Welcome to Electronista's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Below you'll find a collection of our favorite and most promising products of the year, along with quick links to in-depth reviews and price-saving links for all.
Getting a good Bluetooth headset around your ears is a truly liberating experience, the sort of thing that's worth some expense, so long as you're getting true quality. With Turtle Beach's i30 headset, you're assured of quality. We loved the noise-canceling feature, and it packs a rechargeable battery, unlike some competitors. Paired with a smartphone, notebook, or other device, you'll love the freedom these cans give you for walking about the house whilst still jamming.
We're fully into the digital age, but those pesky paper documents are still around today. The solution: Fujitsu's ScanSnap SV600 desktop scanner. If you've got to digitize something for a more flexible storage and accessibility solution, you can't go wrong there. It's got great speed and it comes with a suite of productivity tools that will make your scanning a snap.
We're huge fans of the Galaxy Note series, and the third entry is Samsung's best in the line so far. The new Note is slimmer, lighter, and more powerful than its predecessor, all while packing a beautiful screen and some well-polished S Pen functionalities. We're still of the opinion that, if you're the type to want to use your smartphone for productivity on the go, you won't find a better phone than this one.
The Air is fine, unless, of course, one is more disposed toward portability, in which case go with the Retina iPad mini. It's got just about the same level of performance as the iPad Air, but in a smaller package. It's an iPad that can fit in a pocket, with a screen that you can't look away from.
With all entrants in the new console generation finally out of the gates, we're thinking Sony's PlayStation is probably the best way to go for right now. Sony has tweaked its user interface and provided a console that packs tons of power in a way that developers will love. That means great games are in the offing, and you'll likely be quite pleased with your purchase. Plus, The Last Guardian has to come out some time or another, no?
Setting up the audio situation in your household is always an adventure. Sonos, though, hopes to make it easy with its wireless speakers, and the Play:1 is the company's most affordable unit to date. Along with a slim price tag, the Play:1 has great sound, a stylish build, and the aforementioned easy setup. Best of all, you can network multiple devices together and have them function as a stereo system, or you can pair them with other Sonos units in order to let them complement each other.
Bigger headphones are fine for sessions in the library or walking about the house, but one doesn't want to take them out on a jog, really. In the event one needs headphones to go out on a run, iHome's iB75 Sports Earphones are a solid bet. These in-ear phones give a snug fit, and they're sweat resistant. Plus, they're Bluetooth-enabled, meaning that there's less cord to get in your way while "Eye of the Tiger" pushes you on to a goal.
Near-field communications is one of those little technologies that can just make a big difference, and iHome's iBN26 wireless speaker is a great example of how. You can tap, say, that Galaxy Note 3 up against the iBN26 upon getting home, and the two devices will pair just about instantly. It puts out good sound that can suitably fill up a room, and it's also got a USB port to charge devices. Bonus. On top of all that, there's built-in speakerphone functionality, so you can place calls without having to grab the phone itself.
Nokia's typically known for their phones, but we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to recommend this sleek tablet-hybrid. It runs Windows RT, so that means you're going to have a limited native app selection, but the productivity boost to be gained from the Power Keyboard – which boosts the 2520 to 15 hours of battery life – plus the built-in 4G LTE connectivity mean that this is a terrific device for being on the go, a solid chimera of tablet and notebook.