Christmas Gift Ideas

With Christmas rapidly approaching we here at Vancouver Gadgets are compiling some of the best gadget gift ideas. Take a look at some of these and get ordering fast! You probably don’t want to wait too much longer if ordering online as your gifts may take a few days to arrive.

 

Super Smash Bros for Wii U

super smash bros for wii uMario! Link! Samus! Pikachu! All of your favorite Nintendo characters are back, along with plenty of new faces, in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the next entry in the beloved Super Smash Bros. series. Up to four players can battle each other locally or online across beautifully designed stages inspired by classic Nintendo home console games. With a variety of control options and amiibo compatibility, the timeless Super Smash Bros. battles come alive.

Super Smash Bros. – Wii U

 

Pentax Q10 Compact Camera

Portability meets capability with the introduction of the Q10 to the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens system. Featuring exceptional image quality and an upgraded auto focus system and the Q10 will capture detailed, blur and dust free images all while comfortably Pentax Q10 camerafitting in your pocket. With the Q, you no longer need to sacrifice capability for portability.

Pentax Q10 Compact Camera

 

Bose QuietComfort Headphones

QuietComfort 25 headphones are re-engineered to sound better, be more comfortable and easier to take with you. Put them on, and suddenly everything changes. Your music is Bose Headphonesdeep, powerful and balanced, and so quiet that every note sounds clearer. Even air
travel becomes enjoyable, as engine roar gently fades away. No matter how noisy the world is, it’s just you and your music-or simply peace and quiet. Bose completely redesigned their industry-leading headphones, with higher-quality materials and finishes. They’re lightweight, and earcups rotate even more for a better fit. The headband sits closer to your head, with luxurious suede-like material underneath for extra comfort.

 

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

 

More to come

We’ll be adding more items everyday. Keep stopping by for the latest and greatest ideas from Vancouver Gadgets!

Jay and Ben

Vancouver Gadgets on CKNW’s “The Bill Good Show”

Yesterday, Jay Kenobi and Perpetual Motion appeared on The Bill Good Show on CKNW radio. Thanks to Karen Horak and Bill Good for the opportunity to appear on the show. We didn’t cover all the topics we had hoped to discuss but it was a great conversation nevertheless. You can listen to yesterday’s conversation here and please forward to the 17:38 minute mark begin.

The intention for the show was to discuss our recent article “Gadget Gift Ideas for Christmas 2011” but as there are so many compelling issues in the tech world I think we barely scratched the surface of the content in this article. Look for more media appearances from Vancouver Gadgets in the near future.

 

Bill Good image courtesy of Jay Kenobi

 

The Transition from Dumbphone to Smartphone.

The wait is finally over. Yesterday I joined the throngs by becoming the proud owner of a smartphone. I had been waiting for my Apple iPhone 4S since October 15th and it took about 45 days to finally get the device into my hands. Rogers had put me into what seemed to be the longest queue vs. other Canadian telecommunications carriers such as Telus and Bell. I never thought I would have to wait so long but I figured I had been using a regular Joe-Schmoe Samsung mobile phone up until now that I figured another couple of days wouldn’t hurt; plus Rogers has a great reputation for having the best cellular wireless network in Canada.

The service at Rogers was fantastic. When the phone finally did arrive I was greeted with the most amazing reception and conversation. Excellent service.

So what has the transition from dumbphone to smartphone been like? Well honestly its been a little anticlimactic since I’ve been an iPad user for a little over a year now. The transition to the iPhone just made sense since I’ve been using iOS in one form or another since October 2010. I have always been an avid photographer and videographer so having that functionality built into one device is priceless. The one feature that did take a while to get used to is SIRI, which is the built in automated assistant.

