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
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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