Monday, December 12, 2011

Still shopping for tech gifts?: Here's a holiday gift guide with suggestions from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Microsoft + more

Gadgets are popular all year long, but come holiday season they are in even higher demand. Smartphones, tablets, cameras, video games and other high-tech machines are selling like hotcakes, and there’s a lot of options to consider.
With so much out there, here is a comprehensive guide to what’s available to you this holiday season to buy for that tech-lover in your family.

DROID RAZR by Motorola; The world’s thinnest 4G LTE smartphone. 4.3-inch hyper-vibrant display due to its qHD resolution. Stream content from Netflix or rent from Android Market. Webtop application allows customers to combine the device with separately sold accessories, like the Lapdock 100 or HD Station, unleashing the power to edit documents and browse the Web with a full Firefox browser on a larger screen.
GALAXY NEXUS; Galaxy Nexus by Samsung is the world’s first smartphone running on Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. Exclusively for Verizon Wireless, the Galaxy Nexus will be available later this year from Verizon. New features that Ice Cream Sandwich offers include Face Unlock, which uses facial recognition to unlock the Galaxy Nexus. The phone has a large 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display, with 1280 x 720 resolution, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 1GB RAM.
HTC REZOUND: For the music lover; this is the only phone in the United States with Beats Audio integration. Also features a 4.3-inch true HD 720p display. HTC Watch puts an entire library of the latest premium movies and TV shows right at your fingertips, using a wireless connection,
Key features: Access to Verizon’s very fast 4G LTE network, NVIDIA Tegra2 dual-core 1 GHz application processor, 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display with WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution, 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat capabilities
Xoom 4G tablet
Faster speeds and connections enhance the Motorola XOOM experience, allowing customers to download songs in seconds and movies in minutes.
10.1-inch widescreen HD display; 32 GB built-in storage; Android 3.2 Honeycomb; dual-core 1 GHz processor; 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats over 4G LTE, 3G and WiFi; 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash
Visit for pricing information on these devices and details on data plans.

Jawbone UP: A new system that tracks your movement, sleep patterns, and eating habits and puts that information in the palm of your hand. It cost $99 and is currently only compatible with the iPhone.
Free Xperia Play 4G (with 2-year contract): Combines a PlayStation-certified gaming device with the capabilities and portability of an Android smartphone. The Xperia PLAY 4G has dedicated gaming controls built into the phone through a slide out controller. Features a brilliant 4” 480 x 854 screen and stereo speakers.
Samsung Focus: The Samsung Focus is a slim and stylish touchscreen phone with the Windows Phone’s customizable start screen and intuitive user interface. The Windows Phone platform integrates with your favorite applications so that you don’t miss a moment. The Windows Phone 7 software features robust Xbox LIVE integration with LIVE games, avatars and profiles. $29.99 with 2-year contract,
LG Thrill – For $99.99 (with 2-year contract), The LG THRILL 4G offers the ability to view, create and share in 3D on a glasses-free 3D display. LG THRILL 4G features a 1 GHz dual-core, dual-channel RAM processor for the ultimate in performance when playing 3D games, shooting 3D video, or uploading 3D content. Featuring rear-facing dual five-megapixel stereoscopic 3D cameras, LG THRILL 4G gives users the ability to shoot 720p video in 3D and capture crystal clear stills.
Visit for more information on AT&T products.

FOR THE TECHY: Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch - $199.99 with 2-year contract. 4.52” Super AMOLED Plus display, 3G/4G speeds video chat capability, a speedy processor, dual cameras and the ability to share HD content via DLNA output.
FOR THE MOVIE BUFF: HTC EVO 3D — $199.99 with 2-year contract. Create and stream HD video, view it in 3D and share it easily with glasses-free 3D technology. Quickly download movies and enjoy a Flash-enabled web browsing experience that takes advantage of the speed of the Sprint 3G/4G network.
FOR THE WORLD TRAVELER: Motorola PHOTON 4G — $199.99 with 2-year contract; provides on-the-go users with an edge in managing their lives, from anywhere in the world. Has a 4.3” qHD display, dual cameras, worldwide GSM capabilities, and a kickstand for easy hands-free viewing.
FOR THE FASHIONISTA: LG Marquee - $99.99 with 2-year contract; LG Marquee is an mobile device for anyone who wants superior performance without sacrificing personal style. The sleek, ultra-thin smartphone features a 4-inch NOVA display and a virtual QWERTY keyboard.
FOR THE EARTH-LOVER: Samsung Replenish – Free with 2-year contract, at First eco-friendly Android smartphone from Sprint.
FOR THOSE WITH FEAR OF COMMITMENT: For those looking to ring in the holiday season without the fear of commitment, Sprint also offers the option of no contract wireless service with something for everyone on your holiday list with phones from Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA.
Visit for more information.

