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Holiday Gift Guides 2013 – Roy’s List

The gifting season is upon us and if you haven’t already started on your list you best get started.  As for myself, I’ve put together a collection of things I know I would never receive as a gift (Tesla Model X) to some of my favorite inexpensive gadgets of the year (Dropcam and Chromecast).

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Money is No Object

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Tesla Model X

$60,000 to $100,000

While I knowingly added the Tesla Model X on my gift list last year, I will do so again.  Priced between $60,000 to $100,000 it would definitely fit in the “if money were no object category.” If you are a regular of TechnoBuffalo, you know very well that we are fascinated with electric vehicles and the technology that goes in to them. While I like the design, size and performance of a Model S. I’d like to see what comes next from the Silicon Valley car company.  The folding doors are certainly a different factor. The Model X is supposed to start rolling off the assembly line in 2014.

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Gifts Under $2,000

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27-inch iMac 3.4 GHz

$1,999

This is less of a want but more of a need. My home iMac is due for an upgrade and the 27-inch iMac 3.4 GHz is the top of the line all-in-one desktop unit from Apple.  The 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor spec’d all in one can be turbo boosted to 3.8GHz, has 8GB of memory, 1TB hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M with 2GB video memory. This computer starts at $1,999 and can cost more if including a SSD or a hybrid fusion drive.

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Gifts Under $500

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iRobot Roomba 770

$499.99

iRobot’s Roomba is without a doubt the king of self vacuuming/cleaning robot devices. The 770 will troll around your home vacuuming dust and stuff everywhere with ultimate convenience.  The dual HEPA air filters make sure you don’t have dust leaving the bin, filtering down to 0.3 microns.  I’m not entirely sure how small that is, but I’m sure that is very minute.  The 770 claims to have 50 percent better battery life than previous models.  What’s even more impressive is that the robot has eyes, well really fancy sensors that detect whether or not an area is clean.

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Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator Kit with Nomad 13 Solar Panel

$359.98

Goal Zero has quickly become my favorite company for mobile solar charging solutions. You can harness the power of free energy. Thanks Sun!  The Nomad 13 Solar Panel captures the sun’s rays and you use the Yeti 150 Solar Generator Kit to plug in your favorite devices. The Yeti 150 can light up a room for 50 hours, recharge a smartphone 15 times,  recharge a tablet 6 times, or a laptop 2 times. The Yet 150 has output ports for an AC, USB, and two 12 V.

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Gifts Under $250

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Dropcam Pro

$199

We recently reviewed the Dropcam and fell in love with how easy it was to set up and use.  Now the company has unveiled its latest creation and the Dropcam Pro ($199) looks like an amazing device. The Pro edition promises better field of view, higher zoom, better low light vision and audio quality. The Dropcam was absolutely one of my favorite devices of the year and can’t wait to get my Dropcam Pro.

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Kindle Paperwhite 3G

$189 with ads / $209 without ads

I’ve honestly never had an urge, until now, to purchase a dedicated eReader. I’ve always felt a full-sized tablet was the way to go and it would serve well as both tablet and eReader. However, after trying out the most recent Kindle Paperwhite, I can finally see what all the fuss is about. Almost no screen glare, built-in night light, high text resolution and phenomenal battery life the new Paperwhite is one of the best eReader’s around. Plus with a 3G option ($189 with ads and $209 without ads) you won’t have to worry about being without Wi-Fi.

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Gifts Under $50

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MeCam

$49

The MeCam is like Google Glass in that it is a wearable camera that records or captures your moments.  While Google Glass can do a lot more (e.g., web searches, applications, augmented reality applications) it will also cost $1,500 dollars today.  The MeCam costs just $49 and slightly less goofy looking. The MeCam records 720P videos and 5-megapixel photos with built-in IR to capture video or photos in low-light environments. Though it wont store your photos automatically to the cloud and requires you to plug in the MeCam to download your photos and videos, its just $49 and gives you a taste of wearable technology.


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Chromecast

$35

Earlier this year Google unveiled Chromecast, a streaming device that is really not much larger than a pack of gum and relatively inexpensive.  Currently it only streams a handful of apps (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Chrome) from your smartphone, tablet or PC but I love it.  Perfect for streaming YouTube clips, movies, music to your TV or if you’re on the road in your hotel room.  I use it often when I’m at home as a spare monitor.  It works easily and I can’t wait to see what developers will come up for the platform.

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Roy Choi

Roy Choi is a Southern California native. He has been infatuated with technology reviews ever since he bought his first crummy laptop in the summer...

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