Top Technology Gadgets for the Holidays 2011

Whether you are a self-proclaimed computer geek, or a passive technology enthusiast, it wouldn’t be a surprise if at least one item on your 2011 Holiday wish list was a technology gadget of sorts. The Rasmussen College School of Technology and Design multimedia technologies instructor at the Bloomington, MN college campus, Anand Hurkadli, gives his two cents on the top tech trends in gifting for 2011. From e-readers and tablets, to mobile-device companions, you’ll find a list of tech goodies that will appeal to all audiences of any age.

E-Reader/Tablets

‘Tis the season for tablets. Custom-made for a range of ages, e-readers and tablets are one of the hottest tech crazes of 2011.

Apple iPad 2

Apple strikes again with the evolution of the iPad 2, a faster, sleeker, second-generation iPad that features iOS, cloud computing, and a 10-hour battery life. The product hit the market in March 2011, and will undoubtedly be a popular item under the Christmas tree this year.

Kindle Fire

Priced modestly at $199, the Kindle Fire is a full-color, multi-touch display with Wi-Fi capabilities. Plus, Amazon recently rolled out Amazon Prime, a service that is Fire-compatible that synchs unlimited instant videos and a book lending library.

Leapfrog LeapPad

Give your child this interactive tablet for a gift that keeps on giving – knowledge! Perfect for ages four through nine, the LeapPad includes a library of applications, eBooks, learning software, and a built-in camera and video recorder.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Functional for both work and personal life, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 offers a sharper HD image, flash-supported browsing, and is Google Mobile Service (Google Talk ™, Gmail™, Google Places ™) stocked. 

Blackberry® PlayBook Tablet

Equipped with 1 GHz dual core processer and a high resolution screen, the PlayBook is a perfect tablet for adult techies. The tablet is less than one pound, so it is a perfect gift for frequent business travelers.

Boogie Board Rip™ Tablet

This Microsoft™ compatible tablet has taken being green to a new level.

Tegra 3 Transformer Prime

Reports are out that the world’s first quad-core tablet, the ultra-slim Eee Pad Transformer Prime will hit stores this December. So what is quad-core you ask? A ridiculously fast-speed tablet.

Smartphone Accessories

Mobile device sales have risen considerably in 2010 and 2011, largely due to the popularity of Smartphones. As Smartphones’ features and functionality evolve, so do its nifty add-ons.

Microvision ShowWX™

Whether you are a mother looking to keep your child busy over the cold and snowy winter months, or a traveling sales executive that would love to supplement sales presentations with video, this iPod, iPhone, and iPad-compatible projector add-on is on the cutting edge of technology.

Cobra® Tag

A perfect gift for the 18-plus crowd, the Cobra Tag sensor is attached to your keys or bag to protect them from getting lost. Avoid that unpleasant fear of losing your keys and purchase the Cobra for you and your loved ones.

smartTouch® Isotoners

Ever find yourself having to take off your gloves in the wintry months to use your mobile device? The engineers at Isotoner® create a Smartphone-friendly glove that is touch screen compatible, so you can keep your hands warm while using your phone.

Speck SPK-A0332 CandyShell Card Phone Case

This iPhone4-compatible money case is a perfect gift for any guy that puts both his phone and his wallet in the same back pocket. Money, credit cards, and even a drivers license can slip into this slick phone case.

Eye-Fi® Mobile X2

A gift perfect for jet setters, this wireless memory card instantly uploads pictures, video, and other files from your camera.

Gelaskins

Customization continues to be a theme in the 2011 holiday season. Gelatskins offers designer and design-it-yourself skins for laptops and Smartphones.

Phillips Wake-up Light

The Wake-up light allows you to rise and shine in the morning the natural way. The Light is wired to provide both dusk and sunrise intensity, and can even synch music from your iPod or iPhone.

Lifestyle/ Entertainment

Real-time video streaming, friendly robots, and other fun gadgets have surged in the market in 2011 and these fun toys will provide great options for the friend who seems to have everything.

Helping Robots

Do you ever find yourself wishing there were more helping hands at home to assist with daily chores? Give yourself or your loved one a personal domestic robot that can vacuum or sweep, clean a pool, mow your lawn, or feed your pet!

Apple TV

Movies, television, photos, internet radio and more play wirelessly on your widescreen TV with the Apple TV. No managing storage. No need for disks. HD movies and television shows from iTunes, Netflix, Youtube and other internet sources stream over to Apple's tiny receiver.

Noise-canceling Headphones

This gift is perfect for teenagers, students and even frequent travelers. Check out a few reviews on CNET for the editor's favorite picks.

Wireless boosters

This utilitarian gift boosts your standard Wi-Fi signal... and it fits in a stocking!

Amazon Instant Video

Amazon recently launched a new feature where you can watch more than 100,000 movies and television shows through your personal computer and hundreds of other compatible tablets, televisions, and devices.

Disposable USB Drives

Perfect for a stocking stuffer for a tree-hugging friend or family member, disposable Flash drives are the new craze in eco-friendly gadgets.

Gifting Apps

Watch out gift cards – you’re becoming a thing of the past. In the last year and a half, the Apple store added the capability to “gift” an app. Whether you are gifting for your boss, a coworker, your child’s teacher, or babysitter—this gift is convenient, fun and doesn’t need to be wrapped!

Square

Square is a device that allows you to take payment via your iPhone or iPad. The square itself is free, as well as the app. This is super helpful for freelancers or entrepreneurs who only have to swipe a client’s card and they’re done! Also, the app will generate a receipt automatically and send to the client via email for their records.

Cheap Gas! App

This app locates the cheapest gas prices in your area. You can actually see where it is via augmented reality. It’s free and very useful!

Endomondo

This sports tracking app, powered by GPS, allows users to track the distance traveled on your walk, run, bike ride, or hike.

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