There are seemingly a zillion products attacking the market. Keeping them straight – knowing what’s good out there and buying folks the exactly right device or peripheral holiday gift — the one they really want — is harder than ever this year.
As an IT pro in Washington, I get to see almost everything out there. And use it. Play with it. Root it. I see a lot of software, too.
Out of all the stuff I saw, used, installed or reviewed this year, here are my top five picks for best bang for the buck 2011 top tech toys.
Let’s start with that dark horse, the Asus EEE Pad Transformer Prime — with optional dock.
The original Asus Transformer is great. Nicely done. The new Transformer Prime outclasses it, though. It’s skinnier, lighter and way, way faster. Ah, and then there’s the $177 tablet’s price. Sweet.
The Transformer Prime even sports a front and rear camera — unlike the, ahem, Amazon Kindle Fire. And don’t worry. Asus is no startup. It’s among the largest motherboard makers in the world.
This outrageously good gift is sure to please the wallet and you!
Photo courtesy: Asus
Barnes&Noble Nook Tablet
I just want to hack this thing to death. I am dying to do it. As soon as I take it out of my stocking, I’m rooting this new Nook Tablet. Is that really so wrong?
Get the B&N Nook Tablet for someone in your life like me — someone dying to tinker, root, maybe even tear down. Its price is decent and its performance is impressive. I think it’s better for reading than the Kindle Fire, too.
(Photo credit: Barnes & Noble)
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is only in the UK for now — we expect a US release soon, now that federal judges turned down Apple’s request to stop Samsung from selling Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the US today. Samsung should be here, any day now. So save a space on your list for this smartphone — the first to run Android 4.01 Ice Cream Sandwich. We’re expecting great goodness – a pure Google experience without the kind of fluff the HTC Sense pushes on you. If that sounds attractive, wait a little longer. Try anyway
(Photo credit: Samsung)
No tech gift list for the last two years has been complete without a Jawbone gift. This year, Santa will be carrying a bunch again. This year I’m putting the Jawbone UP on my list. It kind of represents my dream of one day transferring my consciousness into a robot body. Until then, this will be a good first step.The UP is a wristband that tracks multiple aspects of your life. UP monitors how much you move, your sleep and eating patterns — then gives you healthy habits to pick up considering your real life daily diet and rest. I want this bad enough that I’d get it even before an Android version of its app comes out. My wife’s iPod touch will do just fine for now.
(Photo credit: Jawbone)
Arduino Tutorials and Project for, the Ubergeeks
I’m now fascinated with the Arduino community. It’s got some neat projects to complete and outstanding tutorials. Now I just have to find my soldering iron … maybe slide a new one of those in the stocking, too.I’d love one. HINT FOR WIFE.
(Photo credit: Eric Finkenbiner)