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TMCNet:  Tech gifts going mobile

[November 26, 2012]

Tech gifts going mobile

TAHLEQUAH, Nov 26, 2012 (Tahlequah Daily Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Black Friday has come and gone, and those interested in the latest electronic gadgetry, as well as those who prefer to shop from the comfort of their own homes, are gearing up for Cyber Monday.


Cyber Monday, a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday, was created in 2005 by companies to persuade shoppers to buy gifts online. Its popularity has grown exponentially since its inception.

Those who have developed online shopping savvy often look for the latest in gadgetry to give as gifts during the holiday season.

Tahlequah High School drama teacher Michael Peters uses an iPad regularly for work, and loves the device.

"I'm thinking [I'd like to have a] new iPad," said Peters. I've been using a [first-generation] one for work, and really like how versatile they are. It really seems great for a family device, especially since my 4-1/2-year-old daughter can use it better than her mom or I." While the iPad was one of the first electronic tablets to gain popularity, today, there are any number of companies that offer them, including Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Sony, T-Mobile and Motorola. According to TopTenREVIEWS.com, the iPad ranks highest in a side-by-side comparison, which takes into account features, hardware, display and ease of use. Tablets rounding out the top five include the Microsoft Surface, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Google Nexus 7, and the Sony Tablet 8 -- all of which received reviews of 9.5 or higher on a 10-point scale.

Local resident Olga Hoenes has a couple of gadgets on her list this year.

"I want to get a [Sony] PlayStation, so my grandson will leave his [grandfather] alone," said Hoenes. "For me, I want an iPhone 5." Shopping for someone who loves video games can be mind-boggling, particularly for those not well-versed in the subject. First off, there are many platforms, including the PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox. Hoenes said she and her husband have two of the three gaming devices.

"[My husband has a PlayStation] and a Wii, but we sort of took over the Wii so [my grandson] Andy would leave the PlayStation alone," said Hoenes. "Then, of course, Andy found the PS more fun so he bugs his [grandfather] to play it and he gets yelled at." According to Bruce Hawver, CEO of SteelSeries, a manufacturer of gaming accessories, gaming -- like most forms of electronic entertainment -- is going more mobile than ever.

"Gaming doesn't stop at just one platform; it moves from the desk to the couch to a train, in your hand," Hawver said in an interview with StatePoint. "Gamers need to be able to seamlessly choose where, when and how they play their game without sacrificing the quality of the experience." Many mobile device games are made for finger swiping, but thousands require better control. SteelSeries offers a wireless mobile controller that's pocket-sized, employs Bluetooth technology and is designed to work with PC/Macs, Android smartphones and tablets, iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

While some people prefer mobilizing the Internet via hand-held devices, others are optimizing their home Internet experience by adding the technology to their televisions.

Internet users who own gaming platforms like the PlayStation, Xbox and Wii have ready-made access through their televisions; but new devices like the Vizio Co-Star merge Google TV and OnLive cloud gaming, and provides a remote control with a typing keyboard on the reverse side. It is compatible with all TVs, and has a price tag of under $100 if purchased directly from Vizio.

According to Joshua Goldman, contributor to CNET, the Co-Star combines live TV and streaming service, and can be connected to a cable or satellite TV box.

"The remote does look nice, though, with a touch pad, full QWERTY keyboard with gaming buttons, and direct launch buttons for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and M-Go," wrote Goldman in his review. "As an added bonus for both casual and regular gamers, support for OnLive's cloud gaming service is available, too." Laptop computers, while once incredibly expensive, are now much more affordable, with some -- like Google's Chrome laptop -- coming in at under $250. According to Moneycrashers.com, some of the best laptops cost $700, including the Dell Inspiron 14z, HP Pavilion, and the Lenovo Essential G750.

Local resident Tony O'seland has a couple of gadgets in mind that would help him with a project dear to his heart.

"Actually, what I would want would be a decent camcorder, memory cards for the camcorder, and either a tablet of laptop to transfer the camcorder footage to digital format," said O'seland. "This is part of my wish list for the Veterans War Archive Project so I can interview the veterans of Northeast Oklahoma and get their stories recorded before they are no longer available." ___ (c)2012 the Tahlequah Daily Press (Tahlequah, Okla.) Visit the Tahlequah Daily Press (Tahlequah, Okla.) at www.tahlequahdailypress.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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