Prime Time Review: Hottest electronics this holiday season - The Explorer: Holiday Edition

Prime Time Review: Hottest electronics this holiday season

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:00 am

With the holidays creeping up on our calendar pages, the shopping zeal will soon set in amongst most of us. Going out and shopping for a loved one can be an exciting and rewarding experience as you pick out something that you know your loved one or friend will truly appreciate, but this time can also be quite stressful. We wonder what our friends and family will like, what is in and cool with the younger people on the shopping list, and what gifts will totally flop. With society advancing to a more technological future, it will be a safe bet this year that getting someone you know a present from the electronics section will bring a smile to their face.

What electronics are deemed worthy of your money? Between the phones, television, videogames, e-readers, the gift possibilities can be quite dizzying and endless. Finding the best present amongst the bright lights can be a difficult task all on its own. There are a few items you should remember when you go out shopping this year.

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next generation videogame consoles are now here and it only seems proper that these two hot items be the first things you take note of wherever you go shopping. Whichever one you plan to buy, make sure you make the right choice based on all of the information available.

With the development of modern technology as it is, the inner workings of these machines are not much different than that of your computer, so performance is pretty much a non-issue for these two machines. The Playstation 4 does carry a notable advantage in graphic performance over its competitor, but the Xbox One does have expanded multimedia and TV features. If the person you are shopping for is more of a gamer, the PlayStation 4’s graphic performance is the best of any home console ever. For those on your list more interested in using their game console as a multimedia experience, the sacrifice of power for versatility in the Xbox One is the better route. There is a noticeable difference in price of the two machines as well. The Playstation 4 will run you $399.99 while the Xbox One costs $499.99.

The gaming route will not satisfy everyone on your list, however. Luckily the electronics department carries much more than videogames.

Canon’s PIXMA all-in-one printer series offers multiple choices in impressive desktop printers that make a great addition to any desk or work space. Ranging from the inexpensive $40 MG2520 to the decked-out $150 MX922 Ink-jet printer, each of these machines provides essential printing services to your home. Any of these all-in-one printers would be an extremely valuable asset to any family and an absolute necessity to any college student in your life. The accessories and capabilities of each model do vary with the price tags. The more expensive models are capable of faxing, copying, printing, and scanning all on one device with silent ease. The higher end models in the line are a great gift for any photographer in your life. The ink-jet printers are capable of printing at impressive resolutions up to 9600 x 2400 dpi. Not only can the PIXMA printers print your essential documents, they can print your most beautiful pictures in stunning quality.  

Along the lines of photography, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 - Polaroid camera carries a reasonable price tag, only costing around $60 and is a fun, unique little camera that is a colorful new take on a classic look. With a distinctive design and vivid palette, this camera is a surprising joy. The camera’s light weight not only makes it easy to carry but easy to maneuver. The camera touts a pop-up lens and an adjustable dial with lights that tell you what brightness setting is most appropriate for the picture you are taking. The camera also comes with an adjustable filter for your shots. The Instax Mini has an automatic flash and all pictures taken print out of a slot at the top of the camera. The small Polaroid pictures develop in no time and are a fun and novel way to take pictures.

One of the most quickly expanding markets in the electronics industry is the tablet. Whether it is used for gaming, note taking, reading or watching TV, the tablet is an accessory found in a growing number of homes. Just as with anything you may consider buying, there are going to be plenty of different tablets to choose from.

If you so choose to go down the Apple route as many do, you will not be disappointed. The iPad 2 is the most vanilla of the lineup, carrying a $399 price tag for 16 GB of memory and the standard features you would expect in the iPad. This is the only model in the bunch without the handy Siri feature as well as the only iPad using the old 30-pin charger so keep that in mind. A small step down in size resides the iPad mini. The mini is offered with or without the Retina Display feature, which is the difference between the old or updated processor, not a tough decision. The mini is offered in multiple memory packages ranging from $399 to $699 for the Wi-Fi only version and $529 to $829 for the version with Wi-Fi and cellular service.  The iPad Mini with Retina Display is very similar to the iPad Air, except with a smaller display. They’re both great tablets though, so just pick the size that appeals to you and you’ll have no issues.

The iPad Air filled a spot well needed in the tablet world, a lightweight option. No one wants to walk around with an anchor in their bag. With the Air, Apple is following its typical pricing strategy. Like every previous full-sized iPad, the newest model starts at $499 for the 16 GB model and caps out at $929 with 128GB of memory and cellular service.

For those of you still looking to stay away from Apple products, there are some tablet solutions for you. The 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HDX slides under the radar at only $229 and is the ultimate reading and media experience. The Fire HDX comes with a slew of compelling books, movies and TV shows for free for Amazon Prime members, a membership costing $79 per year. The Fire HDX also sports a fantastic 1920x1200 display and powerful audio system that supports not just a reading experience, but an outlet for your movies and TV shows.

As you head to the stores this holiday season, keep in mind the many different gems that reside in the electronics section. Any of these gifts would be a definite win for someone on your shopping list.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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