PowerShot SX150 IS camera — $249.99; 12x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom and 28mm lens with Optical Image Stabilizer reduces camera shake. 14.1 Megapixel sensor and Canon DIGIC 4 Image Processor. Capture 720p HD video in stereo sound with the dedicated movie button and zoom while shooting. Large 3.0-inch LCD enables easy viewing. AA battery power.
PowerShot ELPH 310 HS — $259.99; Ultra-slim camera with 28mm Wide-Angle lens, 8x Optical Zoom, and Optical Image Stabilizer. 12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor. Strong low-light performance. Full HD 1080p video in stereo sound with a dedicated movie button; zoom while shooting and play back videos on an HDTV via the HDMI output; High-Speed Burst Mode allows continuous shooting and Super Slow Motion Movie records video at high speeds to allow playback in slow motion;
PowerShot SX40 HS — $429.99; 35x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom (24-840mm) with Optical Image Stabilizer delivers magnificent images whether you are up close or far away.
12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor; Capture Full HD 1080p video in stereo sound;2.7-inch wide Vari-Angle LCD enables easy viewing from any angle.
Visit for more information.

Value plans
Available with a two-year agreement for both new and existing customers, the Value Plans offer single-line and multiple line options with the ability to choose from a range of minute allotments, texting options and unlimited data with 2GB, 5GB or 10GB of high-speed data. With a Value Plan, customers can choose a plan that works with their needs starting price point of only $49.99 — without the worry of data overages.
HTC Amaze 4G
Aimed at smartphone enthusiasts looking for a high-end, premium device, Sporty design with a sleek look and feel. Very fast 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, can access T-Mobile’s faster 4G (HSPA+ 42) network technology. Android 2.3; HTC Sense user interface, 8-megapixel camera and 1080p HD video recorder.
The HTC Amaze 4G is available for $259.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card with a two-year service agreement and qualifying Classic voice and data plant.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Fast entertainment experience. Powered by Android 2.3 and a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and featuring a 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen. T-Mobile customers will be able to enjoy live or on-demand mobile entertainment.
With DLNA compatibility and HDMI out, this phone offers the ability to view content on a compatible HDTV. The Samsung Galaxy S II is $229.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card with a two-year service agreement and qualifying Classic voice and data plan.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Weighing just 1.24 lbs. and featuring a 10.1-inch HD display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from T-Mobile is one of the thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablets on the market. With access to T-Mobile’s 4G network, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from T-Mobile offers a high-end mobile entertainment experience. 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processo; Android 3.2 (Honeycomb);
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is available for $399.99 net down payment after $50 mail-in rebate card, with a T-Mobile Value Mobile Broadband plan, two year service agreement.
HTC Radar 4G
HTC Radar 4G is T-Mobile’s first 4G device running the Windows Phone operating system. Featuring a sleek design with metal unibody construction, the handset has a white finish and a 3.8-inch touch screen display. Running the newest version of Windows Phone and powered by a 1 GHz processor paired with T-Mobile’s 4G network, the handset is designed to provide customers with an intuitive user experience. The smartphone will support fully integrated Exchange e-mail and calendar so customers can stay productive while on-the-go throughout the busy holiday season. Making a great travel companion, the Windows Phone will also come equipped with turn-by-turn navigation and an advanced 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash. The HTC Radar 4G is $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card with a two-year service agreement and qualifying T-Mobile Classic voice and data plan.
LG DoublePlay: Stand out with a distinct design with this new LG smartphone – the newest 4G smartphone to join T-Mobile’s growing lineup of Android™ phones. The LG DoublePlay is targeted at multitasking and messaging. The unique design features dual touch screen displays to perform two functions at the same time, as well as a full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
DoublePlay is powered by a 1 GHz processor and comes equipped with a 5-megapixel camera and 720p HD video recorder for capturing and sharing memories on the go. Available for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a qualifying Classic plan and two-year service agreement.
For more information on all these products, visit

