The 101 BEST holiday gift guides for gadgets (and the 5 worst)

Buying a holiday present for a gadget lover is tricky and complicated, especially when you're not knee-deep in the technology world every day. We're the ones who constantly keep tabs on the gadget universe for you, so who better to scour the web, sifting through thousands of gift guides, picking only the best for your consideration?

After you've perused the following lists, you'll have seen just about every gadget that's worth giving. Sheesh, there are thousands of 'em! But don't fret — we've made it even easier for you, topping this monster list with our favorite ten gift guides for 2008, and way down at the bottom of the pile, we warn you about a few stinkers, too. In between, you're sure to find the perfect gadgety gift, we promise.

The 10 Best

1. CNET Holiday Gift Guide 2008
From CNET, the website that reviews almost everything, you'd expect a treasure trove of tech gifts, and that's just what you get here and more. Shop by price categories, product categories, go with the editors' top picks, or splurge for the ultimate luxuries — it's all here. Then shop price with one click.

2. Uncle Mark's Gift Guide & Almanac 2009
He's back for 2009, and there even more tech gift advice than ever. Mark not only tells you why the iPhone is the best communications device ever, he gives you advice on all kinds of stuff, some of it not even related to tech. Our only complaint? It's all in the clunky pdf format, but still worth a look.

3. Bornrich Gift Guide: Wow Gifts
Aptly-named, this is the place to go for high-end gifts for the well-heeled. From exquisite loudspeakers to personal jets, there's just one word for all this stuff: Wow.

4. Holiday "DO WANT!" Gift Guide 2008
Yanko Design knows how to pick out the tasty tech, and here they take time out from the site's fantasy design concepts and show you real-world techno-goodness in all price ranges. One thread runs through every choice: Good design. Want? Yes we do.

5. Holiday Gift Guide 2008: Camcorders
Obsessable picks out the best camcorders of every stripe, from the cheapest pocketcorder to the fanciest flash-packing HD camcorders. It's apparent that somebody knows what he's doing there, because we agree with every camcorder choice.

6. ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide 2008
ZDNet cuts the gadget universe into bite-sized chunks, giving you astute overviews of each product area, such as entry-levels DSLRs and top MP3 players. Hundreds of products are covered in this extensive project.

7. Yahoo Tech Holiday Gift Guide
Hundreds of gift ideas, presented in easily-scanned categories to let you zoom in on the exact person you're thinking about. There are lists of ideas written by celebs, gifts for mom, dad, and college kids — even tech toys for tots, all with links to user reviews, price comparisons and lots of details. Our fave? "Gifts for Girls Gone Wired."

8. Popular Science's Web Celeb Gear Guide
Pick your giftee's fave geeks, and instantly determine what they want for Christmas! Popsci picked 15 famous web personalities and innovators and asked them what they'd suggest as a geek gift, and for extra-fascinating insight, found out what each celeb thought was the ultimate invention.

9. Treehugger Holiday Gift Guide 2008
Going green when you don't have much green is not easy during the holidays, but Treehugger shows you the lowest-impact, best values. It's easy navigate, to split up into nearly a dozen categories, and many of the tips cost less than $25. There's bound to be something in here for that treehugger in your house.

10. New York Times Pogue-O-Matic
Interactive guide turns the humorous expert David Pogue into your personal tech-buying assistant. He asks you what you want to do with a camera, camcorder, smartphone or TV, helping you sort out your choices, each linked to a CNET review. Not necessarily for the holidays, this exquisite implementation of tech info is an example for all to follow. Excellent.


The Rest

11. Playboy 2008 Holiday Wish Book for the Gadget Geek
No, that busty babe is not one of the gifts. You can wish all you want.

12. TechSpot Holiday Gift Guide 2008
A great guide, with items arranged from least to most expensive. There's even a gift for $0, the Ubuntu operating system — just make sure you offer to help install it if that's what you're giving.

13. Notcot Wishlist
Big ticket tech toys and beautiful design, all put together in Notcot's unmistakable graphic style

14. Geeky Apparel Gifts
Want a t-shirt that is also an interactive interactive drum set? How about a genuine propellerhead cap? You've found the right place.

15. Toys Gift Guide
Flying objects, bots of every shape and size and games both electronic and analog are all here.

16. Gift Ideas for the Impossible to Buy For
If you're looking for eclectic, you've found it. Who knew that person who's so hard to buy for would want a terrarium for carnivorous plants?

17. Robot Gift Guide
The guys at Make show you their favorite store-bought bots and robot parts, too.

18. Xbox 360 Gift Guide
The gamer-geeks at Kotaku give you their expert advice, picking out the best Xbox 360 games of the year, broken down into categories.

