Published November 22, 2010
Let's face it, teens are the hardest to shop for when it comes to gadgets. They're always two steps ahead of you -- and what you think is cool, they think is so two years ago. Good news, I've compiled my list of best gadgets for teens that are sure to win you some cool points in the gift-giving department.
1. Sony Playstation 3 Slim edition with Move: It's not often we get two new game console designs in one year. I'm talking of course about Microsoft's new Xbox 360 slim edition and Sony's Playstation 3 ... also slimmer.
The Playstation 3 is the better choice for teens, however, offering the full gamer package and building a Blu-ray player right into the device. The Move, which you can buy as an add-on or bundled with a brand new PS3, offers incredibly responsive motion control and a more immersive experience than the Nintendo Wii.
2. Dell Inspiron Duo: What if your teen is craving an iPad but needs a laptop for school? Now you can kill two birds with one stone with the new sleekly designed Dell Inspiron Duo -- a netbook that transforms into a tablet.
Simply flip the screen over and close the lid and the system launches into a touch-friendly tablet for interacting with videos, music, painting and photos. If your teen is done being creative and needs to get back to typing, just lift the lid and you're right back to standard Windows. Pretty cool!
3. iPod Touch: The best portable music player in the world just got a whole lot better. At launch, Steve Jobs called it "an iPhone 4 without a contract," meaning this music player also has all the killer features of the iPhone 4, including its super-crisp Retina display, fast processor, and FaceTime video calling.
In fact, with FaceTime the iPod Touch becomes a phone (albeit one that works only in areas with Wi-Fi hotspots), making this gift a great way for parents to check in on their teens to see that they really are at that church meeting -- and not partying away at a friend's house.
4. Sound Freaq SFQ-1 Sound Platform: Your kid already has an iPod Touch? He probably also needs a way to blast that music around the bedroom to annoy the heck out of you. My affordable and stylish iPod dock choice is the Sound Freaq Sound Platform, which combines Bluetooth audio, FM radio, and iPod and iPhone compatibility with a great speaker dock.
For one thing, you won't find many more options even in more expensive models. Plus I really like the design; it reminds me of an old school stereo in its boxy shape, and it has decorative yet functional treble and bass knobs. The secret compartment on the side even holds a remote control. And remember, it has Bluetooth so you can stream music from an even larger iPad or other device.
5. Sennheiser HD280 Pro: Teens love to block out the world around them. What better way to do that than with some great headphones? The Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones are much cheaper than comparably sounding $400 headphones, but these bad boys don't scrimp on sound quality at just $99 ... they're Sennheiser after all! The ear pads are made from comfortable leatherette cushions. Plus they're portable and durable, meaning you can just fold them up toss them in a book bag.
Clayton Morris is a Fox and Friends host and the tech godfather behind the Gadgets and Games show. Follow Clayton's adventures online on Twitter @ClaytonMorris and by reading his daily updates at his blog.