Xbox 360 “Gears of War 3” Special Edition Bundle: Designed by Microsoft and Epic Games, this bundle features two custom-designed Xbox 360 wireless controllers, a 320GB hard drive, a built-in Wi-Fi connection for easier connection to the world of entertainment on Xbox LIVE and custom “Gears of War” console sound effects. The package also includes a standard edition copy of “Gears of War 3” plus bonus digital content.
Price: $399.99
Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010
Including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook, Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 offers the latest essentials to help families stay on top of everything — from organizing meals, and budget tracking to travel planning and calendar coordination. Price: $199
Arc Touch Mouse
The Arc Touch Mouse is the first mouse designed to flatten for portability and pop up for comfort, featuring a touch scroll strip to swiftly navigate your PC. You can use it on almost any surface, even your jeans.
Price: $59.95
LifeCam Studio
Microsoft LifeCam Studio delivers superior sharpness and excellent image quality as Microsoft’s first webcam with a True 1080p HD sensor. When people can’t attend an important life moment in person, LifeCam Studio delivers the closest thing to being there.
Price: $99.99
Visit for more information.

Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker — The SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker is a portable speaker that connects wirelessly to any Bluetooth enabled device. Now, the music from a smartphone or tablet can be streamed at the touch of a button and played out loud anywhere — on a quality Bose speaker. Price starts at $299.95.
Bose OE2 and OE2i audio headphones
Bose has introduced its next-generation of on-ear headphones: the OE2 and OE2i audio headphones. The OE2 and OE2i headphones deliver demonstrably better audio performance than their predecessors, and feature an updated look and design. Music is reproduced with improved depth and clarity, and the new contoured styling creates a closer, more comfortable fit. The OE2i headphones come with an inline remote and microphone that lets owners interact with select Apple products, including the latest iPhone, iPod, iPad, MacBook, and MacBook Pro models. They are available from Bose for $149.95 and $179.95, respectively.
Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2
The new Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 debuts new Bose technologies and claims to offer an experience unrivaled in the vast marketplace of Bluetooth headsets: conversations remain clear and natural — even in challenging environments, or when surrounding noise levels change suddenly. The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 integrates Bose full-range audio and A2DP, and comes in right- and left-ear versions. It is available from Bose for $149.95.
Visit for more information.

HP Mini 210 matching mice and sleeves
These mini mice and sleeves are perfect gifts for the many Secret Santa exchanges in the months to come. All mice and mini sleeves start under $20.
HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse
No more dealing with tangled cords! The HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse is the first mouse that connects to a computer without any pesky USB dongle. It stays connected up to 30 feet away from your PC. Starts at $49.99.
HP Mini 210
Aimed at people on the go. Small enough to fit in a purse or bag and offered in a variety of fun colors, this slim PC keeps you connected in style. The Mini 210 comes with Beats Audio for superior audio quality on the go, a comfortable near-full size keyboard and QuickWeb for connecting to the Web, Facebook or Skype within seconds of powering up. The HP Mini 210 starts at $299.99.
HP TouchSmart 320
HP TouchSmart 320 is an all-in-one PC that provides a free-standing, tilt-enabled 20-inch touch display for interactive viewing and play. Families will experience endless entertainment with the TouchSmart 320’s range of built-for-touch apps, TV tuner and Beats Audio. Starts at $599.99.
HP Pavilion dv6 with Beats Audio
Planning on rocking out to Jingle Bells this holiday season? Kick your audio up a notch with the HP Pavilion dv6 featuring Beats Audio. The dv6 also features a sleek umber metal finish, HD TrueVision webcam and HP CoolSense Technology. Starts at $599.99. Available at
For those seeking the ultimate multimedia experience, the HP ENVY 17 3D offers the best 3D visual experience in a notebook PC. In addition to sporting six powerful speakers, a subwoofer and Beats Audio for premium audio, the ENVY 17 3D provides the industry’s largest full 3D Radiance display, 100 percent brighter than standard and 1080p full HD viewing. Starts at $1,599.99
Note, for last-minute shoppers, gifts can be purchased and delivered overnight with HP’s quick ship option available on

Kodak HERO 7.1 All-in-One Printer ($179.99): turn the images on your camera or smartphone into quality prints that will last a lifetime. This season, with Kodak’s new Google Cloud Print and Kodak Email Print capabilities (each printer comes with its own unique email address); send a picture of the family on Christmas morning directly from your smartphone to Grandpa’s printer! He will be able to share in the moment almost instantly.