19. Kevin Rose's Top 10 Gifts For Geeks
The founder of Digg knows tech, and names his ten favorites, many of which are spot-on. Others, such as the washer-safe USB drive? A pleasing kind of quirky.

20. 2008 Xbox 360 Holiday Gift Guide
About.com points you to dozens of Xbox 360 game reviews, with their take on console deals and a whole lot more.

21. The High-Tech Texan Holiday Gift Guide 2008
Everything in Texas is big, big, big. Except this gift guide, which is a small as the eyebrow on a rattlesnake in mid-winter. Still, it's worth a look.

22. Cool Hunting's 2008 Holiday Gift Guide
Cool Hunting surprised us with this huge, graphically interesting and sortable table of over 500 gadgets and accoutrements, many of which are indeed extremely cool.

23. Newsweek Tip Sheet Holiday Gift Guide
Even though at first we thought we were looking at the magazine's 2007 gift guide (some of the gadgets were that old), we saw enough neat stuff to keep us poking around for a while. It's decidedly light on new gadgets, though, and clumsy to navigate.

24. I4U Top 10 portable Gadgets Holiday Gift Guide 2008
Short and sweet with a good list of the top ten, and many of selections we'd agree with wholeheartedly, especially those radical Sennheiser wireless earbuds using the "Kleer" tech. Don't miss the smooth gadget carousel at the bottom.

25. High-Tech Holiday Treats for Under $150
Mainstream ABC rides with the hepcats with their cost-conscious guide for resessionistas, keeping a small gallery of 10 cheap cellphones, earphones, music players and such within the realm of financial possibility.

26. Electronic Gadgets Gift Guide
Coolest Gadgets's list is highlighted by a link to an especially good comparison of five of those venerable gifts for grandmas everywhere: digital picture frames.

27. Gizmodo's "Bestmodo"
Thank goodness Gizmodo gave up on its phony commercially-sponsored gift guide concept from last year, but there's something much better: the ongoing "Bestmodo" section that lists the first-rate devices the Gizmodians hand-pick as they comb the gadget world 24/7/365.

28. Gadget Review Holiday Gift Guide
While the goods aren't arranged in any particular order, maybe you'll stumble on something here that gives you a gift idea. We think they have good taste, as evidenced by their choice of the latest Tivoli NetWorks radio.

29. Scientific American 2008 Gadget Guide
Scientific American gets in on the holiday action with a slide show of 33 items, including 13 high-tech toys such as mini projectors and super-high-tech chairs, and 20 green, socially-responsible inventions.

30. Salon's Gifts for the Gadget Guru
Three sections show you gifts in your price range, with luxury gifts, midrange and bargain gifts all covered. Choices are good, but the text is not easily scanned.
Luxury ($150+)
Midrange ($35 to $150)
Bargain ($50 and under)

31. What NOT to Buy Your Girlfriend for Christmas
Guys, take heed to this accurate advice, written by a woman for perplexed men. Might we add, don't buy her anything that plugs in?

32. The Solid-State Gift Guide
This 14-item slide show from Fast Company magazine includes a tasty pudding of hand-held solid-state tech, accompanied by solidly-stated commentary and presented in slick graphic form, all nestled within a clunky format.

33. Gadget Guru - Everything iPod, hand-picked by our Gift Gurus
Good God, Gadget Guru! Who knew there were so many iPod accessories? And you've categorized them for all different ages and walks of life. We're not worthy.

34. PC Magazine's Holiday Gift Guide 2008
This is a good guide of guides, and be sure to check the Top Holiday Picks for deals in multiple categories (not just PCs) that started on Black Friday and still rock.

35. Gift guide: Tech gadgets for every budget
More general non-linked gifts categorized by price, this one from the Mercury News in Silicon Valley

36. Holiday Gift Guide: Tech toys the grown-up kid will love
Good suggestions from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but no links anywhere to be found among the paragraphs of text extolling the virtues of the usual suspects.

37. I4U Top 100 Holiday Tech Gift Guide
These guys have been searching since August to compile this huge list of top ten lists. trust their picks — they know what they're talking about.

38. Tech Savvy Mama's Holiday Gift Guide
She starts with tots and points out gifts for every age group up to adults. And yes, this mama's indeed tech savvy.

39. The Obsessable Holiday Gift Guide 2008
Obsessable give you a gateway page to over a dozen categories, giving you sharp buying advice, too.

40. Michael's Holiday Gift Guide
Daily Tech's reviewer Michael Barkoviak give us his picks for hot tech, showing his short list of gifts he'd like to receive himself.

