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5 Technology Gadgets That Make Great Gifts


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iPod touch
Apple's iPod touch is packed with features you'd typically find in a smartphone.
Apple's iPod touch is packed with features you'd typically find in a smartphone.
Courtesy Apple Inc.

Buying a smartphone for a gadget geek can be risky. Not only must you guess at which operating system the geek will prefer, but you may also commit that person to a contract. In some ways, smartphones are the gift that keeps on taking -- you have to pay a monthly phone and data bill just to keep your gadget in working order. But Apple's iPod touch gives you the experience of owning a smartphone without the pesky phone part.

The latest iPod touch models start at $199, making them a pricy MP3 player option. But consider the features. The iPod touch can run many of the same apps as an iPhone. The new models can use iMessage when connected to a network, giving you instant messaging capabilities. And you can even have a video call with other Apple mobile device users with Facetime. We've come a long way from the days when the most advanced feature on an MP3 player was shuffle.

In a way, the iPod touch replaces several other devices all in one go. You can use it as a digital camera or HD camcorder. You can play games on it. You can watch movies or listen to music on it. It's one of the more versatile pieces of technology on the market.