Would that we were kids again and have access to the wonder of a tablet built for the younger crowd. Vtech's InnoTab, also available in pink, has a 5" touchscreen with tilt-sensor, e-book reader, MP3 and video players, and photo viewer. With 64MB of memory and SD card slot for expansion, a USB cable can hook it up to PC or Mac. There are plenty of cartridges with e-books, activities, games and learning apps available.
Wi3's WiPNET is a clever port hub that delivers Ethernet connections to multiple locations at full speed. Hook up a PC, HDTV, or even additional ports and choose from other cartridges for additional devices. You don't have to do any drilling as the WiPNET can be placed in a standard low voltage bracket and if you have a router to plug in, you get access to all your home PCs. Contact Wi3 for price and availability.
Life is pretty sweet when you can get an entire home theater at a price of less than $200.00. The Sony BRAVIA DAV-DZ170 Home Theater System provides everything you need for those holiday sights and sounds. With 1000W 5.1 channel surround sound, it has DVD upscaling via HDMI and sync controls so that only one remote is needed. Included in the set-up is a built-in DVD player and hookup for iPod or MP3 player with front USB port.
There are holiday bundles now for those who want to update game systems with an extra bit of cheer. The Xbox 360 Bundle includes the game console, built-in WiFi, 250GB hard drive, Xbox LIVE, the game "Fable 3" and a digital code for Halo Reach.
Nintendo's Wii Bundle comes packed with a Sensor Bar, a Remote Plus controller, one Nunchuk controller, standard composite cable and Wii Mario Kart.
With the Sony PlayStation 3 Bundle you get a 320GB system, wireless Move and DualShock controllers, an Eye camera, Sports Blu-ray game, and cables. Access online games, Blu-ray movies, and download on PlayStation Network.
Leapster has always put out a good system for kids and the Explorer Bundle is no exception for those aged 4 to 9 years. More than 40 games and activities can teach them school skills like reading and math. Parents can monitor their progress by hooking up the Explorer via PC. A camera and video recorder attachment are included as well as a carrying case, Leaplet learning app download card, USB cord and the Global Earth Adventures game.
Boxee is back and is aiming to bypass cable with their Live TV tuner. Used in conjunction with the Box, now viewers can watch Internet HDTV as well as over-the-air broadcast TV. This is a perfect gift for someone who doesn't need to get hundreds of channels and at a price below $50, get one for yourself and save on those satellite/cable bills. Pre-order now for a January delivery.
Get remote access to your entire hard drive from one computer to another with the aluminum iTwin. With plug and play access via USB, you can drag and drop to edit a shared file from any location and backup data and media content any time. Lose half of it and you can remotely disable it while the data stays secure. Both Windows and Mac compatible, a purchase gives you your very own cloud with hardware-grade encryption and no extra fees.
There are some great headphones out there now that have decent quality and make a fine stocking stuffer for under $15.00 if you are hinting around to your significant other or relative that you prefer that they keep their music to themselves.
It seems that iPads are becoming quite handy in the grand scheme of things. Schools in New York City, Chicago, California and Virginia will be incorporating them in their curriculum. Eighty nine disabled voters in Oregon will be first to vote on the tablet, and soon it will become statewide. Even sports teams are getting in on the concept as both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens use them for playbooks.
The iPad is finding its way into the medical community as well. They can be used for electronic medical records, physicians keep track of medical records and patients long distance and med students utilize them. Undoubtedly, this is only the beginning of its future on the planet. Steve would be proud.
For those who don't watch the big game, any of these would make for a happy holiday movie marathon. To keep the kidlets amused, there is the Blu-ray Peanuts Holiday Collection that comes with three bonus episodes.
Less than a week away (Nov. 20) from the latest and possibly greatest Zelda game ever, (at least according to Jimmy Fallon who got practically manic while testing it last week.) While Link was our introduction to the gaming world, too, eons ago, we can identify with his enthusiasm, especially after seeing a preview. You can pre-order the Skyward Sword Gold Remote Bundle that comes with game, music CD soundtrack and limited edition Gold Wii Remote Plus w/Triforce Symbol Accessory.
Jawbone wants to help you to clean up your act and finally get in shape so in addition to their usual Bluetooth headsets, they released the UP wrist worn monitor. It will keep track of amount of steps, distance covered, calories used and sleep phases and quality. With personalized tips and tricks, it can be customized to an individual's preference. A vibration motor acts both as alarm and get moving alert. Finally, it can sync to an iPhone app and has a rechargeable battery for up to 10 days of usage.
