Yeah, we know that the iPhone is probably a little rich to purchase for someone during the holidays, plus there’s the whole activtion conundrum. Instead, focus on the people who already own the iPhone 3G, and get them an accessory that we absolutely love. The Mophie Juice Pack for iPhone 3G gives the iPhone more than double the battery life that it has on its own. That means you get up to 250 hours standby time, 6 hours talk time (or 12 hours if on EDGE), 28 hours audio playback, and 8 hours video playback. The cost on this one is $99.95, and is totally worth it for iPhone road warriors.
Read More | Mophie Juice Pack
If you got a do-it-yourselfer who is also into photography, we think we’ve found something that you might want to get them for the holidays. The Unibind Photobook Creator features about twelve new holiday-themed covers for their photo-binding system, each available for between $4-8 each. The actual Unibind System itself allows one to create a nice hardcover photo book, and includes layout software, a thermal binding machine, and a 3mm linen hardcover, with windowed front. The finished product looks nice and professional.
Read More | Photobook Creator
Here’s the cool thing about Hasbro’s Lazer Tag Multiplayer Battle System - you can play and shoot each other in a group, running around as you normally would during a game of Laser Tag, which is always fun - or you can go it along with the television attachment, which turns the system into a one-player video game where you shoot the bad guys on the TV. The set includes the TV attachment, two tag guns, and two pump-action shot blast attachments. When your hit, a rumble pack makes it obvious, you’ve got a manual reload button to refill your shots after every ten that you fire, and a shield button. The set retails for $79.99, but we found it for 13% less on Amazon, at $69.96.
The Altec Lansing UHS306 earbuds are, in our opinion, the best pair of wired earbuds that you can get for the iPhone in the under-$100 price range. You’ll find cloth wires that will greatly reduce instances of tangling (which is almost like two gifts in one!) The UHS306 also incorporates both an in-line microphone and in-line volume controls, which means you can use these to listen to your music and for taking phone calls. A switch hook, lapel clip, and mute controls round out these $89.95 earbuds. Even better? We’ve found them for $56.99.
Be sure to check out more suggestions in our Holiday Gift Guide!
If your children are anything like my three-year old son, then chances are that they are just as familiar with your gadgets as you are. They want to hold them, use them, mimicking you every step of the way. The thing is, gadgets aren’t the most affordable things in the world, and children don’t seem to understand that. This is where the SanDisk Sansa Shaker comes in - it’s a fully-functional flash MP3 player that is meant for little kids. SanDisk did a good job with this one too - just holding it you can tell it’s durable. It has two built-in headphone jacks for tandem enjoyment, as well as a speaker if you prefer your children not put on headphones. It’s called the Shaker because, when you sake it, you advance it to another track, shuffle-style. It is shaped perfectly for little hands, and has a couple of job wheels for volume and track selection. The device runs on one AAA battery, which will last for about 8 hours of playback. You can pick one up for $30, which holds 512 MB of content (about 120 songs) or opt for the $40 1 GB player, which will hold about 240 tracks. They are available in pink and blue.
Read More | SanDisk Sansa Shaker on Amazon
If you are looking for a great gift for the coffee fan in your life that isn’t terribly expensive, you should consider the Hamilton Beach Ensemble 12-Cup. This is a product that might make even those who have switched to lattes give drip coffee another look. Don’t let the shiny exterior and low price fool you - the Ensemble 12-Cup hits you with rich, smooth brew. It it also compatible with an optional water filter, which costs $10, for those who want to make sure their water is clean. It’s available in both black and red. These retail for $49.99, but you can find them cheaper by shopping around.
Read More | Hamilton Beach Ensemble on Amazon
The great thing about surround-sound headphones is that you can enjoy those loud, booming movies while not disturbing anyone else around. One of the best pairs of headhones in this category is are the Pioneer SE-DIR800C models. These deliver nice, clear sound, even in action movies, with no audible distortion to be heard. They also stay comfortable on your ears while you sit through multiple full-length movies - that’s a rarity. They may be pricey, but they are perfect for what they are meant to do. They use Dolby Headphone processing to mimic a surround environment, and they do it well. They include a rechargeable battery, which has to be removed in order to be recharged. These run for $399 USD, but can be found cheaper by shopping around. Compare prices on Pioneer SE-DIR800C.
Read More | Pioneer SE-DIR800C on Amazon
Okay, the holidays are right around the corner. In our continuing effort to hook you up with the best gear, we had to point out the Onkyo TX-NR905. This is a product that has blown us away in our testing.
Let’s be clear - the Onkyo TX-NR905 A/V receiver isn’t the lightest device in the world, as it weighs in at 54 pounds - but that’s just about where the negatives end when it comes to this beast. This thing is like a classic Mustang - all muscle. You can throw anything at it - you know, HD DVD players, game consoles, TiVos, Blu-ray - and expect phenomenal 7.1 surround sound. And we mean pristine. Even better, the TX-NR905 bridges the gap between your entertainment center and the Internet by way of it’s Ethernet port. Hook up to the Internet, and you can stream Internet radio directly through this system. Moving on the picture quality - again, top notch all the way here. It will pump out 1080p signals, it supports 24p framerate, and has 2 HDMI outputs along with component out for your HDTV needs. Oh course, this thing is all about the sound. You get 140 watts per channel, and this is the most inexpensive receiver to feature THX Ultra2 certification. Believe me, if you haven’t heard it, you will be the envy of your block. Don’t worry though, you won’t be able to hear the complaints if you crank this thing up. Rounding out the feature set here, it will upconvert all inputs to 1080p, supports multiple zones, and also has HD radio built-in. Retails for $1,999. Compare prices on Onkyo TX-NR905.
Read More | Onkyo TX-NR905 on Amazon
Many were anticipating that the short and stubby iPod nano would be a disappointment when the rumors of the device were running rampant. Once Steve Jobs introduced it, all fears were quelled. Just get one into your hands, and you will no longer be a skeptic. The 2-inch screen obviously isn’t the best for watching full-length movies, but for music videos and the like, it’s worthy. If you are all about the audio, the nano holds up to 8 GB worth of data. It’s thin (0.3 inches), the screen is fantastic, and the battery lasts for 26 hours. Just stay away from Cover Flow on this one - it’s sluggish.
Read More | Apple iPod nano
The BD-P1200 from Samsung is a nice step up from last year’s BD-P1000 player. It offers more features at a lower cost. There are nice bookmarking features, DVD upconverting, and a nice backlit remote control. There’s also an Ethernet port, which allows for simple firmware updates. Of course, the fact that it takes 20 seconds to load a disc is no fun, but that is typical of Blu-ray and HD DVD players across the board.
Read More | Samsung BD-P1200
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