As soon as Halloween is done, it's a sprint until Christmas. Never mind all that talk about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that launches the holiday shopping season. If you're planning to buy a luxo-sport gift for that special someone this year, you'll want to avoid that herd of sheep, and get your shopping done early.
That's why we've put together this quick list for the smartest shoppers of all: The Top 5 Early Bird Luxo-Gift List, with gifts priced from $1300 down to $200 listed in descending order. Start now. Avoid those maddening crowds, the relentless pressure, and avoid that sinking feeling when you hear that clock ticking, counting down the minutes until Zero Hour.
After the jump, pick out one of the top 5 luxo-gifts you can get right now, and get it all done ahead of time.
5. Nikon D80 Digital SLR
This is looking like the hot digital SLR for the season, with its 10.2-megapixel CCD, bigger and brighter viewfinder and excellent lenses from Nikon. It has an 11-area through-the-lens autofocus system, improved color metering, smaller size than its predecessor, and we don't even mind that it uses SD memory cards instead of CompactFlash. You get your money's worth for $1300.
4. Garmin Nuvi 660 GPS
We're big fans of Garmin's Nuvi series of GPS navigators, and this latest model stretches that screen out to 4.3 inches, the perfect compromise between portability and readibility. Like its brandmates, it gives you hands-free mobile phone calls and then there's that outstanding Garmin user interface, easy enough to use in traffic but powerful enough to get you where you want to go. With its integrated FM traffic receiver that will warn you about heavy traffic or construction, and an FM transmitter that sends its navigational commands through your car stereo, it's tough to beat for $999.
3. TiVo Series 3 HD Personal Multimedia Recorder
We've had one of these babies in-house for the past two months, and it's the best digital video recorder we've ever seen. It's the only THX-certified PVR and its video and audio consistently demonstrate that fact, plus it has that famed TiVo user interface that has no equal. Too bad it's so damned expensive, at $800, but you can find one for $680.
2. Canon PowerShot SD900 10MP Digital Elph Camera
The form factor of the Digital Elph cameras from Canon is hard to beat, and this is the best one yet, the PowerShot SD900, with its 10 megapixels of quick-starting goodness and 3x optical zoom, you'll see it all clearly now on a 2.5-inch LCD viewscreen. Sure, you can't use many manual settings with this camera, but one of those digital SLRs can be awfully hard to fit in your shirt pocket, too. Best of all, you can find one of these trinkets for $383.
1. Motorola KRZR Cellphone
We know you want the latest smartphone, but that special person in your life is probably looking to simplify her cellphone situation. The KRZR is the way to go, fitting easily in the pocket 'cause it's a lot smaller than the mainstream-popular RAZR, and will only set you back around 200 bucks with a two-year contract.