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Gadgets for the entrepreneur on your list

From office doodads to tablets to toys, something for everyone

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Here they are, gift ideas for your favourite entrepreneur (even if that happens to be you). After all, why shouldn't work time be playtime, too? The popular Kobo e-reader has improved, with a high-res XGA e-ink Pearl touchscreen and built-in light. Load books from the store, or transfer them from a computer. It holds about 1,000 e-books; add a MicroSD memory card and increase that to 30,000 volumes. ($129.99, www.kobo.com)

Kobo Inc.

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The iPad Mini is an iPad but smaller. It has a 7.9-inch display rather than the iPad's 9.7, and it weighs about half what its big brother does, making it much easier to hold. Like the full-sized model, it comes in WiFi-only and WiFi-plus-cellular versions. (Starts at $329, www.apple.com)

Apple Inc.

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While we're looking at tablets that sit easily in the hand, we can't forget the BlackBerry PlayBook 4G LTE. It offers BlackBerry security, e-mail, calendaring and true multitasking, along with cellular connectivity. With Documents to Go, you can edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Business and entertainment apps abound (check out the National Film Board app). (Starts at about $249, www.blackberry.com)

Research In Motion Inc.

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Running wires all over the house for Internet-enabled entertainment devices can be tricky and expensive. Cisco’s Linksys Wireless-AC Universal Media Connector links wirelessly to a router and lets you plug in four devices for HD-quality media streaming. It supports the upcoming 802.11ac high-speed wireless standard but is backward compatible with 802.11n. ($159.99, www.linksys.com)

Cisco Systems Inc.

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The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS sits between the point-and-shoot and DSLR worlds. With its amazing 50X zoom, image stabilization and 12.1-megapixel sensor, it shoots great stills and video, and the viewscreen rotates so you can hold the camera over your head and frame pictures when you can't see the subject. ($499.99, www.canon.ca)

Canon Inc.

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Now that you have some great pictures and video, the Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 bundle will help you tweak them to suit. Photoshop Elements even has Graphic Novel and Comic filters, and Premiere lets you add slow-motion effects. Release your inner auteur. ($149.99 U.S., www.adobe.com)

Adobe Systems Inc.

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Keeping our power-hungry mobile devices charged is a constant challenge. Powerstick+, from Ottawa-based Ecosol Technologies, is a combination 2300-mAh battery and USB storage device (4 to 16 GB) that will charge phones or tablets with equal aplomb. It is an International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award honoree. It won't be available until January, so tuck an IOU in the stocking for the time being. (Starts at $69, www.powerstick.com)

Ecosol

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Along with useful things, we need toys, like Sphero. It's a robotic ball that, when it's chatting with your iPad, iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth, lets you play games. More than 20 apps let you walk a virtual beaver around the house while hunting cupcakes, or play tag with other Sphero users. Silly fun. ($129.99, www.gosphero.com)

Orbotix

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No, this isn't an instrument of torture or a kid's toy. It's the Ecksbot 3-D printer from Eckertech Inc. It "prints" all sorts of objects, from toys to small parts such as gears, by laying down thin layers of melted plastic to build up the piece. You can buy it assembled, or save a few hundred bucks by putting it together yourself. ($999.95, http://www.eckertech.com/ecksbot-fully-assembled-3d-printer/)

Eckertech Inc.

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This doodad turns virtually any object into a speaker. You plug Rock-It 3.0 into your player's headphone jack, then stick the pod onto any object. Rock-It will send vibrations that are transformed into sound; the bigger the object, the louder it is. It has a rechargeable battery. ($24.99. http://origaudio.ca/)

OrigAudio

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Finally, for a little light but educational holiday reading, this Complete Idiot's Guide to Twitter Marketing offers a ton of good advice and lots of examples to help make use of what's probably the hottest way to interact with customers. ($23)

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