This holiday season, technology tops many of our wish lists, with one in three saying they'd like to receive some type of consumer electronic gift, according to the National Retail Federation. Apple products — from the iPad to iPhone 4s — are, not surprisingly, among the hottest requests, but there are a number of other new gadgets worth considering, experts say. We spoke to Steve Kovach, editor at Business Insider, for his pick of the coolest tech gifts sure to bring a smile to any tech lover's face.
Apple's iPad and iPad 2 have dominated the tablet market, holding about 70 percent of the share. The iPads are higher in price than other tablets though with a starting price at $499. Despite the iPad's higher price, Kovach says the device's competitive advantage is due to the number and variety of apps in Apple's App Store. It offers thousands of apps for games, reading, messaging, photos and more. Apple also has several deals with publishers, Kovach adds, and the availability of publications on the iPad also contributes to its advantage and high demand.
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While Apple has a higher market share, Amazon's new Kindle Fire, stands to compete. Priced to sell at just $199 (compared to $499 for the iPad), it has access to all Amazon has to offer, including the online store's entire inventory of books, movies, and music. The major difference between the two tablets, according to Kovach, is that the Fire gets only allows for a public or private Wi-Fi connection to the Internet. But for consumers who are using their tablets in their homes, offices or coffee shops, a Wi-Fi connection could be all they need.
This is Barnes & Noble's answer to the Kindle Fire. The tablet runs on Wi-Fi, as well, and boasts much faster hardware specs. Owners can get access to movies TV shows and music from Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. It is, however, more expensive at $250.
Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
Sticking with tablets, Kovach likes the Galaxy Tablet 7.0 Plus for consumers who enjoy the Stylus experience and like to jot down notes and drawings. The device also ships with a free application called Peel, which turns your tablet into a universal television remote.
[More on Yahoo! TV: Holiday Gift Guide: TV Merchandise]
Sonos can be used in conjunction with your phone or tablet and works similarly to Peel. Kovach calls the gadget the latest and greatest in multi-room home entertainment systems. "It's a fantastic way to connect to those streaming music services like Spotify, Pandora, etc.," he says, "and best of all, you can control your house wirelessly."
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The highly awaited Samsung Galaxy Nexus is Google's next flagship phone and the first phone to run the Android 4.0, aka "Ice Cream Sandwich." It is expected to be released very soon and be the best Android phone around, says Kovach. "It promises to bring a whole new look and feel to the Android experience," he says, including an ability to unlock the phone using face recognition. The price is not confirmed.