Holiday Shopping Guide: Coworkers

Having already snagged a Polaroid PoGo for mom and a Roomba for your best friend since grade school, it’s time for the least savory holiday shopping task: coworkers. Love them or hate them, you work with them, and a good-natured exchange of gifts during the holidays never hurt morale at the office. Considering you spend 40 hours a week with these people, you should have some idea what they’re into – but on the other hand, anything over the $50 level is definitely out. With that in mind, here are a few fun techie gifts for every office personality, all in an affordable price range.

Air Hogs HavocAir Hogs Havoc R/C Helicopter, $25 

For the young at heart, there’s nothing more enticing under wrapping paper than something that flies. Unlike legit R/C helicopters that have to be flown outdoors and will lop off your hand off if you’re not paying attention, this little guy can zip around the office fairly safely when the boss is out to lunch, and can even handle a ding into some file cabinets without breaking. Pretty much guaranteed to liven up the office, and put a smile on the face of the right person. Check price

USB Drink ChillerUSB-Powered Drink Chiller and Warmer, $25

We shudder at the thought of a cold cup of coffee, or a warm Coke sitting on a desk. The aptly named drink chiller and warmer can help alleviate both problems for your resident office caffeine hound by keeping both types of beverages at their ideal temperature. Just beware of giving it to the guy who already drains six diet sodas and two pots of coffee by himself every day… that can’t be healthy. www.brando.com.hk

Sony MSR-EX75 EarbudsSony MSR-EX75 In-Ear Headphones, $50

You know the guy who thinks two inches of fiberboard and foam between you and him magically block out the awful Top 40 hits blaring from his cranked up computer speakers? Send him a polite note in classic passive-aggressive style with these in-ear headphones, which shouldn’t share so much as a peep of Nelly with the rest of the world. Check price

Dawn of WarWarhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Platinum Edition, $30

Here at Digital Trends, we believe there’s no better way to spend your lunch hour that firing up a real-time strategy game with officemates. If you’re not already working with people who enjoy gaming, plant the seed with Dawn of War, which is not only cheap and easy to learn, it’s soft enough on system requirements to run just fine on most office computers. Sure to destroy productivity for months to come. www.amazon.com

Atomic WatchAtomic Watch, $30

What time is it? Time for you to buy your chronically late coworker a watch. In less you’re seriously in touch with their sense of style, we recommend something slightly quirky like this Atomic model that actually calibrates itself to atomic time from signals originating from NIST stations around the world. (which also has the added effect of preventing the “my watch is off” excuse). More importantly, it has a built in calendar and alarms, which you should feel free to set to five minutes before those oft-missed meetings. www.thinkgeek.com

Wingman BreathalyzerWingman Mini Digital Breathalyzer, $13

Not recommended for bosses or other people with the ability to fire you. These little portable breathalyzers can be a lot of fun at social gatherings, and if you really know someone who doesn’t know when enough is enough, potentially keep them out of a lot of trouble. Unlike a lot of larger units, it’s also incredibly cheap, and small enough to carry with everywhere on a keychain, so your coworker doesn’t look like a total lush when he or she pulls it out. www.amazon.com

White Bread Wrist RestsWhite Bread Wrist Rests, $10 for 2

Yea, you could run out to Staples and buy a fancy and ergonomic wrist rest for the same price, but why go ordinary when you can go with simulated slices of white bread instead? Tacky yet ergonomic, these things are exactly what the doctor may or may not have ordered for frequent computer users. www.brano.com.hk

Apple iPod CaseApple iPod/ iPhone Case ~$30 

With the ubiquity of these devices, chances are good that you know someone who owns one but hasn’t had the foresight to protect it with some sort of shell yet. Do the thinking for them and pick out a nice case that’s both durable and flaunts some unique style, too. The Apple Store has an enormous selection with many priced right at $30.www.apple.com

Logitech QuickCam Connect WebcamLogitech QuickCam Connect Webcam, $30

Let your workaholic colleagues reconnect with loved ones during those 12-hour days by giving them the gift of video. Though webcams are increasingly becoming built-in staples on notebooks and large monitors, most office machines still don’t have them. Fortunately, it’s an inexpensive upgrade, and one the right person will definitely appreciate. Check price

Stealth SwitchStealthSwitch, $25

You know someone at work – possibly even yourself as you’re reading this – isn’t doing work. While you would hate to be an accomplice to such tomfoolery, giving a discrete switch that could conceivably be used to hide it wouldn’t be so bad, would it? The foot-activated StealthSwitch can be programmed to hide a window, kill the sound, or black out your screen altogether with a quick tap. Brilliant. www.thinkgeek.com

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