It's that time of year when shoppers start gearing up for the holiday shopping season (or madness!),and by now you are, undoubtedly, preparing your lists. Whether you're planning to give or get gadgets this year (why not both?), here are the ones you can't possibly resist!
We'll start with the lower-priced items and work our way up!
Wearable technology is all the rage these days, and Fitbit is the company that launched wearable activity trackers into the public eye back in 2008. Today, the company produces devices in various price points, but the Zip remains a fantastic option for just about any budget at only $59.95.
Designed to help you become more active, the Zip counts your steps, distance, and calories burned. It attaches easily to your clothing, and has a battery that lasts up to 6 months(!) without charging!
Even better: it syncs wirelessly with all the latest tablets & phones, including iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy devices, and plenty of others, virtually guaranteeing that you'll be able to use the Fitbit Zip with another device you already own.
2015 has been a great year for gamers. And the big-name franchises have not let us down! The next three installments on our list are the 3 big new games... all at $59.99.
With over 175 million copies sold, Call of Duty is one of the most popular and biggest-selling game series of all time. With its earlier games set in WWII, the Black Ops series has catapulted us well into the future, with the 3rd installment set in a dark, dystopian 2065.
With unbelievably realistic graphics, and lots of new shoot-em-up technology, Black Ops III promises to be a huge hit. Releasing just in time for the 2015 holiday season, the game is available for all the major platforms, although to get the most out of the experience, you'll want to have the latest Playstation or Xbox console... or a hefty Windows machine!
Also brand new for this holiday season, the science-fiction first-person shooter Halo 5: Guardians promises to be a big hit with fans of this futuristic franchise thanks to its 2 new multiplayer modes. Released exclusively for Microsoft's Xbox One console, the game propels the Halo story through its next chapter, and provides all-new experiences for online play.
Released in late October, 2015, Halo 5 found early acclaim. Forbes called it "...probably the best-looking game on Xbox One, and without a doubt it’s one of the most enjoyable multiplayer experiences on Microsoft’s latest console."
The 9th installment in Ubisoft's award-winning historical fiction game series, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is set in Victorian-era London, with its story taking place against the backdrop of organized crime in the Industrial Revolution.
Assassin's Creed is exclusively a single-player game, but with Syndicate the series provides a new twist: the ability to freely switch between two different protagonists. Beating some of the other big franchises to the punch with an early release date, Syndicate is already receiving much higher reviews than last-year's installment, Unity. Available now for the latest Playstation & Xbox consoles, a Windows version is scheduled for release on November 19th.
With the amazing digital audio capabilities of our smartphones these days, it seems a shame to be limited to the tiny speakers built in to those devices. But that's where the latest Bluetooth® box from the legendary Bose® brand comes in.
Just 7" wide, this little boomer is small enough to carry around—and light enough, too, at only 1.5 pounds—but packs a big punch. With up to 10 hours of battery life, it's great for tunes on the go, but also comes with a nifty charging cradle where it can live at home or at work for more stationary tunes. No Bluetooth®? No problem. The Soundlink II also comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, so it's compatible with just about any sound source that can accommodate headphones, including your MP3 player.
Whether you're an audiophile yourself or you have one on your gift list, this top-rated device is the one you want for big sound from a little box!
Prefer to keep those big sounds to yourself? The Powerbeats2 wireless earbuds from Beats by Dre are the ones to have!
New for 2015, these high-fidelity buds feature the legendary Beats sound in a Bluetooth® package that's perfect for your workout, commute, or anywhere else you want to take your tunes. Just pair the Powerbeats2 buds with your device, and you've instantly got a range of up to 30' for your music. But it doesn't stop there, the simple remote controls allow you to make and receive hands-free calls, adjust the volume, and more, all from the buds.
Complete with a hard-shell carrying case, the built-in 6-hour rechargeable battery (with charger), and 4 pairs of tips, this power-packed set of buds is the perfect companion for your iOS device at only $199.
