (if you’ve spent time with the Gran Turismo games on the Playstation, you’ll be in familiar territory); but because this game is on the iPad, it can do things no console game can. Besides turning the iPad into a steering wheel and letting you race your friends over a Bluetooth connection, it can connect up to four players through AirPlay onto a single TV — at which point the iPad turns into your dashboard, complete with telemetry. There’s also a $5 iPhone version.

Griffin Woogie ($18)

Yes, that survey about the want lists from kids 6-12, but we’re pretty sure their younger siblings’ll get in on the act. There’s be a little sibling jealousy, and then there’s the inevitable parental “hey, share your iPod!” instructions to avoid a lot of crying. In which case you’ll want to tuck the iPod into a Woogie — a plush toy/iPod case that comes equipped with its own battery-powered speaker — so there’s no crying because a broken iPod got handed back.

Griffin Crayola Color Studio HD ($30)

Never mind the kids, this one was a hit with us when we saw it at CES early this year. It’s a big, kid-friendly Crayola stylus that works with a free app to turn the iPad into a virtual-crayon coloring book. Pretty awesome.

Skullcandy Fix Earphones & Microphone ($40)

For the most part, the bland, floppy earbuds that come with iPods and iPhones are fine for kids. Then again, they’re bland and floppy (what do I mean by floppy? Try executing a 360 on a skateboard with those white Apple buds and see where they end up. Not in your ears, that’s for sure). These Fix earbuds are exactly the opposite: they’re rock-your-socks-off and stickier, thanks to their hook-like design. And they come with the ame track and phone controls as the Apple buds.

Big Grips Frame for iPad/2 ($50)

This is like the Woogie, but for the iPad: A massive, indestructible frame protects the iPad and adds easy-grip sides, while a massive, indestructible (sense a theme?) stand props the iPad up for watching Disney movies. Buy the set together, or get just the case for $35. Versions for both the iPad, and the iPad 2.

Rover Spy Tank iDevice RC Tank ($150)

Think of this as a less expensive, grounded AR Drone. The tracked Rover creates an ad-hoc wifi connection (no router needed) with your iDevice, then lets you control the beast through its own app. Like the AR Drone, The Rover comes equipped with a camera that’ll feed live video back to the iDevice. We can hear the screams already…

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Cult of Mac’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Imagination

Everyone knows that Apple creates products that are great for creating. But part of what makes that statement true is the deep selection of third-party gadgets that make the most of artistic impulse. We’ve painted this next section, Gifts for the Imagination, with examples that’ll help nourish the next Pissarro, Satriani or Cartier-Bresson.

Snapseed iOS Photo App ($5)

Every iPad and iPhone should come with this breakthrough photo-editing app that Apple just named iPad app of the year (it received a noteworthy mention on the iPhone side too). Digital editing software powerhouse Nik Software, long the software filter go-to outfit for professional photogs, took all their image-editing know-how and crammed it into this stunning app — and at the same time, created a revolutionary interface that’s extremely simple and gratifying to use.

Adonit Jot Stylus ($20)

Adonit’s Jot stylus took top honors in our roundup a few months back. Unlike most other styli, the Jot’s clear tip is perfect for precise drawing. It’s also beautifully crafted, machined from a solid block of metal and comes in three pretty anodized colors. Or if you’re feeling generous, pop for the Jot Pro with its more comfortable grip and magnet.

Pix & Stix iPad Drumsticks and Picks ($25)

The iPad version of Garage Band is fantastic; it’s so good, in fact, that an Aussie Kickstarter project has created rubberized conductive drumsticks and picks for the app’s ultra-realistic drum and guitar renditions (of course, it’ll work with other virtual drum and guitar apps too).

iPhone 8x Telephoto Lens ($35)

With its macro, wide and fisheye lenses, the Olloclip lens set for the iPhone we reviewed a few days ago is a great kit — but there’s no telephoto. Add the big boy above and you’ve fixed that  — it’s powerful 8x zoom should be great for ball games or wildlife. There’s probably a good deal of hand shake to deal with though, so the kit thoughtfully comes with a mini tripod.

Wacom Bamboo Capture Wireless Tablet ($99)

Until our Macs get touchscreens, the best way to create and edit design-oriented projects is still with a pad and stylus. The Bamboo Capture, middle rung of Wacom’s just-refreshed Bamboo series, comes with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and the option to go wireless with the addition of a $40 add-on. Bonus: also comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements and Autodesk Sketchbook Express.

Apogee Jam ($99)

While the Pix & Stix kit is a great way to play music on your iPad, Apogee’s Jam lets musicians plug a guitar directly into the iPad (or iPhone) and use Garage Band’s awesome recording tools to create music with. And it’s completely plug-and-play — no roadie required.

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Cult of Mac’s 2011 Holidy Gift Guide: Gifts for Kicking It!

 

We’ve got just the thing to follow our Gifts for the Working Stiff section of our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide: This time around, we’re hooking you up with Gifts for Kicking It. So grab your fun hat (and maybe your shopping mouse) and check out this list of awesome gadgets that make it a party.

Discovery Bay Games Atari Arcade ($60)

I used to have a friend with the original, full-on Asteroids arcade cabinet. He ain’t got nuthin’ on this though; and I’ll bet he paid a boatload. Just pop your iPad into the Arcade, download the  free Atari’s Greatest Classics iOS App and bango — instant tabletop arcade. The app itself is pretty amazing, and is your gateway to over 100 amazingly authentic classic Atari arcade and 2600 console games. Comes with Missile Command for free, after that the games come in sets of four for a buck.

