Everyone wants a toy for the holidays, and for kids and adults alike, the best “toys” are electronic gadgets. Whether you’re considering treating yourself or someone else, here are 10 of the season’s must-have devices.
Kindle Paperwhite ($119 to $139)
If you thought multipurpose tablets would replace e-readers altogether, think again. Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite boasts a super-sharp screen, a built-in reading light, and a large collection of free “loaner” books for Amazon Prime members. All-in-all it provides an awesome reading experience only a dedicated device can deliver.
Samsung E8000 Plasma TV ($1530 and up)
Despite the popularity of LED and LCD screens, many argue the plasma’s deep blacks and vibrant colors still deliver the best display of any TV. On top of the stellar picture quality, Samsung’s E8000 is loaded with a ton of “Smart TV” technology, including a voice-and-motion-activated control system.
Lytro Camera ($399 to $499)
Tired of taking blurry pictures? With the Lytro, it’s no longer a problem — just snap the picture and adjust the focusing later from your computer. The camera’s new “lightfield capture” technology makes it all possible.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga ($999 to $1,299)
Gadget lovers everywhere are drooling over the new hybrid Ultrabooks, which are tablets and laptops in one. The most impressive of the line is the Lenovo Yoga that is capable of transforming itself for different uses. You can use it like a standard laptop, fold down the touchscreen to operate it as a tablet, or stand it on either end for easier viewing and handling.
iPhone 5 ($199 to $399)
Undoubtedly, you don’t need reminding about the iPhone 5, as Apple’s smartphones are always hot gift items. Their latest version has admittedly had problems with the Map tool, but the fast processer, enhanced camera, longer screen, and other upgrades have put this gadget on the top of many wish lists.
Wii U ($300 to $350)
The Wii U hasn’t received as much publicity as it deserves, but it will likely be a coveted item once word spreads about its innovative features. Nintendo finally added high-definition graphics to the games, but what really sets the system apart is the inclusion of a tablet controller, which allows for large group play (up to 5) and offers new ways to interact with the games.
Mohu Leaf Plus HDTV Antenna ($74)
More and more people are breaking free of the cable company’s shackles. The sleek Mohu Leaf Plus HDTV antenna makes the transition easier by helping consumers tune in to free, over-the-air HDTV signals. It features a super-charged amplifier to increase your signal range and improve reliability.
Roku HD ($60)
If you combine the Leaf Plus with a Roku HD you can have a system that not only rivals but possibly outmatches what your cable company can provide. The Roku HD lets you watch endless TV shows and movies through Netflix and Hulu, and it gives you access to hundreds of video and audio channels.
ioSafe Solo G3 ($290 and up)
For some tech junkies, the best gift isn’t about entertainment but security. The ioSafe solo offers just that by being a nearly indestructible data storage backup system. It can handle temperatures over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes and can stay 10 feet underwater for three days without damage.
Tagg Pet Tracker ($100)
With the Tagg Pet Tracker you’ll never have to hunt for your lost pet again. Just put the Tagg on your pet’s collar, and if he ever gets lost, you only have to press the “locate” button on your computer or mobile device and the Tagg will act as a GPS beacon that directs you to your furry friend.