SIRI is amazing; I love this feature on the iPhone 4S. Literally all you have to do is hold the phone up to your ear (assuming the screen is active and the SIRI setting “raise to speak” is on) and say a command. It took a little bit of getting used to but I’m thinking this is the beginning of a wonderful new relationship. I can ask SIRI to create and send a text on my behalf which is wonderful since I have sausage links for fingers. I can also ask it to call and connect me to my contacts which is a huge time saver for me. I don’t like having to enter a bunch of speed dial numbers let alone try to remember who’s assigned to what number. The biggest feature of SIRI really is just the fact that I can avoid typing on such a small screen. This is a huge selling feature for people who are a little bit challenged with the whole concept of texting.

All in all its been a good purchase and I don’t have any symptoms of buyers remorse. Have you bought an Apple iPhone 4S? Are you considering one? Leave a comment below and lets chat.

Otter Box Apple® iPhone® 4 / 4S Impact Case [OEM] APL1-I4SUN-20-E4OTR, Black

HP Pavilion DV6-6140US Notebook Computer: In Depth Review

This latest HP laptop computer is one of the best sellers in the PC category. The DV6-6140US is an entertainment powerhouse that will please even the most die-hard gamer in your family for years to come. It boasts 2.4GHz/1.5GHz AMD A8-3500M quad-core accelerated processor with 4MB L2 cache; 6GB DDR3 system memory (2 DIMM; 16GB max supported); 640GB, 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive; Blu-ray Player and SuperMulti DVD Burner; 15.6-inch diagonal high-definition HP BrightView LED display (1366 x 768); and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system.

With 18 five star reviews on Amazon, this is a laptop computer for even the most discerning IT geek.  Amazon‘s story began when “…the Amazon.com website started in 1995 as a place to buy books because of the unique customer experience the Web could offer book lovers. [Jeff] Bezos believed that only the Internet could offer customers the convenience of browsing a selection of millions of book titles in a single sitting. During the first 30 days of business, Amazon.com fulfilled orders for customers in 50 states and 45 countries – all shipped from his Seattle-area garage.”

“Laptop is pretty fast in the applications I’ve run so far, and temperature wise, stays below critical levels all of the time (so far) and I tend to run laptops until they literally fry. “

“Basically the laptop is pretty fast in most things. On the laptop you can play games like Team Fortress 2 maxed out in native resolution because of the decent graphics card.”

“After using numerous system benchmarking websites, this computer will be able to run Starcraft 2, Crysis and many new games at recommended settings. This will apparently be able to run the upcoming most anticipated game, Battlefield 3.”

From Laptop Reviews which is authored by a community of Laptop Aficionados, there were some positive remarks about this unit. “The entire device supports large amounts of 3D video gaming and loading of HD movies but in reduced to medium information and configurations. The images can be compared with basic level dedicated graphics. Should you choose lot of video development, then HP pavilion dv6-6140us can offer you reasonable functionality.” For a laptop at this price point it’s difficult to compare with other models. There is a lot of value to be found with the 6140US.

From HP, one of the world’s largest technology providers you can expect quality second to none. “[HP] provides infrastructure and business offerings that span from handheld devices to some of the world’s most powerful supercomputer installations. [HP] offers consumers a wide range of products and services from digital photography to digital entertainment and from computing to home printing.” HP has this to say about their DV6-6140US notebook computer.

“Watch Blu-ray DVDs plus enjoy Beats Audio studio-quality sound and HP CoolSense technology with the HP Pavilion dv6-6140us Entertainment Notebook PC. Sync this laptop to other mobile devices and print wirelessly using Bluetooth.® You can also access your online accounts securely using the integrated fingerprint reader; with one-time password, logging in is safe and fast. Enter data quickly using the numeric keypad.”

This is going to be one of the hottest sellers this coming Christmas season. If you are in the market for a notebook computer I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the HP Pavilion DV6-6140US. There really isn’t much else available that can compare at this price point. If you have any questions please let me know or if you’ve gone and bought one and have some feedback for others please leave a comment below. If you need more information about this notebook you can also click the link below to get redirected automatically to Amazon.

