The wait is over, and the holiday season is finally here. There is no better time of the year to celebrate with family and to exchange gifts. If you are like us, you realize that finding the right talent for your loved ones can be challenging. Especially if you’re loved ones love technology. Every year is a bit different with new gadgets coming out, and it is hard to keep track of which ones are trendy. We are here to help make your life easy and provide you with the top 10 gadgets for the year.
1. Apple iPhone 5
The Apple iPhone 5 is here, and it has done very well as expected. The iPhone 5 has been sold out at numerous stores, and there have been lines of people waiting at stores to be the first to get their hands on the coveted iPhone 5. A lot of people are in agreement that the long wait was well worth it. There have been some mishaps, controversies, and departures of high-level executives forced to leave the company. One thing for sure is that Apple always creates a lot of buzzes and a lot of sales. The Apple iPhone 5 is the strongest and most powerful of all of the iPhones preceding any before. The iPhone 5 is powered by the A6 chip making it almost twice more powerful than the iPhone 4. The device will be able to handle multiple tasking with a lot more ease. The iPhone 5 will have the familiar Siri as the trusty assistant to provide voice automated responses when needed.
The iPhone 5 is one of the best tools to use when you take pictures because it comes with an 8-megapixel camera. One of the most important functions of the iPhone is taking pictures and making videos of your family. The iPhone has indeed developed into a compelling product that has taken the country by storm. We continue to expect strong sales from Apple. There will be three models to choose from the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB. You will be able to choose from two different colors: white or black. There are so many applications to choose from, with over 250,000 and counting. The Apple iPhone 5 remains the most potent product in the market by far, with very little competition from anyone.
2. Apple iPad Mini
Apple has been under a lot of pressure by stakeholders to release a tablet that would compete with companies like Amazon and Google for market share in the lower end tablet market that makes it easier for people to enter into the tablet market and become customers of one of these companies where they can buy their software from. One of the major market trends is that all the major tablet manufacturers release low-end and high-end tablets to cater to all markets. Apple is no different, and the great news is that Apple has done it again with the latest release of the Apple iPad Mini to fight off the competition from the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets. Their competitors have been eating away from Apple’s revenues by offering lower prices and lesser hardware capabilities. There has been a major market for cheaper tablets, and now, with the release of the iPad Mini, Apple is looking to hold on to its throne as the king of the tablet market. The iPad Mini is a major shift in the company’s strategic direction in which they were looking only to make high-end tablets. The pressure from their competitors and their need to satisfy their stockholders’ demands was an interesting change in their strategy and a very welcomed response by the public. The iPad Mini boasts some severe specifications:
• 7.9-inch screen
• 1024 x768 resolution
• 10-hour battery life
• A5 Chip
• 2 cameras
• 5-megapixel camera
• 16 Gigs, 32 Gigs, 64 Gigs models
• Price range from $329 – $659
We expect that the iPad Mini will make a lot of sales on opening day and that Apple will continue to lead against Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. The iPad Mini will strengthen the company’s product portfolio and build on an already strong customer base. The iPad Mini may be small, but to investors, this could be very big.
3. Nintendo Wii U
The world has been waiting for months to release the Nintendo Wii U, and the system is finally here! The Wii U is the next-generation video game system that Nintendo has released since the Nintendo Wii came out half a decade ago and made record sales. Nintendo has many expectations to live up to and is under a lot of pressure to make sure that their latest system is a success. Nintendo had had major trouble with the release of the Nintendo 3DS before they got the system back on track. We believe that the Nintendo WII U is a system placed at an attractive price point and would add value to consumers.
Why should I get a Nintendo Wii U?
The Nintendo Wii U has the best video game developer in the industry that is backing up the system 100%, and that is none other than Nintendo. There is no other system where you can play Mario, Luigi, Zelda, and Kirby, to name a few great characters from the Nintendo universe. This is why you want to get a Nintendo Wii U because of the Nintendo games. The big game that people are getting this holiday season when they get their Nintendo Wii U is Super Mario Bros U. This is the next iteration in the Super Mario Brothers game that was a huge side-scrolling success. The game looks like a lot of fun, and it has your favorite character staring in the game, Mario.
4. Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Amazon has developed one of the best ecosystems over the internet that allows their customers to stream movies, read books, listen to music, play games, go shopping, and do a whole lot more. The customers of Amazon are huge fans of their services and are loyal to the company. Amazon started as just an online book store and has grown into one of the world’s leading technology companies. They came out with the Amazon Kindle as an e-reader to read books, which were very well accepted in the market. In fact, it became the top-selling e-reader in the industry. Later, Amazon released the Amazon Kindle Fire HD as an alternative for people that could not afford an iPad, and it did fairly well. Now, they have finally developed a product worthy of delivering their content over hardware that their fans will only love. So, Amazon fans, the wait is finally over; the new Kindle Fire HD is here!
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD leverages a very sleek, black design that is very easy to look at and is comfortable to hold, which is a major step away from the bulky model of the previous method of the original Kindle Fire. Amazon wanted to accommodate the entire market, so they developed two models with two distinct price models.
• The first model is the 7-inch display that has a resolution of 1280 x 800 that comes in 16 GB or 32 GB with a price tag between $199.00 – $249.00
• The second model is the 8.9-inch display that has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 that comes in 32 GB or 62 GB with a price tag between $499.00 – $599.00
Amazon has finally developed a product of very high quality that is worthy of delivering content from Amazon. Anyone lucky enough to be an Amazon Prime subscriber will have access to movies; television shows that they can watch on their Kindle Fire HD without paying for the film that is within the Prime library. We are very excited to see what the future holds for this company and how they will continue to add to their product portfolio.
5. Samsung Galaxy Note II
There is no other form factor in the market that is equivalent to the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Is it a cell phone, is it a tablet? Whatever you want to call it, this hybrid is truly unique, dynamic, and very popular with consumers. There is no other technology in the market that truly makes us this excited when it comes to the different types of things you can do with just one mobile device. You can take notes, watch movies, take pictures, play video games, check your emails, and make phone calls.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is built off of the award-winning Google Android operating system that features the 4.1 Jelly Bean that everyone has been talking about for a very long time. The operating system is super fast that is supported by a ton of applications. The screen is one of the most talked-about features on the internet. The device has a high definition 5.5-inch screen! The phone is also loaded with 16 gigabytes of memory to save all of your music and photos. The device comes with two cameras, with the one in the back of the phone powered by an 8-megapixel camera lens.
One of the unique things about the Samsung Galaxy Note II, as the name suggests, is that it comes with the S Pen, which reminds us a bit of the Nintendo DS. The S Pen is a stylus that you can use on your phone screen to take notes about anything you like. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is one of the few times that we can say that this is a sequel worth looking into.
6. Nook HD
The Amazon Kindle HD’s biggest rival is back with a brand new Nook ready to make Amazon cringe in their seat as the reading platform of choice for people of all ages. Barnes and Nobles (BN) really did a great job in developing this 7-inch tablet that is focused on delivering a high-quality tablet and content at a great price. BN looks like they have finally given on their mission by delivering a product designed with high standards that feel very comfortable in their customers’ hands. They can spend hours reading their favorite books and watching the movies that they enjoy.
BN has spent a great deal of time developing its ecosystem.
There is no secret that the Nook HD has one of the largest digital libraries of magazines, books, and newspapers available. Barnes and Nobles are continuously developing their ecosystem to contend with Amazon and eventually, someday even Apple. They have developed their Nook Cloud solution for saving digital media and files over the internet, which can be accessed at any time by customers from their devices. They have developed a sophisticated email application that allows you to synchronize all of your emails through a single client interface. Nook HD users will have access to videos, movies, television shows, applications, games, and so much more.
Nook HD specifications
• 7-inch tablet
• Comes in 2 colors: Snow or Smoke
• Price range: $199.00 – $229.00
• 8 GB or 16 GB hard drive
• 1440 x 900 pixels
• 10.5 hours/reading or 9 hours/video
7. Microsoft Surface
Microsoft has been a pioneer of business applications and desktop operating systems for the past 20 years. They took a chance and jumped into a completely different industry and introduced the Xbox to video gaming enthusiasts around the country. Everyone widely accepted the Xbox because of the incredible graphics despite the machine’s bulky appearance. The Xbox brought us games like Halo that helped changed the video gaming world forever. Now, Microsoft is looking to shake up its future one more time and change course, and move into uncharted waters into building a tablet computer.
