Have someone on your holiday list who loves a good quality gadget? Of course you do – how could you not? Whether you need some brand spankin’ new gadgets for your hubby or your son (or you’re trying to catch some holiday savings to pick up some new gadgets for yourself), we’ve got you covered. At Test Freaks we collect product reviews from all over the world to find out what’s truly the best of the best. Today we’re going to cover some of the hottest and highest-rated gadgets for the 2009 holiday shopping season. No matter what your gift recipients are into, you should be able to find something on this list to satisfy, from headphones and GPS units to cell phones and home theater equipment.
Approx. Price: $90.00
This device is one of the easiest ways to play HD movies, listen to digital music, hook up with USB drives and camcorders and other mass media devices. With full HD playback, photo/video/movie viewing, HDMI connections and tons of other great features, the Western Digital WD is one of the top media player devices this holiday season. It is inexpensive, sleek and gets the job done. You can now bring just about any media to your TV screen without the need of a computer or tons of extra hook-ups.
Approx. Price: $200 (Varies based on accompanying service plans and storage size)
The iPhone is almost a staple on Christmas gadget wish-lists these days. It’s nearly impossible to not recommend it. The iPhone took the mobile world by storm, and the 3GS is the latest installment in the line of hardware. The “S” is for speed, and this is Apple’s fastest, most responsive device in the iPhone line. It’s no doubt that millions of people’s holiday wish lists will have an iPhone on them. The 3GS is a huge hit here on TestFreaks and as such, our holiday recommendations would not be complete without it.
Approx. Prices: Too varied to say.
Google Android phones are the focus of attention this holiday season following the highly-publicized launch of the Motorola Droid, which was essentially being billed as the greatest phone ever created. They’re fast, they’re powerful, and they have an overwhelming wealth of features. We’re putting both the Droid (Verizon) and HTC Hero (Sprint) up here so this list will contain devices from several major carriers. If your holiday shopping demands picking up an Android-powered cell phone, these two are the market leaders and the heavy hitters this winter.
Approx. Price: $360
Blu-Ray players are consistently growing in demand as televisions get better, crisper, brighter pictures and stores continue to offer more Blu-Ray titles at better prices. It’s a reality – DVDs are slowly but surely being pushed away and consumers are expected to upgrade to a medium that better reflects the capability of their viewing hardware. This year, the LG BD390 is a huge must-have if your holiday list contains a Blu-Ray player and is a top seller. This particular networked player can connect directly to Netflix and YouTube, streaming video straight into your TV via Ethernet or wireless without the need of any other equipment. With full HD 1080p output and Dolby TrueHD sound, it’s a brilliant machine that will suit your Blu-Ray needs for years.
Approx. Price: $425
If you need a home theater system, this is the one to get. With 1000 watts of sound output and a Blu-Ray player that also plays DVDs and CDs, this is everything you will need for an amazing home theater system. It even has things like a universal iPod dock, SD memory input and has the ability to access the internet for streaming content without a PC. It’s the best bundle of its kind, especially for the price, and is the most complete package for bringing the full effect of a movie (or any other media you may have) into your living room. Nobody on your holiday list is going to be sad you bought them this setup.
Approx. Price: $320
There are a million digital cameras out there. If someone you know has asked for one without citing a specific model, you could have a real task at hand trying to figure out which one to buy. Unless, of course, you just go with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. It’s a great little camera with 12x wide angle optical zoom, a very nice high-res 3 inch LCD screen and is the first digital camera with the ability to capture HD video. It also has a clever facial recognition feature to assist in great picture taking. It has a solid build quality and is just an all-around awesome camera that will take great pictures, has a ton of features, can do amazing video and is an excellent value for the price. If you need a camera, don’t pass this one up.
Approx Price: $189
Need headphones? Need exceptionally light, professional monitoring headphones that produce some of the most accurate, rich sound reproduction available? The Sennheiser HD 380 PRO headphones are for people serious about their audio. At nearly $200, they’re not the cheapest headphones you can buy – but they are arguably the best. They define professional grade audio equipment and feature a closed, circumaural design that delivers perfect audio to your ear. Don’t pick these up for your kid to plug into their PSP, but anyone wanting top-grade headphones will not be dissatisfied with this wonderful gadget.
Approx. Price: $135-165 depending on storage size.
The Apple iPod is the seminal MP3 player on the market. The Nano, the compact, uber portable version of the iPod is now in its 5th generation and is a super hot item this holiday season. Available in 8GB or 16GB formats and in seven different colors, the iPod Nano is a simple to use, convenient MP3 player with great battery life and a 2.2” screen that works horizontally and vertically. This new Nano even features a pedometer for those who take it on walks, a built-in FM radio with iTunes Tagging and Live Pause, a built-in video camera and VoiceOver technology. It’s a brilliant little gadget available at a very affordable price.
Approx. Price: $200-270 depending on storage space.
Maybe your holiday pal doesn’t want an iPod. Maybe they want something with more storage space, a bigger screen, HD radio, a high-definition video screen, internet browsing via wi-fi and a touchscreen. In that case, they’ll want a Zune HD Video MP3 player. It’s a full portable video and music experience that is a direct competitor to the Apple line of products, and a super huge hit this holiday season. It’s a very well-designed piece of hardware that will keep any gadget lover happy.
Approx. Price: $120
Like cell phones, cameras and many other electronic gadgets, GPS units are becoming so popular that the number of available models can be overwhelming. One of the favorite models on Test Freaks is the TomTom XL 340, a very easy to use GPS navigator that offers great functionality while retaining a low price tag. At only around $120, it features a 4.3 inch touchscreen, spoken turn-by-turn directions, 3D graphics, functionality in USA, Canada and Mexico, photorealistic images, 7 million points of interest, up-to-date traffic info, the ability to modify the maps on your own device and more. It works right out of the box and comes from one of the most respected brands in GPS navigation. It’s a great unit with features you won’t find anywhere else for the price.