Cool gifts for geeks, 2011: Computer, notebook and tablet tech treasures

Computers and notebooks and tablets, oh my!

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ThinkPad X1 notebook, by Lenovo

If you like thin and powerful notebooks, the ThinkPad X1 should definitely be on your list of possibilities. The X1 features a super-thin, 16mm profile but with some powerful processors - you can get up to a second-generation, Intel Core i7 processor (the unit we tested had a core i5). Another great feature is the Lenovo RapidCharge, which quickly recharges the battery to 80% capacity within 30 minutes - for fully drained systems, this is a great way to get back up and running. With the external slice battery that attaches to the bottom of the system (it also angles the notebook for better typing), you can get up to 10 hours of battery life.

Other unique features include a 13.3-inch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass and a spill-resistant, LED backlit keyboard. Speaking of the keyboard, it's a nice chiclet style that has "noise suppression" technology, making for quieter typing. You might not think that's a nice feature, but it's definitely cool when you're doing an interview and taking notes - the other person doesn't hear the clickety clicking of the keyboard.

Other features include up to 8GB of RAM, hard drive up to 250GB, a low-light sensitive HD webcam, options for wireless WAN connectivity (it comes with 802.11 Wi-Fi), one USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port (although those are in the back, something a bit bizarre). Because of the unit's thin profile, there's no optical drive. The system comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, but you can upgrade to the Professional (either 32- or 64-bit).

With these unique features, the X1 is a very nice option for business users, but they'll also appreciate the styling and protection features for when they're out and about. IT will like the emphasis on security and protection as well.

Cool Yule rating: 5 stars
Price: Starts at $1,199 (Web pricing)
Reviewed by Keith Shaw

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