Holiday Tech Gift Guide 2011

By Instructional Development Services Staff (Josh Butcher, Hayley Dallmann, Carlo Daniels, Michael Kieca, and Amanda Richards)

In this years holiday tech gift guide we will highlight several tech gifts in a variety of price ranges from Under $100, $100-$500, and Over $500. We hope you enjoy them and enjoy the holiday season!!

Under $100

iHome iD9

Price: $99.99

iHome iD9

The iHome iD9 is a portable, rechargeable speaker system for the iPad, iPod, and/or iPhone.  It has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that allows you to charge any of your devices while it plays.  It includes the SRS TruBass and Reson 8 sound technology which supplies an amazing audio experience.  This iHome works with both iHome+Sleep and iHome+Radio apps.  This allows you to hook-up your device to be used as your alarm as well as listening to a global radio station.  This iHome also has an Aux-in jack that allows you to plug into any other audio source (computer, CD player, etc.).

Features:

  • Rechargeable battery
  • Plays iPad/iPod/iPhone
  • SRS TruBass sound enhancement
  • Reson 8 speakers
  • Aux-in jack
  • App friendly

For more information and to purchase the iHome iD9 please visit https://www.ihomeaudio.com/iD9SVC/

Space Bar

Price: $79

The Space Bar designed by those at Quirky is a slim, sleek designed accessory to your computer or any other tech device.  It allows you to have a computer, monitor or other device on top of the space bar and store a keyboard or anything else such as papers, notepads underneath creating more space on your desk.  It creates more space, gives you additional USB ports, and scales down the clutter on your desk.

Features:

  • Made of brushed aluminum with white plastic accents.
  • Can stow a keyboard up to 18” long by 1.5” high and supports up to 30.5 pounds weight.
  • Six USB ports, four in the front and two in the back.  Includes one mini-USB port and one AC adapter port.
  • Includes black AC adapter and USB cord.

For more information and to purchase the Space Bar, please visit http://www.quirky.com/products/22.

PowerCurl

Price: $14.99

Frustrated with having your Apple laptop power cord always tangled up when you take it out for use and when you pack it up?  Well the PowerCurl is a great solution for eliminating that tangled mess and providing a “wound up” solution!  The PowerCurl is a clip-on cord wrap for Apple’s 45W, 60W, 85W, and the older rectangular 85W MagSafe Power Adapter.  It makes it a cinch to unplug and pack up quickly without having to untangle your extension cords the next time you use your laptop.

Features:

  • Both ends of the cord (the wall plug and the MagSafe end) can wrap around the device, allowing for quick and easy unraveling.
  • Included clip enables the plug end of the cord to clip to itself, much like your MagSafe end does.
  • Elevates the power adapter for improved air circulation and cooling.
  • Available in pink, blue, grey, lime green, and orange for the 60W and 85W models and orange for the 45W and 85W long models.
  • PowerCurl sizes match up with the default power adapters for the following Apple laptop models:
    • 45W – MacBook Air
    • 60W – MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro
    • 85W – 15-and 17-inch MacBook Pro
    • 85W long – older generation 15-and 17-inch MacBook Pro (rectangular)

For more information and to purchase the PowerCurl, please visit http://www.quirky.com/products/15-PowerCurl-Mac-Cord-Manager.

Pivot Power

Price: $29.99

Does most of your office electronic equipment have large block power adapters and you can never get them all plugged into those rectangle power strips?  Well the Pivot Power will solve that!  Pivot Power is a long power strip that was designed to be flexible and adjust in different positions so that you can plug all those bulky adapters in at the same time.

Features:

  • Six adjustable outlets.
  • 673 Joules of rock-solid protection.
  • Pivots around furniture and hard to reach places.
  • Six feet of cord with a flat head plug.

For more information and to purchase the Pivot Power, please visit http://www.quirky.com/products/44-Pivot-Power-Flexible-Power-Strip.

NetGear NeoTV NTV 200

Price:  $79

NetGear’s NeoTV streams thousands of movies and TV shows instantly from Netflix, Vudu, and more on your TV.  You can access the best selection of streaming entertainment – channels, games and much more like Hollywood movies, latest TV shows, music, photos, games, tech news, and podcasts.

Stream movies and tv shows from Netflix, new movie releases from Vudu, watch YouTube videos, listen to music with Pandora, and play games that come installed.

Features:

  • Easy setup.
  • Up to 1080p HD streaming.
  • Built-in Wireless-N for extended-range (b/g/n compatible)
  • Ethernet Port
  • HDMI video output
  • 5.1 surround sound

For more information on the NetGear NeoTV NTV200 please visit http://www.netgear.com/ntv.

You can purchase the NetGear NeoTV NTV200 at the following retailers: Amazon.com, Frys.com, JR.com, and Newegg.com. 

