It seems more and more that televisions and computers are blending into one multi-function unit, with each working off the other in different ways. One of the newest products that is sure to be a big hit this holiday season is the Google Chromecast, which is a total game changer when it comes to your television viewing habits. Chromecast will stream video from your laptop, tablet or even your smartphone directly to your television. It connects pretty much the same way as any wireless Internet would connect. Right now, the only services that work on the device are YouTube, Netflix and Google Play, but HBO Go, Amazon, Hulu, Vimeo and more are in the works. It’s not quite where it needs to be to make it a true “must have,” but for the price range, it’s a great gift for anyone that doesn’t have cable.
The PS4 is set to release on November 15, and the gaming wars are sure to be just as heated as ever. The PS4, which is the first of the next-next-next generation of systems, promises a lot of new features. One of the most exciting is that the gaming console is going to track the controller as well as the gamer’s face, which can offer some unique benefits when doing multiplayer games. Of course the other big benefit is that PS4 will offer unrestricted access to those important pre-owned games that Microsoft is threatening to restrict. Time will tell if the PS4 is going to be as great as Sony-fans are hoping, but will certainly be at the top of a lot of wish lists this season.
The SodaStream is not new for this year, but it continues to grow in popularity, and 2013 is an indicator of just how many people are enjoying this product. It’s a pretty simple concept, and it’s certainly not new, but it allows you to make soda or sparkling water at home in less than 30 seconds. No electricity, no batteries and no cleanup is really needed, making this a great product for any soda lovers in your family. You can get all the extra pieces, flavors and bottles in many stores, or you can use your creativity to make your own delicious sparkling beverages.
Looking to lose some weight in the new year? Have a fitness buff on your shopping list? The BodyMedia system, which was popularized by the Biggest Loser television show, allows you to track the calories you are burning around the clock. The basic system includes an armband that you wear throughout the day and night, as it monitors your calories, activity and sleep, helping you maximize your activity efforts. It is proven to help with weight management and can give you a leg up on any weight loss you are struggling with. There are a few different models and you can hook them right up to your home computer to get all sorts of additional features and benefits.
Kindle fans know just how helpful these gadgets really are. If you do any traveling, it is so much easier to have something like this on you, giving you hundreds of entertainment choices and taking up a lot less room than even one novel. The Kindle Fire HDX is available in 16, 32 and 64 GB models, with and without 4G on AT&T or Verizon plans. The display is really bright and you’ll notice this new model is super fast, giving you all your games and books at just a tap. If have a traveler on your list, or anyone that likes to read a lot, the Kindle Fire HDX is another great option.
The Element 50″ LED HDTV may just be the very best Black Friday deal out there. Retailing for $599.99, it can be yours for just $229 – that’s more than 60% off. Featuring an excellent 1080p Full HD resolution it’ll look perfect in anyone’s living room this holiday season. Hurry this deal is only for Black Friday shoppers at Target.
Does your loved one have a camera on his or her holiday list? Then you are in luck. The Nikon L320 Camera with 26x optical zoon, regular $229.99, is just $99 on Black Friday. The point and shoot camera is easy enough to operate, taking your family photos from candid to professional. Hurry this deal is only for Black Friday shoppers at Target.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.