The best gadget gifts for Christmas 2012
If you’re choosing a last minute Christmas gift for your gadget enthusiast (or a present for yourself) then you could well be weighing up the options. Whatever kind of gadget they’re into from consoles to tablets here’s the rundown of our favorite gadget gifts of the year, but you better get your order in quickly!
There are tons of tablets on the market, but how do you choose the right one for you? This year it’s all about the mini tablet. Our favorite of the moment is the iPad Mini. It gives you access to all the apps available on iTunes for a fraction of the price of a full size iPad. It has the same feel previous incarnation, with the same smooth interface. What’s more it’s more practical as its smaller, but still big enough to run apps, watch videos and listen to music. It’s definitely on our list!
When it comes to smartphones there’s just too much choice available at the minute. After a lot of road testing we’ve finally picked the Nexus 4 as one of our favorites. The new smartphone from Google packs a serious punch with all the features you’d expect from a top of the range smartphone and more. Even better it comes with all Google’s apps preloaded, so it’s ready to go when you are! Add to that the amazing photo sphere camera (capable of taking 360° panoramic shots) and you’re on to a winner! Especially when you consider that it also offers wireless charging. The Nexus 4 is an insight into the future of smartphones.
If the person you’re shopping for is into gaming (or even is they’re not) the new Wii U console would be a sure fire hit this Christmas. The innovative tab game-pad is an entirely new way to play and adds a whole new dimension to the gaming experience. Coupled with HD graphics we think the Nintendo Wii U is the console to have this festive season! Plus you can get it in either the standard edition, or premium that offers 32gb of memory.
So, those are our top tips for gadget gifts this Christmas. Whichever one you choose it’s sure to be their favorite Christmas gift. Now you just need to figure out which you’re buying for them, and which you want yourself. For even more gadget gift ideas have a browse at Misco.
They Still Haven’t Built a Better Mousetrap, But Logitech Has Built a Better Mouse
I remember my old computer science teacher telling me that the computer mouse is a handicap. Her theory was that since so many features can be accomplished quicker using keyboard hotkeys, relying on a mouse to navigate your digital world was only for technologically illiterate people who don’t have a working knowledge of keyboard shortcuts. Now while she was clearly pretty hardcore in her beliefs, I’ve got to admit that I do find myself thinking back to that theory when I use a computer, as I catch myself more and more often not relying on the mouse as a default.
There is, of course, one notable exception. As well designed as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have made their controllers over the years, there is still no gaming controller that can compete with the mouse and keyboard set up. It’s the perfect marriage. The keyboard’s comfortable and familiar array of buttons allows for a wide range of features literally at your fingertips, while the mouse provides a level of fluidity and pixel perfect accuracy that no console controller could ever hope to match.
Now accessory mainstay Logitech may have made the mouse even more useful to gaming. That’s because their new G600 gaming mouse takes some of the functionality away from the keyboard, and gives it back to the mouse, just where my old teacher always said it belonged. Equipped with 20 buttons (and a “G switch” that can double button functionality) this mouse was specifically designed to allow MMO gamers to easily access hot key features. Generally though, this little gadget is useful for all types of genres, especially RPGs and RTS games that also rely heavily on quick key access. Not to mention it boasts the extreme durability, rapid movement speed, and pinpoint accuracy you would expect from a gaming mouse, as well as vanity features like customizable color LED color schemes for the buttons and tracking.
Now, this mouse hardly breaks new ground in the field of gaming mice, as various models over the years have featured available buttons before. What I do love about this one, though, is the overall design Logitech has implemented. Not only does it look slick and smooth, and boasts stats that compete with some of best mice available, but unlike some other, similar gaming mice, this one actually looks like it was designed for human hands. Plus considering how I just cleaned house during the Steam Summer Sale, I’m starting to consider the G600s somewhat hefty $79.99 price tag an investment.
