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TOV's Tech-mas Holiday Gift Guide 2010

Hey folks, Valkor here. And tis the season to be jolly - that's right it's Christmas time; time to flood the malls, clog up some servers to find the best online deals, and decorate the home to welcome jolly St. Nick into your lives for that one magical day of giving and receiving. And when it comes to tech, look no further than TOV's first (and certainly not the last) "TOV's Tech-mas Holiday Gift Guide". Sure you want an iPad, maybe a Droid phone, certainly everyone will want a gaming console of some sort. But don't overlook these choice items, which would and should rank pretty high on the geek list. And if you want further detail, either click the name of the company to take you directly to their site, or check out our review (which also contains a link to the company site) to find out why we love em so much.

Happy Holidays from TOV

ViewSonic (Tech of the Year!) – This would be the first greatest gift you can give this Christmas, to your lover of digital media. ViewSonic's VMP75 does everything that Seagate's Theaterplus+ does, however the VMP75 races to the forefront as this player gives you access to the world wide web – RSS feeds, Local forecasts at the start up, Facebook and so much more. PLUS you can plug in a Hard Drive or even a USB flash drive to enjoy all your digital media. The VMP75 stands out as the greatest tech gift this year. Viewsonic VMP75 (5 stars)

Seagate – I am a digital download junky – movies, music, checking out my photos; I know I have tons of it. Then Seagate stepped into the picture and made my digital life that much easier. How so? By allowing me to plug one of their drives into their Theater+ HD Media Player and view all my digi-files on my large screen TV rather than sit at my desktop PC. It's so easy to set up – just plug and play, plus it covers nearly every digital format out there, including SRT subtitles. If you love your world digital then this would be the second greatest gift to get this Christmas. Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Player (4 stars)

Speck – iPhone, iPad, and other mobile users take note; Speck has all the right cases to make your mobile device look good. Choose from a wide variety of their Candyshell cases (and yes the BatWing black insures that even the guys will love it), plus you have a wide variety of totes and messengers. TOV had the chance to review the CorePack Fly, which not only makes a great messenger, but perfect for air traveler as its "security friendly". Corepack Fly (4.5 stars), CandyShell Cases (5 stars)

Lift Audio – This one just made it in and I'm so glad it did because you're getting the biggest, baddest, raddest sound quality from the tiniest of earphones with the Icon series. Was I impressed? You bet your sweet ass I was and I know you will be too. Lift Audio Icon Series Headphones (5 stars)

Ankit – These guys know how to grab ones attention and I'm still reeling from the meet-up at CES 2010. Though their headphones run a very close second to the Icon Series in sound quality, they easily make up for it with comfort plus those snazzy metallic decorations. Ankit Stay Tru Earplugs with G-Bass (5 stars)

Tritton AX 720 5.1 Gaming Headphones – Of all the headphones that have entered the realms of the Val-Cave, I believe these were the finest. They were so fine that one of my writers made off with the beast. But that's OK because Alacran clearly enjoyed the hell out of the headphones - not just for gaming but great for home theater enthusiast as well and I believe you will too. Tritton AX 720 Dolby Digital Gaming Headset (5 stars)

Tenba – As much as I like the Shootout Camera bag, I'm gonna give a nod to the Daypack Messenger bag. Why? Well after my nephew made good use of it, I realized it's not just a bag for photogs, but it can be utilized by casual consumers as well. Plus it's especially good for travelers. Tenba Daypack Messenger Backpack (4.5 stars)

Samsung – Though it's a year old, the Samsung P3 Digital Media player still ranks as one of my favorite media players. Not only does it produce amazing audio quality, but you can watch video, view your photos, and use apps (widgets) all with a touch screen interface. Though not perfect, I still highly recommend it. Samsung P3 (4 stars)

Lexar, Kingston – What do portable media players, gaming devices, digital cameras, and mobile phones have in common? They all have (well maybe most) expandable memory slots. And to fill in the gaps Lexar and Kingston are both excellent choices when looking for more memory. The 3 in 1 from Kingston is choice because it combines 3 cards in one. (Micro, standard SD, and Mini), but with Lexar you get speed such as with the Platinum II SDHC Cards. And for gamers, Lexar has the cards to take your gaming "To a Whole New Level". So when your choosing mobile devices to give this holiday season, don't forget the storage and look to the best to give you the best for your devices. Kingston 3 in 1 Micro SD (5 stars), Lexar's Platinum II 8GB SDHC card (5 stars), Lexar Gaming Cards (5 stars)