Kodak PlayFull Waterproof Video Camera ($99.95): PlayFull Waterproof gives you full 720p HD video in a small, affordable package. About the size of a credit card, it fits easily in a pocket or purse. Kodak’s exclusive Share Button and pop-out USB arm make it simple to email videos directly to friends or upload to your favorite sharing sites.

Kodak EasyShare Touch Camera ($159.95): a 16 MP digital camera with a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen lets you shoot and share photos and video with ease and style. The EasyShare Touch also has Kodak’s exclusive Share Button, so sharing with social media networks is easy

Kodak Gallery iPhone Cases (starting at $34.99): your iPhone will stay safe in a photo case that is shatter-proof, scratch-resistant, and attractive. You’ll be able to recognize your iPhone instantly with your personal photo embedded directly onto the case.

Dell XPS 14z:
World’s thinnest, fully featured laptop with a built-in DVD player. Packs 2nd Gen Intel Core processors into a 13” body. Up to 6 hours 42 minutes of battery life. Roomy 14” HD display with edge-to-edge glass and an ultra-thin frame. And it all comes in a compact form roughly the size of a 13” laptop. Anodized aluminum body.
Starts at $999

Dell XPS 15z:
One of the thinnest 15” laptops on the planet; 2nd Gen Intel Core processors; Powerful NVIDIA graphics and super bright display options;
Starts at $899

Inspiron One 2320:
The Inspiron One 2320 all-in-one desktop, with its 23” HD touch-screen, HD Webcam, sleek, space-saving design and superior audio quality, allows families to stay connected in the home. A wireless keyboard and just one power cord creates a clean, clutter-free area allowing for the desktop to double as a home entertainment center and as a central computing hub.
Starts at $599

Alienware M14x:
The M14x lets you power through hard-core games and intense applications. Featuring NVIDIA Optimus technology and weighing less than 7lbs.
Starts at $1,099

Alienware M17x:
Alienware’s first 3D capable gaming laptop, the M17x will make your 3D games and Blu-ray content look incredibly real.
Optional 17”, full high-definition (HD) 1080p display.
Starts at $1,499
Visit for more information.

Ferndale, Michigan-based Livio Radio has been one of the leading innovators for several years now in the area of Internet Radio, . A new Livio product in this area takes us to the automobile, where its new Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit (aka “The Kit”) acts as a connector between your smartphone and your car stereo, using Bluetooth A2DP technology. So basically, the music from your phone streams to the car’s stereo.
Visit for more information about The Kit.

Toshiba Thrive Tablet
Similarly sized by lower priced than most of its tablet competitors, the Thrive offers an option for people who are willing to go without a data contract and just use Wi-Fi on their tablet.
Powered by Android 3.1 Honeycomb, the Thrive Tablet offers a convenientway to connect, browse and enjoy videos, movies, games, photos, books and more. 10.1-inch diagonal high-resolution (1280x800); multi-touch LED backlit widescreen display. USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port and an SD Card slot, give consumers the ability to easily sync and share their content with other devices. User-replaceable backplate and battery
Price: $379-$479

Toshiba Portégé Z835 Ultrabook
The consumer counterpart to the Portégé Z830, the Portégé Z835 features a 0.6-inch profile and weighs less than 2.5 pounds and offers consumers intelligent features and superior craftsmanship at an equally attractive price point. Built with a spill-resistant backlit keyboard and with the USB Sleep & Charge and Sleep & Music features.
Key Features: 13.3-inch widescreen HD LED-backlit display (1366x768 resolution); Hi-Speed Start Technology; 128GB Solid State Drive.

Toshiba TL515 3D LED HDTV
3D performance, sophisticated styling and affordability. Toshiba’s TL515 delivers eye-popping movies and games in 3D, plus brilliant full 1080p HD imagery in 2D. Equipped with Gaming Mode to reduce controller delay, makes this offering perfect for gaming enthusiasts.
Key Features: 1080p Resolution; Available in 32-inch, 42-inch, 47-inch and 55-inch screen sizes; Built-in Wi-Fi and NetTV with Yahoo! widgets
Price: $849-$1799

There is, or course, much more, but these are a lot of the highlights in the tech world. Keep it in mind as you are out hunting for your holiday tech goodies. Do you research; as a gift is forever.

Matt Myftiu can be reached at or 248-745-4617. Follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu or become a fan of the Facebook page “OPTechTime” to see the latest technology news and reviews..


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