LoJack for Laptops
LoJack for Laptops by Absolute Software is a must-have for anyone who keep tons of files, family photos, music files, videos, or other sensitive information on desktop or laptop computers. If the computer is ever stolen or lost, the software-based theft recovery service allows the owner to remotely locate and lock the device, or delete files that they don’t want prying eyes to see. As a bonus, LoJack for Laptops is backed by Absolute’s Theft Recovery Team (all former law enforcement professionals), who stealthy gather information using the software and work with police departments to actually recover the stolen or lost computer for the user. Subscriptions are available in one and three year terms and start for as little as $39.99.

Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Most people speak over 120 words per minute, but type less than 40. Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking turns speech into three times faster than most people type and allows you to write emails, draft memos, surf the Web, start and close programs, use menus, etc. using only your voice. The recently released version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 builds on the improved accuracy, faster performance and intuitive new interface introduced in Dragon 11. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 adds new features that make it easier to create documents, send emails, surf the Web, share social status, and works with a new Remote Mic App that turns iPhones into wireless mics that allow users to simply dictate into and control applications on their PCs.

Parallels Desktop 7
Don’t give a Mac or a PC this year—give both with Parallels Desktop 7. Parallels is the #1 choice for users looking to run Windows and Mac apps side-by-side. And with the new Parallels Mobile app, users can run Windows apps and flash sites like Hulu on their iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Have a friend who’s thinking about switching to Mac but doesn’t want to re-buy expensive software or give up their PC-only games and applications? Whether you’re buying a gift for the family, a gamer, student or professional, Parallels Desktop 7 is the ideal gift for anyone who wants the best of both worlds.

The gift of music is great but a subscription music service literally gives access to millions of songs. Rdio is a social music streaming service and makes a great addition for mom, dads, and kids. For $10 a month, you get access to more than 13 million songs, anytime, and anyplace you want them. Rdio now has the Rdio Family Plan, a family subscription plan which offers parents parental controls. Give the gift of music, not only to your kids, but to yourself too. You can listen to your Rdio music library on most devices: MAC, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, etc. You can be sitting at your desk listening to music on the Rdio desktop app, and pick up right where you left off on your iPad, whether you have wifi access or not.

System Mechanic
Computers are confusing. The random slow-downs? The pop-ups? Another update? What the heck is a registry error? And the guilt involved when having to call and bother our incredibly busy kids and grandkids to get these ever so important PC issues resolved. Of course we could call a professional “Geek” to take a look, but that could cost upwards of $100/hr. What to do? Enter System Mechanic, a program designed to clean, fix, speed up and maintain PCs so they run like new forever. The software combines more than 50 robust tools enabling novices and experts alike to clean out their computers and keep them in peak condition. One of the star features is the “set it and forget it” ActiveCare, a revolutionary patent-pending technology that proactively tunes your PC for peak performance without slowing it down, taking up RAM, or interrupting you with annoying schedulers and pop-up messages.

TuneUp Utilities 2012 
Moms don’t need to shell out a lot of money for expensive, new computers every holiday season. With TuneUp Utilities 2012, proper system maintenance—and ensuring their PCs’ longevity—is an ideal gift for dads that spend lots of time tinkering around on their computers or college students that spend endless hours on their PC finishing up papers. Each copy of TuneUp Utilities can be used on up to three PCs, and is available for $49.95 (if purchased online) and $39.95 (if purchased in retail stores like Best Buy, Office Max and Fry’s). Previous versions can be upgraded for $29.95, and a 15-day free trial version can also be downloaded.The TuneUp Economy Mode feature helps combat low battery life on laptops and reduce energy consumption. The TuneUp Program Deactivator feature allows users to turn off programs that are not needed. With it, testers noticed that the computer’s start-up time and performance was comparable to a brand-new system.