HP Pavilion DV6-6140US Entertainment Notebook PC with Blu Ray, Bluetooth, and Beats Audio

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300: In Depth Review

2011’s hottest selling camera is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 300. From the research I’ve conducted, the positives far outweigh the negatives for this powerhouse packed into a small camera body. The ELPH 300 has an outstanding capability of shooting 12.1 Megapixels and shooting full 1080P HD video. At this price point nothing else compares. I have been in the photo electronics industry for two decades now and Canon never ceases to amaze me with their ingenuity and innovative ideas. In other words I am a fan of Canon and their products. If you have any questions about this camera let me know and leave a comment below. I’ll look into your questions in a timely manner.

Here are some of the comments from the Amazon Canada product page. Amazon is usually the first place I go to look for electronics reviews as its a place I can trust for straightforward information. These are some of the positive things recent purchasers had to say about this camera.

“Excellent in video quality. Absolutely comparable with my Panasonic HD camcorder. Now I don’t have to bring both camera and camcorder for my trip since Powershot 300 video equipped with zoom function. “

“Compact and sleek. Pictures sharp. Easy to operate. Had previously bought another camera last year ( a good make, I thought) but this one far outshines the colours and clarity of the pictures. “

Digital Camera Review had some positive things to say about the PowerShot ELPH 300 as well. Digital Camera Review is a well-known website on the Internet, “and … presents hands-on First Looks at new digital cameras and accessories, and collaborates with professionals to test new cameras in the field on actual photo assignments.”

“[This] camera has surprisingly large buttons, which will be greatly appreciated by those with large fingers. Below the selector dial are buttons for playback and menu. The playback button allows access to stored photos and videos even when the camera is not turned on – a very useful feature that I have never seen before. All of the buttons are very accessible and function well. Startup time is practically instantaneous, which is extremely useful when you want to take advantage of a picture taking opportunity that suddenly becomes available. The ELPH 300 HS can shoot a very quick 8 frames per second in high speed burst mode…The ELPH 300 HS creates good looking images, with strong but realistic colors. As I’ve found with all Canon cameras I’ve tested, it can produce excellent macro photos.”

Some of the negative aspects of the ELPH 300 reported by Digital Camera Review were the poorly attached port cover, an inconveniently located flash and the occasional overexposure.

PCMag had some postive things to say as well. Ziff Davis, Inc. is a leading all-digital media company specializing in the technology market… Ziff Davis sites feature trusted reviews of the newest and hottest tech products, news, commentary, tech deals and much more. Our portfolio includes our flagship PCMag.com…

“The 300 HS offers speed, low-light performance, and ease of use that few, if any, phone cameras can match. The 300 HS packs a lot of features into a small body, with good performance on all fronts and specs a step above many entry-level pocket cameras. Overall, it’s a solid, simple, and affordable digital camera.”

PCMag’s negative comment was that the “body feels like sandpaper.” Now personally I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing as it may provide better grip on the camera itself. The last thing you want to do is drop and damage the device holding all your vacation photos!

Here’s what Canon has to say about itself and the camera. “Canon Canada Inc. has been selling and promoting its cutting edge line of camera and optical equipment since its inception in 1973. Headquartered in Mississauga Ontario, Canon Canada is a highly-respected market leader in business and consumer imaging equipment and information systems. ”

“Don’t let the PowerShot ELPH 300 HS digital camera’s slim profile and good looks fool you. This slick little device may stand out from the crowd, but it’ll also deliver brilliant still images, ultra-detailed 1080p Full HD video, serious functionality, and a wealth of effects and automatic settings. You’ll be surprised how much is packed into such a slim point-and-shoot. Let your imagination run wild, and let Canon’s HS SYSTEM, a 24mm lens, 5x Optical Zoom, and 12.1 Megapixels help you snap great photos everywhere.”

