With the holidays coming up, everyone is looking for the latest gizmos and gadgets at affordable prices.
To make it less chaotic when shopping for a significant other, family member, or friends, the Express staff has created categories for all of the hottest gadgets for winter 2012.
Best Tablet: Google Nexus 7
With a growing market demand for cheap and affordable tablets, Google has separated itself from its competitors.
According to an article on cnet.com, “Google’s Nexus 7 edges out the competition from Amazon and Barnes & Noble with more features and a more robust app store”.
For its $200 price tag, you can’t really argue against buying the Nexus tablet. It’s cheaper than the iPad Mini by $130, more compatible than the Kindle.
If you just want to play Angry Birds, watch an occasional Netflix movie, or just want a simple e-reader, this is the tablet you want.
Honorable mentions: Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Apple iPad
Best Cell Phone: Samsung Galaxy S3
To make it fair, choosing between the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 was like choosing between a Rolls Royce and a Bentley. Either way, you’re still getting the best of both worlds.
The reason the Samsung Galaxy S3 wins is due to continuity. The features on the new iPhone 5 were already considered standard for all Android users. Apple’s map system continues to have complaints.
If you’re big on cell phone photography, or have the incessant need to talk to Siri, get the iPhone 5. If you’re big on features, a compatible turn-by-turn navigation, then team Android is the way to go.
Honorable Mentions: Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note
Best Game Console: Nintendo Wii U
The Nintendo Wii U might be ahead of its time, but it is truly ground-breaking. If horse-power is your concern, you might want to wait a year or two for Sony or Microsoft to release something new. However, Nintendo will have no next-gen competitors for the time being.
What separates the Wii U from its competition is the controller. From your controller, you can surf the web, play a game while someone else watches TV, or watch a video on Netflix. Not only is it a game console, the controller acts like sort of a tablet in itself. According to ign.com, “this console is still in it’s infancy with lots of room to mature. When the software is half as exciting as the hardware, it’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Honorable mention: Playstation Vita, Playstation 3, XBOX 360
Best Camera: Canon Powershot G15
Canon’s Pro-Sumer Powershot G Line has been a household name since its debut in 2000. This September, Canon introduced the 12th installment of the G series with the G15. The G15 is aimed towards the camera enthusiast with some of the same capabilities and components of Canon’s own Pro DSLR’s. With the camera’s capability to photograph in a lossless RAW format that allows seamless editing with Photoshop, the camera has been adopted as a backup for many professionals. It has the capabilities to shoot in 1080p video, which can also be used to shoot anything from YouTube videos to short films. The lens of the G15 is the fastest (widest, allows more light to hit the camera’s sensor) in the G family and coupled with the largest sensor too, the camera will go above and beyond for all of your photography needs.
Honorable mention Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 and Go-Pro Cameras
Best Headphones under $100: Audio-Technica ATH-M30
Headphones are over-priced these days. Too many people fall for flashy gimmicks, but the M30’s deliver high performance sound quality. Audio Technica has been around for quite some time now, but they don’t get enough recognition as their competition. They’re over-the-ear headphones, and extremely comfortable.
For just under $60 you can get studio quality headphones and save enough money for your Google tablet.
They’re perfect for gaming, music, and hipsters can even find them to be rather fashionable.
Honorable mentions: Velodyne vPulse and Sennheiser 201 ($21)
Alex Lopez (Photo Editor) contributed to this article