It’s time to spoil your loved ones and friends with all the tech goodies you hope they get you in return. My list, much like my personality, is a bit eclectic, ranging from gargantuan TVs to helicopters. Each item was selected for a particular reason, and offers something unique to its price point. As you get ready to brave the malls (or shop online) keep the list in mind. I hope it helps bring a smile to someone’s face.
Money is No Object
Samsung D9500 LED TV
This one is a no-brainer for me. This 75” 3D LED TV is a beauty to behold. It packs Samsung’s now famous bezel-less design, is pencil thin, and sports a 1080p display with a refresh rate of 240 Hz. I had a chance to ogle this skinny behemoth at IFA and left with drool on my shoes. The difference between a 55” and 75” is astounding: Imagine looking at a normal TV then at the Jumbotron at Cowboys Stadium. I immediately began scheming how I could finagle this on my wall until I heard about the expected $13,000 sales price. My dreams were dashed.
Gifts Under $2000
Canon Vixia HF G10
I didn’t pick the T3i or 60D because I don’t know jack about photography. Seriously. I hear our own Mike Perlman ramble on about aperture and exposure, and I stare at him like my grandparents did when I tried to explain the plot of the original ‘Matrix’ movie to them. I use the HF G10 as my daily camera. I love the quality, the manual audio options, and the fact that I can hit record and ramble on without an arbitrary time or data limit imposed (DSLRs all have a time record cap around 12-15 mins, so they don’t get classified as video cameras and wind up subject to additional taxes). I love this camera. Don’t judge me. It’s the One.
Gifts Under $500
Apple iPad 2
This one was an easy pick. I love the iPad for its ease of use and iTunes ecosystem. I travel quite a bit, and before I go anywhere the first thing I do is rent a few movies from iTunes, or buy some TV shows if I’m feeling especially saucy. It’s my media hub, and my friend while I’m sitting on the couch. I couldn’t win in Fantasy Sports without my best research tool. Too much info? I hear you can also use it for school somehow – it can show you the Periodic Table or something.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
I love this little guy not only for it’s increasingly improving UI, but for its industrial design. Every time I hold it, I keep thinking “Did they put the battery in?” It is so incredibly light, you’d almost forget it’s rocking a Tegra 2 processor and has enough juice to get you through a day. If you need a tablet that can work hard and play hard, look no further.
Gifts Under $250
Microsoft Office Student Edition
So I know what you’re thinking: “Dude, Office?” But think about it. What do you need most in school? A way to type up those papers and make your fancy presentations. There isn’t a better suite of applications out there than Microsoft Office when it comes to helping you get productive …and hey, you can always ask that cute girl in your homeroom to Prom by way of a Word Doc. Clippy would be proud.
Xbox 360 4GB Console
This one doesn’t need much explanation. Games, Netflix, Hulu, and Kinect.
Gifts Under $50
Mini IR Helicotper
This is one toy I literally can’t put down. Honestly, can someone help me land this? If you need a way to unwind after a tough day of classes, pick up one of these guys. There are a ton of options available, and they make a great way to wake up your roommate…or deliver notes across the house.
BlackBerry Torch 9810
Yup, the Torch 2. For under $50 you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal. You get HSPA+, a decent web browser, a great keyboard, and a modern processor. The 9810 is a solid phone at a solid price. Give it a look. Just don’t be mad at me in 2 years when your contract is up, ok?