It's that time again – the stuffing is long gone and the “Black Friday" euphoria has worn off, time to really get down to the business of Christmas shopping. Whether it's Uncle Gary or Grandma you're shopping for, there's surely a gadget on the market to please. With prices ranging from “hey, that's cheap!" to “maybe I should sell some stock?," this holiday gadget guide provides some foolproof suggestions for the impossible-to-shop-for.
The (new) perennial classic, E-Readers allow their owners to ignore other public transportation riders and catch up on the latest John Grisham novel! When they came out a few years ago, they were prohibitively priced and often had limited titles available. There are now nearly a dozen models available, some priced as low as $139. The Barnes and Noble “Nook" and Amazon's “Kindle" are the frontrunners in this category, offering similar interfaces and price points. Before purchasing a reader for a loved one, find out what color and size they prefer – you know, on the off chance they don't like lime green polka dots.
The new kid of the block, tablets, most notably the iPad, allow for laptop-comparable computing with the small size of an E-Reader. The iPad, at press time priced in the mid-$400s, is the first and arguably best in the category, offering thousands of useful apps, games and processing options. Google/Verizon is rumored to be launching their own “Chrome" tablet sometime after Thanksgiving which could give the iPad a run for its money. Either way, it won't be long before desktop computers go the way of the 8-Track, so get on the bandwagon already.
So you've got an extra three grand lying around and you think to yourself “Hey, what would Cousin Edna like this year?" Well, look no further…3D TVs are here! Sony is leading the pack with its Bravias and other models, and many other manufacturers are working to further the development of this exciting technology. Some of the Sony models on the market also offer internet capability, allowing users to instantly stream video or surf the web, all from the comfort of their couch. With technology advancing so quickly some may be wary to purchase the “first generation" of these TVs, but rest assured no one will be disappointed to receive this gift. And by no one, I mean me.
Safe Recipe Reader
You know how that old cookbook your mom passed down is all sticky with drippings and splattered with grease? Pretty gross. For all the chefs in your family, consider the Demy Kitchen Safe Recipe Reader, a stand-up E-Reader style recipe book designed to withstand the wear and tear holiday cooking brings. It holds thousands of recipes, preserving them for generations to come. Throw the reader in with one of the dozens of inexpensive digital food thermometers now available, and you've got a gift basket worthy of Julia Child herself.
This product will do for road trips what, well, portable DVD players did for road trips. But hey, no pesky DVD purchases! The Wingard Company's Cio, a portable LCD TV that works best in the car, picks up local TV stations much like the radio picks up local airwaves. The price is still to be announced, but hey, giving peace of mind to any new parents in your life is worth it, right? And you can always give this gift to yourself so you can make it through your niece's spring wedding without missing a minute of the big game.
Electric Turkey Fryer
That year dad accidentally burned the garage down trying to deep fry a tur-duck-en, that was the best Thanksgiving ever, no? And that bird, so juicy, so tender. Unfortunately, he's been scared to go near a boiling cauldron of oil ever since, but Butterball's got the perfect solution: the Electric Turkey Fryer. Capable of frying a 14lb. bird as well as other delicacies (donuts! French fries!) and priced around $100, this baby's the ticket for any real man's man in your life. And by man's man, I mean me again. Rather than settling for the same old iTunes gift card or Sopranos DVD set, think outside the box this year when it comes to gadget gift giving. No one expects the latest and greatest tech product, so why not be the hit of the party when you stroll in with a giant box and Best Buy security detail? Rest assured, those elves are no longer whittling and painting their way to a happy holiday season, they're coiling digital cable and plugging in USBs.