Running out of gift ideas for your friends? Figuring out what to nudge your loving family into getting you? Take a peek at El Vaquero’s guide to all the gizmos and gadgets you’ll ever need. At least until the holidays roll around next year.
The only new gaming console out this year, and possibly the last manifestation of a physical game console as we now know it, the Wii U is a strong attempt to breathe life into the ailing gaming industry. It boasts a touchscreen controller that doubles as a handheld console as its claim to fame. With HD graphics, television integration, and backwards compatibility with Wii games. Price: $299.99 for 8-gigabyte basic model, $349.99 for deluxe 32-gigabyte model.
Nikon’s Coolpix S800c
A point-and-shoot camera running Android? That’s right, this 16-megapixel, Wi-Fi-enabled touchscreen camera runs Android 2.3, allowing you to download apps to seamlessly upload and share your pictures across your social networking platforms. Could it get you to ditch your smartphone? Maybe not, but it is an impressive piece of machinery nonetheless. Price: $349.99
The latest digital video player, Boxee TV delivers the same Netflix and Amazon Video Player that others do, but it differs from others in two big ways. One, it comes with an HD antenna, giving you access to live major broadcast networks, such as NBC or ABC. Two, it is capable of unlimited cloud storage service for recorded TV, though at an additional cost. While a good next step to what TV will look like in the future, this is not a replacement for cable; most of the major cable networks are still out of reach, and no access to premium networks such as HBO without a cable connection.
Price: $99 for the set top box and $9.99 per month for unlimited digital video recording
Microsoft is making a big effort to compete with Apple for the youth shopper and with a huge marketing campaign, the Surface might do the trick. It doesn’t exactly revolutionize the tablet, however. It does make use of the same Windows 8 operating system found on your average PC or desktop, making cross device compatibility much easier. The picture quality and smoothness of the touchscreen is admittedly better on the iPad, with the Surface only sporting a one megapixel camera against the iPad’s five megapixel camera.
Though you may want to wait for the HD Surface Pro, coming out in January.
New Trent iCarrier
This is a beast of a portable charger, to put it lightly. It holds enough power to fully charge an average smartphone six times and can charge two devices at the same time. Great for traveling, conferences, or for a situation that will put you away from a wall outlet for any extended period of time.
Want to ski down the slope while recording all the action? Want to do it with a device straight out of “Mission Impossible?” These glasses contain an HD still and video camera right between the eyes, and even come with prescription lenses. Though the sound when it is recording is pretty noisy and lackluster, the film and video quality is gorgeous. It would be great if there was a way to review what you record, but that will probably have to wait for better technology.