Toshiba – First they enter the Blu (finally) and then they start churning out these bad ass Blu Ray Players, specifically speaking the BDX 2700. Not only can you watch your favorite BD discs, but you can stream NetFlix vids, or slap in an SD card and view some of your favorite photos or listen to some tunes. It's all wrapped in a sleek package. Toshiba BDX 2700 (3.5 stars)

Audio Technica – Since CES 2010, Audio Technica has paid a visit not once, not twice, but thrice with their noise-cancelling products and each time it's a WIN. Need to drown out the world while you're on your commute? Trying to relax on a flight but little Billy is screaming just a bit too loud? Then definitely mark this one high on the list of Christmas goodies, because their headphones are just that good. Audio-Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC3 (5 stars), Audio-Technica ATH-ANC27 Quietpoint Noise-Cancelling Headphones (4.5 stars), Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b Quietpoint Noise-Cancelling Headphones (5 stars)

Wilson – Lack of a cellphone signal getting ya down? Not enough bars to follow-up on those tweets? Then look no further than Wilson to bring you some yuletide cheer. The Sleek will give your mobile phone the "boost" it so needs – indoors and out (as tested by Alacran). Wilson Sleek Universal Cell Phone Signal Booster (4 stars)

Imation – Speaking of boosts, let's not forget your PC and or laptop this holiday season.And Imation has you covered with not only the drive, but a kit so that you can use your old drive as a back-up. Check out the M-Class 64GB SSD upgrade kit. It's never been so easy to upgrade your HDD or better still, have the perfect backup drive. Either way you can't lose. Imation M-Class SSD 64 GB & Upgrade Kit (3.5 stars)

Zalman – Give your ears the gift of sound – 5.1 that is. Though Zalman's ZM-RS6F headphones are only for the PC, they're no slouches and will make watching those online movies, shows, or gaming sound that much sweeter. Zalman ZM-RS6F Surround Sound Headphones (4 stars)

Nero – Keeping it in the PC zone, definitely ask the big Claus for an all-around suite that encompasses not only DVD burning, but video editing, photo editing, backing up, and so much more. Nero Suite 10 has all that and then some. Nero Multimedia Suite 10 (4.5 stars)

Kidz Gear – And we can't forget the little TOVers this Christmas. We wanna give them the chance to enjoy their favorite music and shows either at home or on the go. And the folks at Kidz Gear has two options that not only sound great, but won't damage the little tikes ears. Choose from a wired or wireless set; either way you can't go wrong. Kidz Gear Wired and Wireless Headphones (5 stars)

CaseLogic – For the business traveler in your life, why not go with something more serious and allows them to pass through airport security in no time at all? (save for the TSA rub... oops I mean pat down). Look no further than CaseLogic's TSA Friendly laptop bag. They look great and getting through TSA is a breeze thanks to the "grab and go" function, which helps if you're in a rush. CaseLogic TSA Security Friendly Laptop Bag (5 stars)

Apogee – You have a ton of documents, presentations, toss in some music, and other digital files that you need to throw on a drive and take to work. Well there's no faster way than with Apogee's AstroDrive. Personally I don't leave home without it, because when I need to get what I need off the PC and go, the AstroDrive is the one you'll wanna rely on as it's fast – damn fast. Get one for the geek in your life this Christmas.Apogee AstroDrive 266X

8) Logitech – So you have a favorite radio station you like to rock out to while working in the home office, baking away in the kitchen, or just mellowing out in the livingroom to some good tunes? Then let Logitech sweep you away with their all-in-wonder Squeezebox Wi-Fi Radio. Not only can you connect to your favorite internet radio station, but link up with Facebook for updates, and so much more. Oh and before I forget to mention, the sound quality is AMAZING!! Logitech Squeezebox Wi-Fi Radio (4.5 stars)

Email: valkor@the-other-view.com

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