- Hard to believe, but once again it’s time to put together our holiday wish lists. Here are 20 of our favorite products submitted and tested and “Cool Yule Elf” approved:
By Keith Shaw Originally published on Network World
Apple MacBook Air, $1,300
If you’ve never considered a Mac before, or are turned off by the price (there are other notebooks that are cheaper), the best reason to change your mind is the latest MacBook Air. The light (under 3 pounds), fast (1.7GHz dual-core i5 with 4GB or RAM and 128GB of storage) and slick notebook will make you (or your giftee) very happy during the holidays.
Sonos Play:3 Internet speaker system, $299
This multiple-room speaker and Internet music system once cost thousands of dollars, but the price has gone down and the technology has improved. Play any music from practically anywhere around the world (including Internet music services) or from your own home (access your entire library). The built-in speakers produce amazing sound, and you can connect multiple speakers to the network for multi-room coverage.
Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD projector
Sure, you could project things like PowerPoint presentations on this, but we prefer projecting movies and TV shows from our iPad onto a larger wall or screen. The 720p-supported projector provides a great picture and built-in dock streams from an iPhone, iPod or iPad as well as PC/Macs or even a USB drive.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
If you’re looking for a tablet that’s not an IPad 2, this Android-based wireless tablet should be on your list. From a technical standpoint, it’s got many of the same (if not better) features and specifications than the Apple competitor, and there should be enough apps within the Android Marketplace to satisfy your needs to customize the device to your particular needs.
Bluetooth speaker systems come and go, but never before have we found one that produces great sound, is extremely portable, and oh-so- stylish. The Jambox will play music wirelessly from your phone, will provide great sound for games or movies from your iPad, and when a call comes in, it turns into a speakerphone with 360-degree sound and built-in microphone. With a choice of four colors, you’ll find one that fits your style and your audio requirements.
Discovery Bay Games Atari Arcade
If you miss the excitement and action from the early 80s in those classic Atari video games, you can relive them without dumping quarter after quarter into a machine — instead, pop your iPad into this docking station and get four-buttons and a joystick along with the Atari’s Greatest Hits app and relive your youth. Or, if you’re younger, find out what all of us old folks were doing when we were young.
Diamond Multimedia V-Stream
One of the coolest ways to stream content from your PC to a TV is this system. Plug the transmitter into a computer’s USB port, plug the receiver into an HDMI port on your TV, and your TV becomes a projector for your computer. This lets anyone watch Internet TV services on their TV. The small size also makes it great for travelers that don’t like what the hotel TV is offering.
iDAPT Charging Station i4
As more homes collect multiple smartphones, music players and other gadgets, keeping the batteries charged becomes a nightmare of power cable clutter. This docking station frees up the cable by providing removable power tip adapters that allow for up to four devices to be recharged at once without the unsightly cables cluttering up everything.
Looxcie 2 wearable video camera
Many wearable video cameras aim to let you film your action, but the Looxcie is a bit different — instead, it lets you share the events you’re watching with other people — the system’s new Looxcie Live app lets you broadcast live to friends, who can watch what you’re watching via this wearable headset with 480p video resolution.
ioSafe Rugged Portable hard drive
Most people will never run into the extreme conditions that this external hard drive can survive, but it’s nice to know that your data is safe should you ever find it crushed, dropped, placed in water (up to 20 feet), on fire or shot at with a shotgun. The solid aluminum (or titanium on some models) casing provides outstanding protection, and the company offers data recovery services up to $5,000 should something actually go wrong.
iHealth Blood Pressure Dock
If the holidays give you a lot of stress or if you need to check your blood pressure on a regular basis, why not use your wicked cool iPad to help you out? This cuff and dock system connects to your iPad to provide you with regular blood pressure readings, which you can then track and report back to your doctor.
Griffin HELO TC iOS helicopter
Remote-controlled flying toys are not necessarily a new invention, but when you can control the copter with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, that changes things. With infrared signaling, you can control the helicopter’s throttle and elevation with your thumbs, and steering via the phone’s accelerometer.
No Canada:Cool tech stuff not available north of the border