Soulo Digital Wireless Karaoke Mic Appcessory ($79)

What’s the one thing the iPad is missing? That’s right, Karaoke. Well, not anymore — the Soulo Digital Wireless Karaoke Mic comes with a free app that lets you download songs (at a buck each) to your iDevice and sing along; and you can even shoot a video of your whole Glee session from the app. It works with both the iPad and iPhone, though we think the iPad would be a much better for reading words off of. There’s also a less-expensive wired version (pictured above).

InCase Reflex Headphones ($80)

Incase have been tearing it up with their series of four new, gorgeously designed headphones. The Reflex is second down from the flagship Sonic, and like the rest of the series, the supra aural, control-talk equipped Reflex is designed with all the Jony Ive mojo the case maker could muster — but at about half the price of the great-sounding Sonics (full review of the latter up soon). If they sound even half as good as their bigger sibling (which by all accounts they do), the Reflex should be the sleeper hit of the season.

Roots i-Envelope Sleeve in Scarlet Sparkle Leather iPad Sleeve ($88)

This has got to be the most festively stylish, party-all-night iPad sleeve we’ve ever seen. Though you’ll find the i-Envelope available online from Roots, you won’t find it in this daring Scarlet Sparkle version — but you might be able to find at your local Roots dealer. Push comes to shove, it can always be special ordered from Roots through a dealer for an extra $25.

Philips Fideo SoundRing AirPlay Speaker ($300)

Philips have been on fire with their line of Fidelio docks (we couldn’t get enough of their Blueooth-equipped DS8550). The latest is their take on AirPlay — the wireless, beautiful, sculpture-like SoundRing. besides the stunning looks and ability to stream music, it’s got a battery, so the party can move anywhere. Don’t forget to download the free Fidelio app for added functionality.

Monster Clarity HD Model One Speakers ($749)

These bad boys are the top-of-the-line from Monster’s Clarity series. Besides being covered in a thick coat of high-gloss automotive finish, they’re tuned for electronic media and equipped with a whole host of easy-input audio jacks, so the happy recipient won’t have to spend all Christmas morning setting them up. There’s even an iPhone dock on the top.

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Cult of Mac’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide Kicks Off With Gifts for The Working Stiff

 

We’re pretty passionate here at the Cult of Mac. What are we passionate about? Well, the pecking order goes something like this (although maybe the order is flipped for one or two CoM writers):

1. Our loved ones

2. Gadgets

Of course, we’re also passionate about sharing our knowledge of gadgets and technology with the rest of the world. Combine these three passions, and here’s the result: our Holiday Gift Guide.

We’ve crafted this Guide — which we’ll be sprinkling here and there as we get closer to Christmas — with an eye toward the different spheres that dominate our lives. We’ll have gifts for working, playing, creating, living — and one just for kids (because kids have their hands full just being themselves).

We’ll kick things off by getting down to business with Gifts for The Working Stiff. Happy Hunting.

Steve Jobs Personalized Stationery ($20)

“Stay foolish, stay hungry” — Steve’s words vibrate with visionary fire. YellowBrickGraphics have taken this mantra and stamped them onto cardstock, paired each card with an envelope and bundled the whole thing into sets of ten. Perfect for celebrating the wisdom of a giant.

“Mac Baby” Coffee Mug ($19)

What’s work without coffee? Crappy, that’s what. Show your coworkers where your loyalties lie with this mug from Coolkidstees. Yeah, $19 is a little pricey for a mug, but it’s better than trying to pour scalding coffee into your bare hands. Or there’s this Mac Special Operations Group mug, presumably for those of you who use iPads during Special Forces missions (seriously, we have no idea).

Pad & Quill The Little Black Book for iPhone 4/S Case ($45)

One day, near field communication will make wallets, and the things we carry in them, archaic. Till then, Pad & Quill’s stylish Little Black Book will keep not only the iPhone 4/S warm and safe, but also let you carry credit cards, IDs and the ilk in its hidden card pocket. Like P&Q’s other creations, the charismatic Little Black Book case is handmade in the U.S. from wood and leather using the mystic art of bookbinding.

Sena Florence iPad Case ($70)

Practicality. Portability. Panache. We raved about this iPad case when we reviewed it a few months back; Sena did a great job here  of wrapping useful features — like a magnetic cover and two viewing angles, perfectly suited for work — in a sharp-looking, surprisingly slim Napa leather skin.

Doxie Go Portable Scanner ($199)

Here’s another tip from the future: It’s going to be paperless. Doxie has a jump on this shift with their just-released, portable Doxie Go. The primo, battery-equipped scanner can store scans in its memory for later downloading to your Mac or scan directly to Doxie’s cloud service. Or pop for the iPhone/iPad Sync Kit and scan straight to your iDevice. The less-spectacular standard Doxie is $149, but needs to be hooked up to a Mac when scanning.

Roots Milano Bag Prince Messenger Bag ($398)

This unisex bag’s interior sleeves can’t accommodate a laptop, and it’s about a third the price of a 13″ MacBook Pro. But heck, who cares? Just imagine your giftee marvelling, slack-jawed, at the rich, handcrafted Italian leather. And even though there’s no laptop pocket, the Milano isn’t completely without amenities: For small gadgets, there’re twin exterior side pockets with magnetic buckles, and an external zippered pouch on the back for documents or an iPad. You might want to throw in a Taipan  MacBook sleeve ($35) from Booq, though.

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