Are you ready to usher in the arrival of the next-generation consoles? Nintendo is, as it's released the Wii U, today's pick in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. There are two configurations of Wii U available: a $299 white base model that packs in 8GB of storage, and a $349 Deluxe black bundle that has 32GB of storage and the NintendoLand game.
Both versions include the Wii U console, a WiiPad, sensor bar, AC adapters, and HDMI cable. If you opt for the Deluxe set, you'll also get a play stand, charging stand, and console stand.
The current Wii remotes and nunchuks are fully compatible with the Wii U console.
Read More | Wii U
SOL REPUBLIC Tracks are the first interchangeable on-ear headphones featuring V8 Sound Engine speakers, switchable cables, and "Sound Track" headbands. SOL REPUBLIC engineers developed a proprietary new polymer called FlexTech, which makes them virtually indestructible, and we're recommending them in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. the company actually stands behind that claim, as you get a 1,000 day warranty on each SOL REPUBLIC headband. they just won't break. For total comfort, the team designed the Tracks ear cushions to be large and lightweight. Tracks offer the optimal balance of size, style, sound and comfort and are available in black, white and red. You can pick up a pair on Amazon for $99.
Read More | SOL REPUBLIC Tracks headphones
The nice thing about smartphone cameras is that you can instantly share photos using your data plan--but the quality of a point-and-shoot like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5K trumps your phone shots, and we're recommending it in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Even better? The SZ5K packs onboard Wi-Fi that allows you to take great pictures, and then share them immediately to your smartphone for sharing (it works with both iOS and Android devices.) You can a 14.1 megapixel sensor with 720p video recording and 10x optical zoom. They sell for $199.99, but you can pick one up on Amazon for $189.99, saving yourself 5%.
Read More | Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ5K
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
Fourteen years ago, Furby was the hot holiday sensation, and now in 2012, Hasbro has brought it back with a modern update that's good enough to be featured in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Changes include LED eyes, capacitive touch sensors, and an app that lets you control it remotely. Kids will love them, but so will tinkerers--the original Furby was super-hackable, which hobbyists love. You can pick up the new Furby for $60.
Read More | Furby
Next up in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is Monopoly zAPPed, a full-fledged verion of Monopoly that can also be considered an iPad accessory. There are gonna be a lot of iPads and iPad minis under the tree this year, and if you already know someone who owns one (or who will own one this holiday season,) consider this game as a fun gift for them. The game is played with an iPhone or iPad with two to four players, and is different from tradtional Monopoly in that the device (iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone) is the bank and there are on-screen mini games. Also, there is no money, as you just swipe your credit card on the display for transactions. Included in the box are the game board with rubber pads, 6 tokens, 28 Property cards, 32 green houses, 12 red hotels, 2 dice, 4 Monopoly Touch-banking cards and instructions. You can pick up Monopoly zAPPed for $29.99, or $26.24 on Amazon (a 14% savings!)
Read More | Monopoly zAPPed Edition
Techies seem to love tea, and this Death Star tea infuser bring both of those worlds together in a delicious way, so we're featuring it in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Made of stainless steel, this tea infuser is molded to resemble Darth Vader's Death Star. Just put some loose leaf tea in there and steep it in your favorite mug. It's dishwasher-safe and available from ThinkGeek for $19.99.
Read More | Death Star Tea Infuser
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
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