How's this for a unique 2011 Holiday Gift Guide entry? They're lightsabers, they're chopsticks, and they'll change the way you experience your favorite Asian foods. Grab these Japanese imports from ThinkGeek and deftly maneuver your food with the power of the Force. We're not sure if you know this, but Yoda has been known to carve his Thanksgiving turkey using his lightsaber.
Go forth, brave Jedi warriors, and use your chop sabers to mix just a little extra wasabi into your soy sauce. You can handle it. It is a known fact that eating sushi with chop sabers vastly strengthens your ability to ingest horseradish products. (By the way, did you know that researchers are trying to make a smoke alarm for the deaf using wasabi vapors? We're debating whether it would be more annoying to wake up to the sound of a fire alarm or the punch in the nose that only wasabi brings. What do you think?) Either way, wield your weapons and ready the way for a truly epic eating experience. You can get a pair of Chop Sabers for $9.99 (a 23% discount!)
Read More | Chop Sabers
We continue our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide with the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. This is the Amazon tablet we've been waiting on for months, and it's has finally shipping. Amazon's looking to disrupt the tablet landscape with the Fire, and is pricing it aggressively at $199. The Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces and packs a 7-inch IPS display, dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, and 8 GB of on-board storage. It runs a forked version of Android that Amazon has prettied up in a major way. You also get Wi-Fi built-in as well.
Purchasers of the Kindle Fire also get a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which'll let you get a nice sampling of what the company's Video on Demand service offers. Other services you can access from the Fire include Amazon's Android Appstore, Kindle books, a host of magazines, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, and the Amazon MP3 service.
You can pick up a Kindle Fire now for $199 on Amazon.
Read More | Amazon Kindle Fire
The next featured gadget in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide is the Crayola ColorStudio HD. It includes iMarker, which looks and feels like a standard Crayola marker, but is safe to use on the iPad display. Paired with the ColorStudio HD app, you've got a marker, pen, crayon, and paintbrush all in one device. The app has interactive and animated coloring book pages that combine sound, touch, interaction, and special effects. You can print out the works of art, email them, and post to Facebook, all from within the app. You can get the ColorStudio HD on Amazon for $24.99.
Read More | Crayola ColorStudio HD
The next featured gadget in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide is the Twelve South PlugBug. It's a device that's so simple that it's hard to believe no one has come up with this until now. The PlugBug snaps onto your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air wall charger, giving you a powered USB port in the process. The results? You can then charge both your Apple notebook, and a USB device (like an iPhone or iPad) at the same time, using just one outlet. Genuis! This means that when you're on the go, you can carry one less charger, and you'll have one less outlet to try and find. You can get the PlugBug on Amazon for $34.
Read More | PlugBug
I know I'm not the only parent out there that has to give up the iPad to the children on a regular basis, and that's why we're putting the LeapFrog LeapPad in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. It's a personalized learning tablet optimized for kids ages 4 through 9. It's got a 5-inch touch display, built-in camera that can record video, and ships with four apps. More apps are available for download, and they focus on various educational topics like reading, math, science, geography, art, music, and more. You can pick up the LeapPad on Amazon now for $99.
Read More | LeapFrog LeapPad
Apple's focused on the iPod touch as being the "funnest iPod ever" for a while now, but the introduction of the fourth generation model put it over the top. You've got the Retina display, FaceTime video chat, high definition video capture, and built-in gyroscope all packed into the thinnest iPod touch ever--and now it's available in white. Of course, you need great software running on hardware like this, and the App Store fits the bill with over 200,000 apps available. A great gift for teens who don't need an iPhone, or anyone who wants a mobile iOS device that isn't a phone. Prices start at $199 (or $189 on Amazon, a 5% savings):
Be sure to check out the rest of the stuff in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide, we're adding new suggestions every day!
While it's definitely not the newest Blu-ray release out there, it's certainly one of the best. Life is Beautiful is a cinematic work of art, and you can get this one for the film buffs in your life for $6.99 on Amazon. Seriously, if you or someone you know is a fan of great films, this is definitely one to consider as a gift!
Read More | Life is Beautiful
The Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager safely and easily measures your sleep patterns right from home, resulting in a more restful and restorative sleep. It's a cool way to educate yourself about how well you sleep, and teaches you new ways that may help you get a better night's rest, so we're including it in our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. It uses three main components--a comfortable wireless headband, your iOS or ANdroid device running the Zeo app, and the MyZeo.com companion website. They all work together to show you which habits and behaviors may help or hinder your sleep, and create personalized strategies just for you. A cool and unique item for anyone, and hey, who doesn't wanna feel rested in the morning? For those without an iOS or Android device, you can pick up the Zeo Personal Sleep Manager, which does all the same stuff without the need for a smartphone, and provides an alarm clock with sleep pattern display that captures your data onto DS card. You can get the Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager for $99 on Amazon.
Microsoft's been hyping up Kinect for over a year now, and we've been enjoying the motion sensing Xbox peripheral for just as long. Our verdict? We love it, and it feels like the future. This is why we're adding it to our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. If you know anyone with an Xbox 360 console who doesn't have Kinect, then we'd recommend putting this one on your gift list. The Kinect sensor costs $149.99, and includes Kinect Adventures, a disc full of mini-games that let you try out a bunch of Kinect's features.It also includes download token codes for Fruit Ninja Kinect and Gunstringer, two Xbox Live Arcade Kinect titles. You can also do video chat with other Kinect users and Windows Live users as well, and you get voice control over your Xbox 360. Seriously, this is the video game accessory to have this holiday season--especially during your holiday parties with friends and family around.
Aside from the sensor itself, here are a few Kinect games that we think are worth picking up as well:
- Dance Central 2
- Kinect Sports Season 2
- Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster
- Forza Motorsport 4
- Your Shape Fitness Evolved
Read More | Kinect
If you've got someone on your gift list that needs a new point-and-shoot camera that also takes great video, we'd like to recommend checking out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8. This is the point-and-shoot that we've been using for the past 8 months or so, and the quality is great. Video recordings look superb in high definition, recorded in AVCHD Lite. You've got a 25mm ultra wide-angle lens with 16x wide-angle optical zoom, facial recognition, and other bells and whistles. What we love about this camera, though, is that it has GPS built-in to geotag your photos and videos automatically, on the fly, as you take them. The ZS8 retails for $279.99, but Amazon is currently selling them for just $194.99 - a savings of $85!
Read More | Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8