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Staff Picks: Quentyn’s Top Gifts

If I were in line to be getting some gifts this holiday season (sadly, I won’t be unless I treat myself) my wishlist would be longer than the sun, but I obviously couldn’t get overzealous. That’s why narrowing this list down to five is one of the most difficult tasks I’ve had in all my list making years — yes, that includes deciding whether or not that gallon of milk is more important than a box of delicious popcorn on my shopping list. To the gifts!

Jabra Solemate (Get it!)

The Jabra Solemate is a very nice wireless speaker option for those looking for a little more kick than a normal Jambox, but not the price tag of the big Jambox. In its own right the Jabra Solemate is a great, unique device that holds its own well when it comes to audio quality. With three front-facing bass-heavy speakers you’ll enjoy your music with a punchy feel to it, and you’ll be able to fill up a moderately-sized room quite nicely. Solemate features an aesthetically-unique design that pays homage to its name. It’s shaped like a tennis shoe, and the idea is that the device is built to last in the elements for those who want to take it on the go. With speakerphone capabilities (and full voice dialing controls), an option for a 3.5mm cable (included) and Bluetooth connectivity your music lover will be afforded ample flexibility for whatever they wish to do with it. 8 hours of battery life isn’t a bad spec line, either. Read our review if you need more convincing. [Buy it from Amazon!]

MilliMount (Coming soon!)

All-purpose smartphone stands and mounts are nothing new, but none are quite as unique as the MilliMount. This device is easy enough for the average smartphone user to use as a mere stand, and flexible enough for your more tweak-savvy gift recipients to turn it into things like a tripod mount and a car dock. The MilliMount includes things like a velcro strap slot, a keyring holder and even a docking point for your typical sized bolts to make it possible to mount this thing anywhere. You could even use your phone’s charging cable to turn it into a wall mount for your phone and hook it up as a night light. The product is a spawn of a Kickstarter idea for now, but its funding goal has been reached and production is expected to be completed quickly and ready to ship in December. Keep an eye on the Kickstarter project for updates on its arrival.

Sphero Ball (Get it!)

This is probably the most whacky gift you’re going to find for anyone this holiday season. The Sphero Ball is an illuminated, motion-controlled ball that you can manipulate using your Android smartphones or tablets. Through the use of the Sphero apps and other games compatible with the Sphero Ball you can create unique family fun that anyone can get in on. You can trace a path for the ball to move on its own or let it glide free and direct it by tilting and touching your device.  Its flexible list of possibilities means that it’s simple enough for your toddler to have a fun time watching a glowing ball (with customizable colors) roll around, or for your entire family to create a race track for several Sphero balls to compete on. It’ll be one of those Christmas morning gifts that anyone can have fun with as soon as they unwrap it, and the entire family will gravitate to its unusual nature, uniqueness and its ability to invite imaginative experiences. [Buy it from Amazon!]

Logitech Keyboard and Tablet Stand (Get it!)

There are a lot of folio cases for tablets that include keyboards, but the problem with Android tablets is that there are so many of them. Some people might find that their favorite accessory manufacturers don’t have solutions which fit their tablet. You might even find that there are no cases to begin with. Logitech understood this and came up with this convenient tablet stand and keyboard combination for Android 3.0+ tablets. Simple and elegant in design, the keyboard is wireless via Bluetooth and will be a perfectly-compatible input device for any tablet. The best part is that it’s housed in a case that can also double as a stand for comfortable viewing. It’s affordable, reliable and has made quite a name for itself in its reviews section on Amazon so don’t hesitate if there’s anyone on your gift list you think this would be perfect for. [Buy it from Amazon!]

Philips Fidelio Speaker Dock (Get it!)

Because Android phones come in all shapes and sizes it’s tough to find a good speaker dock to show your phone off while it’s playing your tunes. A few of your Android-toting loved ones have probably wondered why they couldn’t have the finer music-playing things in life like their iPhone counterparts, but now they can thanks to Philips’ Fidelio Bluetooth Speaker Dock. The docking mechanism only affords you charging capabilities, but that’s all you’ll need since all the communication, be it from the commands those nice playback controls on the front issue or the transmission of the music itself, is done over Bluetooth. The dock can be adjusted to fit most Android devices, and it interfaces with pretty much any Android phone in existence — all it needs is firmware 2.1 or higher and Bluetooth 2.1 or higher. All told, it’s a no-brainer if you suspect your loved one has had a hard time coping with the pitfalls of the enormity that is the world of unique Android phones. [Buy it from Amazon!]