Top 10 tech toys to blow your tax refund on

Sure, you could invest it, but this is more fun

For some of us, it's that magical time of year. Better than the summer holidays, better than Father's or Mother's Day -- even better than your own birthday.

I speak, of course, about tax time. For the lucky masses getting a return, cash coming back from the government feels like free money.

According to the US Internal Revenue Service, the average taxpayer will receive about US$2,300 back from the federal government. And, this year, starting in May, the US Treasury is shelling out an economic stimulus payment of US$600 per eligible taxpayer (US$1,200 for couples filing jointly) and an additional US$300 for each eligible child under 17.

Sure, you could squirrel that cash away, put it toward savings or retirement, or commit some other unnatural and responsible act. But why not treat yourself to something electronic and unnecessary and electronic? Here's your guide.

Optimus Maximus keyboard

You can buy a cheap keyboard for US$20 just about anywhere computer stuff is sold. But why not opt for envy-producing excess in your keyboard? Nothing says "I'm better than you" like a coveted Optimus Maximus keyboard.

The keyboard, which was created by Russian design studio Art. Lebedev, has tiny 48-by-48-pixel, 65,536-color OLED displays on the top of the individual motionless keys. Use an included utility to program what each key will display.

You can use multiple "layouts" -- for example, keys with an appearance and function optimized for specific PC games or applications or any given language. Click here for a demo.

You can purchase different versions of the keyboard with any varying number of keys activated -- 1, 10, 47 or all of them. The Optimus Maximus works with Windows or Mac OS.

Art. Lebedev Studio retail price: US$462 - $1,564 (depending on configuration)

Sony PX-LX300USB turntable

Apple iTunes is great, but the truth is that some of the best music ever recorded has never been digitized. You can find incredible albums in local record stores, secondhand stores and maybe even your own basement.

The Sony PX-LX300USB is a brand-new, high-quality record turntable that plugs into a standard home stereo system for listening to records. But it also sports a USB cable. Plug it into your PC, and you can digitize those albums and convert them into MP3s that you can listen to on your iPod.

Sony MSRP: US$150

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Elgan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?