Car tech holiday gift picks

Even I roll my eyes at those ads where someone gets a new car with a big, red bow on a snowy holiday morning. But when you think about it, a car is actually a pretty awesome gift.

Cars are more than just basic transportation these days. Pick the right ride, such as our top Holiday Gift Pick and Editors' Choice 2012 Audi A7, and you'll also be giving the gift of entertainment, safety, utility, and style. And while a car really is too big to be gift wrapped or stuffed into a stocking, you may be able to squeeze the diminutive 2012 Fiat 500 C under a big enough tree.

We acknowledge that a new car isn't always the best gift idea--maybe the car lover in your life already has a perfectly good set of wheels. Never fear, we have plenty of smaller car tech gift ideas as well. From radar detectors for speed demons to Bluetooth hands-free kits for motor mouths, sports cameras for daredevils, and GPS navigators for the perpetually lost, there's something for every sort of automotive enthusiast in our Car Tech Holiday Gift Guide.

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Tablet holiday gift picks

Chances are, there's someone on your holiday gift list asking for a tablet. The simplest solution, of course, is to buy that person an Apple iPad 2. It's our highest-rated tablet, and anyone who's ungrateful to receive one should (in my humble opinion) have his or her head examined.

But if an iPad's out of the question financially or you're shopping for someone who thinks of gingerbread as an Android OS rather than a tasty holiday treat, then there are some other tablet options to consider.

No matter what, we've got you covered.… Read more

CNET's holiday guide to printers and peripherals

Though not the sexiest products out there, printers and peripherals are some of the most useful. These are the types of products that sit in the backdrop of your tech life, unnoticed; but as soon as they're gone, you'll be ready to give your right arm to have them back.

Unless we're talking turkeys, you hopefully won't have to resort to too much dismembering with the list of top holiday printers and peripherals picks we've compiled. And no matter your poison, we've got you covered with a list that includes monitors, storage, input devices, … Read more

Holiday Help Desk on CNET Live, part deux

CNET's Holiday Help Desk on CNET Live is back for seconds!

Hosts Molly Wood and Brian Tong will take live viewer calls, talk to the chat room, and answer e-mails. And dish out the best tech gift buying advice on the planet. This week's special guests include CNET 's TV Guru Senior Editor David Katzmaier, resident cheapskate Rick Broida keeps bringing us sweet deals, and's VP of Retail Sales Darold Rydl joins us to talk about where to find some great deals and how Woot helped to start the craze.

We'll keep you posted … Read more

Cell phone and smartphone gift picks

With all the crazy sales happening right now through carriers and retailers like and Best Buy, it's a prime time to shop for a new phone.

Easier said than done, right? Out of the dozens of excellent handsets out there, how do you begin to choose? You're in the right place. We've broken out some of our favorite smartphones and cell phones by speed and price, and we threw in a few nice accessories while we were at it.

Just keep in mind that the prices reflect the full retail charge, and not the ever-plummeting holiday cost. So enjoy, and happy shopping!… Read more

Holiday gifts for world travelers

Every winter, I fly out to England to join my in-laws for the holidays. As a result, I'm always packing a one-week supply of the gadgets I'll need to survive in the countryside, fully entertained, yet not overburdened.

It's a careful science: travel gadgets have gotten easier than ever thanks to devices like the iPad, yet you're more likely to pack redundant devices, too. The more options, the more headaches.

Here are a few of CNET's holiday recommendations for world travelers. Kindle? Check. iPad 2? Double-check. Battery-packs, surge protectors, headphones, cameras, and laptops? Of course. … Read more

Holiday Help Desk on CNET Live

It's that time of year again, time for CNET's Holiday Help Desk.

Hosts Molly Wood and Brian Tong will take live viewer calls, talk to the chat room, and answer e-mails. And dish out the best tech gift-buying advice on the planet. Special guests will include CNET resident cheapskate Rick Broida, a parade of CNET editors, and guests from the retail world pitching their deals directly to you, such as representatives from Amazon, Woot, eBay, and Best Buy.

We'll keep you posted with the best deals, and also help you find the perfect gadget that's right … Read more

Guide the water to Swampy!

Where's My Water? is a charming physics puzzler, in which you funnel clean water to the bathtub of a fastidious little alligator named Swampy.

Where's My Water? ranks among the better arcade puzzlers, sharing some similarities (fast-paced levels, an intuitive interface, and a winningly cartoony protagonist) but with a central schtick that's mostly all its own: you dig paths through dirt, creating channels for liquid to flow from one place to another. Ideally, you'll get enough clean water into a pipe to fill Swampy's tub, but along the way you have to contend with various … Read more

Five productivity-boosting iPad tips

The iPad is becoming an office worker's best friend. In terms of work time saved, your iPad will likely pay for itself in a matter of months if not weeks. But like any computer, you can't realize the iPad's full potential without tweaking the machine's default settings to suit your style.

Here are five ways to squeeze a little more productivity out of your iPad.

Lock the screen orientation. The iPad was made for sharing. Handing off a laptop is clumsy, but passing someone your iPad is as natural as shaking hands. The only problem is … Read more

Access iFixIt manuals on your iPhone and iPod Touch

When it comes to performing do-it-yourself fixes or upgrades on your Mac, one of the main resources to use is the online take-apart guides from iFixIt.

The company has detailed how to open and access internal components of many Mac models, and has gained a reputation for quickly tearing down newly released Apple hardware and outlining what's inside.

The manuals and high-quality detailed images offered by iFixIt can be invaluable, but if for some reason your Mac is not working and you need to use one of the manuals to replace a component, then you will need to access … Read more