2012 Gift Guide

Colorful lights illuminate the night as nostalgic melodies captivate the senses. Whether you’re ready or not, the holidays are here.

Although this is the “happiest” season, it is also the most stressful.  Long checkout lines, the worry of being able to please, and high price tags for the latest high tech toy can be overwhelming.

Yes, iPads, Nexus, Kindles, Suface tablets, and Lytro cameras will be amongst the most sought-out products this season. But just in case those products are out of stock as you approach the shelf, we have compiled our top 11 tech gadgets for the 2012 holiday season – at every price point.

The Practical Gift


Stress Ball – $19.99

A deadline is approaching and nothing seems to be going the right way. No worries. Plug this stress ball into the computer and take out your anger from that project without really damaging anything.


USB Wall Plug – $16 – $21

Nothing seems to charge directly from an outlet anymore – and outlet converters are so small that they can easily be misplaced. This plug may not be the most extravagant of gifts, but it’s extremely pragmatic for everyday use.


USB Negative Scanner – $35

In a world before Instagram, there was film. It was difficult to develop – and the only way of transferring the image into a digital format was by scanning a developed image. This USB Negative Scanner allows you to take previously-developed film strips and turn them into digital files immediately, preserving memories before the days of Instagram.


Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless – $180

Finding a way to preserve the information from your phone or tablet before it crashes is imperative… and syncing with clouds might not always provide the best solution. The Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless hard drive lets you connect with your external hard drive over a secure wireless network, backing up all your files automatically.


Cisco Linksys E4200 – $169

Not all routers are the same. Typical routers can leave dead or weak zones with slow Internet connectivity in certain areas of a house. Cisco Linksys E4200 holds a wider range and withstands continuous heavy data transfers without disconnecting. The entire router was designed to maximize streaming, file transfers and wireless gaming through a smooth network by limiting interference with the data. The router also includes the Cisco Connect Desktop Software that enables the router’s admin to control and secure the network in an easy-to-understand format.


Nest Thermostat – $249

Smart homes are not only becoming realistic, they’re becoming more affordable. This Nest Thermostat enables you to control your home’s temperature via your phone. Not only that, but the Nest remembers temperature patterns of the home and automatically sets the preferences after a few weeks to create the prefect temperate environment throughout the day.


Robotic Lawn Mower – $2699.95

For the extremely hot days where going outside to mow the lawn seems unbearable, power up the Robotic Lawn Mower, sit back, and relax. The bot is programmed to the landscape around your house and just needs a full charge to manicure your lawn.


For The Tech-A-Holics


Lumia 920 & Nexus 4 – $99 & $299

Looking for phones that aren’t under the Apple brand? Look no further. Nokia’s Lumia 920 runs on Windows 8’s sleek tile design and is made from scratch-resistant Gorilla glass that has been tempered to read easily even under sunlight. The Lumia 920 syncs with Sky Drive to back up all your files, features NFC connectivity and hosts wireless charging abilities.

Google’s Nexus 4, on the other hand, utilizes Android’s powerful Jellybean operating system. This allows for seamless integration with Google for instant answers, as well as top-notch security features such as face recognition and movement. In the Nexus’ core is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM that allows a user to play a game while having various apps open – without having anything crash or slow down.


Lego Mindstorm – $279

Computer programming is becoming an essential basic knowledge. This Lego set not only allows kids to build their own mini robot, but teaches them how to program different movements through the Lego program.


Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter 2.0- $299

When this toy helicopter was revealed at CES this year, it was love at first sight. The Parrot AR Drone is controlled via a smart phone or tablet and is enabled with an HD camera that’s able to stream footage right onto the device that’s controlling it. The Drone also has a stabilization system that takes into consideration the environment that it’s flying in. To top it all off, the Drone is also equipped to play augmented reality games using targets included in the kit.


MakerBot – $2,199

3D printing at your fingertips! Want to recreate the toy car on your desk to give to your office mate? MakerBot has widely become one of the “best quality meets price point” 3D printers in the market. The best part about MakerBot? The 3D printer is compact and can easily fit on any desk.


These are just some of the products that we’re the most excited about this season. Of course there are other products that we’re daydreaming about, like Neiman Marcus’ Jet Pack or Google’s self-driving car, or even these key-board embedded pants.  We’ll save those for our list of daydreams-come-true items.

Let us know what products you’re excited for this year or what item you’re dreaming about!

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