Posted on Thursday, November 24th, 2011 by Danny Davies
Well folks, it’s that time again. Yes, good old Black Friday is here, the deals extravaganza launching us into our annual Christmas shopping frenzy. And I’ve decided to take you (almost) directly to a select group of gadgets that really are the dog’s bollocks (pardon my French). Enjoy, and let us know what you think you think!
This isn’t an iPad. It looks a lot like an iPad, works a lot like one, and most importantly, is under half the price of an iPad! Ladies and gents, this is the Kindle Fire: the MUST HAVE gadget of Christmas 2011. It’s a simple, well-crafted tablet PC that lets you read books, newspapers and magazines; watch videos; play games; and browse apps, all in the palm of your hand. It’s sharp display, intuitive touchscreen and beautiful user interface are just amazing for a price of $199.
The Arcam rCube is one for the sound enthusiast in you. This is probably one of the absolute best high-end speaker docks for your iPod in the world. It’s expensive, but not overpriced for the utterly gorgeous sound quality it gives you. It looks as stellar as the music coming out of it too, and is compact enough to fit in even the smallest space.
The handheld gaming market’s been all about Nintendo’s 3DS this year. But now Sony’s fighting back. The Sony PS Vita is all about gaming quality, and your kids (or you!) will love it. It feels nice to hold, has amazing graphics, great games, and a touch screen for easy browsing.
One for the narcissists among us. Samsung has brought out this absolutely lovely little camera, with a touch screen that flips out in a way that makes it easy to take pictures of yourself! And if self-pics aren’t your thing, you can bet every one of the $199 it costs that your teenager loves ’em. By the way, it also takes great photos of other people too!
If you like running, you need this! It’s a watch that uses TomTom GPS systems to find your location during a run; and tells you your pace, distance, time taken, and calories burned. Connect to a PC and it shows you maps of your runs and uploads your stats. It even acts like a personal trainer on your wrist, motivating you verbally while you run, and reminding you if you haven’t run for a few days!
The Casio TRYX is one of the most innovative camera designs ever. Because you can twist its body in all sorts of directions, it can be used as a tripod, hung on a hook, adjusted to allow for a camcorder-like grip, and tilted to make shooting overhead and low-angle shots much easier. There’s nothing else like it!
There’s a new way to watch HDTV, and it only costs $50! This is Roku, a box that streams music and video from a HUGE variety of high quality sources, onto your television. No longer do you even need a cable subscription: this streams tv shows and movies from sources like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, Pandora, HBO Go, Crackle, Disney, NHL Gamecenter, among many others. The list is endless. And Roku is an essential purchase this Christmas!
Retro is cool. And so is this Lomography camera. Really cool in fact. It allows you to take professional-looking, classic shots, and even develop them like the ‘olden days’. And it’s relatively cheap for a camera, coming in at an affordable $80.
With this ingenious little gadget you can leave video reminders for you or your family and friends! It’s the post-it note of the digital age and does what it says on the tin. You record a video using the front camera, and leave it somewhere you’ll see it as a useful reminder to yourself. And it’s magnetic, so yes it can go on your fridge!
Ok, shocker, it’s an iPad. I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to be the billionth person of 2011 to tell you how amazing it is, but hey, it’s amazing! The Kindle may be great for the price it’s being sold at, but there really is nothing out there that beats the sheer usability of Apple’s iPad 2. My 70 year old uncle even has one, and trust me, that tells you just how easy it is to navigate around, browsing news, internet, the app store or the music player. If you haven’t got one yet, think seriously about it here.