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
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.
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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!)
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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.
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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
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Video games are always a hot item, with kids and adults alike wanting to get in on the action. We've put together eith different video game-related gifts that you pick pick up for your loved ones this holiday season, and we did our best to find something for everybody, starting with the Xbox 360 4GB Kinect holiday bundle. If you know someone who doesn't yet have an Xbox 360, then this is the one to get. They get the Kinect accessory included in the box, along with Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Adventures, two fun games. You can pick this one up for $249.99. Read on for the rest of our list!
We think that LEGO sets are a super-fun holiday gift for kids that also gets the creative juices flowing, and the LEGO City Mining Truck is our pick for our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. It's got a few cool, custom features like large all-terrain wheels, dumping function, dynamite with timer and big rock containing 2 gold crystals and 3 gold nuggets. The Mining Truck measures over 4-inches high, 7-inches wide, and 5-inches long. The set includes miner minifigure. You can pick up the LEGO City Mining Truck for $32.06 on Amazon.
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If you've got a home theater nut in your life and you wanna get them a gift that they'll use on an almost daily basis with joy, you'll wanna check out the Darbee Darblet, our next recommendation in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. So, what's so special about the oddly-named Darblet? Well, it just makes your high-definition content look amazing. No, really, this is like nothing you've ever seen before. It adds a level of depth and clarity that is unmatched, all with a simple set-it-and-forget it interface. You can pick up the Darbee Darblet on Amazon.
Read More | Darbee Darblet