Does someone on your Christmas list deserve an extra special gift this year? If you have the cash to spend, here are some great ideas for tech gifts. These gadgets may be expensive, but they're sure to bring years of enjoyment.
Gibson Robot Guitar
Gibson has released a limited-edition first run of its Robot Guitar (www.gibson.com/robotguitar, $2,499). Gibson claims it is the first guitar to use robotic technology.
At first glance, it looks like any Les Paul guitar. But the Robot Guitar is self-tuning. Pull a button on the guitar's body to put it in tuning mode. A chip in the headstock tunes the guitar in seconds.
There are six factory presets, each of which is customizable. Lights alert you when the guitar is out of tune. They also show you if the guitar is tuned or in the process of tuning.
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin iPod speaker
We've seen plenty of iPod speakers. Some iPod speakers and docks are gimmicky. But don't dismiss the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (www.bowers-wilkins.com, $600) based on its looks.
As you can guess, the Zeppelin is shaped like the airship from which it gets its name. The shape disperses sound waves optimally.
The design is simple and elegant, with a floating docking port. It works with Apple's newer iPod models. Ports on the back connect other audio sources.
The Zeppelin connects to a television to play video and photos. The Zeppelin's egg-shaped remote controls the iPod.
The Sony Reader Digital Book (www.sonystyle.com, $300) is ideal for frequent travelers. It is the same size as a slim trade paperback. Built-in memory holds about 160 books. It has expansion slots for Sony Memory Sticks and SD cards.
The gray-scale screen uses electronic ink technology. Since there's no back light, readers won't get eyestrain. And battery life is a respectable 15 to 20 hours.
The Reader handles PDF, Microsoft Word and MP3 files. Books can be downloaded from the Sony Connect eBooks store.
Amazon.com recently released the rival Kindle reader ($399). It connects to Amazon's online store via a free cellular connection. Demand has been high. Delivery is delayed until after Christmas.
Blu-ray/HD DVD player
Movie buffs will love the stunningly crisp pictures high-definition DVD delivers. But the high-definition DVD format war is going strong.
Well, you don't need to choose between HD DVD and Blu-ray. You can buy a player that handles both formats. Standard DVDs are also supported.
LG's BH200 Super Blu (http://us.lge.com, $1,050) player is already on shelves. Its output resolution is up to 1080p. There are a variety of outputs, including HDMI. There's also a USB port that provides access to digital music and photos.
Samsung's BD-UP5000 (www.samsung.com/us, $1,000) is available for pre-order. It will be released in mid-January. Of course, you can buy separate HD DVD and Blu-ray players for less.
Sigma zoom lens
Sigma makes highly regarded lenses for SLR cameras. Sigma's zoom lenses are ideal for new photographers. They're also handy for those who like to travel light.
Sigma's 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC macro (www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses, $670) is a wide-angle zoom lens. It is also capable of taking close-up shots. The 50-150mm f2.8 EX DC HSM ($1,050) is a telephoto zoom lens.
The lenses are specifically designed for digital cameras. Both lenses are available in a variety of mounts, including Nikon and Canon. Make sure you buy for the appropriate camera.
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit: www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim's free e-mail newsletters, sign up at: www.komando.com/newsletters. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.