Happy Cyber Monday! For those of you who held off on the craziness that is Black Friday and are looking for gift ideas, we present our annual tech gift guide. As technology lovers, we’re big supporters of Cyber Monday as it is a day to drive online sales. So go online today and you might be surprised at some of the great deals you find and what you can get without camping out at Best Buy through Thanksgiving.
You can find some great deals on printers on Cyber Monday and leading up to the holidays. The HP LaserJet P2055dn CE459A Workgroup is reliable and versatile. Make sure to get the 2055dn as it gives you the option in the future to purchase the “High Yield” toner which gives you about 3 times the printing capacity at a 1/3 the cost. This printer has a nice size, 250-sheet paper tray and rarely, if ever jams. It is compatible for both the PC and Mac and is a great small business printer with an integrated Gigabit Ethernet networking port – or just be a hero with the family as this will easily meet all your home needs.
Doug (Jack) Adams
I was told that the Steve Jobs book and the 20th Anniversary Deluxe CD of U2’s Achtung Baby do not count as tech gadgets. Given that, I turned to my 14 year old for his number one wish list item. Like most boys (and man boys), Jack is a big fan of the Call of Duty Games – and he has already logged many hours on the latest installment, Modern Warfare 3. While this game looks an awful lot like the previous installments to me – I have been told that this edition is a major upgrade! So for the gamer boy (or man boy) in your life, be sure to get them what I have been told is the perfect complement to enhance the playing experience – Turtle Beach’s Call of Duty: MW3 Ear Force Bravo Limited Edition Programmable Wireless Universal Gaming Headset.
Whew… that is a long name… and a bit of a steep price. But for the gamer in your life who plays online, this headset provides “ridiculous” sound quality to enhance your little warrior’s ability “hear everything’ to better shoot his friends (online). These wireless headphones come with a full supply of bonus MW3 content that let you enhance and personalize your game experience with fully customizable game audio and chat signals. The headphones can apparently let you hear enemy footsteps and every shell casing hit the floor. Nope… I don’t get it. When is the new Mario Brothers coming out?
Another year, another TV on my wish list… I love my TV’s. This year, I am zeroing in on Sharp’s 80 inch TV – the AQUOS® LC-80LE632U 80″ Class – more than double the size of a 55 inch set. While the selection of TVs gets more and more complicated with the advent of 3D, Blu Ray, and High Definition audio – you can be sure to have a TV that fits your needs for years to come, minus the 3D glasses. With this TV as the centerpiece of your home theater experience, you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood with the largest LCD television available. As the pioneer of large screen LCD TVs, Sharp’s latest is a “smart TV,” delivering Netflix and other streaming video through its built in WiFi on its 1080p screen. The Sharp also appeals to the man boy side of me (yes, this is a shot at you Doug) as its Vyper Drive for gaming eliminates the ‘lag’ between game consoles and the TV display.
I’m a big fan of a clothing line known as SCOTTEVEST. These clothes target the uber-geek, so it is of course entirely a coincidence that I like them.
I first heard about SCOTTEVEST from a blog called “No Baggage Challenge,” a fascinating set of posts and videos about a man who travels around the world for 6 weeks with no bags: as in no suitcases, backpacks or even a stick with a handkerchief. He did this by using SCOTTEVEST clothing and its numerous pockets. I have since purchased the SCOTTEVEST vest, jacket, Revolution jacket, a pair of pants, shorts, pullover, and zip up hoodie. Between them all I probably have 200 pockets! I recommend the SCOTTEVEST Tropical jacket for warm weather, and the Revolution Plus for colder weather. If you need something more casual for the weekend try the MicroFleece Pullover.
Your biggest problem will be remembering which of the 20+ pockets has your wallet!
Like to entertain? The block rocker is an affordable way to have a sound system with you anywhere. If you’ve thought about investing in an outdoor audio system – try the block rocker for a fraction of the cost. And it is not useless for the half of the year we call winter. I had a party this summer and was playing music outside for about 15 hours. It does not need to be plugged in – as it comes with a rechargeable battery that outlasted the battery life of an IPad and two IPhones! The block rocker is a fully portable music system that puts out great sound quality at a volume that will carry through your backyard. If you need a system in your backyard, your basement, or your garage… all you need is one block rocker. The block rocker is fully compatible with any device (iPhone, iPod, MP3 player… Zune) and comes with a microphone so you can have an your own karaoke contest… although I’m not sure I’d advise that.
While noise cancelling headphones are great for travelling, they’re also a great solution to help you focus on the task with music in the background. With all the project work – and studying for Microsoft certifications – taking up my time, it is great to have a nice pair of headphones as opposed to ear buds available. This year I’ll be asking for the Beats Studio Hi-Def Headphones. These nose cancelling over-ear headphones feature a fantastic level of audio accuracy and clarity. Combining extra-large speaker drivers and a high-power digital amplifier, Beats provides what has been described as “an unprecedented combination of super deep bass, smooth undistorted highs, and crystal clear vocals never heard before from headphones.” Well I don’t know about all that – but I do know from what I’ve heard, they sound great to me!
So if the iPad2 is the Cadillac of the tablet world, the new Kindle Fire may be the Buick. Solid, reliable, has appeal… but still missing a lot of bells and whistles, the sizzle of the iPad. While not a great business tablet with a clunky email interface and no calendar app, the hot new e-reader is sure to be a popular gift this year as, at $199, it is a fraction of the price of the basic iPad 2. The smaller (7 inch) screen makes the Kindle Fire lighter and easier to transport than the iPad… but of course, a smaller screen also has downside.
Still, building on the popularity of the Kindle e-book readers and its aggressive price point, this may be seen as a great “intro” tablet or just a better, faster version of the book reader.
I did get a chance to play with one at BestBuy. Its integration with Amazon’s storefront is really slick. It is a hassle free way to read the latest books or magazines in color, plus you get added features the other Kindles’ didn’t have such as watching video, listening to music, checking email, browsing the web, saving books or music to Amazon’s cloud, even playing some games.
Its hardware is solid, it has a 1GHz processor dual-core processor, an IPS display (which is the same type of display the iPad uses), integrated Wi-Fi, USB, 8GB internal storage.
Is the Kindle Fire for me? I think I prefer the iPad – but I do have a few people on my list who this is perfect for!
Looking into getting a Bluetooth headset, there are lots of great reviews for the Motorola ELITE SLIVER Bluetooth Headset. It is described as extremely slick and extremely comfortable – users claim they forget using it at all. It comes in a case to help keep me from losing it and features HD Audio Plus with true wideband audio and CrystalTalk dual-mic technology. The MotoSpeak app works great with this as you can dictate texts hands-free and even listen to my text messages. The ELITE SILVER provides 15 hours of talk time and lets you listen to music from your phone.
It’s always great to have an external hard drive for backup and aditional storage. One that I have found that is really great is Seagate’s FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 4TB External USB 3.0/2.0 Hard Drive. The drive features a ton of storage – 4 Terabytes, probably more than you will ever need, and comes at a good price! Use the fast transfer speed options to store the equivalent of 1000 dvds or over 100 Blu-Ray movies on this drive. You could even store over 400,000 high quality photos or over a million songs.