If you’re shopping for that technological superuser in your life (we like to call them nerds) for the holidays and need some direction, then you’ve come to the right place.
The team at Gagagadget has a whole set of neat holiday gift guides coming, specifically written for those who want their shopping tailored for that special person in their lives. Here is your guide to the hottest mobile gadgets for the techie who loves to go places!
The Tablets: iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, Xoom
Undoubtedly some of the hottest items this holiday season, the choices of tablets seem to grow every single day. Beware of cheap imitations though – that $79 Android tablet may seem like a bargain deal, until you find out that it’s a bargain bust and doesn’t do anything you want it to! If you want to be safe and buy one of the best tablets on the market, try one of the following:
iPad 2 – Apple Inc. – $499-$699 (WiFi only), $629-$829 (3G + WiFi)
This is the tablet whose younger brother (arguably) started the tablet revolution. Now equipped with a powerful dual-core A5 chip powering it, you’ll have more fun, twice as fast. The Apple App Store has hundreds of thousands of apps available, and if you have an iPhone, even better – you can use all of your apps on both your iPhone and iPad for no extra cost. Plus, with the addition of iCloud services, this deal keeps getting sweeter and sweeter – minus the price. If you travel frequently and have a lot of free time on your hands, the 3G iPad 2 is worth picking up, albeit you have to pay for the data plan.
Get it at Apple.com
Kindle Fire – Amazon Inc. – $199
A much cheaper alternative to the iPad 2, this is a new addition to the tablet wars. Sporting Amazon’s new Silk Browser (which promises super-speedy browsing), Amazon’s huge collections of music, movies, books and more, the Kindle Fire is the new tablet to beat in terms of price. It’s a bit smaller than an iPad (7″ vs 10″ screen), but is receiving excellent reviews on Amazon. If you’re an Amazon Prime shopper, this is definitely one to pick up.
Get it at Amazon.com
Nook Tablet – Barnes and Noble – $249
Still an even newer addition to the tablet wars, the new NOOK Tablet has very similar features to the Amazon Kindle Fire – access to movies, TV shows, music, books, email, web-surfing, etc. This one really comes down to which one you like more, and the Nook theoretically has access to more books as well. That being said, out of the three, this is probably at the end of the line – Amazon and Apple have a much better hold on the other media markets (music, movies, TV shows, apps) than B&N. That being said, still worth a look!
Available at BarnesAndNoble.com
The eReaders: Nook, Kindle
If you love to read on the go, then an e-Reader will be your best friend. e-Readers get better prices on books (many classic books – think Shakespeare and Pride & Prejudice – are free) and are much easier on the eyes than an LCD or LED-LCD tablet screen. There are two main competitors on the market in this category.
The Kindle Family – Amazon Inc – $79 and up
The Kindle is generally revered as the first “good” e-Reader. The newest editions of the Kindle – the “new” basic Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Keyboard – vary in price and functionality. The “new” basic Kindle starts at a dirt-cheap $79 (with special offers for screensavers) and comes only in a WiFi edition. The Kindle Touch line is – surprise! – touchscreen-based and has a WiFi and a 3G edition as well, allowing you to download e-books on the road (no monthly cost!). Finally, the Kindle Keyboard holds a physical keyboard at the bottom, and (at the time of this writing) is oddly the same price for either a WiFi or 3G version.
Available at Amazon.com
The Nook Family – Barnes and Noble – $99 and up
The Nook was here right around the time the Kindle was released, and is the main competitor. It’s arguable as to which one is better – it really comes down to personal choice – as each have access to hundreds of thousands of titles and sell for about the same price. The Nook Simple Touch is like the new touchscreen Kindle – but cheaper, without “special offers” (read: ads), which is nice. The Nook Color is identical to the Simple Touch, except it has a 7″ VividView touchscreen instead of an e-ink screen. The main drawback to the Nook family is the lack of 3G availability, so you can only download things with a WiFi connection.
Get it at BarnesAndNoble.com
Music Players: The iPod Family
iPod Family – Apple Inc. - $49 and up
Does the iPod family really need an introduction? They’re the best music players on the market – they just work (sponsor!) – and you can’t ask for more functionality out of a music player except to, well, play music. Luckily, the iPod lineup is pretty diverse for lots of different people. The iPod Shuffle is for people who want a Pandora (randomized) personal music experience. It uses voice commands and a control pad for input. The iPod Nano is like a miniature iPod Touch – minus the apps. It is the only iPod to have an FM Tuner for listening to the radio, and comes with some other nifty apps for making it into a watch (seriously!). The iPod Classic is … well, the iPod Classic. Click wheel, color screen, massive capacity (I could fit about 25,000 songs on one of those… and maybe more). The iPod Touch is an iPhone without the phone and the data plan – you have all the access to Apple’s App Store and iTunes to play games to your heart’s content.
Available from Apple.com
Smartphones: Droid RAZR, iPhone 4S
If you’re on the go, you’ll undoubtedly need one of these little puppies in your pocket. The two best smartphones on the market are two phones that we have reviewed in depth – the Droid RAZR and the iPhone 4S.
iPhone 4S – Apple Inc. – $199 and up
The release of the first iPhone marked the start of the smartphone era, and the newest iteration, the iPhone 4S, is still growing on the epic platform that Apple has staged for it. Using the same A5 dual-core processor as the iPad 2, the iPhone 4S is super-speedy. It brings new features, like the voice-controlled Siri, to the table, but also builds on Apple’s existing Mac and iOS platforms with the addition of the iCloud service, enabling you to sync your media from device to device without the need for cables or hassle. It’s an impressive device, and certainly worth checking out if it’s on a holiday gift list.
Droid RAZR – Motorola – $199
The Droid RAZR is available exclusively on Verizon, and is without a doubt the top Android smartphone on the market today. It combines a powerful processor and a great operating system into a sleek, black enclosure. It also uses Verizon’s awesome 4G/LTE network (available in certain areas, mainly big cities), letting you download apps and music in mere moments. Another phone to watch for is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but until we get a chance to pit these two against each other, the RAZR will hold supreme.