Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top NewYear Gift Ideas

Portable Audio/Video
Entry level
Phillips Aria 4GB (Rs. 4,999)
For a 4GB device with good features, an MRP of Rs.4999 is pretty good. Also, the end user price should be a bit lower. The quality of the player for audio is good, though its two-inch screen is not suitable for watching videos. In our Philips GoGear Vibe we suggested you buy a good pair of earphones/headphones to go along with your player. Here you get good earphones as well, which makes the Aria a good alternate to the Vibe.

iPod Nano 16GB (Rs. 11,200)
Apple has just given the nano a major shot in the arm, turning an impressive little music player into an incredible all-round multimedia device. The addition of camera really came as a pleasant surprise and what's better is that it does not disappoint in its performance. 

The addition of FM radio and voice recording, which admittedly are a bit late compared to the competition, finally complete the feature list. No longer can critics claim the iPod nano to be all show and no go. The audio quality remains impressive, although I wish Apple had used a higher quality display on the nano, which could have made the video and photo playback just as impressive.

I am not a big fan of the click wheel and wished the camera captured still images as well. However, all these are minor drawbacks when you consider the overall performance, which is on par with the best the competition has to offer. Priced at Rs. 9,400 for the 8 GB model and Rs. 11,200 for the 16 GB model, the new iPod is sure to attract a lot more buyers than the one before it. The already strong sale of the world's most popular player has no place to go but up.

High end
Cowon iAudio S9 (Rs. 17,250)
I'm sure you guys were expecting the iPod Touch here but remember, we are talking about the best audio/video device and no one does it better than Cowon. For roughly Rs. 17,250 you get the 32GB version that lets you play Xvid and DivX movies. This means no more conversion, you can just directly dump movies and your set. The screen may be a bit smaller than the iPod Touch but the colour and contrast of the S9 is equally good. The S9 also has noticibly better audio quality and you get FM radio for those who care about it. Overall, between this and iPod Touch, we pick this for superior audio quality.

Thumb drives
Kingmax 16GB (Rs. 1,450)
The Kingmax Super Stick mini 16GB is one of the tiniest USB Flash drives around and it can certainly pack in a lot, thanks to its huge capacity. Though tiny in size, it is constructed ruggedly and can easily weather the elements of nature. The performance is good when it comes to read speeds, while the write speeds are a little below average.

It does not come with any software bundle, which is something expected when the drive can do so much with its huge 16GB capacity. With a lifetime warranty, the Kingmax Super Stick mini 16GB is available for an estimated street price of Rs. 1,450, which is pretty much a steal for a 16GB drive.

Portable Storage
2.5" Laptop based
Seagate FreeAgent Go - 500GB (Rs. 4,800)
Both Western Digital and Seagate are priced similarly around Rs. 4,800 for 500GB, which is a pretty sweet deal. The reason we chose Seagate is because you get a five-year warranty with it instead of a three-year.

3.5" Desktop based
WD My Book Essential Edition 1TB (Rs. 5,100)
If you need more space then you can pick the WD My Book, which sells for Rs.5100. Just a little more than the FreeAgent, since its using a standard desktop hard drive instead of the laptop kind. The size is slightly larger but not too much and will still fit snugly in your backpack.

DVD Player/Home Theater System
LG HB954TB BluRay home theater (Rs.47,000)
The LG Home Theater HB954TB sells for Rs. 47,000 with a one-year warranty. As compared to the previous Home Theater we saw from Samsung, this makes for a much better choice. The LG Home Theater HB954TB has a Blu-ray player and a much better audio experience. The pricing too is appropriate, so it's a good selection for those looking for a Lifestyle Home Theater System.

Phillips Soundbar HD HTS8160B (Rs.79,990)
The Philips SoundBar is a class apart. It sells for Rs. 79,990 with a one-year warranty. Being a premium lifestyle product it has the aspects that give it certain appeal. The slot loading tray that emerges from the center console of the bar takes things to a level of being sci-fi. It supports all media formats including Blu-ray and has USB and a 3.5mm jack input for connecting plug-n-play devices. The Philips Soundbar is not just all show, as it packs a punch with its six speaker angled setup providing good sound and surround effect. For a single piece it's quite good. The woofer too has the required thump and is well sized to suit large living rooms. All in all one could only wish for wireless communication between the woofer and the console but even otherwise it'll make an exceptional buy.


Ok guys ~ so tell me,  what gift have you planned for me ?