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.
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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
Keyboards get dirty, and they're annoying to clean. Logitech solves this with its Washable Keyboard, our next pick in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. You can say goodbye to crumbs and hand-salsa when you run the keyboard under the faucet with confidence. The sell for $40, but you can get it on Amazon for $29.35, saving you 27%.
Oh, and to complete your setup, pair it with a Belkin washable mouse!
Read More | Logitech Washable Keyboard
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
Vitamix has been making blenders that last the test of time for over 80 years, and the Vitamix Professional Series 750 rests at the top of the line in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. It's not cheap, but it should last you a lifetime, and adds to any cooking aficionados kitchen repertoire with style and grace. You can pick up the Vitamix Professional Series 750 on Amazon.
Read More | Vitamix Professional Series 750
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
Next up in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is Kinect Sesame Street TV, an educational title for the Xbox 360 geared towards young children. In the game kids are invited to experience the world of Sesame Street alongside their favorite characters, such as Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster and Elmo, like never before. With Kinect players to share in the experience through visual and physical interactions with characters of Sesame Street, placing them right in the Sesame Street experience.
Children can interact with their favorite Sesame Street characters on screen to help them with tasks, play in their world, and learn together. Full-body gestures and voice recognition are used to move from experience to experience, and go from passive watching to active participation, and the game even includes hundreds of clips from the Sesame Street archive. You can pick up Kinect Sesame Street TV for about $30 on Amazon.
Read More | Kinect Sesame Street TV
The Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB is one of the cooler items we're featuing in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. It basically turns your computer into a fully-functional live TV DVR. We know that features like Media Center exist on PCs, but the problem is that, until now, it's been hard to get a good signal into your computer. The InfiniTV 4 USB fixes that. It's a CableCARD adapter that plugs into your machine using USB. So all you need to do is insert a CableCARD from your cable provider, plug in your cable cord, and plug in to your computer. From there, you'll have access to all of the cable channels that you subscribe to, and you can record up to four different channels at once. See? We told you this was cool. Great for rooms where you only have a computer and no television, but also great if you want to incorporate a Mac or PC into your home theater setup, as it eliminates the need for a cable box, meaning you save on that montly rental fee. The Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB sells for $299, but you can get one on Amazon for $269, saving yourself 10%.
Our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide tries to hit you with gift recommendations at all different price points, and this one may be the least expensive. Radio Shack is selling a bunch of 4G Android smartphones for free, with two-year contract, this holiday season. You can get devices like the Samsung Stratosphere for Verizon, Samsung Infuse 4G for AT&T, and the HTC EVO Design 4G for Sprint. All of these devices support faster data speeds, and at a price of free, they're a tremendous deal.
Our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide for the day is the TiVo Premiere Elite. What makes this TiVo so much more special than its predecessors? Well, for starters, this thing has four tuners, so it can record up to four different programs at once. You can watch any of the four, or view a fifth already-recorded program, so that's pretty nice. It's also got a 2 TB hard drive in it, which can hold up to 300 hours of HD programming. If you've got someone in your life who loves film and television, but hates those horrible UIs on the cable company DVR, this is the thing to get.
You can pick up a TiVo Elite for $494 on Amazon.
Read More | TiVo Premiere Elite