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We are getting close to the final race for holiday gadget shopping, and when Best Buy asked us to choose a few of the items they have in store, it was not an easy task, but here is a selection of very cool electronics that is worthy of your consideration. We’ll give you a fair warning: a couple of them, may run out of stock by month’s end, so Good luck everyone! [mouse over the image to check the latest prices]
1/ Sony PlayStation 4
There is no doubt that 2013 is a great year for gaming. Sony has managed to design, build and launch a console in a virtually perfect way. The hardware design is great and got rave comments from key developers for its speed and relative ease of programming. So far, the first generation of games already looks great, and this is only the beginning. For example, we have played with Killzone: Shadow Fall which features beautiful realistic graphics. PS4 also lets you connect to cloud services like Amazon Video, Netflix, Vudu and others with no subscription required. If you want to use voice commands and gesture controls, there is an optional PlayStation Camera that you can buy separately. Read: PS4 hands-on review
2/ Xbox One
While Microsoft has had a few bumps on the road leading to the Xbox One launch, it has adapted to consumer demands, and so far, the company has announced “shipping” 2 million Xbox One consoles. Xbox One comes with Kinect, a power Motion Sensor that lets “You become the controller” as Microsoft would put it. We generally consider Kinect to be more powerful than its Sony equivalent, and the fact that developers can count on its presence may create a deeper integration in games. We have been impressed with titles like Titan Fall (FPS) for its innovative gameplay, and Forza (car racing) for the sheer beauty of its graphics. Xbox One also plays nice with your Cable/Sat Box, but keep in mind that you need a subscription to Xbox Live to get the full benefits of that feature. Read: Xbox One: Hands-On
3/ LG G2
If you have not seen this smartphone yet, it’s time to look at it. We consider it to be the best medium-size (4.5-5.2”) smartphone, thanks to its 5.2” IPS display, impressive camera capabilities, huge battery and leading-edge processor performance which makes it a top phone. Yet, LG has managed to build all of this in a body that feels like a normal 5” smartphone and not a “large-display phone”. If you are curious, read our complete review of the LG G2 but it’s hard to go wrong with that one.
4/ Samsung Galaxy S4
The Galaxy S4 has reached the status of “classic Android phone”. If you want a large display phone which is super-thin and light, this is a great pick. We rated it as “Top Notch” earlier this year, and it is Samsung’s best-selling smartphone of all times for a reason. With a 1920×1080 AMOLED display, it has unbelievable contrast and saturation levels. Finally, the cool thing is that the Galaxy S4 is not only for “geeks”, but really for everyone: it has a great “Easy Mode” which cuts down the complexity of the user interface to the basics – genius. Read our review of the Galaxy S4 for more details.
5/ Microsoft Surface 2
Having an ultralight device that can get some real work done has been the dream for many PC users for a long time. While this quest is not going to end anytime soon, the Surface 2 can get us much closer to that goal, thanks to its improvements across the board from the original Surface tablet. Surface 2 is fast enough to feel like a PC and if your life revolves around Microsoft Office and web browsing, this may just be the ultimate portable computer. Surface 2 has the best kick-stand and keyboard integration, and won’t need a bulky case that nearly doubles the thickness or weight of your typical tablet. It has been thought off as a work device from the get go, and remains one of the only tablet with which you can simply plug a USB key with some documents and work directly from there. The file system and file attachment in Outlook work just like a PC, so this is familiar territory, and finally: MS Office comes for free. Don’t miss our review of the Surface 2.