Roku Streaming Players

Price:  $49.99 – 99.99

Roku launched the first product designed to deliver movies from Netflix instantly on to the TV using the power of the Internet.  With Roku it is a snap to enjoy the best movies and TV shows, live sports, music, games and more – all instantly on your TV whenever you want it.  It connects easily to your TV and wireless (Wi-Fi) network at home so you can be up and streaming within minutes.  With the simple remote you can choose what you want to watch and it starts instantly.  It’s even more convenient than watching a DVD.

Features:

  • Four different devices to choose from:
    • Roku LT – $49.99
    • Roku 2 – $59.99
    • Roku 2 XD – $79.99
    • Roku 2 XS – $99.99
    • The more expensive devices get you additional features that the cheaper devices do not have such as expandable memory slot plus Bluetooth, Ethernet port and USB port, and 1080p video.
    • Each player comes with 350+ entertainment channels that include hundreds of free movies.
    • Works with virtually any TV.
    • Built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.

For more information and to purchase one of the Roku devices please visit http://www.roku.com/roku-products.

Tascum IM2 Stereo Microphone

Price:  $79

Turn your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into a high-quality stereo recorder with the Tascum IM2 Stereo Microphone.  The Tascum IM2 consists of two condenser microphones that plug directly into the dock connector of your Apple device.  The microphones are adjustable over 180 degrees to get the best sound placement.

Features:

  • Stereo condenser microphones for iPhone 4, iPod Touch or iPad dock connection
  • High-quality stereo condenser microphones – same as our best-selling DR-series recorders
  • Microphones adjustable 180 degrees front to back
  • Built-in analog to digital converter and microphone preamp for low noise recording
  • 125dB SPL maximum level for recording loud shows without distortion
  • Switchable limiter attenuates high-level signals to prevent recording overload
  • Adjustable input level control
  • Powered through iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch dock connector
  • USB input allows the iPhone or iPad to be charged from a USB connection or optional TASCAM PS-P515U
  • CD-quality digital recording (44.1kHz/16-bit linear PCM)
  • Compact size ideal for mobile use
  • Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 4G, iPad, iPad 2

For more information on the Tascum IM2 Stereo Microphone please visit http://tascam.com/product/im2/overview/.

To purchase the Tascum IM2 Stereo Microphone please visit http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/829391-REG.

$100 – $500

Contour HD Cameras

Price:  $200 – $500

Contour, formerly known as VholdR, is the market leader in hands-free video cameras and adventure storytelling tools that enable modern day explorers to tell their stories of action, adventure and travel through video.  They are dedicated to creating simple tools that allow hands-free capture and easy sharing of video online with the world.  The contour cameras are able to be attached to the many mounting accessories that are made such as helmet mounts, bike mounts, underwater accessories, hunting, etc.

They offer 3 different camera products:  ContourROAM, ContourGPS, and Contour+.

ContourROAM, which is priced at $199.99, is made to be a simple ideal camera for a fun and easy experience capturing your adventures anywhere life may take you.  All you have to do is slide the switch to record and instantly filming.

ContourGPS, which is priced at $299.99 adds tracking capability, which adds speed, location and elevation to the picture.  The camera is set up with a GPS receiver that auto-maps the three essentials of location, speed and elevation at up to four times per second to create a continuous track of coordinates.  Once your adventure is complete the GPS track will synchronize with your video footage to provide a second-by-second replay via Google Maps of the run you ripped, the route you rallied or the ride you crushed.

Contour+, which is priced at $499.99, was designed for the true videographer.  It has an increased field of vision with a 170° wide angle rotating lens.  It enables live streaming via HDMI to allow for direct connection for film shoots, event coverage and contest runs.

For more information and to purchase one of the Contour HD cameras please visit http://contour.com/.

Lytro Camera

Price:  $399-$499

Lytro has developed a camera that allows users to change the focus of a picture after the picture is taken by using light field photography.  Light field photography captures all available light in a scene going in every direction.  The ability to focus after the fact means that there is no auto-focus motor meaning no shutter delay.  So you can capture the moment you meant to capture instead of the moment that a shutter-delayed camera captured for you.

Features:

  • 8X optical zoom lens with a constant f/2 aperture, capturing maximum light across the entire zoom range.
  • Lightweight yet solid, built for stability, and easy to use.
  • Instant shutter means no loss of time focusing.
  • Instant power on.
  • None of those unnecessary modes, dials, or setting, no auto-focus, no shutter lag and no flash as Lytro can handle many low light settings.
  • No obstacles in the way for that perfect shot!
  • When you share them from your Mac, your friends enjoy the same interactive control as you, on nearly any device without needing special software.

For more information or to purchase the Lytro camera please visit http://www.lytro.com.

Kindle Fire

Price:  $199

The Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet that was created by Amazon and offers a wide variety of services such as movies, apps, games, music, reading, and web browsing.  This tablet is linked directly to the Amazon database and allows you to choose from their collection of movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books.  Thousands of the must-have apps such as Pandora, Netflix, and HULU are available, plus Amazon is offering the perk that every day you’ll get a paid app for free. Amazon has a special feature called “Cloud Storage” which saves you from worrying about memory usage from things like apps and movies by allowing you to keep your amazon content in a separate database that is available for you to stream instantly at any time. The Kindle Fire exceeds any non-apple made tablet in the market because of its stunning color, simple usage, and the low price of $199.

