This is the time of year when it’s ok to want things. In fact, you’re told to want things and then put them on a list. In case you’re having a hard time coming up with items to put on that list, here are some cool gadgets that are fun and functional. If you were nice, you might just find some of these under your Christmas tree this year.
Amazon Kindle – The Amazon Kindle is a great value for a device dedicated to eReading. It has great battery life due to the eink technology and works simply with WiFi. It also works with public libraries now, making it a cinch to borrow free ebooks, and if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
iPad 2 – The Amazon Kindle Fire has the Android tablet market at the exact right price point, however, the iPad 2 is still the premium tablet to beat. If you’re wanting to do more from your tablet, I’d choose the iPad 2. If you want a lower price point, the Kindle Fire is what you’re looking for.
Asus Transformer Prime – The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is being called the best Android tablet out there without the limitations of the Kindle Fire. It also has a full keyboard dock available so your tablet can become even more fully functional. You will be able to upgrade the device to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera – If you’re looking to take beautiful photos, you want the right equipment. Digital SLR cameras are going to give you the edge needed to take and tweak your photos so they’re just right. If you’re willing to learn the SLR system, the results can be amazing.
Galaxy Nexus – The Galaxy Nexus is out in Canada and the UK but it doesn’t even have a release date in the US yet from Verizon even though it was announced back in October. It’s Google’s next flagship phone and the first phone to have the latest Android operating system on it, Ice Cream Sandwich. If it’s even released before Christmas, it could make a nice present for those interested in a smartphone.
Lenovo U300S – Netbooks are out and notebooks are out too. Let’s meet somewhere in the middle with the light-weight of netbooks and the performance of notebooks. Throw in great battery life and you have the Ultrabook. The Lenovo U300S is coming this month and it’s the Ultrabook I’d recommend at this point. Your other options include the Acer Aspire, Toshiba Portege’ and HP’s Folio 13.
ReadyNAS Ultra 4 – Netgear’s ReadyNAS gives you the place to backup your data with redundancy to and a handy accessory to your network. I am able to stream videos, pictures, and music from the NAS across the network with ease. The ReadyNAS makes it a piece of cake to have 3 terabytes of backup space on the network.
WD TV Live Hub – Going hand in hand with the NAS, the WD TV Live Hub plays the files off the NAS onto the TV. I’ve written a full review about the WD TV Live Hub. There is also a new WD TV Live that doesn’t have the hard drive but has the ability to stream shows from the Internet or your PC on your TV.
Wacom Inkling – Wacom is the company that brings amazing digital tablets to the market and their latest product is the inkling. Your sketches on paper are converted to digital copies and more with the Inkling.
Crucial 128GB Solid State Drive – A SSD is an upgrade to almost any computer. Using the solid state drive as your primary drive will result in a faster boot time, faster load time for applications installed to it, and a longer battery life for laptops.
32GB SD Card for your smartphone or camera – If you’re carrying a smartphone, you might want more room on your SD card for your pictures, videos, and apps. Upgrade from the 16GB card that might have come with it and replace it with a 32GB card.
Logitech Harmony One Remote – Control all your gizmos and gadgets with a single remote. Use macros to automate tasks like powering on the A/V receiver, the TV, and the cable box and switching the receiver to the cable box input and the TV to the right input for the receiver. I use it myself and it simplifies some of the aspects of having consoles, DVRs, and DVD players attached to the TV.
The Glif – Wish there was a way to mount your iPhone to a tripod? Use the Glif! It’s an adapter between the standard tripod screw to your iPhone.
Cyber Clean – An easy, safe way to clean electronics? Just use the material of Cyber Clean to lift up the dirt, grime, and crumbs in your keyboard or other electronics. There is even an automotive version for cleaning your car. Check out the commercial for it below.
Tech in the Kitchen
Upgrade your kitchen with some new technology this Christmas!
Electrolux Induction Range with Convection Oven – Cook with electromagnetism! Boil water in 90 seconds, the stove top is more responsive to temperature changes, and it’s more efficient than gas or electric. An induction oven heats the cookware (must use magnetic cookware) so as a result the cooktop is cooler.
LG Double Oven Electric Convection Range – If you’re not quite ready to trust this new-fangled induction cooking, your oven can still be upgraded to a double oven. It allows you to have two separate ovens operating at different temperatures. Have you ever tried to cook a meal that included a variety of baked goods and found that each item had its own temperature and time that it needed to cook for? A double oven helps solve that problem. You can also choose from these:
- Frigidaire Freestanding Electric Double Oven Range
- Maytag Freestanding Double Oven Gas Range with 5 burners
Modernist Cuisine – Learn more about the science of cooking with this 5-volume set. It features beautiful cutaway photos and other stunning photos that explain why the “culinary arts” is an art.
The New Best Recipe – Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen are in this book which will make you a better cook. The reviews for this book just rave about it.
Brita water filter – Buy a Brita water pitcher and keep it filled. You know you’re supposed to be drinking plenty of water for health reasons, the Brita pitcher will just remove any possible complaints you have about flavor or temperature of the water.
Around the House
You get upgrade all around the house, not just the kitchen.
Friendly Robotics RoboMower – Think of it as a Roomba for your yard. It’s an automatic, cordless, electric lawn mower. Yeah, robots with blades might be the first step towards our downfall but at least they’re mowing the lawn for us before they become sentient.
LED flood lights – Upgrade your lighting with more efficient LED bulbs.
Home automation with X10 – X10 is a fascinating industry standard for electronic devices to communicate with each other. It’s primarily used for home automation and has a lot of potential to make life much easier, more convenient, and safer. A room’s lights could automatically turn on upon entering the room, you could put your lights on a timer, or you could control your home’s HVAC system from your smartphone.
Some of the X10 components available include:
Dyson Air Multiplier Bladeless Fan – A fan that moves a lot of air very quickly to cool a room down and it does it without blades.
Gift cards can be tech friendly too.
iTunes gift card for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch apps, music, or movies.
Amazon.com gift card – Amazon is kind of the catch-all. A gift card can be used for music, movies, Android apps, Kindle titles or anything else that Amazon carries.
There are some other great ideas from the 2010 wish list post that are still perfect suggestions.