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 then you realize that finding the right gift for your loved ones can be a bit 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 that were forced to leave the company. One thing for sure is that Apple always creates a lot of buzz and a lot of sales. The Apple iPhone 5 is the strongest and most powerful of all the iPhones prioring 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 tasks with a lot more ease. The iPhone 5 will have the familiar Siri as the trusty assistant providing voice automated responses when help is needed.
The iPhone 5 is one of the best tools to use when you take pictures because now it comes with an 8 megapixel camera. This may be one of the most important functions of the iPhone is taking pictures and making videos of your family. The iPhone has truly developed into a very powerful 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 strongest 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 are emerging 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 products at lower prices and less 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 it's thrown as the king of the tablet market. The iPad Mini is a major shift in the strategic direction of the company in which they were looking to only make high end tablets. The pressure from their competitors and their need to satisfy the demands of their stockholders was an interesting change in their strategy and a very welcomed response by the public. The iPad Mini boasts some serious 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 for the release of 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 a lot of expectations to live up and are under a lot of pressure to make sure that their latest system is a success. Nintendo has 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 which is 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 history 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 the reason why you want to get a Nintendo Wii U is 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 starring 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 people that are customers of Amazon are really big fans of their services and are loyal to the company. Amazon started as just an online book store and now has grown into one of the leading technology companies in the world. They came out with the Amazon Kindle as an e-reader for people to read books which was 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 that is worthy of delivering their content over a hardware that their fans are simply going to 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 design of the original Kindle Fire. Amazon wanted to accommodate the entire market so they developed two different 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 that is 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 movie 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 that 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 with 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 your photos. The device comes with two cameras with the one in the back on the phone that is 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 of a bit of the Nintendo DS. The S Pen is a stylus that you can use on your phone screen to take down notes about anything that 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 that is ready to make Amazon cringe in their seat as the reading platform of choice for people for all ages. Barnes and Nobles (BN) really did a great job in the product development of this 7 inch tablet that is focused on delivering a high quality tablet and content at a great price. BN looks like that they have finally delivered on their mission by delivering a product that is designed with high standards which feels very comfortable in the hand of their customers and that they can spend hours of reading their favorite books and watching the movies that they enjoy.
BN has spent a great deal of time developing their 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 is 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. The Xbox was widely accepted by everyone because of the incredible graphics despite the machine's bulky appearance. The Xbox bought 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 everyone when they announced that they have 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 a 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 NVIDA Tegra 3
• Comes with a built in Kickstand
• Keyboard – optional
Microsoft has definitively developed a product that looks impressive and will generate a lot of sales. In order 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 the tablet computers and this is a great opportunity for Microsoft Surface to surprise the industry and leverage their expertise to businesses to adopt 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 that was 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 which is 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 anytime. Now let us talk about the technical specifications which are some of the best in the industry. The Nexus 10 has 2 cameras which 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 multi-tasking with a powerful computer processor, 2 GB of ram, and maximum hard drive space of 32 GB. This tablet is in position to be one of the best of the season and a market leader for years to follow.
We use to 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 that was the cost of actually buying the movie.
Now, technology has 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 with a combination of 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 which is the Roku. The world of home entertainment has never been the same with the introduction of Roku internet streaming video player. Roku is a hardware device that streams internet video on to your television sets. Why is this important to us? If you love watching movies and television shows then you have to get your hands on a Roku.
The Roku has a number of internet channels such as Amazon, Vudu, Netflix, and HBO GO to name a few of the number of channels that are available to you. 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 world of digital video but one thing is obvious that this is the future and that Roku has a clear head start on other internet video players that are 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 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 still a viable system in the marketplace and is very affordable compared to other systems that are out. 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.