Looking for a gift for that special someone or tech junkie?
Here are our top picks for this holiday season.
Apple iPad Mini ($449)
The iPad Mini got an average review of 3.5 out of 5 stars from users and it’s easy to see why – the newest iPad’s A6X processor gives a boost to system speed and graphics power. Its improved LTE is more appealing for users who are on the go and the iOS App Store remains best in class with the widest selection of games, apps and educational material.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 ($229)
Being hailed as Amazon’s best tablet yet, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 has the right price with fast performance and a whole new slew of features. It has more media-based goods than any other tablet. It has an impressively sharp screen and its compact, light design is comfy for reading books. The “Mayday” feature makes customer service personal and near-instant.
Apple iPhone 5s ($199)
The iPhone 5s really delivers this year with an improved camera, a fingerprint sensor and a next-gen CPU and motion-tracking chip. Apple now provides the iWork app suite for free and the iOS 7 adds some new features, like AirDrop which allows for file transfers between devices. The iPhone 5s is not a required upgrade for iPhone 5 users.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ($299)
You really need to love the Galaxy Note 3’s giant 5.7-inch display or its super sensitive stylus for this smartphone to hit the top of your Wish List. While it is one of the pricier Android “phablets” on the market, its new multitasking smarts, revamped note app, and an unprecedented 3GB of RAM make this the complete opposite of the iPhone.
Apple MacBook Air 13 ($1,045)
The MacBook Air 13 remains one of the best go-to laptops on the market. This newest model has a substantially better battery life and its multi-touch trackpad is still the industry’s best. It even costs $100 less than the previous model, which makes this a great buy for those shopping around for a new laptop.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus ($1,400)
The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus costs $400 more than the MacBook Air but has some great features that the MacBook lacks. It has a high-res touch screen and better overall performance in a compact 13-inch body. If you want a well-rounded touch screen ultrabook, try this one – it’s worth the money.
Apple iMac ($1,970)
While Apple keeps the exterior design the same from the last iMac, there are dramatic internal upgrades. The latest 27-inch iMac is fully up-to-date with Intel’s Haswell chips, faster SSD hard drives and new Nvidia GPUs. Still, the only things lacking from the iMac are a touch screen and HDMI inputs. This iMac is a great upgrade for those with an older generation model.
Dell XPS 27 ($2,170)
The updated Dell XPS 27 is a perfect mix of performance and accessibility. The higher-than-1080p touch screen, Intel’s fourth-gen CPUs and Nvidia graphics with HDMI input lets the computer double as a display for a game console or cable box. This is a huge plus for devoted gamers and those who use Roku or Apple TV as their source for television content.
Canon PowerShot SX160 IS ($140)
The Canon SX160 IS is best used in daylight and with still or slow-moving subjects. It allows the user to control shutter speeds and aperture controls, but also has a good auto mode. It has a larger body and control buttons compared to similar models. It also uses two AA batteries, which make it good for travel or just occasional use.
Nikon Coolpix L820 ($200)
Like its competitor the Canon SX 160 IS, the Nikon Coolpix L820 is best when used outdoors. It is not recommended for consumers who want to capture moments of their children or pets but it is a good deal for those who want a 30x zoom lens. Its simplistic shooting and AA-size batteries for power make this a reasonable camera for its price.
Microsoft Xbox One ($499)
The Xbox One has done a great job integrating live TV into its console allowing users to control their cable or satellite TV through the Xbox itself. While voice commands are hit or miss, its exclusive launch games have knocked its debut out of the park. Its improved graphics also make it a great buy.
Sony Playstation 4 ($399)
The PS4 has certainly delivered on the graphics front, but it is currently lacking in titles available for play. Its software library is restricted due to incompatibility with PS3 games but Sony has been hinting that its Gaikai game-streaming service will pave the way for retro gaming next year.
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