In our technology laden world, electronic gadgets are high on everyone's wish lists this holiday season. We'll look at what's new, what's still popular, and how to get some help choosing the right tech toy.
A place to find suggestions as to which particular gadget is the right one is Measy.com. You answer a few questions about what you're looking for and they suggest the right product. A money-saving tool for Firefox users who are shopping online is Invisible Hand, an add-on that alerts you to the lowest price on an item, even if it's at a different store from where you're currently shopping.
This year 3D is hot, hot, hot. There's 3D in every price range.Inexpensive Gifts
Want to be inexpensively cool in 3D? You can buy a 3D camera app for your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad for only $1.99.
SomaFM has a mobile app now, for $3.99 (or perhaps free, if you catch it on the right day). SomaFM streams commercial free music in 22 genres. SomaFM solicits donations to stay in operation; you can give as little as $10.
Rock history buffs and Beatles afficionados may be thrilled by a gift of The Beatles on iTunes. Choose individual albums or go for the whole boxed set.
Apple has an all new Apple TV for only $99 that plays TV, Netflix, YouTube, iTunes rentals, and more. Hook it up to your TV and everyone will enjoy it.
Check out last year's gadget gift guide, there are some good ideas there that still apply in the inexpensive gifts: Flickr accounts, Pandora accounts and more.Gifts Under $500
There are several 3D cameras available. Fujifilm was early in the 3D camera market with a stereo camera that was slightly over $500. However you can get it for less than that now. Amazon.com lists several 3D cameras, some quite a bit less than the one from Fujifilm. You can get a 3D camcorder for less than $500, too. Even webcams are available in 3D now. If you have a gadget lover who already has the perfect camera but wants to go 3D, there may be a new lens or a stereo attachment that can turn the existing camera into a 3D device.
The smart phone market expanded this year with almost everyone offering something super in competition with Apple/AT&T and the iPhone. Much of the competition in this market is coming from Android. You no longer have to swtich to AT&T to get a great smart phone. See what your existing carrier has to offer if you have a gadget lover who wants a smart phone. Windows is coming into the phone market with heavy advertising for the holidays, so there might be some good deals in Windows phones.
Internet enabled gaming systems that also stream Netflix and TV programs are a gadget the whole family can love The Sony PlayStation 3 has a Blu-ray player, streams Netflix, and, of course, is a game console. PlayStation 3 is priced at $299 and up. Another contender in this category is the Xbox 360 with Kinect, with its games and streaming support for Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu Plus. The Xbox runs about $400.
A GPS device is one of those gadgets I can't imagine how I ever survived without. A popular and excellent one this year is the Garmin Nuvi 3790T, at about $450, but I'll bet you can find a better deal than that somewhere.
For the busy traveler, a PowerGorilla might be just the gadget. This gizmo powers your laptop and charges your other devices at the same time. It runs about $280.Gift Ideas Over $500
The most expensive entry into the 3D market is 3D TV. Yes, you can sit on your couch in funny glasses and get the 3D experience. The TVs range from hundreds to thousands of dollars and are available from several manufacturers. Best Buy offers quite a few choices in 3D TV. PC Mag has a helpful article titled "Buy a 3D TV Now or Wait?" that discusses things like current vs. future costs and program availability.
The TV that won the CNET Editors' Choice Award this year is the VIZIO SVT3SV. Why? Internet apps like Twitter and Flickr on the TV, and superior image quality. Depending on the size you pick, these babies start around $900 and move up into the thousands quickly. Amazon has quite a few you can check out, as do Walmart and Target.
The iPad is not alone in the tablet market this year but it's still leading the pack. Everyone, including kids as young as 6, is asking for an iPad. Android tablets are available and manufactures like Dell and Acer are moving into Apple's space with tablets that may cost less than an iPad. It's not all Android: Windows has a tablet that is running on Acer and other products. The Dell Inspiron duo doubles as a tablet or laptop and is about $550. Compare that with the lowest priced iPad at $499.
How about a high quality camera? If you aren't into the 3D tricks and only care about image quality, consider the Nikon D3100. It's a consumer-oriented camera with D-SLR quality that takes both still and video. It costs about $650. And, hey, it was one of Oprah's Favorite Things.
What's on your gadget wish list? And what are the people showing their wish lists to you asking for?
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