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article imageDigital Journal Gift Guide: High tech gear and gadgets

By David Silverberg     Dec 13, 2011 in Technology
In our annual holiday gift guide, Digital Journal recommends several hot gadgets you might want to place under the Christmas tree for your favourite tech geek. We look at 3-D smartphones, slim ultrabook PCs, addictive video games and more.
You still have to find the perfect gift for that friend or family member who has it all. That's where we come in - Digital Journal looked at several intriguing products ideal for the picky person looking for something different.
And If you're finished with holiday shopping, why not get yourself one of these goodies while December sales are still taking over stores?
HTC EVO 3D smartphone ($550 CAN)
Front view of the HTC EVO 3D smartphone
Front view of the HTC EVO 3D smartphone
Courtesy HTC
A 3-D smartphone? It sounds futuristically kitschy, but it actually works. The HTC EVO 3D lets you snap photos and shoot video in 3-D, as long as you view the media on the phone. Otherwise, it'll look blurry on a PC or elsewhere. It can be pretty cool to photograph 3-D pics, but be sure not to get too close to the subject or you'll start seeing halos around things.
Beyond the 3-D gimmick, the phone is powerful, sporting a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and an Android operating system we found especially easy to navigate.
Apple iPhone 4S ($199 - 16GB,$299 -32GB and $399 -64GB CAN)
Speaking of hot smartphones, Apple's latest iPhone is winning big praise for its SIRI voice controls. Text friends or email colleagues simply by asking SIRI to do whatever you say, or find something in your neighbourhood by querying SIRI with a simple question. The design isn't much different than the iPhone 4, but the camera specs get a significant boost, and its A5 processor promises seven-times faster graphics speed than the iPhone 4. Definitely a fantastic present for the Apple fanboy in your family.
The iPhone 4S devices from Apple
The iPhone 4S devices from Apple
Courtesy Apple
Acer Iconia Tab A501($200 CAN)
Like the HTC phone, this new Acer tablet runs quickly on the 4G network and gives us the full Android 3.2 Honeycomb experience. Its form is sleek and slim, and its 10.1-inch screen is truly stunning while watching films or music videos. It also features a rear 5MP camera with LED flash, and 2MP up front for video conference users. We know the Android app marketplace doesn't offer as many options as the Apple equivalent, but Android is gaining traction so going Google for a tablet isn't an unwise move. A great gift for tablet lovers.
The Acer Iconia Tab 500
The Acer Iconia Tab 500
Courtesy Acer
Toshiba Protege Z830 Ultrabook ($1,150 CAN)
Billed as the world's lightest 13-inch notebook, the Z830 is truly fantastic for mobile use. Don't be fooled by its compact size: it features 6GB of RAM, a keyboard that's both backlit and spill-resistant, an Intel Core i7 processor, Windows 7 Professional, Bluetooth and a fingerprint reader. Yes, it can be a pricey holiday gift but get some brownie points by giving this powerful ultrabook for the mobile Web surfer looking to upgrade to something fresh.
The Toshiba Portege Z830 Ultrabook
The Toshiba Portege Z830 Ultrabook
Courtesy Toshiba
Grace Digital Audio Eco Terra Speakers ($150 US)
Those tinny speakers on iPhones and MP3 players just don't have enough oomph for, say, playing tunes at a party or campsite. But that's where these Eco Terra Speakers come in - place an iPhone or media player inside the unit's watertight compartment and then revel in the music blasting from two full-range 3" forward firing speakers. Also, the product is waterproof and submersible, meaning you can float these speakers in your pool and relax to your playlists while you swim.
The Grace Digital Audio Eco Terra Speakers
The Grace Digital Audio Eco Terra Speakers
Grace Digital Audio
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ($60)
One of the hottest video games of the season broke sales records for a reason: its highly addictive first-person shooter action is so realistic, you'll feel like you're in the trenches battling armies and tanks. Following from MW2's storyline, the latest Call of Duty adds some new bells and whistles to make gameplay more realistic, such as the delay in reloading certain guns. While the game may be too short for some, the various missions modes and multiplayer scenes offer countless replay value.
Screenshot from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Screenshot from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Courtesy Activsion
What tech gifts do you recommend? Let us know in the Comments section below.
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