For more information and to purchase the Kindle Fire please visit http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Amazon-Tablet/dp/B0051VVOB2.

iPad2

Price:  Starts at $499

Apple’s latest tablet product, the iPad 2, is lighter, slimmer, and faster than its predecessor.  It features Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities and has a beautiful LED-backlit and multi-touch display that serves as the user interface.  Being only .34 inches thin weighing only 1.33 pounds, using the iPad2 feels like a comfortable extension of your hand to watch movies, surf the web, check e-mail, read books, etc.  The product sports two 5MP cameras (one at the front and another at the rear) that can be used for HD video recording, taking photos and video chatting with the FaceTime application.  The new A5 dual core chip for the iPad 2 allows for operation of the tablet at twice the speed of the original iPad, making anything that is touched load quickly and respond instantaneously. The new iCloud feature also allows for one that has his/her media stored on his/her iPad to appear on other Apple products.  So if one were to download a video, buy a song, take a photo, etc. on his/her iPad, iCloud can make sure that it appears on the user’s Mac Computer, iPhone, etc.  Additional features include the ability to print wirelessly and broadcast to an HDTV.  With its new iOS 5 operating system, the iPad 2 has over 200 new features – including Notification Center, Newsstand, and iMessage, which all the more make Apple’s iPad2 one of the strongest competitors in the tablet market.  What is more is that over 140,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad 2 allow for it to do almost anything.   It makes a great gift for students, business people, educators, etc.

For more information and to purchase the iPad 2 please visit http://www.apple.com/ipad.

Over $500

Epson Megaplex Projector

Price:  $799

The Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD portable digital dock projector is an innovative product that reinvents how you share presentations, slideshows, high-def movies, audio and more.  Just place your Apple device in the built-in dock or connect your smartphone, tablet, gaming console, PC and more and you will get remarkable resolution and bright output ensuring you vivid content, even when it’s enlarged to a 100-inch image.

Features:

  • Super-size content from digital devices up to 12x larger than a 40-inch screen.
  • Ultra-bright HD images with saturated colors
  • Built-in dock
  • Versatility for a wide range of devices
  • Big stereo sound
  • Built to travel
  • Maximum flexibility – HDMI plus other audio/video connections
  • Share audio files – can be used as a speaker dock without displaying video
  • USB plug ‘n play instant setup – instantly projects audio and video from a PC or Mac via a USB connection
  • PC-free slideshows – plug your USB memory device into the USB port and present.

For more information and to purchase the Epson MegaPlex MG-850HD projector please visit http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?sku=V11H444020.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Price:  $899

Photographers looking for an easy-to-use camera that will help them create their next masterpiece need look no further than the Canon EOS Rebel T3i. The next in a long line of phenomenal compact DSLRs, the EOS Rebel T3i continues the Rebel tradition of easy operation, compact design and no-compromise performance. Featuring Canon’s newest DIGIC 4 Image Processor and an 18.0 megapixel CMOS image sensor – plus cutting-edge technologies like HD video recording, Live View shooting, Wireless flash photography and even a Vari-angle 3.0″ LCD monitor – the EOS Rebel T3i offers the best of EOS photography in a compact package.

Features:

  • 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and DIGIC 4 Image Processor for high image quality and speed.
  • ISO 100 – 6400 (expandable to 12800) for shooting from bright to dim light.
  • Improved EOS Full HD Movie mode with manual exposure control, expanded recording [1920 x 1080 Full HD video at frame rates of 30 (29.97), 24 (23.976) and 25.0 frames per second] with new Movie Digital zoom and Video Snapshot features for enhanced movie shooting options.
  • Vari-angle 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor (3:2) for shooting at high or low angles and 1,040,000-dot VGA with reflection reduction using multi coating and high-transparency materials for bright and clear viewing.
  • New Scene Intelligent Auto mode and Picture Style Auto incorporating the new EOS Scene Detection System to capture beautiful scenes with ease.
  • Express your creativity with advanced imaging features like Basic+ function, Multi-Aspect function and Creative Filters.
  • Enhanced metering with a 63-zone, Dual-layer metering system for accurate metering between exposures, and 9-point AF system utilizing a high precision, f/2.8 cross-type center point.
  • 3.7 fps continuous shooting up to approximately 34 JPEGs or approximately 6 RAW.
  • New Feature Guide offers short descriptions of each function and Quick Control screen for easy operation.
  • Compatibility with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.
  • Compatible with the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses.

For more information on the Canon EOS Rebel T3i please visit http://usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_rebel_t3i_18_55mm_is_ii_kit.

To purchase the Canon EOS Rebel T3i please visit http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/753762-REG/Canon_5169B003_EOS_Rebel_T3i_Digital.html.


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