41. Holiday gift guide: 10 winning gifts in a down economy
The Industry Standard has the right idea, showing us how to shop for cool tech even when we're half-broke. But it's not all cheap. iPod shuffle = good affordable idea, but a flat screen Sharp LCD TV? Not so cheap.

42. Gift Guide: Ars Technica Roundup
The sharp staff at Ars Technica give us their picks, heaping up tons of giftworthy tech and gags for all ages.

43. LA Times Holiday Gift Guide: Technology
The L.A. journos pick out a swank list of nine solid choices, worth a peek.

44. Kotaku iPhone Gaming Gift Guide
The gaming gurus give you a quick snapshot of the best iPhone games, picking out great choices but getting dated by the minute even though it's barely two weeks old.

45. Golf Views Holiday 2008 Golf Gift Guide
Sheesh, there's a lot of golf gadgets these days, and Golf Views picks out 15 of the best for that linkster on your list.

46. Green Upgrader Gifts for the Ecogeek
A tasteful list of green gadgets, including our favorite, the $500 Dell Studio Hybrid PC. Nice gift.

47. Thrillist Gift Central: The Goods for your Girls
There are a few techno-gifts sprinkled within this eclectic list, but before you buy, be sure to double-check some of the other lists of what not to buy.

48. Holiday Gift Guide from Caring.com: Great Gifts for Aging Parents
There's some useful tech in here, especially for those grandmas who haven't yet heard of that analog-to-digital TV transition coming up in February.

49. Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide, the 2008 edition
Forget buying shelfware and gadgets that will be long forgotten after the holidays — donate to a worthy tech-related cause such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Boing Boing's respected Cory Doctorow shows you a list of great charitable choices.

50. What not to buy me for Christmas
Shiny Shiny's Zara Rabinowicz spells out exactly where no-man's land is. Please, no sex toys or novelty tattoos, she asks, and adds a whole lot more to her humorous rogue's gallery.

51.The Ultimate Geek Gift Guide 2008
"If you don't know what is the hottest gift item or you want to redeem yourself from the Cosby sweater you gave last year, this is the gift guide for you."

52. Video Gift Guide: Watch It, Click It & Save
Attractive interface with well-presented videos featuring young, enthusiastic amateur hosts left us wanting even more. And we mean that in a good way.

53. Anchorage Daily News Gift Guide: Smart phones for work and play
Up there in Anchorage, chances are you can find a smartphone that's a better gift than a reindeer sweater. You betcha. Noticeably missing: the hapless Blackberry Storm or a turkey choker.

54. Baltimore Sun's Gadget Gift Guide
If you click the right arrow, there are some worthy choices in the slide show. Just watch out for the Nikon D300, which is due to be replaced within the next couple of months by a new model, the much-rumored D400.

55. Esquire's 27 Very Different (but Very Good) Holiday Gifts for Your Lovely Wife
This list is light on tech, but presented as gifts nerdy guys might like to give their lovely wives. Nerds have lovely wives? Some of us do, yes.

56. Entertainment Weekly Gift Guide: 25 TV classics on DVD
Looking for old-time TV shows on DVD? You may have forgotten about a lot of these classics, sure to delight that nostalgia buff who thinks TV ain't what it used to be.

57. Gifts for Geeks
The Washingtonian rounded up area propellerheads for their recommendations. The result? This excellent list of gadgetry any geek would love.

58. Us Magazine Holiday Gift Guide
Self-centered Us magazine readers can now get a boomerang gift, entering a sweepstakes while reading the technology gift guide, in hopes that they'll get to cash in while reluctantly redistributing some of their income.

59. Gift Guide: Fitness gadgets to revive motivation
Comcast wants to keep you fit, so you can keep on paying those steep cable bills every month. Whether the company's cable wares are worthy of your patronage or not, its taste in fitness tech is well-conditioned.

60. Engadget's Holiday Gift Guide, 2008!
"Actually a series of smaller guides broken down first by whom you'll be buying gifts for, and then by price range." Workmanlike lists by the staid know-it-alls of the tech blogosphere.

61. 1Up Holiday Gift Guide 2008 for PSP Games
Know someone with a Sony Playstation Portable (PSP)? Here's a quintet of good game suggestions for your consideration.

62. Laptop: Mini-Notebook Gift Guide
See a handful of the tiny laptops, all here in one place and compared.

63. Holiday Gift Guide Veronica Electronica
This Veronica Electronica gal, shes onto something. She's found a pageful of gifts, but many are not true to her name — they're not electronic at all. Who knew $745 Manolo Blahniks were electronic? Maybe that's how you pay for them — electronically — wiring in some cash from daddy.

