There's just a little over 2 weeks before we all have to finish our holiday shopping for our friends, family, and of course ourselves
. Yesterday Jakub went over the top PC games, and tomorrow Brandon will go over the best graphics cards and CPUs. So what about all the products they're not covering? That's what this guide will help you with. I know there are plenty of other Holiday Gift Guides at other sites, but some of these will try to convince you that a USB flash drive is a cool stocking stuffer. Who are they kidding? The theme for the gifts in this guide is cool, unique, and personal. Our products come from several different categories: PC upgrades/accessories, digital cameras, and MP3 players.
So without further ado:
10. LaCie Brick 250GB HD ($150)
No one ever has enough hard drive space. After a few months of use, both the person with the 80GB drive and the person with a 500GB drive will have less than 10% free. You will always find ways to use the space that you have and for that reason, buying a hard drive as a gift for a PC enthusiast is always a good idea.
While you can go with something like a Hitachi T7K250 (our Editor's Choice award winning SATA-II drive) or a Western Digital Raptor, most PC enthusiasts have already invested their money into a high-performance boot drive. This means that an external HDD is likely going to see more benefit in terms of providing a way to backup all the music, video, and digital photographs that a power user is likely to have.
I recommend the LaCie Brick simply because it looks like a giant LEGO block. While you are paying a small premium for the French-design and the gimmick factor, the attractive thing about the Brick is that the pricing is actually very competitive. Although you can sometimes find HDDs with big rebates that may or may not be fulfilled, a quick search at Newegg shows that an OEM 250GB drive runs you about $100. An IDE to USB 2.0 enclosure adds about $25. What this means is that you're only spending an extra $25 to get a LaCie Brick instead of a build-it-yourself approach. In fact, the price differential is much less because I'm comparing Newegg discount pricing against the MSRP for the LaCie Brick. Therefore, compared to pre-packaged drives from companies such as Maxtor or Western Digital, Lacie's Brick HDD is actually a bargain.
The creative design may not offer any additional performance to the hard disk, but it does show your recipient that you did more than just buy a random off-the-shelf hard drive and actually put some thought into it. A F.A. Porsche Design USB 2.0 model is also available for the same price, however we prefer the brick. For power users, the Triple Interface d2 hard drives feature USB 2.0, Firewire 400, and Firewire 800. We use the triple interface drive regularly in our own labs.