High-tech gift ideas

November 28, 2008 7:02:03 PM PST
The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and stores are packed with the latest and greatest electronic products.According to the 2008 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey conducted by BIGresearch, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $832.36 on holiday-related shopping, up a paltry 1.9 percent over last year's $816.69. This represents the lowest increase in planned consumer spending since the survey began in 2002.

People are watching their wallets this year more than ever. So, David Gregg, the senior editor of BehindtheBuy.com shared his gift ideas on ABC 7 News Sunday Morning.

David Gregg's Suggestions

This holiday, when some families want to downsize holiday shopping, Nintendo's Wii game console is one gift idea that will work for multiple people in the household. This year Nintendo ups the ante with Wii Music: You can literally get the whole family jamming together with 50+ songs and 60+ instruments, and multi-player mode it can be played for months or even years as players come up with creative new arrangements that they can share. Wii Music: $50; Wii Console: $250.00

Nintendo DS remains the most affordable portable videogame offering a huge library of nearly 650 games. Its latest DS GAME is called Personal Trainer: Cooking-- an interactive cookbook where you can prepare all kinds of meals for your family from 245 recipes from around the world. You can search for your meal by ingredient, ease of preparation, cooking time, calorie count or country of origin (via world map). There are audio instructions for each recipe (along with a built-in microphone), so you can follow along 'hands-free' while preparing the meal. There is also a shopping list feature, so you can quickly select ingredients you need and take your DS to the store. There are even video demos of more complex cooking techniques like preparing squid or deboning a trout. Personal Trainer: Cooking: $19. DS System: $129.99. Nintendo.com

We've seen the photo frames for years that allow you to display your favorite family digital photographs. This year Kodak EASYSHARE wireless frames add Wi-Fi technology that takes photo sharing to the next level by wirelessly connecting to your computer and the Internet photo albums on KODAK Gallery and Flickr. Other features include MP3 music playback, even sports, news and weather delivered to the frames. Available in 8-inch or 10-inch sizes, the units quick-touch-border makes navigating easy. The internal memory of the W-series can store up to 4000 images. There's even a SD memory card slot allowing you to add videos or send preloaded images to loved ones. Frames retail for $269 and $219 respectively. Kodak.com

TomTom GPS products offer the best maps, routing and safety features on a device so easy to use, it requires no manual. The TomTom ONE 130 is pre-loaded with U.S. and Canadian maps and equipped with an EasyPort mount, which can be left on the device and folded flat after use. All TomTom devices include Map Share, a feature which allows you to instantly modify street names, street direction, road speeds, turn restrictions and POIs and make these updates available to other Map Share members for the most up-to-date maps. The Help Me! Emergency menu allows you to easily access local emergency providers such as police, fire stations and hospitals. TomTom ONE 130: $199.95: Tomtom.com

One "out of the box" big box retailer that you may not associate with holidays is office supply giant Staples. They have a number of interesting affordable offerings and a truly unique holiday sweepstakes aimed at awarding 10,000 winners. Two unique great value tech gifts at Staples include the Omnitech Flexible Keyboard for $10. It's a full-sized, portable keyboard that is Spill-proof, washable and rolls up to fit in almost any bag. The Acer Ultra Mini Netbook is great for browsing the Internet, viewing pictures, and watching videos on-line and instant messaging It weighs only 2.2 pounds. It has an 8.8 inch screen built in wireless and sells for only $350.


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