Well, tis the season to want new tech. With all these new and fun devices, I thought I would recommend some products that you might want to ask for Christmas or buy for a family member or a really good friend.
First off, for a 10-inch tablet I would recommend either the Google Nexus 10 or the iPad with Retina Display. Both of these products have brought their A-game with fast processors and slim designs. The Nexus 10 is $100 cheaper, gives you a micro-HDMI port, and Android 4.2: Jelly Bean. You may even want an iPad 2 instead since it now costs $399 and you won’t have to buy the new Lightning Connector docks for accessories.
For a 7-inch tablet, take a look at the Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, or the Nook HD. The Kindle Fire is the cheapest at about $159. The others are $199 and up with HD screens. The Nexus has full Android 4.2, while the Nook HD and Kindle Fire HD have great screens for reading and watching movies. The Kindle Fire HD has some of the best speakers in any tablet, period.
If you are looking for video game consoles, the new toy is the Wii U. It comes at an affordable $299 or $349 model with a tablet controller. Some games I recommend for this are New Super Mario Bros. U, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, and Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition.
If someone is still looking for a cheap Wii console, the Wii Mini will be released on Dec. 7. So far it is only confirmed in Canada, but should come here. It will cost $99 and will only play Wii games. It will not play GameCube games or access the internet. Pick up The Ledged of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Resident Evil 4 and Sonic Colors.
There are lots of great video games out right now. Halo 4 is a great stocking stuffer and is only on Xbox 360. Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Assassins Creed III are on all major consoles. Any of the collections on PlayStation 3 will be great for someone who has never played God of War, Metal Gear Solid, Ratchet and Clank, or other series.
For laptops check out the Acer Aspire V5 Touch 15-inch. It costs about $799, but you get many high quality specs like an Intel Core i5 processor and touch screen. It is very thin and keeps its CD-ROM drive!
Now let’s get to the “convertible” laptops. These are computers that look like a tablet. You can place it in a keyboard dock and extend the battery life as well as have a full QWERTY keyboard. First we have the Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T. It costs about $649 and uses an ATOM based chip instead of Intel’s Core i3 chips.
Second we have the Dell Latitude 10 Tablet. It does not have a keyboard dock and comes at $649. You can easily set-up a Bluetooth keyboard to this device. It also has the ATOM chip and only 2GB RAM. There is a stand available with four additional USB ports, HDMI, and SD card slot.
Lastly, we have the ASUS Vivo Tab. It costs $799 with the keyboard dock. It also has an ATOM chip, 2GB RAM and two cameras for video chat.
Phones are a difficult area to discuss so I will pick my top phone for every operating system. Of course from Apple, the iPhone 5 is the obvious choice. But, if the $199 price is too much, the iPhone 4S is only $99 while the iPhone 4 is free! These are all available on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint (except the iPhone 4). Any of these phones will make someone happy.
For Android I would recommend the Samsung Galaxy S3. This thing can do a lot. It has NFC, a huge screen, 4G and Android 4.1. It has a price of $199 and comes on all major carriers.
For a Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 920 is amazing. Some people may be turned off by the operating system or the weight of the phone, but it is really good. It is super-fast with 4G LTE, durable, eye-catching, and comes in colors. The only drawback is the lack of Apps in the Windows Store, but that will change very soon. It is only available at AT&T for $99.
Well, that is it for this semester. I hope everyone has a great holiday break and hope you come back and read The Spectator in 2013. Don’t forget to view my #1 favorite video game of all time at http://vsuspectech.blogspot.com/ on Friday.