The latest and greatest in the technology world exists for just a few days, so here's a sample of what's out there for this holiday season.
The XtremeMac Luna SST joins the crowded field of AC-powered docking nightstand alarm systems, but it sets itself apart.
It stands out because it splits into two pieces; one can be placed on another nightstand. This is handy since the Luna features dual-alarm capabilities with full stereo sound.
The clock is easy to view on the large LED-backlit face with orange numbers, which adjusts from bright to dim.
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Alarm controls and the ever-important snooze for the dual alarms are well-placed on both the main unit and the detachable speaker.
Users can dock an iPod touch or iPhone for the audio and video content as well as charging. Anything on these devices can be played to wake up, as well as FM radio chimes.
There's also an XtremeMac Alarm Clock App to create a customized wake-up. This lets users choose what they want to wake up to (music, sounds, etc.) and set the snooze times.
The Luna SST sounds great as a sound system. The included wireless remote is helpful to change the sound settings (bass and treble), your choice of tunes and the volume.
Illuminate your workspace
Logitech's Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 is a full-size option for any Mac or PC user working day or night.
What makes it stand out from other keyboards is its ambient light and motion sensors.
The sensors detect how much light is in the room, and the motion sensors work well to detect when your hands are on the keys, turning the backlighting on and off as needed. Thus the keys are backlit with the correct amount of light for viewing, regardless of how much light is in the room.
The rechargeable wireless keyboard can enjoy longer battery life because of this, up to 10 days before needed a charge.
Charging is done with a micro-USB connection and it doesn't matter whether the keyboard is in use while recharging the built-in AA NiMH batteries.
Typing with the keyboard is very comfortable because of the Logitech PerfectStroke technology and key system. Users type, as Logitech describes it, in a "stroke comfortable, fluid and whisper-quiet" manner.
The full-size keyboard includes a number keypad on the right, the standard F1 through F12 keys, volume controls and more.
A connection to your computer is made with a small 2.4 GHz wireless USB connection, which can stay in the USB port and will also control a Logitech wireless mouse.
Power up your iPad
One of the hottest items on the market continues to be Apple's iPad, and there is no shortage of accessories for it.
Kensington has what I think is one of the best: the PowerBack ($129.99) battery case with kickstand and dock, which has gotten the official Apple stamp of approval.
With a portable device like the iPad, power is crucial, and portable power is often necessary. This case gives you both and more.
The iPads have great battery power, but often it's not enough and the PowerBack is a great choice.
In addition to the added power, you get a hard-shell case for protection and a built-in kickstand for hands-free use.
The kickstand opens to a 65-degree angle, allowing for a separate keyboard (not included) and landscape or portrait viewing.
To attach, slide your iPad in; it snaps together in seconds to protect your expensive device from scratches and other environment hazards.
A micro-USB cable is included for charging the PowerBack 4200mAh battery, which should give your iPad about five more hours of life.
To find out how much power is left in the extra battery, an indicator has four lights to display with a push of a button.
If additional power isn't needed, Kensington KeyFolio Bluetooth Keyboard and Case for iPad ($99.99) falls in the functional and well-built category.
The synthetic leather case stores your iPad and has a wireless Bluetooth keyboard with rubberized keys built in.
The keyboard is also charged with a micro-USB connection and has rubber keys to ensure that they won't scratch the device when not in use.
Both the PowerBack and the KeyFolio give users full access to the iPad when attached, including the 30-pin connection for charging and syncing.
Light on the go
Joby's Gorillatorch Switchback is a new addition from the company known for the Gorillapod line of tripods for cameras and iPods or iPhones.
The light comes in a kit with the tripod to attach an LED lantern-headlamp in any environment where extra portable lighting is needed.
Six light modes are available along with a dimmer switch to control five powerful LEDs projected with a 92 percent ultra-efficient holographic lens.
How much it lights depends on your environment, but Joby says it can illuminate an eight-person family tent or a small cabin.
With the famous Gorillapod tripod included, attaching it to almost anything is simple.
The flexible tripod legs can stand upright on any flat surface, or attach to a pole, doorknob or most anything they can wrap around.
The versatility doesn't end there; a woven headband is included to take the light off the tripod to wear while hiking, trolling around an attic or just trying to get more light anywhere it's needed.
Using the headband, it will light up to 60 feet ahead.
In addition, you get two white LEDs for floodlighting and two red LEDs to preserve night vision on headband.
Headphones make a great gift, and iFrogz has a few reasonably priced products.
The DJ-style headphones, named the Ronin and Mogul headphones, are for anyone wanting comfortable over-the-ear fit without having to spend the entire holiday budget.
Both models work with any electronic gadget having a 3.5-mm headphone jack.
They feature adjustable over-the-ear-style cushioned speakers, good to wear for a long time. Both fold up for storage.
The Moguls ($69.99) feature AeroFoam cushions, which help keep out unwanted noise and give you great sound from speakers featuring 50-mm drivers producing good sound with a good amount of bass.
They are available in black, magenta, sky blue and white.
The lesser-priced Ronins ($49.99) have standard cushioned padding and are available in black, blue, red and white. They have the 50-mm drivers to deliver clear sound in comfort.