'Twas great to receive: Our favorite holiday tech gifts

Which technology presents did staffers from Computerworld and other IDG Enterprise publications most enjoy receiving this holiday season? Here are our faves.

Amazon Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle Fire

What holiday gifts rank as the favorites among IDG Enterprise editors and writers? IDGE copy editor Christina Collins got her first tablet this holiday season: "The Kindle Fire is much smaller and lighter than the iPad -- a big advantage for someone like me who plans to travel with her device.

"I used to associate the word 'Kindle' exclusively with e-books, but with the Kindle Fire I can download apps and check my email and browse the Internet and then, if I feel like it, read one of the countless books I have on the Amazon Cloud."

Logitech Z305 laptop speaker
Logitech Z305 laptop speaker

Ken Mingis, managing news editor for Computerworld, amped up his A/V with this gift. "Since I enjoy listening to a wide range of music, from bluegrass to Bruce Springsteen, I wanted a speaker for my MacBook Pro that would deliver better sound. The Logitech Z305 laptop speaker does just that," he says.

"I just clip it to the top of the screen, plug in the USB cable and the difference is obvious. There's more range and definitely more volume without distortion. I liked it so much I got one for Mom!"

Steve Jobs biography
Steve Jobs biography

Computerworld news editor Marian Prokop's top read this holiday season is Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs. "My husband and I both asked for this book," says Prokop.

"Steve Jobs was an artistic genius and a visionary. He was also a very complicated man. I'm looking forward to reading this biography to learn the personal details of his life, how he grew up, what influenced him and what compelled him to build a technology company that today is among the most valued in the world."

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Network World news editor Bob Brown is merrily shooting away with his new Canon PowerShot SX230 HS. "I know a lot of people say their phone is their camera these days, but I wanted a stronger zoom than I could get on a phone," he expains.

"I like to take pictures at places such as sports events where I'm usually not sitting in the good seats; the athletes wind up looking like mites. The zoom on this PowerShot 12.1MP, 28mm camera is 14x and can really get close up. It feels sturdy but is also quite portable."

Bose Companion 2 multimedia speaker system
Bose Companion 2 multimedia speaker system

Mary Lester, IDGE's Executive Director, Art + Design, is enamored of her new Bose Companion 2 speakers. "I love listening to my eclectic playlist in every room of my cozy little house," says Lester.

"These speakers pair up neatly with Airport Express to play music wirelessly from iTunes on my iMac. My iPhone completes the experience by providing remote access from any room. I can switch playlists, adjust the volume and turn speakers off and on. For their size and price, they provide an excellent sound. Janis Joplin, Adele and Tina Dico approve."

Apple TV
Apple TV

Kristin Burnham, staff writer at CIO.com, is digging her Apple TV: "I asked Santa for a device that would stream Netflix to the TV in our newly refinished basement, and he brought me an Apple TV. The device is very compact -- it only takes up about four inches of space in our media cabinet. It's also simple to set up and very easy to use."

She notes another cool feature: "Apple TV lets you wirelessly stream photos or videos stored on your computer or iPhone."

Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for iPad 2
Credit: Galen Gruman / IDG
Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for iPad 2

Galen Gruman, executive editor of Infoworld, counts a tablet peripheral as his favorite holiday acquisition. "I love the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard for iPad. It is not only easy to type with, but it has a stand to raise the iPad to monitor-like orientation, so you can use the iPad as a computer.

"But wait, there's more! The iPad stand is also the carrying case, so when you travel your keys don't get mangled in your backpack or bag, as happened to my Apple wireless keyboard." (Read about more wireless keyboards for iPads.)

Red vs. Blue game with Xbox 360
Red vs. Blue

Ken Gagne, Computerworld senior associate online editor, is looking forward to vegging out with a DVD. "Red vs. Blue is a Web-based machinima series that uses animation from the Halo Xbox video games to tell a story.

"Over the last decade, it's transitioned from a humor series to an action-packed dramatic spoof with animation that transcends the limitations of Halo itself. Season 9 is a prequel, and I'm looking forward to learning the backstory of my favorite characters."