CNET: Unique Tech Gifts


As you shop this holiday season, avoid the duds and head for the high-tech gifts that are just plain cool. Here are our favorites.

For the young and young at heart, the Lego Mindstorms EV3 adds new features to everyone’s favorite building blocks, allowing you to construct fairly sophisticated robots.

Education-wise, these toys are great for learning to program, learning mechanics.

At three hundred and fifty dollars, it’s pricey but a screaming solo on a guitar made entirely of Legos is priceless.

Know a traveler who’s tired of pecking at a tiny keyboard on their smartphone? The one hundred dollar virtual keyboard connects to your phone via Bluetooth and uses lasers to project a full size QWERTY keyboard onto any flat surface.

The new Filip serves as a stripped-down cell phone of sorts in wristwatch form. The two hundred dollar device lets parents track their kid’s location with the accompanying app. Kids can also use the Filip to make and receive calls, but only from specific numbers in their contacts list.

For the tech fanatics on your list, the eighty dollar Leap Motion controller offers a completely new way to interact with your computer. Forgo your mouse and keyboard, and use your fingers to play puppeteer or get a science lesson.

Cooks will appreciate Click and Grow - these eighty dollar smart planters take all the guess work out of when to water your fresh herbs. Fill up the water tank, power up the planter and in a couple of weeks you should see sprouts. There’s also an optional grow light to help in the winter months when there’s less natural light available.

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