Electronic gadgets run gamut from practical to pure funWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
This holiday season, electronic gadgets continue the push to experience media in new ways, stay in touch, and dazzle with practical applications.
3-D films found success in theaters this year, so companies are predictably seeking the same triumph in the home film viewing experience with 3-D TVs. These high-end televisions range in the thousands, so it may be awhile before they break below one grand. These televisions also require special glasses.
Web TV boxes also expand this holiday season with another iteration of Apple TV at a lower price. Google TV offers more and costs more, while Roku features 75 more channels. Boxee has remote compatibility with Android phones and iPhones, while WDTV Hub serves as a large media server beaming to a TV without using Wi-Fi.
Computer tablet and reading device options expand with a wide range of applications this holiday season.
The Apple iPad features extensive applications using the latest touch screen technology and video capabilities. This tablet computer has created a lot of buzz with Wi-Fi or 3G network capabilities with a large 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1024 by 768. The large size, lightweight (1.5 pounds) and sharp display increase the interactive experience as users can it help but interact with it while the durability promotes constant use.
The high battery life and 1GHz processor help this electronic device run video efficiently while improving other functions and Web browsing. Games and applications are constantly expanding and include the Flipboard application, which provides even more functionality and fun on the iPad. This app creates a personalized social magazine based on Facebook and Twitter content. The app creates a table of contents and quick navigation while allowing content creation. The new Hyundai Equus luxury car includes an Apple iPad with an interactive, pre-loaded owner’s manual featuring special animations and more than 20 videos.
The Samsung “Galaxy Tab” Android-based tablet computer features a 1024 by 600 high-resolution, 7-inch touchscreen into the tablet computer market. Other features include a 3-megapixel camera, seven inch touchscreen, Flash compatibility, seven hours of battery power and expandable memory using microSD cards. The Galaxy Tab features applications like Google Sky Map and will be available in a WiFi version soon.
Amazon’s Kindle 3 offers a lightweight electronic reading device at 8.7 ounces with a regular display that reads well in sunlight. The 4 GB internal memory allows users to build extensive library including many classic books available free in the Kindle Store. Users can store a maximum of approximately 3,500 average length books and even convert document files into the Kindle format. The maximum size of each file is 50 MB.
The sleek design works for right-handed or left-handed users and the battery lasts one month with the wireless option off. Users can change text size, and zoom features are available, but would be better with touch screen capabilities. The built-in Wi-Fi and 3G options let users share passages on Facebook or Twitter and build bookmark caches for easy reference. This is available in white or graphite.
The Apple MacBook Air takes thin, lightweight computers to another level while still providing an 11.6-inch screen at high-resolution (1366 by 768), all-flash storage, 2.3-pound weight, built-in camera, two USB ports and an approximate five-hour battery life with each charge. Also available in 13.3-inch size weighing an amazing 2.9 pounds.
Mobile electronics continue advancing capabilities in video, media and GPS tracking.
Mimoco is offering a line of Mimobot USB flash memory drives in the shapes of licensed characters from “Hello Kitty,” “Star Wars,” “Halo” and “Domo.” The “Star Wars” drives offers such creative options as unmasked stormtroopers of Han or Luke, an unmasked Darth Vader and detailed versions of R2-D2, Wampa and Lobot. They range from 2 GB to 4 GB and are sturdy drives that include wallpapers, icons and sound bytes.
The Ion Audio Twin Video Recorder features two lenses and two microphones, which can be great for two-way communications. This lightweight camera uses an SD card and boasts a long battery life.
The Flip Ultra HD features pocket-sized mobile video cameras in high definition. Users can take up to two hours of video just with the internal memory. Image stabilization and digital zoom help users easily capture images then download them through the built-in USB to a computer using pre-loaded FlipShare software.
The iPod touch is always a popular mobile device. The latest 32 GB version gives media fanatics plenty of storage space for up to 7,000 songs, 40,000 photos, or 40 hours of video. It can play up to 30 hours of music or six hours of video on the 3.5 inch screen when fully charged.
The Microsoft HTC HD7, also known as Windows Phone 7, gives the iPhone some competition with a segmented display format for easier navigation using the 4.3-inch touchscreen.
The Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver has an appealing watch design with cool features like heart rate monitor, speed/distance calculations, sporting event performance tracker and is waterproof when under shallow water for a maximum of 30 minutes. This is a practical GPS option for active users. Garmin also offers the Nüvi 4.3-inch widescreen portable GPS navigator with voice prompted direction instructions, anti-theft lock, text-to-speech options, and detachability for travel on foot.
All ages electronic fun is never hard to find during the holidays. Showcase skills with everyone as education and entertainment combine into memorable moments.
Older kids can try a wide array of electronic and robotic building kits from companies like Elenco Electronics and OWI that even teach soldering skills. Electronic careers can be developed even more with Snap Circuits kits from Elenco that feature more than 750 experiments with 80 parts. Try out kits for robot arms, radios, doorbells, burglar alarms and even solar-powered bugs.
Young ones can enjoy the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer Learning Game System, which expands into online activities, as well as an extensive set of LeapFrog Explorer software and game library with popular titles including “Dora The Explorer,” “Star Wars,” “Madagascar,” “Ni Hao, Kai lan,” “Tangled” and “Toy Story.”
Video game fanatics can always find unique options like the controller free Kinect for the Xbox 360, the PlayStation Move motion controller for the PlayStation 3, and the uDraw Tablet on the Nintendo Wii.
Power Gig SixString guitar controller/rhythm game offers music game fans a more realistic interface for learning and enjoy playing guitar on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with a Wii version on the way.
The Tron Zero G Light Cycle offer some unique remote control (RC) fun this Christmas. Yes, the cycle can go vertical, but the extra interactions between two cycles and the light trials the cycles leave behind really put these tech wonders beyond the typical RC racer. Available in blue and orange.
Other electronic toy offerings include the K’NEX Loopin’ Lightning Coaster, Fast Lane Remote-Control Mega Crane, and the 24-key FAO Schwarz Big Piano similar to the one seen in the Tom Hanks movie “Big.”