December and the holidays are just around the corner. And that means many of you are suiting up to fight the masses this coming Friday and over the next couple weeks to knock out your holiday shopping, to find the best deals on the hottest gifts this year.
Forget bulk packs of socks and knit sweaters. It's 2012. This year is truly the year of gadgets and gizmos. Many popular consumer electronics are becoming more affordable and it's easier than ever to gift mobile devices to your loved ones.
What I want to know is what device you're looking forward to this holiday season. Is there any particular device you're hoping someone will wrap up and place under the Christmas tree with your name on it?
I know I am. Below are the top gadgets on my wish list this year!
I've always been a tablet lover, and a believer that, eventually, a tablet could entirely replace my need for a laptop. For months now, I've used my iPad to type a great deal of my articles – in their entirety – before switching to a computer to finish the job. Now, I've tried Windows 8 and I wasn't a fan. But pairing it with a touchscreen and full-fledged applications, such as Chrome, in an ultra portable package with great battery life is something I've been dreaming of for years now.
The Microsoft Surface (or any Windows RT device, really) is exactly the device for the job. And at $499, it's not terribly expensive, especially for what can be accomplished from such a device in contrast with other tablets like the iPad.
Google Nexus 10
A clear downside to the aforementioned Surface is the display resolution. At 10.6-inches and 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution, it only features roughly 148 pixels per inch. Needless to say, it wouldn't be my go-to device for multimedia, particularly casual Web browsing or watching videos.
Despite not being quite as functional as a Windows RT tablet, Android tablets are still great. And there is only one 10-inch Android tablet I would buy right now, the Nexus 10. Pricing starts at $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for a 32GB model. The display is what truly puts this device in a class of its own, however. It has a 10.1-inch display and a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels – or 299 pixels per inch.
That's enough to make a pixel junkie swoon.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
Recently, I have acquired a love for RC gadgets. Maybe I'm regressing back to my childhood, or maybe the marketing done by the kiosks every 10 feet in every mall in America has me under a spell. Either way, I've been eyeing the AR.Drones since CES this year. There are few things that your smartphone or tablet can do that are more awesome than remotely controlling an ominous, camera-equipped quadrocopter.
However, they're definitely not cheap. At $299, they're a tough knot to swallow, especially for the short flight times and how little they actually do. No less, terrorizing your pets (or friends and family when they visit) might be worth it.
Google Nexus 4
I've been debating over the Google Nexus 4 since it was announced. The limited storage space is nearly a deal-breaker for me. But it's hard to ignore the deal Google and LG are offering with the Nexus 4. A brand new, no-contract smartphone generally costs anywhere from $500 to $800. But the Nexus 4, even with some topnotch specifications, is only $299 for the 8GB model and $349 for the 16GB version.
All I know is that if someone were to slip a Nexus 4 in my stocking this year, I wouldn't complain.
olloclip for iPhone 5
This one may be a bit more obscure than the above devices, but the olloclip was easily my most favorite accessory for the iPhone 4S. What's the olloclip, you ask? It's a 3-in-1 lens attachment for the iPhone. Pop the olloclip on the corner of your iPhone and enable the camera to take wide angle, macro and fisheye shots.
Currently, olloclips are available for pre-order and they're expected to ship at the end of this month. For a bit more on the olloclip and some sample shots using the interchangeable lenses, check out the olloclip coverage on our iOS-centric network site, Today's iPhone.
Honorable Mention: Google Play gift cards
Okay, so gift cards aren't actually gadgets. But they're perfect for fueling my addiction to buying applications and other digital content for my Android devices!
Since getting my hands on a Nexus Q, I have been constantly in search of great movies in the Google Play Store. I've rented countless titles and even bought a few. And while I'm working on impulsively buying new applications and games all the time, I am still coming across various applications that I'd love to have.
In a nutshell, Play Store gift cards are the perfect gift for me.
I know this is a lot. One of each of these would amount to roughly $1,700 before taxes. Needless to say, I don't expect any of these things. But they're definitely what I'd like to unwrap this year! What gadgets or devices are you hoping to receive this year? Or, if you're on the other end, what devices are you gifting?
Image via Parrot