Click Chickâ€™s â€™11 Gift Guide
It’s that time again Christmas! Here are some of my top picks that should be on your list for the techies in your life:
Air Swimmers Flying Sea Life
The Air Swimmers radiocontrolled sea creatures are marketed as toys for keiki ages 3 to 7, but I’m going to buy one (maybe two) for myself very soon. These are just way too cool! There are two different creatures one is a friendly clownfish and the other is a scary shark. They both have a range of up to 40 feet, and work with a 1.5volt AAA-powered motor that attaches to a small plastic pod on the bottom of the balloon (note you have to fill it with helium first). The controller uses infrared reception to control the tail rudder’s speed and navigation, just like piloting a mini Goodyear Blimp. Some setup is required, but these Air Swimmers are perfect for your next party or to play a joke on someone. Find it for $35 at ThinkGeek.com.
.appBlaster The appBlaster is an iPhone accessory I saw at the recent Tokyo Game Show. It gives you a new augmented reality (AR) gaming experience, and it is designed specifically for use with the free Alien Attack game app. The AR feature of the game means the alien invasion comes straight at you from the surrounding area, so no matter where you are, there’s no place to hide. No batteries are required as it uses trigger-to-touchscreen technology. The triggers operate two pads that touch the screen and shoot the in-game blaster, allowing you to use both primary and secondary shooting functions to do some serious damage. Find this on Amazon.com for $47 or visit its British website for more information: apptoyz.com/appblaster/.
Amazon Kindle Touch 3G
If you’re looking for just a dedicated e-book reader (and not a full-blown tablet), the hands-down best one is the $149 Kindle Touch 3G (it’s even better than the $199 Kindle Fire). The Kindle Touch is a compact, lightweight and affordable e-book reader with an eink touch screen. It gives you access to a massive catalog of books, magazines, newspapers and audiobooks via Amazon.com’s popular store. It also supports mp3 files and text-to-speech for some titles. Find this perfect gift for the avid reader in your life at Amazon.com.
The Best Tablet: Apple iPad 2
Last but not least, that gift that really says “I love you” is the iPad 2 (you know I couldn’t leave this one out of my gift guide). In my humble opinion, even with all the tablets on the market now, none of them match up to the iPad 2. Also, to be fair, I do have an Android tablet (that I won’t name) for my 2-year-old daughter to play with, and she gets frustrated with it since it’s not as responsive to touch. But, as with the iPhone, the iPad 2 is all about the apps. With Apple’s vast selection of apps, there is almost always “an app for that.” Until Google steps up the availability of apps, the iPad 2 will remain the tablet king. Pricing starts at $499 from Apple.com.
CORRECTION: The Verizon website address is verizonwireless.com/workshops. The address in last week’s column is wrong.