Posted in: Computers
Tags: best gaming mouse, G600, Gadget News, Gaming, Gaming Gadgets, Gaming Mouse, logitech, microsoft, New Gadgets, nintendo, PC Games, PC Gaming Accessories, sony, Steam, Tech News
Matching the right laptop to your needs
Choosing the right laptop can be rather confusing for those without a great depth of technical knowledge – even those who have it can find deciding a challenge. For the same price you can get a desktop PC with more power and a higher specification, but more people are embracing the quick convenience and mobility that laptops offer for their home computing.
There are a range of options out there on the market, with online deals on laptops from Misco and other web retailers bringing more and more computing power to the sector at a lower price. But before you start looking at the specifications, it is important to consider exactly what you need the device for. This Which? guide provides some helpful tips, but internet novices and those who only intend to use their laptop for basic tasks – web surfing, email and writing documents – will find their needs more than met by an entry-level model, which usually retail for under £450. The devices have less RAM available and less storage space, but it’s surprising how far 250GB of the latter actually goes. Good value examples include the Toshiba Satellite Pro series and the Acer TravelMate.
For those wanting a bit more power, desktop replacements provide the processing power of a PC in a portable laptop. Ideal for gamers and those who want to edit videos, these devices will pack in upwards of 4GB of RAM and contain a separate graphics card and faster processing chip. The downside of these devices is that battery life is notably reduced by running these more complex programs, but good examples include the Samsung Series 7 and HP DV7 ranges.
Straddling the two groups are the likes of the Samsung Series 3 and Acer Aspire, which are good for families which want a versatile device without spending too much. Alternatively, if you just need quick internet access, a small netbook, such as the Toshiba NB500 or Dell Inspiron, could be just the ticket.
Researching laptops can be confusing and occasionally frustrating, but it pays to persevere in the same way you would when buying a car; you don’t want to overspend and be left with computing power you don’t need, or find out your new device is insufficient and be forced to upgrade.
CES kicks off
The biggest technology and gadget show, CES, just kicked off in Las Vegas, and as usual much of the talk surrounds Apple:
Apple is the only company that consistently gets big buzz out of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — without even attending.
This year will be no different.
Connected TVs — TVs that connect to and can access content from the Internet — will be a big part of CES this year. And just about everyone in tech expects Apple at some point to launch such a television — an iTV — that easily consumes and shares with other Apple devices content served from the company’s media-storing iCloud.
Microsoft made news earlier by saying this was the last year they would attend CES/ Why attend if Apple gets all the buzz anyways? Maybe Microsoft should focus on new products instead of protecting its Windows/Office cash cow? Or maybe not . . .
Posted in: accessories, Apple, Apps, Audio, Cameras, Computers, Digital Media, ebooks, Gaming, iPad, iPhone, Lifestyle, microsoft, Mobile, Music
Tags: ces, Connected TVs, Consumer Electronics Show, iCloud, iTV
Gadgets for the holidays
The holiday season is here, and today is Cyber Monday so it’s time to go searching for deals. There are a ton of gadget gift guides out there, and Bullz-Eye.com has a gadget section in their 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. The WOWee One Slim Portable Speaker is one of the featured products.
You’ll be amazed when you plug this tiny gadget into your MP3 player or phone and turn on some music. Of all the gadgets we’ve tested recently, the WOWee ONE Slim Portable Speaker is one of our favorites. It’s about the size of a deck of cards and easily plugs into any device with an audio jack. All of a sudden you can have a party. The WOWee turns flat, solid surfaces like tables, counters, bumpers, hoods and truck beds into bass-filled sound systems using patented gel technology. The sound changes depending on the type of surface and you can really feel the base on some surfaces. It’s perfect for events like tailgates as it provides about 10 hours of tunes and can turn your grill/cooler/hood into a high-end sound system for the whole parking lot. It’s also great for impromptu parties as it can fit in your pocket, computer bag or glove compartment. Take it on a trip and have parties in your hotel room or by the pool. The possibilities are endless and kids will love it as well. It seems like everyone listens to music alone these days with their headphones, so the WOWee makes it easier for everyone to share and enjoy music.
There are a ton of gadget gift guides out there, so do your research and you’ll find some great stuff. You can start with the ones from USA Today and CNET.
