2Apple iPhone 5S
Apple’s iPhone 5S is a surefire hit this holiday season. The device starts at $199 with a two-year contract, and features both the A7 processor and the M7 coprocessor for fitness and activity apps. The iPhone 5S comes with about the same design as the iPhone 5, but is both more powerful and can handle gaming far more effectively. The iPhone 5S is an all-around great device.
3Samsung Galaxy S 4
If the iPhone 5S is sure to be on the average Apple lover’s wish list, the Galaxy S 4 will be on the Android lover’s holiday list. The Galaxy S 4 comes with a 5-inch screen and a design that’s just about unmatched in the Android ecosystem. The device is also extremely powerful and supports both Google Play marketplace apps and those from Samsung’s own apps store. The Galaxy S 4 is a great option for smartphone lovers.
4Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is a great value. The tablet won’t be the most powerful option customers can pick, and it’s not necessarily the best-looking slate on the market. Yet, at a starting price of $229 for the 7-inch model and $379 for the 8.9-inch version, it’s hard not to think seriously about picking it up. Add that to Amazon’s highly touted Fire OS and the company’s integrated services, and it’s easy to see why so many people are happy with their Kindle tablets.
5Apple iPad Air
The iPad Air is currently Apple’s flagship tablet. Featuring a screen size of 9.7 inches and enough power under the hood to handle sophisticated applications, the iPad Air is great value for its starting price of $499. The device’s price will run up a bit as consumers add more storage and Long Term Evolution (LTE) networking, but for many folks, it’s worth the price of admission.
6Microsoft Xbox One
Microsoft’s Xbox One could be one of the more popular (and hard-to-find) products on this year’s holiday wish list. The console was immediately popular, selling through 1 million units in its first 24 hours on store shelves. At $499, the Xbox One bundle, which includes the Kinect sensor, is a little expensive. But it’s still a great option for today’s gamers.
7Sony PlayStation 4
The PlayStation 4 is expected to be a sales juggernaut this holiday season. The console comes with about the same power as the Xbox One, but is $100 cheaper at retail. Plus, it comes with a much better online-gaming feature set, which should only improve its chances of competing well in the console war.
8Apple MacBook Pro With Retina Display
The MacBook Pro with Retina display is arguably the best-looking notebook on the market today. The device comes with a high-quality display and has the familiar MacBook Pro design. Apple has also ensured that the MacBook Pro wins out with mobile fans by making the device surprisingly thin for its 13- or 15-inch frame. The 13-inch model starts at $1,299; the 15-inch model goes for $1,999 to start.
9Panasonic ST60 HDTV
The Panasonic ST60 series won’t hurt the wallet too badly. The 50-inch model is available for less than $1,000, after all. But what it will deliver is outstanding picture quality, full access to Web-based services, like Netflix, and a design to drool over. The Panasonic ST60 plasma line might just be the best yet.
10Google Nexus 10
Google’s Nexus 10 is another worthwhile tablet option for those who want Android, but don’t want to pay all kinds of cash to have it. The tablet starts at just $399 and comes with a well-received 10-inch HD display. And thanks to its standard Android installation, the tablet features multi-user support, access to the Google Play marketplace and a high-quality software experience.
The Google Chromecast is easily one of the best ways to change a dumb TV into a smart one. The dongle, which costs just $35, connects to the Web and allows HDTV owners to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and others. The dongle takes up a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port, though, so make sure there’s enough port space available before investing in it.