Sooner or later every kidlet will want to covet your tablet, so you can beat them to the punch with Karuma's PlayBase. Features include a 1.2 ghZ processor, 3D GPU, 1GB RAM, stereo speakers, front camera and WiFi. The tablet is water, dent and scratch-proof and has an easy clean silicone cover with an integrated stand for viewing. You choose what app you want for your brood, set them in front of it and your tablet is safe for now. Pre-order for £170 ($270) for a December 1st delivery.
iHome appreciates the nostalgic as evidenced by their Portable Boombox. Not only is it a dock for your iPhone/iPod, it also has digital tuning FM and with the Radio app, access to Internet radio stations. The iP4GZ features two 4" woofers and two 1" tweeters with SRS TruBass, a 5 band equalizer and an aux line-in jack. The dock/radio comes with remote, AC adaptor or can run on 6 D batteries (not included.)
The holidays are upon us as evidenced by early Black Friday and Cyber Monday hints. Amazon sees a hot year for electronics so if you are shopping online, you don't want to wait too long. Here are some ideas from their Best Selling List:
Yamaha's latest contribution to the iPod/iPhone dock market is their octagonal PDX-11. Available in white, blue, green or black, the portable speaker system not only looks good, it has a 4" woofer, 3/8" tweeter, a 30-pin connection and a 3.5mm jack. The AUX-in allows music from other sources and the system is powered by 6 AA batteries for up to 8 hours of play time.
Amazon has gone one step further in its newly established video streaming service. They bargained with Disney ABC to get Prime Instant short term access to some of their broadcast channels as well as their cable channels. They have also worked out deals with CBS, Sony, ABC Universal, Fox and Warner Bros. This is a good move on their part as it should help boost Fire sales.
As further incentive to get their tablet going, Amazon has "opened" a Lending Library. Kindle owners are allowed one title per month. Although the "Big Six" publishers have not signed on because of pricing disagreements, there are still over 5,000 books that can be downloaded. The bad news? Borrowers have to subscribe to Amazon Prime, a service that costs $79 yearly.
3D seems to have taken a back seat lately but the company Chimei Innolux has managed to bring it back with new technology. CMI's 4.3" display has a 720 resolution and "cell gap" technology so that instead of getting fuzzy 3D from an off center viewing, you get a clear 2D image. There is no exact date as to when the screen will be available on devices, but if you were waiting for no glasses and a clearer screen, you are closer to your goal.
Hoping to capture some of that holiday tablet share of the pie spirit, Samsung released its Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus with a pre-loaded Media Hub. That provides access to films and TV episodes, while Social Hub connects to and updates social sites and flash games. In addition, the Peel Smart Remote TV app turns your device into a controller without additional hardware. A screen tap lets you find and watch your fave TV shows, then looks for new ones based on your preferences.
In what we like to call the Rocky Horror Remote, the company One For All has found a way to skip through the commercials with a flick to the right or head to a combination of left and back for channel selection or rewind. Up and down will get you play and the opposite results in pause. A double tap gives you mute. The SmartControl Motion remote works with Freeview+ or Sky+ and can handle up to six different devices such as HDTVs, iPod docks, theater systems or game consoles. There are white backlit keys including some that are dedicated and a handy turn-off by holding the power button down a few seconds or turning the remote over. Pre-order for a Nov. 7 release.
AT&T's latest improvements include a wireless receiver for its U-verse customers that should simplify where you hook up your TV, including outside or a garage man-cave. It works with your gateway and multiple viewing devices. Of course it still has Total Home DVR capability with record, playback, pause and rewind whatever room you are now. The WiFi receiver will cost you a one-time $49.00 fee and $7.00 rental per month.
Home networking is taking giant steps when it comes to climate control as evidenced by the Nest Learning Thermostat. Using advanced technology, you train this WiFi device by setting what temperature you want and at what time. After a week of working, it gets more accurate and learns from your behaviors and preferences to the extent that it lowers the temperature when you are not home. While the overall idea seems a bit too personal, maybe you have to try it to believe it. Nest Labs says not only is this a good idea for your comfort, it will teach users how to save on energy.
In an obviously greedy move, the cost of a Redbox DVD is now at least two extra dimes. While Coinstar claims that the $1.00 to $1.20 increase is due to "operating expenses" including debit card fees, it also gives an option for merchants to apply surcharges. With this 20% price hike, you may soon find the red kiosks containing a different kind of product. Then again, Reed Hastings apologized and BOA listened (kind of) and that's a start. Take the hint, Coinstar.