Posted in: accessories, Cameras, Computers, Guides, iPhone, Lifestyle
Tags: 2011 holiday gift guide, cyber Monday, gadget gift guide, gadget gift guide for guys, gadget gift guide for men, gadget holiday gift guide, gadget stocking stuffers, gift guide, gift guide for guys, gift guide for men, holiday gift guide, holiday gift guide for guys, holiday gift guide for men, mp3 player, WOWee One Slim Portable Speaker
Saving Money on Inkjet Cartridges
Whether you have a business or just do your printing at home, inkjet cartridges can be very expensive. This is where the printer manufacturers make their money, and you can burn through a lot of money if you do a lot of printing.
The tips for saving money all involve common sense. The first has to do with your printing habits and your printing policies in the office. When possible, print in black at lower quality as opposed to using color at maximum quality. This alone will save you a ton in inkjet fees.
Next, you have to shop around. If you just spend some time online, you can find the lowest price for your cartridges, even the brand name cartridges. One problem is that people wait till they run out if ink to get new cartridges. Then you’re in a hurry and it’s easier to just go to the local store and pick one up. If you plan ahead, you’ll save a ton of money and get in the habit of always keeping a supply.
If you need one right away, look for stores like Cartridge World. They have deep discounts and you can punch in your zip code on their web site to find a store near you.
Another option includes refilling your ink or purchasing off-brand cartridges. This is a matter o preference based upon quality issues. It’s not a bad option, but you can save on the brand cartridges if you follow the steps above.
Samsung announces the $1,000 luxury Galaxy tablet
I spent a solid 18 or so of my last 72 hours traveling and I was shocked to see how many tablets are out there. I knew that tablets were likely doing well, but in every airport it seemed there was always one in my field of vision. Tablets, for the most part, are fairly affordable devices, but Samsung wants to offer something for the people with deeper pockets.
At the Millionaire Fair (a concept so deplorable I could puke), Samsung announced that it would offer a Luxury Edition of its Galaxy tablet that would run roughly $1,000. Now, a grand isn’t all that bad for a piece of tech, but it is still a tablet, and it’s still running Android, which doesn’t charge for licensure. I suppose if you have piles of money to swim in, a $1,000 tablet doesn’t seem so bad. The Luxury Edition will be limited, available only until the end of January.
The device is expected to launch on Wednesday.
Bullz-Eye’s Holiday Gift Guide is out
If you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect holiday gift this year, we have something that could help you out. Our annual Bullz-Eye Holiday Gift Guide is out, including a section (written by yours truly) specifically devoted to gadgets.
Of course, you can also check out the rest of the guide, which includes games, movies, and virtually any other category of gift you might need help with. Happy shopping!
Posted in: accessories, Computers, iPad, iPhone, News
Tags: best gadgets, christmas gadgets, christmas gift ideas, gadget gift ideas, gadget gifts, gift guide, holiday gadgets, holiday gift
Eric Schmidt: No Chrome OS netbooks for the holidays
According to Google’s CEO, Chrome OS won’t be ready to go in notebooks until after the holiday. It’s a bummer, really, because the OS release could produce a glut of development from app makers looking to make web versions of their current software.
The OS was originally supposed launch well before the holidays, then it was pushed back to late November, now it’s looking like we won’t see it until next year, outside of beta anyway. Google says it will have more to share later in the year. Guess what, guys. It is later in the year. It’s very late in the year in fact, so just tell us it won’t be ready until next year. That’s all we need to know.
Several manufacturers have held a “no comment” status on launching Chrome netbooks. That can’t be a good thing. I figured there would be some excitement about a slim new OS that won’t have the crazy licensing fees of Microsoft products. Really makes me wonder why the OS has caught a delay. Is Google having trouble partnering with manufacturers? Did they back out after agreeing to support the platform a year ago?
Posted in: Computers, News
Tags: chrome, chrome hardware, chrome launch, chrome netbooks, chrome os, chrome release, google chrome, netbook os, operating systems, web apps