This time they built a product that is not only powerful but beautifully designed as well. The Microsoft Surface represents a major paradigm shift for a company that has been truly hardware-agnostic when they surprised everybody when they announced that they had developed a new tablet that is ready to compete in an already crowded tablet market with products from market leaders such as Apple, Google, and Amazon that has posted record numbers in sales in the tablet industry.
Now looking under the surface of Microsoft’s latest product, we have to say that we did come away impressed with the design, detail, and quality of the Microsoft Surface. Let’s take a look at the specifications of the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT operating system that you can configure for purchase:
• You can either choose 32 Gigabytes or 64 Gigabytes of storage
• Comes with 2 cameras in the front and back of the device
• 10.6-inch screen
• 1366 x 768 resolution
• 2 Gigs of Ram
• Quad Core NVIDIA Tegra 3
• Comes with a built-in Kickstand
• Keyboard – optional
Microsoft has definitely developed a product that looks impressive and will generate a lot of sales. For Microsoft to effectively compete against Amazon, Google, and Apple, they need to differentiate themselves as a product. They need to leverage their award-winning business applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and go after business users. Businesses have been slow to adopt tablet computers. This is a great opportunity for Microsoft Surface to surprise the industry and leverage their businesses’ expertise to adapt their platform for the tablet. What will be exciting to see is how the competition shakes up. We are all benefactors of the competition, which is leading to technological innovation.
8. Google Nexus
After much success of the highly anticipated Google Nexus 7 released earlier in the year, Google has released the Nexus 10to round out their product portfolio. The Nexus 10 has been a big hit so far and is currently sold out at the Google Play store. The Nexus 10 has the latest Android 4.2 operating system that is super fast and very responsive. The tablet is integrated with Google Play, their online store that you can purchase your applications, movies, music, and more. You can relax to know that all the digital products that you buy from Google are safe and stored in the cloud to be retrieved at any time.
Now let us talk about the technical specifications, which are some of the best in the industry. The Nexus 10 has 2 cameras, and one is located in the front of the device and in the back of the tablet, which can take sharp pictures with its 5 mp lens. This tablet is built for watching movies with a 10-inch screen that has 2560 by 1600 resolution. You would feel the power of the Nexus 10 with the ability to do some serious multitasking with a powerful computer processor, 2 GB of ram, and a maximum hard drive space of 32 GB. This tablet can be one of the best seasons and a market leader for years to follow.
We watch television and wait through the commercials and miss our favorite scenes by going on various breaks. We use to go to the video store on Wednesday and check out the new release section looking to see if there was a single copy left of the 40 copies of the biggest blockbuster movie of the summer, only to find out that they were all checked out. We used to rent movies and turned them in late and pay a late fee, which was the cost of buying the movie.
Technology has now made it possible to stream internet videos of television shows and movies in high definition on to our television sets and the ability to configure our preferences by saving our video catalogs online. This technology has been made possible by combining the increased delivery bandwidth of the internet, software, and hardware. The hardware component is what we want to focus on, and that is what will be sitting next to your Television, the Roku. The world of home entertainment has never been the same as introducing the Roku internet streaming video player. Roku is a hardware device that streams internet video onto your television sets. Why is this important to us? If you love watching movies and television shows, you have to get your hands on a Roku.
The Roku has many internet channels such as Amazon, Vudu, Netflix, and HBO GO, to name a few of the available channels. You will be able to watch any movie or television show in your video library that you have a subscription with any of these internet channel providers. There are so many possibilities in the digital video world. Still, it is obvious that this is the future and that Roku has a clear head start on other internet video players looking to enter the market.
10. Xbox 360
This timeless classic video console has been on numerous holiday lists for years and may be on its last leg, but this is still one of the most popular video game systems in the industry. The Xbox 360 keeps on churning out big hits, and this year is no exception with the much-anticipated release of Halo 4 earlier in the year. The Xbox 360 is proving that it is still a viable system in the marketplace and is very affordable compared to other out systems. You can shop around online or go to your local retail store and find some great holiday deals that are going on for this season.