One of my gifts in life is an ability to find awesome toys for grownups. Probably not my most useful gift in life. But maybe it can be of help to you.
Here are my picks for the year:
- Parrot AR Drone- $299.99: An onboard processor and tons of sensors makes this thing easy to fly. 2 cameras and video feed to your iPod make it fun to fly. The manufacturer probably didn’t realize the success of the project and so they struggled throughout the year to keep replacement parts in stock. The price hasn’t budged either. They motors are brushless, which provides tons of torque to get the thing off the ground quick. The biggest complaint has been that it get’s off the ground too quick and keeps on going till it flies away, so you may want to wait on this toy until demand slows, the price falls, and the company works out some bugs. But if you’d like to fly one inside for the time being it’s a whole lot of fun.
- iPod touch 4- $279: I list the 32 gig model because when you’re shooting HD video you don’t want to settle for a 8 gig model. Especially when it only costs $50 more for that extra 24 gig of space. With the ability to face time, more battery time, retina display, HD video recording, gyro and much more this iPod is a great gift even for someone who already has an iPod.
- Traxxas Summit- $569: I was told last week this is an RC truck on steroids. Your RC truck growing up didn’t have this much power, size or technology. It’s got led lights in the front and the back and enough power to haul a kid in a wagon. The best part for the holiday season is that this RC truck is 100% waterproof, meaning that you can drive it through the snow and the rain. It’s extremely durable and you can find spare parts at your local hobby shop meaning the truck will last a lifetime.
- Macbook Air- $979 Works about as fast as a normal macbook and is even in the same price range. The biggest difference is that it’s .68 inches thick and 2.3 pounds. Shut the top and it’s on standby for up to a month on a single charge. Open it up again and it instantly comes back on, just like an iPad or iPod touch.
- iPad- $499- This year it became the quickest adapted technology ever. In other words they sold more of them faster than any new device has ever been sold before. Overpriced? Maybe. Especially if you consider that that the iPod, it’s smaller and cheaper brother, came out only months later with double the pixel density in the retina display and dual cameras, allowing for the ability to facetime. One thing that sets the iPad apart is it’s large size, allowing mulitiplayer games on it’s single multitouch display (very fun for air hockey). The device has essential streamlined just about every online experience. Combine a 3G model with a service plan and you’ve got fun everywhere you go.
You might have notice that 3 out of the 5 picks were apple products, and OK, you need an iPod touch to control the 4th of the 5. I think apple has had a rather successful year and I don’t think I’m alone as their stock price has gone from $190 to $320 perhaps if I would have invested in their stock rather than my simple IRA I’d be able to afford some of this stuff!
Something else that I found after making the list was some of the most powerful hand held flashlights, that might also be something worth looking into.