Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For Her

When it comes time for the holidays, the pressure is on to impress those special ladies in your life. Could be your mom, your girlfriend, your sister, or your wife – whoever it is, you’re going to want to give something special. Gadgetry should do the trick – whether it’s your mother who just found out what a tablet was, or your grandma who knows more about the Internet than you do, we have eight of the best gifts for the females this holiday season.

eBay Holiday Collective

eBay has collaborated with seven leading designers on the eBay Holiday Collective which includes limited-edition gifts spanning men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry, travel and electronics accessories and home décor. For the collective, designers Billy Reid, Chris Benz, Fallon, Jonathan Adler, Ruffian, Steven Alan and Tibi created more than 40 items priced at under $100 (at buy-it-now prices and with free shipping!). The collection also launched on the eBay Fashion app 24 hours in advance of the on-sale date for people to get a head start on shopping the coveted collective.

Monster Inspiration Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones

Sometimes, happiness is not having to hear other people. Hopefully you aren’t included in that “other people” category when it comes to your special lady. Either way, you can make her happy with a monster pair of headphones – the Monster Inspiration headphones feature excellent noise canceling technology, along with terrific audio. Not only that, they’re part headphones and part fashion accessory – the top of the headband can be removed and switched out for other styles of headbands that can be purchased from Monster. Looks good and sounds good. The Monster Inspiration Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphones are selling on Amazon for about $300, and come in black and white.

NetCam Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision

Get mom set up as Big Sister with the NetCam. The smartphone-friendly home camera from Belkin can be set up anywhere, and the feed can be viewed on an Android or iOS device via a free app. The camera can connect to a home Wi-Fi network, so mom is free to set it up anywhere – be assured, it’ll see you before you see it. Wide angle video and clear audio means mom misses nothing – teens be warned, you’ll never really be home alone again. It’ll be a hit with mom, though – new moms can even use it as an extra-tech-friendly baby monitor. Belkin is selling the NetCam Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision for about $130.


Barnes & Noble Nook HD

The Barnes & Noble Nook HD could, against all odds, be a force this holiday season. Despite stiff competition in the 7” tablet world, the Nook HD has the chops to stand up to giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple, thanks to the sharpest, clearest screen out of all the 7” tablets available. There’s also access to the Nook store, which should be a girl’s new best friend – a superb source of books, magazines, and newspapers. Movies and television shows can be accessed through a variety of apps, which take full advantage of that excellent screen. Personalized IQ recommendations offer up suggestions for new media based on what’s been viewed and liked on the tablet. Pack that into an affordable $200 to $230 (8 GB – 16 GB) price tag, and you’ve got a holiday gift that will make everyone smile.

Sony VAIO Tap 20

It’s an all-in-one PC, but maybe it’d be better to call it something else, because the Tap 20 is part of a whole new class of devices. Windows 8’s dual desktop-tablet nature has made hybrids possible, and the Tap 20 is one of the biggest of them all. The 20” PC features a tablet-like 20” display that is propped up with a kickstand that can be locked in many different positions. It can be used as a giant tablet, or as a PC with the wireless keyboard that comes along for the ride. The 3rd generation Intel i7 core processor puts this one in the realm of prime PCs. She won’t be able to wait to get her hands on it once the wrapping paper comes off. The Sony VAIO Tap 20 starts at about $999, and comes in black and white.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100

“Great,” she’ll think. “A digital camera. I have my smartphone for that.” She’ll be in for a pleasant surprise, though – the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mini boasts DSLR power in a small, portable frame. It’s expensive, but if she wants to take a step up from standard digital camera tech, or if you know someone who doesn’t always like taking their bulky, top-of-the-line DSLRs around, the RX100 could be a winner this holiday season. It stands up well to entry-level DSLRs, featuring 20.2 MP with a F1.8 Carl Zeiss lens, while keeping things in a small, slim frame that can easily be carried in a purse. An interchangeable lens it is not, but it’s a fine lens as it is. But, this tiny holiday treat comes at a hefty price – about $650.

Starbucks Verismo System 580

It’s Starbucks coffee, at home. Not only that, but it’s Starbucks coffee, just as she wants it. If she’s tired of Starbucks geting her special requests wrong, you can help make coffee a positive morning experience again. The Starbucks Verismo System 580 is an espresso machine that can brew coffee that tastes just like what you get at Starbucks, including espresso and Caffè Lattes. The machine works with Verismo pods that contain Starbucks coffee and natural milk, and packs in enough pressure to get the cream on top of her espresso just right. The machine comes with a 1-liter water tank, and it’s quick – 30 seconds for an espresso, one minute for a cup of coffee. Brighter mornings for everyone come with $200 going to Williams-Sonoma.

Buffalo MiniStation 1 TB Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

This holiday season, give her the gift that keeps on giving – storage. One whole TB of it, which should be enough to hold all her movies, music, games, and pictures for years to come. This external hard drive from Buffalo is lightning quick, too, taking advantage of the enhanced transfer speeds of USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. It’s also compatible with Time Machine, for easy Mac back-up – and, thanks to the 10 Gbps transfer speeds of Thunderbolt, that shouldn’t even take too long to do. And who doesn’t like a big box of convenience during the holidays? The Buffalo MiniStation 1 TB Portable Hard Drive is selling on Amazon now for about $200.

Edifier E30 Spinnaker Stereo Bluetooth Speakers

They aren’t just speakers, they’re an inkblot test. What are they shaped like? Cones? Horns? Sails? Post-modern garden gnomes? Everyone will see something different in the Edifier E30 Spinnaker Stereo Bluetooth Speakers, but everyone will hear the exact same thing – impressive sound coming out of a relatively small package. These 16” tall speakers pack a punch, and go beyond just giving an extra audio boost to a PC. She’ll be able to stream music to these speakers from any of her mobile devices thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. And, in case the powerful sound of the speakers isn’t enough by itself, a subwoofer can be hooked up thanks to an auxiliary port. The Edifier E30 Spinnaker Stereo Bluetooth Speakers are selling now for a towering $350.

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