i vote iPad....also, double-check with your tax professional, but as I understand it, Uncle Sam expects you to pay the taxes on either the cash or the cash-value of the gift.
edit: just checked this out...seems like non-cash gifts up to $500 are tax-free but the cash gift would be considered income.
Yes, employers cannot give "cash" to an employee and say it's a gift. They can give de-minimus gifts that would not be taxable. As a practical matter, gift cards are generally not considered income (but that can very from company to company). It's only when the employer writes a physical check to the employee that the "gift" would be taxable (only other option is that it's a loan the employee would need to repay, but that's only if scrooge is giving the gift).
Either way, you take the gift and if you are taxed, you are still better off than if you didn't receive the gift.