If you are considering purchasing an ELPH 300 or already have purchased one please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I want know if you are as excited about this little camera as I am. Or if you have any other camera related questions I would be interested in hearing from you. If you need more information about the ELPH 300 you can click on the link below.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 12 MP CMOS Digital Camera with Full 1080p HD Video (Black)

There Are Only 30 Shopping Days Left Until Christmas….

A scary thought isn’t it? Christmas is creeping closer and closer and you’re wondering what to get for the techie or gadget guru on your list. This year there are more choices than ever in terms of both the types of gadgets and the companies making them.

Retailers in Vancouver also number in what seems like thousands and they too are offering the latest and greatest gadgets. Staples, Best Buy, Future Shop, London Drugs all have something to for you to look at and consider.

Recently we spoke with Mike Agerbo from GetConnected. Mike has over 15 years of creating and hosting broadcast television, Internet, and radio programs he is highly recognized as one of Canada’s leading tech experts. He was able to make some great recommendations on the latest and greatest gadgets and how Canadians can take advantage of them.

Mike Agerbo
Mike Agerbo from GetConnected

We connected to Mike through Toronto based communications firm Argyle Communications who was working in partnership with Staples on a recent survey by the retailer.

Staples’ survey found among other things that “52 per cent of Canadian consumers have not upgraded their computers within the last three years, meaning that the majority have not yet taken full advantage of the newest technology.”

We asked Mike among other things why this has happened and what possible options people have in making new purchases.

“People are still running Windows XP on old machines. They don’t yet know what new machines are really capable of. With an operating system like Windows 7, they really have the chance to take advantage of the new power of these desktops. They have a great user Interface and are easy to navigate.”

Mike also noted that today it’s really all about getting and staying connected. We can connect laptops to TV’s and other devices such as smart phones. Smart phones now too take amazing photo’s and HD video.

We also wondered if consumers should look at some different types of devices or stick with their traditional purchases for gadgets with the Christmas season upon us.

“At this time of year notes Agerbo its time to go into a Staples store and get something in your hand. A lot of people looking at tablets especially. They are such a hot item and there is so many out there.”

When asked about getting an E Reader or a tablet he noted that “there are colour tablets as well as Black and White E Reader’s. I’d go with an E Reader and a tablet can so you have that versatility at your fingertips.”

The Staples survey also noted that Canadians are not currently using technology to its full capacity. We asked Mike how Canadians could do so using the Christmas season as a way to acquire some new items.

“With all the new devices the connected world allows you to move things around and bring these devices together. Take the opportunity to move those videos and photo’s off of a smart phone or tablet into a desktop or laptop and make something with the video’s or photo’s and create a gift or book for someone.”

Great ideas for the Christmas season regarding gadgets from Mike. With these devices in your hand, you have the power to create more meaningful and lasting memories for friends and family and be one of the people in the know about the latest and greatest gadgets.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas….

It is? Really? Chrismas believe it or not is just around the corner. Though retailers like to trick us sometimes into thinking Christmas comes in November it does come in December and this time of the year is the perfect time to think about what friends and family may be looking for at Christmas.

Gadgets are a big part of anyone’s Christmas list including mine. I’m looking to replace my Macbook which has done me so well for the past four years. It’ still going strong but I can’t resist the temptation to get a Macbook Air or Pro.

Xmas Decorations
Xmas Decorations

I also really want an iPhone. I don’t have one or any smart phone for that matter. I still use my Nokia phone which has done me quite well over the past couple of years. I can’t decide on whether to go with the iPhone 4 which is dropping in price now that the 4S is out. Which one should I get? I’m not sure but the Android phones do look tempting too but how well with they work with my Mac environment.

Over the next month, We’ll be posting some great tips on Christmas Gadgets and gift ideas. Later this week we catch up with local expert Mike Agerbo from Get Connected. Mike has some great tips for you our readers on what the best buys are for Christmas.

We will also have some other reviews planned in December. These will include what to do in December and January once you have those gadgets and how you can integrate them and more importantly use them effectively as part of your daily life!