64. Celebrity Tech Gift Guide 2008
Network World gets creative, determining the perfect gift for certain celebs. For Lindsay Lohan: a breathalyzer. Special.

65. Tech the Halls, The holiday hook up from ACCESS DIRECTV Magazine
We were surprised when we spotted a couple of items we'd never seen before. Except for that ringer — the DirecTV DVR — there are nearly a dozen smart picks here.

66. MSNBC's Gadgets that make you look like a jerk
Here's some advice for those passive-aggressive but generous shoppers, looking to hurt someone while seeming to help. And here we were thinking Segways were cool.

67. Hacker Gift Guide: Gift ideas for your favorite geeks
The do-it-yourselfers at Make magazine find a bunch of gadgets that are hackable, sure to be a hit with those who regularly disassemble their cars, only to have them back together again in time for the next morning's commute.

68. Inhabitat Green Holiday Gift Guide
A water-powered clock and USB-rechargeable batteries head up this group of practical devices, all presented in a pleasant, clean, and probably biodegradable format.

69. ExtremeTech Tech Gifts Under $100
These gifts are said to be hand-selected to satisfy even the pickiest techie. Our favorite: a doormat inscribed with "There's no place like 127.0.0.1"

70. GeekDad Holiday Gift Guide #4: GeekMoms!
What do you get your mother of your children if you're a GeekDad? Why, a specially-selected gift for GeekMoms! We know a cute GeekWife who would like most of these choices, well, except for those Chewbacca slippers, which would elicit groans. "Aaaaaaaaaauuughhhhhh," replies Chewy.

71. Video version of the $20 and under gift guide
Bleary-eyed from reading gift guides all day? Then Make magazine's $20 and under video gift guide is for you.

72. Tech Toys for Grownups
The Full Mommy is aware of the latest tech, and we think she's typing this stuff naked! Just look at that picture at the top of her blog.

73. Holiday Buying Guide for the TV Fan
A slim list from The New York Times, but it's potent, especially with that superb Logitech One remote, the Vudu video streaming box, and the Slingbox Pro-HD.

74. TGF Holiday Gift Guide for the Stressed-out Diva
Never mind that a few of these gadgets are old enough to be in a museum (Stress Eraser, I'm looking at you) — for the most part, these Tech Geeks and Fashionistas have still made this ongoing list a winner. Our stress is lowering just looking at this stuff.

75. BusinessWeek Executive Gift Guide 2008
Those executives, they have all sorts of fun. Riding bikes, listening to iPods, taking pictures, and looking at a lot of clocks must take up a lot of the day for them.

76. DVICE Gift Guide 2008: 10 Tech Toys for the Filthy Rich
You're rich? Good for you. Buy everything on this list and send it to our editor, Pete. Then please excuse the rest of us as we turn green as a Christmas tree in envy.

77. core77's 77 Design Gifts Under $77
Great choices of techie and design items here, and most are beautifully crafted. Check out the huge variety of stuff on one long pageful of items — that absinthe set is making us feel woozy already.

78. Out Holiday Gift Guide
Now aren't these guys a tasteful bunch? They even have the savvy to include a nixie clock in their holiday gift guide, along with an article about gift etiquette. Watch and learn about civilization and style, ye dogs.

79. Holiday Gift Guide: The 8 Best Green Gadget Gifts
Clean Technica keeps it short and sweet, citing a fine octet of solar-sucking, energy saving devices that'll make even a litterbug go bear-hugging a tree somewhere.

80. Holiday Gadget Gift Guide for 2008
If you have a lot of money and know five gadget freaks, this might be the perfect gift guide for you. Sign us up for one of those T-Mobile G1s with Google Android on board.

81. Tampabay.com Holiday Gadget Guide
The crew at Tampabay.com put some big thought into this extensive guide, with their recommendations split between smart and fun gadgets. The result? A gift guide that's both smart and fun.

82. Gadget Guru's Best of 2008 Gift Guide
Take a break from reading and watch this video list, where you can see a cool robot in action. This is not really the best stuff of the year, so after you see that bot's shtick you can stop watching.

83. SpotCoolStuff 2008 Cool Tech Gift Guide
The editors of this site actually bought the listed gifts for their friends and family, so you know they believe their own guff.

84. Motor Trend's 2009 Holiday Gift Guide
Those car geeks know their gadgetry, picking out a dozen winners. We especially like that eye-catching carbon fiber wallet.

85. EDGE Holiday Gift Guide :: Gadgets
Tasteful gear here, and they even included that spooky wireless charger, the WildCharge.

