This holiday season could be all about tablets and smartphones, as those are easy buys and will guarantee a smile on the face of the gift receiver, but what about all those other tech toys out there that well, may not be so typical or expected? We’ll, we’ve put together a list of some things we would love to see under our tree this year, so you can bet that any gadget-lover out there would feel the same way. Here they are in no particular order:
Vinyl is not dead. In fact, it’s picking up again, especially with special edition releases from various artists and hard to find rare titles. You could also hit the garage sale scene, or dig out those LPs from the basement. Converting your tracks to digital with this turntable will still maintain some of that analog goodness, a bit of crackly warmth in the recording makes it unique and one of a kind. Not a bad gift for $115
Getting in close is something fun and can open up the imagination, looking at everyday objects in a way you’ve never imagined. This Celestron microscope has a large LCD for viewing slides at up to 1200x, it also has a 2.0 megapixel digital camera which can snap photos or record videos on an SD card. Price: $263
The new iPod Touch 4G is nothing less than amazing. With dual cameras and facetime support, you may soon forget this was originally just an MP3 player. It comes in 8GB, 32GB, or 64GB storage capacities and can record 720p HD video. Prices start at $230
You can gift an app to your loved one just as easily as wrapping up a physical boxed item, but with the Geocaching app by Groundspeak, you’ll be giving not just a piece of software, but an adventure. The app costs $9.95 and a yearly premium subscription is only $30, that gets you access to many extra features like favorites, instant updates of new caches, search for caches along your route, and more. The app also has many advanced navigation features, even a friendly designed UI. A basic membership is free, but the app is still $10.
An alternative to paper, with available options like integrated Wi-Fi, free 3G connectivity, and sizes of 6-inches and 9.7-inches, the Kindle is the standard for e-reading. The E Ink Pearl technology gives 50% better contrast, making text and images sharper then ever before. Prices range from $139 for the Wi-Fi only 6-inch model, $189 to get free 3G, and $379 for the 9.7-inch.
Wacom is the leader in pen tablets. They’ve been making them for years and have mastered its design which is used by professionals all across the world. What better to get the artist or photographer than a tool they will adore. The Wireless Intuos 4 is our top pick, it costs $399 and has 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60 degrees of tilt recognition. If that’s out of your price range, there are the $99 Bamboo series, although not quite as responsive as the Intuos 4 line, they’ll easily advance your photo retouching abilities. It’s like going from a bar of soap, to a pen.
The Guppie multi-tool is one of those gadgets you can always have with you, forget about, and then one day out of the blue can save your life. It has many uses, but it’s small size and strength makes it a worthy accessory to loop on your pants or sling on a backpack. It has an adjustable wrench, multi-bit tool, knife, LED flashlight and a bottle cap or jar lid opener. $44.99 from CKRT, a smaller version without the flashlight called Lil’ Guppie is also available for $10 less.
Don’t leave your loved one without power on the go. The Zagg Sparq 2.0 is a versatile portable charging pack that well, really makes things mobile. Not only is it the exact same size as the Apple power adapter for laptops, but it’s got dual USB ports as well to charge devices directly with. And when you’re on the road, the internal 6,000 mAh Lithium Polymer battery can get your gear a little more distance until you’re back at your base. $99 from Zaqq.
This little stereo packs a 2000 mAh battery pack to keep your tunes playing on your outdoor adventure. With a semi-rugged splash-proof design, it’s ready for the beach, campground, or anywhere else you’re ready to take it. A flip up solar panel lets it recharge on those sunny days keeping your music going. 4 hours will charge it full indoors, 10 hours in the sun. The Soulra is $185.
The Guppie Multi-tool looks like high quality , anyone touch one yet?