Presents are on my mind. My wife is dragging me out early. She says stores will open Thanksgiving night. Better than the morning, but I'd prefer to do my shopping online. If you're like me, this list may help you. Let me do some research and simplify your shopping. Prices inline are a guide and subject to change. Amazing how it seems like Tvs, laptops are down $100-200 for these next few days.
Here's are my picks for electronic gifts for the geek in all of us…
1. Kindle – Understand your options… Now with the Kindle Fire, it's created a fascinating demand for tablets at $200.
This is the year of the kindle. You need to understand the difference between the kindle fire, kindle touch, and the original kindle. Make sure you understand exactly what you're buying as there are some slight differences with 3GB, Wifi only, and Fire with full color. In the purchase you'll notice there is special pricing and shipping options making it free. If you're looking for the device for reading books, I say go with Kindle touch 3G, there is NO monthly charge for the 3G! It doesn't make sense NOT to get the 3G. As well, the differences between touch and no touch, simply using the button to turn pages may work for non techie folks, but ultimately touch is what most are looking for in the interface. The battery life is incredible in these devices (2 months of battery!). Also look for kindle with keyboard, there's an option with built in keyboard if you plan to do much typing. Your preference. So what about color? The only way to get color is to get the Kindle FIRE. There is no 3G currently as an option on Fire. With Fire today there is one option. You get your content all over wifi.
Don't forget the accessories:
2. Apple iPad 2 and Tablets – Don't get confused here. It's the iPad 2. iPad 1 is missing the cameras. Why do you care about the front and back camera? Because of the video capabilities. The front camera is essential for the video chat capabilities. If you go with 3G you will pay monthly through your provider like At&t. The key decisions are #1 The storage big difference between 16, 32, and 64. #2 it's 3G vs. Wifi. The 3G (pick At&t or Verizon) includes wifi, but you'll pay more for 3G capabilities, but also pay for the service. You can buy a 3G and not activate the service on day 1. I've definitely met people who say 3G was the right choice because of how they use it. I do travel with my iPad, but usually I've got wifi in my hotel room or at home. So I've been fine without the 3G. I've always felt like tethering from my phone or mifi would meet my needs for getting my iPad online. Believe it or not this device has been in high demand, but the prices are still high. The last consideration #3 is the color. Black or White.
HP is back? Samsung and other android devices… lots of choices. I'm still freaked out about HP, flip flopping more than Mitt.
3. Cell Phones – The battle rages on. I have to say the times are very exciting. Android devices are everywhere and tons of cheap options, but the underrated Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 (mango) we've got some serious decisions to make and options are vast as well. Apple has options from the more expensive to the cheaper based on going back in time. Most will chose the newest Apple iPhone 4S with Siri (interactive automation voice response) and improved camera. Microsoft loyalists won't be disappointed, and neither will the droid geeks. Apple fanboi's will find a more expensive route with a high quality phone with generations of quality in the common and validated device. I personally am thinking of making a switch in December.
Apple iPhone 4S 16GB - FACTORY UNLOCKED -
Buy new: $859.99
8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB. You decide. Sprint, Verizon, or At&t or unlocked. As cheap as $199 w/ 2 year contract and minimum data plan.
Apple iPhone 4S - 32GB White (Factory Unlocked, No Commitment)
Buy new: $1,027.01
Apple iPhone 4S 64GB - Factory Unlocked -
Buy new: $1,083.99
Note: Links above are to Amazon. You can likely get a better deal at the Apple store or At&t or Verizon assuming you're going to get into a plan.
Samsung Focus I917 Unlocked Phone with Windows 7 OS, 5 MP Camera, and Wi-Fi--No Warranty (Black)
Buy new: $244.77
Dell Venue Pro Unlocked Phone with Windows 7 OS, 5MP Camera, GPS and FM Radio - Unlocked Phone - US Warranty - Black
Buy new: $399.99 $275.40
HTC X310E TITAN Unlocked Smartphone with Windows Phone OS 7.5, 8MP Camera, 16GB Internal Storage, Touchscreen, Wi-Fi, GPS - Unlocked Phone - No Warranty - Carbon Gray
Buy new: $799.99 $674.99
Note: Pick your device, but with a plan from your preferred cell provider you'll get much better prices. Unlocked is very nice, but make sure that's what you want.
LG Optimus GT540 Unlocked GSM Quad-Band Phone with 3 MP Camera, Android OS, Touchscreen, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth--No Warranty (Black)
Buy new: $249.99 $127.99
HTC myTouch 3G Unlocked Android Phone with 3G Support, GPS, and Touch Screen - US Warranty - White
Buy new: $229.99 $119.99
Verizon Motorola Droid A855 Android Cell Phone (no contract)
Buy new: $199.99 $159.95
Lots more options…
4. Laptop,Netbooks,and longer list of Tablets by Brand
4. GPS & Navigation – It's amazing how these devices have really come down in price. I've owned the nuvi, but still waiting for the technology to catch up to my lifestyle. I don't want to pay $100 for each countries maps. I am impressed the GPS with lifetime map and traffic are now near $100, I do remember when that was $350 and that at the time was reasonable. Great to see these come down. Now that we have these capabilities on our phones, it puts a lot of pressure on the GPS devices. You may just get a mount for your phone. Love the new phone integrated GPS and heart rate monitors. Track how far you've gone and track your rate, then tweet and integrate with your monitoring. Amazing times we live in.
5. Consoles and Entertainment
XBOX 360 w/ Kinect and Play Station 3 console bundles as was imagined the battle for the home begins in the livingroom with the Microsoft XBOX battle against PS3. Microsoft's made huge momentum and breaks records. PS3 remains the best blue ray player out there, and often provides justification for that alone in getting into that market. With prices on Black Friday as low as $250 it's amazing how it now nearly competes with the wii in price. With prices down to $150 for the Wii console it's hard to not have all 3 consoles in the home. I end up running Netflix on Wii downstairs, and my Sony blue ray wifi on another TV and XBOX on the other. When I was looking at blue ray players I was walking around with PS3 for a few moments before thinking about what my wife would think of a 3rd console. Many friends do own all 3. These days it's less about the console and more about the games. There are tons of titles now for each of the systems. I still think Wii does the best kids titles, and XBOX and PS3 have the best mature titles. Microsoft is leading the battle, but competition is good and heathly.
6. Video Games
7. Hand held devices
for the long car rides…
Nintendo 3DS Console
8. Digital Media Devices: Apple TV, Roku Streaming player, Western Digital TV, Slingbox
9. Home Theatre & Blue Ray Players
& Head Sets
Ear buds: Skullcandy S2INCZ-033 INK'd Earbuds - Black by Skullcandy
For Exersize: Philips Flexible Earhook Headphones SHS3200/28 (Black) (Replaces SHS3200/37) by Philips
Cheap Noise Reducing: JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds (Black) by JLAB
10. Gift cards J
Shop Amazon's Gift Cards - Perfect Anytime
Oh, and don't forget Legos!!
LEGO Creator Red Car (5867)
Buy new: $19.99 $19.97
LEGO Space Shuttle 3367
Buy new: $29.99 $24.88
LEGO City Advent Calendar 7553
Buy new: $34.99 $30.89
Here's a quick link to the Holiday Toys list.