Gift Guide 2009: Peripherals

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Peripherals, they say, are the spice of life. Well, maybe they don’t say that, but they do say it about variety, and peripherals add variety to your computing life. If you’re reading this on a stock HP desktop, clicking on links with the mouse that came with it, and trusting your data to that 512MB USB stick they gave you at work, then you should consider accessorizing.

There are lots of things out there that make your computer better, more secure, or more comfortable. Why not treat yourself or a loved one to one of them?

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Logitech G110 keyboard: $80

Now, I haven’t used this keyboard specifically, but I did review its big brother, the G19. The essential difference is that the G110 doesn’t have the big, expensive LCD on it, which, while cool, wasn’t really adding much to what was otherwise a great keyboard. It’s comfortable, good-looking, and full of extra stuff like macro keys for games or frequently typed phrases, colored backlighting, and handy media controls. Logitech makes great keyboards, and this one is probably their best deal.

Product Page | CrunchGear Review (kind of)

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Logitech G500 Gaming Mouse: $70

Anyone who spends a lot of time with a computer likely spends a lot of time with their mouse. So why should they be stuck using whatever $5 piece of junk came with the computer, or whatever was in the impulse buy section at Radio Shack? There’s a world of mice out there for differently sized and shaped hands, and it can make a huge difference in terms of comfort and efficiency. The G500 is a great mouse with a proven and familiar shape, and at $50 (street price) it’s a bargain as well. Any gamer or big PC user will appreciate it.

Product Page | CrunchGear Review

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Razer Mamba: $130

The Mamba is the final word in mice at the moment. A revision of the Death Adder shape, which was popular for a reason, the Mamba adds two extra buttons and wireless operation to the mix. I found it comfortable, accurate, and extremely good-looking. If you’re willing to spend the dough, this is the best mouse you can buy.

Product Page
| CrunchGear Review

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Microsoft LifeCam Cinema:
$80

Chances are if you or anyone you know has a webcam, it’s either built into your display or a cheapie one that’s no better than that. Well, a new generation of webcams is coming out that support high-def video, and the first representative is Microsoft’s LifeCam Cinema. It’s got a nice wide angle on it, has more clarity than those pinhole webcams, and the clamp it uses is really convenient. One for you and one for a kid going off to college would be a great way to stay in touch; Microsoft’s video chat software is pretty decent. You can find it for around $60, which isn’t bad at all if you use your current webcam much.

Product Page | CrunchGear Hands-On

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Lacie Rugged XL 1TB: $160

Lacie’s Rugged series isn’t so much rugged as merely protected from everyday life. While your average external hard drive would probably go belly up if you spilled on it or dropped it, the Rugged XL will take a (minor) licking before rolling over. I’d be much more comfortable bringing this on a long trip than any other drive. There’s a premium for the ruggedness (street price is around $140), but whoever get this will thank you later when the dog knocks it off a table.

Product Page | CrunchGear Review

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Lenovo keypad-secured USB drive (160GB):
$150

For your loved ones that are security-conscious, or simply paranoid, I recommend this great drive. Spacious it’s not, and you’re paying a lot for the gigs you’re getting, but the built-in keypad is just too cool to pass up. Not only is it very secure, but it’s also very well-designed. Since you’re actually pressing buttons, there’s no need to worry about administrating it or security software — just set it up once (keep the instructions just in case) and you’re good to go. You can also get a 320GB version for around $200.

Product Page | CrunchGear Review
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