If you have a home full of high-tech gadgets, why would you trust your home security to low-tech systems? The Canary is the smartphone-controlled home security solution that features everything you could want in a single box.
Want 1080p HD video you can view from your smartphone? Canary's got it. Motion-activated recording? A 90+ dB siren? Want to monitor the temperature & humidity inside your home from your smartphone? What about night-vision infrared LEDs to see what's going on in the dark?
It's all here and more with this $199 device that requires no monthly fees! (If you want professional monitoring, it's available as an option.) This device is a leap forward in home security for the smartphone era, and might even earn you a discount on your homeowner's insurance to boot!
If you've been waiting to get in on the smartwatch craze until Apple joined the fray, then this Holiday Season is the time to make your move!
Your favorite smartphone maker has finally satisfied our cravings since making us salivate over the Apple Watch in last year's announcement. And this beauty does not disappoint! You'll need an iPhone 5 or newer (running at least iOS 8.2), but when you pair this wearable gadget up... you won't believe how beautiful and functional it is!
CNET calls it, "...most ambitious, well-constructed smartwatch ever seen," and you'll see why when you hold this beauty in your hand and strap it to your wrist. Way more than just a timekeeper, you can use the Apple Watch to track your activity (Apple style), get notifications from your iOS device, read text messages, control your music, and—perhaps the most useful feature—handle checkouts with Apple Pay... all from your wrist!
With a wide variety of watch faces, apps, and customization available, you'll be talking to Siri and making your life better in no time! Starting at $349, the Apple Watch is the wearable tech to own this Christmas!
OK so you might think you're a fan of Apple's legendary tablets, but wait till you meet iPad Pro. This brand-new device is releasing this month and is Apple's largest and most powerful iPad yet!
Coming it at 12.9" wide, this beauty features an eye-popping 2732 x 2048 resolution display that will make everything gorgeous! With its new larger format, the latest iteration of iPad offers 78% more real estate than its current flagship, the iPad Air 2. But don't let its size scare you, the geniuses inside Apple's design unit have this thing weighing in at only 1.57 pounds! And thanks to some new under-the-hood wizardry, you can still expect all-day battery life at a claimed 10 hours!
iPad Pro also features Apple's most powerful mobile processor yet, the 64-bit A9X, which gives all your apps, entertainment, video, and other stuff plenty of horsepower to run with lightning speed and fluidity.
Oh... and the sound? Well get this: iPad Pro has 4 speakers (four!) that automagically adjust the balance depending upon how you have your device positioned so it always delivers the best possible sound. And the 8 MP rear camera and 1.2 MP front camera give you plenty of ability to capture amazing images, Facetime with friends and family, and annoy people at concerts with Apple's biggest display yet!
Starting at $799 for the Wi-Fi version, iPad Pro will be available in a full complement of wireless and storage options to suit your needs!
Not an Apple fan? Need a 12-inch tablet that runs all of your Windows software and can truly replace your laptop? Look no further than the Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft.
With its first real foray into the hardware business, Microsoft surprised everyone several years ago with the gorgeous design of its first Surface tablets. Now, with the 3rd generation of Surface tablets, these elegant devices have only improved in quality and utility.
The Surface Pro 3 runs Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, which means you can use it to handle all your trusted, favorite Windows software, but in a handy 1.76-pound package.
The Verge said, "The Surface Pro 3 does a better job of cramming a full-powered computer into a touchscreen tablet than anything ever has before."
With a full HD display (2160 x 1440 resolution), the Surface Pro 3 comes with a variety of SSD options. Though it has multi-touch input, you can also use the stylus for natural handwriting and pen-based control of Microsoft Office and other apps. Starting at only $799, this device will have you wishing you'd ditched your laptop a lot sooner!
These are our top 10 picks for geeks, gadget-lovers, and gift-givers alike this Christmas season! Which ones are you dreaming of? Let us know in the comments!
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