The holiday season has finally begun. As you read this, I’d probably be out in the mall finding presents for friends, family – and of course – myself. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, flew by so fast – these three usually kicks off the holiday shopping season. I’d like to believe that I’ve officially prepared myself for this, as I’ve written down and carefully weighed in the latest gadgets that I believe would make for great gifts this Christmas.
Perhaps the hottest item Christmas shoppers are eyeing today is the iPhone 5. There’s nothing really outstanding or revolutionary about this latest release from Apple; it’s just that many people already have it on their wish lists as early as, say, its September 12 unveiling in San Francisco. While most features remain the same, the iPhone 5 is sporting a new OS (iOS 6), a new processor (A6 chip), and a taller and bigger screen. Fans have gone head-over-heels with the feather-light new version of the phone, too.
Although the iPhone 5 tops a lot of wish lists this year, it’s highly likely to end up in the “wishful thinking” lists of people instead. Terrific wallet-friendly alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the HTC Droid DNA, however, can make up for the high-end appeal people eyeing the iPhone 5 are after.
In this specific gadget arena, Apple once again reigns supreme with its outrageously popular iPad. Its two latest incarnations, the iPad 4 (with Retina display) and the iPad mini, are currently the hottest tablet devices in the market. Just the same, competitors such as the Nexus 7 from Google and Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite are not too far behind, selling like pancakes due to their respective price tags. If you’re considering gifting yourself or a loved one a tablet and you’re on a strained budget, perhaps you could get the cheaper tablets so you’ll have more money to spend for other gifts.
There are three general preferences for laptops this season: ultra-thin, hybrids, and touch-enabled laptops. The trend could be largely attributed to the release of Windows 8, the latest OS offering from Microsoft, which is basically carried by every new laptop from any given manufacturer (except for the ones from Apple, of course). If you’re after a device that perfectly fits the ultra-thin, sleek, and slim bill, then HP’s Envy Spectre XT will undeniably be a good buy. For those looking for “hybrids” or convertible laptops, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 which bends up to 360 degrees or the slider-style Toshiba Satellite U925t are automatic shoo-ins.
Aside from the usual smartphones, tablets, and laptops, here are other tech gifts surely worth checking out:
- Cameras. Olympus Stylus Tough TG-1 rugged compact camera, Nikon’s D3200 entry-level DSLR, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 all-around point-and-shoot, and the Canon PowerShot S110 Wi-Fi digicam.
- Audio. Klipsch Image S4i earphones, the weird-looking yet improved earphones Apple recently released called Earpods, and the bang-for-the-buck Audio-Technica ATH-M50 professional studio monitor headphones that never goes out style.
- Games. NBA Live 2K13, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Dishonored, and Halo 4 are just some of the hottest multi-platform games out there.
- Paid Services. Gift your friends with subscriptions to useful services such as the Insync Google Drive backup and sync tool, RingCentral Office business phone solution, a Flickr Pro account, or a Chatter Plus account for collaborative messaging efforts.
Shopping for the holidays can be a tough task; but with a little knowledge of what’s in and what’s hot in the tech marketplace, decision making would be a tad easier. Now the only thing that’s left to do is to procure the funds needed to buy even one of these drool-worthy gadgets.