01. 05. 2011
What to do with all your holiday money, or The Post-Holiday Gift Guide
So, either you got lots of gift cards and checks and need to shop for yourself, or you didn't get exactly what you wanted and still need to shop for yourself... or... maybe there's that friend or relative that you haven't seen yet and still need to get a gift for. Regardless of the who or why, we have a few suggestions on how to spend your post-holiday dough. Click below to see the list.
HTC HD7 / T-Mobile BOGO
Start with the beautiful new Windows Phone 7 operating system; add in high performance hardware and solid construction; then pack it all into a super-sleek shell. What do you get? THE mobile device of the season. The HTC HD7. Still creating the same excitement it did when I first picked it up (in other words, I haven't put it down since I got it), the HD7 is the perfect gift this season. It's elegant simplicity will appeal to both the smartphone novice as well as the total geek. And as if there wasn't already reason enough, T-Mobile has upped the ante for the holidays with a Buy-One-Get-One offer, which is running now through January 18th, so there's still time left. $199 at T-Mobile with a 2-year agreement.
Just in time for the holiday rush (or post-holiday rush, as the case may be), Bang & Olufsen has once again stepped out as the leader in mixing sleek style and awe-inspiring sound. The BeoSound 8 is a beautiful tabletop top speaker dock that fits only not every current (and immediately prior) generation iPod and iPhone, but also the iPad, which makes it quite unique. Customizable with speaker covers in both the basic black-and-white range as well as blue, purple, green, and yellow. Add the Free Beo-Player App to your "i" and let the music start flowing. $999 on Amazon.com
biUbe Pure Aquarium
Gone are the days of the boring (and oft tacky) fish tank. Let this elegant aquarium bring style and endless enjoyment to a gift recipient's desktop or home. The biUbe artfully conceals its pump and filter mechanisms, making it stylish, yet still functional. No more clunky lids and metal scrollwork stand... instead pure living art. Comes with all required accessories (pump, LED lighting, filter, etc.); just add fish. Many other fashionable styles available. This style is currently on sale for $184.99 at Everything biOrb.
Cajo Designs Sleep Masks
A perfect self-indulgence or last-minute gift for the celebutot or princess in your life, these kitschy sleep masks from Cajo Design feature all sorts of fun statements that will make sleeping in just a bit more fun. Styles include "Totally Neurotic," "Call My Agent," "Trophy Wife," and "Not Tonight." $9.95 from Kitson Boutique.
OK, so every now and then we all need one to unplug a stopped-up sink (or worse). So, why not do it in style? Keep your fancy bathroom decor exactly that... fancy, with a decorator plunger from Plungees. Perfect for that someone that has everything. Styles to suite everyone from the golf fan to the Jewish grandmother. $34 to $250.
Ushering in a whole new era of controller-free entertainment, Kinect for Xbox reached its mark as the shooting star of the gaming world this holiday season before it even hit the shelves just a few weeks ago. Using advanced sensor technology, Kinect tracks your exact body movements and lets you really get in on the action: Get up off your tuchus and play ping-pong without a paddle or get your racecar fix on and leave your opponent eating dust, all with no need for a steering wheel or accelerator. I definitely don't own as many game systems as my Popgadget cohorts, but I have to say the Kinect had me the first time it asked me for a voice-activated command! Yes, it even responds to you voice. Search and play a movie from Netflix with the wave of a hand and a few spoken commands (this part you can stay seated for). $215.95 at Amazon.com for the add-on unit; various Xbox / Kinect bundles also available if you don't already have Xbox 360.
Although not made for Kinect, Fable III from Lionhead Studios gets an honorable mention. Embark on an epic journey to become King or Queen of Albion while enjoying the off-beat humor of characters voiced by the likes of John Cleese and Sir Ben Kingsley. Interact along the way with Fable III's Expressions system - hug a friend and unleash on an enemy. Make agonizing decisions along the way to defend your throne - restore an orphanage and spend $50K or sell it and make over a million. $39.99 at Amazon.com.
On the heels of Robert Downey, Jr.'s successful big screen portrayal of the master detective comes the American release of this updated BBC television adaptation. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes, this series takes a modern-day approach to sleuthing - trading telegrams for texting, deerstalker hats for scarves, and journals for blogging - all while maintaining some hints of the original setting. Perfect viewing material for those forthcoming winter nights. $26.99 at Amazon.
White iPhone Conversion
For those of you that are still wallowing in disappointment over Apple's ultimate scrapping of the white iPhone 4, there is still hope... sort of... several websites are offering DIY conversion kits, using parts of "various" [read: questionable] origins. Some are also offering "professional" conversions. Most of the kits / conversion services don't change out the headphone and dock connector. However, iFix Direct offers a premium conversion (at a premium price of $300) that gives you the whole shebang. It's one way to make it a white Winter!