86. The Cloud's 1st annual holiday gift guide (gadget & tech edition)
A short list, but sweet. We'd be delighted to receive 90% of this stuff.

87. Techie gift guide: Our top picks for gizmos, gadgets and more
Just what we like: a gift guide with a solid point of view. While he doesn't much care to add graphics to his article, this guy picks out one gift you shouldn't buy: a Blu-ray player. We like him.

88. TV Guide Holiday Gadget Guide
Get out of the way, everyone, here comes the most widely-circulated magazine in the U.S., TV Guide. They're pointing out the best gifts of 2008. And you know what? They got about 9 out of 12 right.

89. Tom's Guide: Great Gifts for Gadget Gurus
Admire cute models while they hold onto gadgets that are not necessarily new. True to his word, though, old Tom steers you toward gifts that most geeks would crave.

90. 2008 Geek Gift Guide: 18 Toys to Make a Techie Happy
Life must be good at CIO, where they're recommending giving someone a Lexus for Christmas. Must be nice. But there are a few relatively cheap gifts on the decent 18-item list, too.

91. TechRepublic 2008 Geek Gift Guide
The TechRepublic shows off a shiny bunch of commonplace thingamajigs, but they make you "join" their little club to read the 22-page pdf file containing the gift guide.

92. The World Wide Web Blog's Holiday Gadget Gift Guide
Choose from a dozen items, grouped by price and predictably selected. An iPod touch? Never would have dreamed that would be in a holiday gift guide.

93. The iVillage Gadget Gift Guide
They're up to date on cell phones here, and they're touting those USBCell rechargeable batteries, a great choice that we've tested and loved for over a year now.

94. Perfect Gift: Gadgets For Women
Those mysterious women: what gadgets do you buy for them? The "Tiffany Network" CBS knows, listing some great ones here, but forgot to add pictures.

95. Gadgets - a list by brandsurgeon
Brandsurgeon shows us he's willing to pick 11 slightly unusual items to attract some holiday attention, compactly presented.

96. Parade Magazine's Gifts for Gadget Gurus
Mostly hits but a couple of misses here from Parade, showing those who don't read gadget blogs what we were seeing three months ago.

97. Digital Journal's Top 5 Unique Gift Ideas for Gadget Lovers
On video, these two guys pick top five gadgets, some that you might not have seen, that might be right for that tricky gadgeteer on your list.

98. PC World's 2008 Geek Gadget Gift Guide
Weird ones here, such as a plant twitterer and a nixie wristwatch. What? Worth a look.

99. TopTenReviews Top 10 Hitlists
Like this list you're reading now, TopTen has a list of more lists, all categorized for your easy scanning. We can vouch for every entry on the Geek Chic list — the other 15 lists, you're on your own.

100. Babygadget
Get 'em started with the tech early, and they'll be there to fix your computer when you've forgotten your own name, gramps.

101. Tech Gifts for the Nerds in your Life
Esquire goes all-out, pointing to gadgety gifts from geeks from uber to under-geekitude. Seven classes of nerds are represented, so no one goes ho-ho-home gadgetless.

The 5 Worst

1. USA Today's Holiday gift guide: Gear that goes to work
Re-purposed content from print is all too obvious when the publication won't even insert one single link to the merchandise. This guide, targeted at commuting cyclists, seems to think that a ratio of clothing to gadgets of 9:1 will suffice. We suggest you commute elsewhere for gift ideas.

2. Men's Fitness 2008 Holiday Gift Guide
You'll see a whole lot more unique tech gifts in a Wal-Mart ad in the Sunday newspaper. We just can't get too thrilled about last year's standard-def Mino camcorder and some DVD sets with retail prices quoted. This slowpoke website makes you work for even that spare amount — with just three items per page, this sets a new low in slow-mo info delivery.

3. Infoworld Vintage Geek Gift Guide
This one's title held such promise. Would we see steampunk gadgetry? Museum-quality Rolexes? No, the word "vintage" refers to the web authoring of this questionable feature, which could have been perfectly at home on the DARPA text terminals of the early 80s. Old computers? Many are valuable. Pictureless nostalgic paragraphs listing the vintage brands without a hint of where to find them? Not so much.

4. AP's Tech Gifts for the Budget-Conscious
The Associated Press tries its hand at the low-cost gift list that ran in nearly every newspaper in America, with a few hits, although some of the entries aren't specific enough and there aren't any clickable links.

5. Geeksugar Gift Guide: Cool Tech Gifts For Teens!
Sidekicks, iPods and gadgets galore! Just what you'd expect for a teen gift list! Go for it! There are only seven, but whatevs! Yeah! ... Uh, no.