Contrarians of the world, this gift guide is for you. We all respect the power of mass thinking. For sure, "The trend is your friend," "Never fight the Fed" and "Common sense is the only kind" are words to live -- and make money -- by. But what deeper satisfaction is there than going your own way in the world? And if you -- or some business person on your gift list -- has that inner drive to strike out on his or her own, take heart this holiday season: Tech giants like Apple ( AAPL), Casio and Sprint ( S) are more than happy to tool you up with hip new technologies for business types who want to do their jobs, their way.
1. Apple MacBook Air (starts at $999). With your telephony under control, you won't need to burden yourself with a phone that's smart or a tablet computer, like an Apple iPad or Samsung Tab, that's dumb. Instead, get the new MacBook Air for getting work done on the go. Though marketed to the tree-hugging, style-is-everything set, this bad boy is a sleeper of a productivity tool. Light, cheap and capable of supporting a surprising number of Web work tools, the MacBook Air brings all the power and performance of an iPad, but with a keyboard. It's this simple: Spend $1,000 on a MacBook, toss it in your bag, charge it once a day and know you can always get to your stuff. 2. Casio G'zOne Ravine ($150 with plan and online discount). Workwise, you might think it would be smart to go with a smart phone like an HTC EVO or Apple iPhone 4 or Motorola ( MOT) Droid X. But the fact is, none of these are great phones -- they're large, clunky, and heaven forbid you drop the thing. You'll hear the most expensive cheap plastic breaking sound ever. Instead, toughen up your mobile telephony with the G'zOne Ravine from Casio. This essentially indestructible mobile phone offers excellent voice service over Verizon's network, has the fabulous push-to-talk system for really staying in touch with your team and comes with surprising features like music storage and a decent camera. Hipsters will scoff, but you'll have something they don't: a phone that actually works.