They say music is the universal language, and as music lovers ourselves, we think it's one of the best gifts that you can give, and we're putting it in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Rather than grabbing an iTunes gift card, or worse, a random CD from the bargain bin, we recommend hitting your loves ones up with Rdio gift subscriptions. Why? It allows the user unlimited access to the entire Rdio music streaming catalog. That means on-demand access to millions of tracks from the web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and even your Sonos system. Rdio costs $9.99 per month for full access. We love it--check out Gear Live on Rdio!
We are giving away three 3-month subscriptions to Rdio to our readers as well! To enter, all you need to do is:
- Follow Gear Live on Twitter
- Tweet the following message: "Hey @GearLive - hook me up with that free @Rdio subscription! http://gear.lv/SEjTdi" (Click here to tweet this now!)
Good luck to all entrants, and be sure to look through the rest of our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide for more giveaways!
Read More | Rdio
iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch will be big holiday gifts this year, make no mistake about it. The Apple TV is actually a fantastic complement to Apple's handhelds, worthy of being featured in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. A nice little device in its own right, the Apple TV gives you access to Apple's iTunes Store entertainment content right on your television. In addition, you get Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, sports networks, and plenty of other entertainment options. Connect it to your iTunes Home Share, and you can use your iOS devices as remote controls for the Apple TV. The best part, though, is AirPlay. You can beam audio and video content right to the Apple TV with ease from your iOS device, or your Mac. You can also mirror the display of these devices as well, all wireless over your home network.
You can pick up the Apple TV for $99, or $94.95 on Amazon.
Honorable Mention: Roku 2 XS Streaming Player
Read More | Apple TV
Next up in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is the Apple iPad mini. We're sure many of you expected to see this one here, but we weren't so sure until we got our hands on one, and realized after a couple of weeks that our full-sized iPad with Retina display was collecting dust. The iPad mini lives up the the hype that it has generated for years, and it is beautifully designed, what with its anogized aluminum shell. Battery life seem to be better than any iPad before it, and the display, while not Retina quality, is not that bad at all. You get the 7.9-inch 1024 x 768 display powered by a dual-core A5 processor and 512MB RAM in a package that weighs just 0.68 pounds. Prices start at $329, and you can get one now from Apple.
Read More | iPad mini product page
We've given a bunch of gadget recommendations in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, and now it's time we mention a fantastic bag to carry them all. This year we recommend the Knomo Saxby Business Tote. We've been using it over the past few months, and it's fantastic. The Saxby has a bunch of pockets, allowing you to appropriately separate things like your iPad from your notebook, and having neither of them come in contact with your keys or pens, thanks to its 4 exterior pockets, 2 interior pouch pockets, 1 interior zip pocket, and 1 interior padded laptop pocket. The size is great, and the look is really classy too (we went with the shiny navy, but you can also get it in matte black, gray, and slate.) Knomo makes high-quality, well-made bags, and this is as fine a laptop bag as you'll find. You can pick up the Knomo Saxby on Amazon starting at $119.99.
Read More | Knomo Saxby Business Tote
We try and feature some lust-worthy gadgets in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, but we also like to call out great deals on things that you need for those gadgets as well, and that's why we are recommending the 32GB and 16GB Sony SDHC class 10 flash memory cards. Amazon currently has an amazing deal on these cards, sellign each at a substantial discount. The 32GB cards are 67% off, while the 16GB variety are 65% off. Of course, you can use these in anything from a digital camera, to the new Wii U, to simple file storage for your computer. Check them out on Amazon now!
Read More | Sony SDHC cards
We're music fans here at Gear Live (seriously, check out the Gear Live Rdio channel!) so we wanna make sure to include great music gadgets in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. This year, we're kicking it off with the Sonos PLAY:3. If you're unfamiliar with Sonos, it's basically the best way to get music from just about any location (your computer, your iPhone, the web, the cloud, etc.) to play in any room in your house. It's super intuitive, and even years after using Sonos, the technology still blows us away. The Sonos PLAY:3 is a wireless all-in-one music system that lets you jump right into the Sonos experience. If you have an iOS or Android device, you can download the Sonos remote control app, and you can also control the system with a computer using the Sonos Desktop Controller. Here are some other Sonos products that go nicely with the Sonos PLAY:3, which itself you can get for $299 from Sonos, or order from Amazon and get a free Sonos Bridge included with purchase!
You can use a pair of Play:3 or Play:5 units to create wide stereo sound as well!
We love to focus on great tech deals in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide as well, and that's why we are recommending The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray--it's currently available as an Amazon Gold Box special, and that makes it $43.49. That is a 64% discount off of Amazon's regular price, and makes a great gift for the movie lover in your life. The set includes the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King Extended Editions,) and has a bunch of footage that was left out of the theatrical releases of the films. Pick this set up today from Amazon before the price goes back up!
Read More | Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-ray
We continue our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide with the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. Why the Fire, and not the Kindle Fire HD? While the HD is a fine tablet in its own right, the price of the regular Kindle Fire is just right--especially if you buy quickly! As it turns out, Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire at a 20% discount for the next 3 hours (or until it runs out of stock, whichever comes first!) Amazon's looking to disrupt the tablet landscape with the Fire, and is pricing the Fire aggressively at $129 during this sale.
Purchasers of the Kindle Fire also get a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which'll let you get a nice sampling of what the company's Video on Demand service offers. Other services you can access from the Fire include Amazon's Android Appstore, Kindle books, a host of magazines, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, and the Amazon MP3 service.
You can pick up a Kindle Fire now for $129 on Amazon. If you miss the sale, it's still a good deal at its regular $159 price.
Honorable Mention: Kindle Fire HD - $199
Read More | Amazon Kindle Fire
The next item in Gear Live’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is the Kindle Paperwhite. Why? well, as great as e-ink readers have been (and they've been pretty stellar,) since the original Amazon Kindle was released, their one tragic flaw has been that they become pretty useless in the dark. You either simply can't read them, or have to use a small light attachment accessory. Enter the Kindle Paperwhite. Amazon has designed what we consider to be the best e-ink reader to hit the market. It's flagship feature is the front-lit display, which works great when you're in the dark and want to read your latest ebook purchase without using a backlit tablet that's hard on the eyes, or an awkward clip-on light accessory. It also supports new features like telling you how much reading time you have before you finish your current chapter, and an all-touch display with virtually no lag. Check out our Kindle Paperwhite review, unboxing gallery, and video after the break for more, and head on over to Amazon to pick up the Kindle Paperwhite for $119 for that bookworm in your life.
Honorable mention: Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight
Read More | Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Halo 4 launched today, and is downright amazing. If there's a gamer in your life who didn't already pick this one up, do them a favor and grab them a copy of this Limited Edition version, because this one is good enough to make it into our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. What sets the Halo 4 Limited Edition apart from the standard version? Well, a lot. Read on, but just remember that these are going to go fast. We don't expect to see the Limited Edition version in stock for more than a few more days:
- Spartan-IV “Recruit” In-Game Armor
- Spartan-IV “Prime” In-Game Armor Skin
- Assault Rifle “Prime” In-Game Weapon Skin
- “Prime” In-Game Emblem
- Xbox LIVE Avatar “Recruit” Armor
- Cryo-Tube Xbox LIVE Avatar Prop
Read More | Halo 4 Limited Edition
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