We have yet to come across anyone who didn’t appreciate this movie (and we’re sure they’ll come out of the woodwork in the comments now that we said that,) and it is with good reason. The Dark Knight has so much going for it in terms of entertainment value and action. Batman’s voice aside, everything about this movie screamed “awesome.” This is why we have to recommend it in our Holiday Gift Guide. Now, primarily we are recommending The Dark Knight Blu-ray, because that is going to give you the amazing visuals and sound you come to expect from a movie like this. That said, we understand that not everyone is equipped with the latest in high definition gadgetry, so we will also recommend The Dark Knight Special Edition DVD as well. The Blu-ray version retails for $35.99, but we found it on Amazon for 33% off at $23.99. The special edition DVD version sells for $34.98, and we found it for 40% off on Amazon at $20.99.
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 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
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
Here’s a quick news bite for anyone looking for a holiday gift for that entertainment junkie in their life (or, for that matter, for themselves) - Amazon is selling the TiVo HD unit at $249.99. That’s $50 off the regular price of $299.99, or a smooth 17% off. Sure, it’s no Series 3, we know, but still, it is TiVo in all it’s HD goodness. We aren’t sure how long this one is going to last, so jump on it quick if you want it.<
Read More | TiVo HD Amazon Deal
The Braun Pulsonic electric shaver tips the scales at about half a pound, but word on the street is that this is the smoothest electric shave you’ll find anywhere. It’s all in the pulsing head, which boasts 10,000 vibrations per minute, and the Power-Comb system that prepares your hair to be snipped. There’s also a base station that cleans the unit with alcohol while also charging it for the next use. It’s not all fun and games with the 9595, but truth be told, just because the base station has a larger than normal footprint and the cleaning system can be a bit loud, it isn’t enough to overlook this one.
Read More | Braun Pulsonic Electric Shaver
It looks like Sony may have learned from it’s mistakes based on it’s first foray into the personal navigation market and have come back swinging for a second round of competition with the NV-U71. What features did Sony throw into this one to make us so impressed? Well, for starters, the Sony NV-U71 has a nifty Gesture Command interface that allows you to make Plam Graffitti-ish type gestures with your finger or stylus right on the screen. Different gestures tell the GPS to do different things - for example, give it an upside-down V shape, and it will navigate your right back to your front door. No need to take your eyes off the road and go through pesky menus. Of course, it also is small and has a 3D map interface featuring a birds-eye view, but they all have that nowadays, don’t they?
In our opinion, it doesn’t get much better than the MacBook Pro when it comes to a portable computer. Why? Well, aside from the Intel Core 2 Duo processors that they house, they are lightweight and have batteries that last almost three hours under normal use and load. It has a built-in iSight webcam, FireWire 400 and 800 ports, and a backlit keyboard. The kicker here though, is that by using this with the Parallels software, you can run Windows 2000, XP, and Vista side-by-side within OS X. If you prefer a dedicated OS experience, you can use Boot Camp to run Windows on it’s own. That means that by buying a MacBook Pro, you get access to both the OS X and Windows operating systems with extreme ease. The same can’t be said for the PC side of things.
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