2011 Gifts | Gadgets, video games, booze and other gift card alternatives
TOC's online editor selects some decadent indulgences for the holiday wish list.
1/15Supertooth Disco Bluetooth Stereo Speaker, $119 at jandr.comIt's liberating, that power to play music from your Bluetooth-enabled phone or PC from across the room. And the Supertooth Disco has solid sound, small footprint and a nice price. But the key feature? A rechargable battery so you can tote this around the house or even outside.
2/15Third Man Recordings Crosley turntable, $150 at thirdmanrecords.com, available Dec 1There are loads of portable turntables on the market, but how many are Jack White-approved? White's Third Man Recordings also offers a record cleaner and 45 case all done up in black and yellow. That said, Mr. Analog has got your digital ass covered, too; the turntables are USB compatible, too.
3/15WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, $69.99 at drinkupnyc.com or locally.Maker's Mark master distiller David Pickerell oversees the Vermont production of this 100% rye whiskey, which you'll find in great cocktails around town. I think it is worthy of sipping, too. They do only 1,000 cases a year, so keep an eye out for it in NYC, Chicago and San Francisco.
4/15Alarm Dock, $39.50 at mcachicagostore.org A handsome wooden charging dock that turns your iPhone into an alarm clock for $40? Anything to replace that unsightly white cord. Sign us up.
5/15DeskPets TankBot, $25 at robotshop.comNext to controlling a small helicopter, commanding a toy tank is one of the most frivolous and fun things you can do with an iPhone. Am I right?
6/15L�g U77Cukulele, $169.99 at 8thstreet.com Ukuleles are back in style and back on stage. If you've ever wanted to wade into the water of music performance or teach the young ones a bit, ukes are a great way to go. That said, L�g 77 Series ukuleles are a higher quality instrument with mahogany tops and die-cast machine heads, made in France to boot, for the next level ukulele player.
7/15Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,$59.99 at GameStop.comPlaying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3* is a little like watching The Hangover Part II�you get the feeling that you�ve been around this block before. The game isn�t much more than an expansion pack to MW2, with new maps and missions (and a few new weapons) leading you in the ongoing shoot-'em-up battle against the same requisite evil terrorist. But�as with watching Zach Galifianakis�s on-screen antics�you quickly realize: Who cares? It�s still awesome. With better graphics and a more intense pace, MW3 keeps the gory fun going for gamers who�ve been addicted to the franchise since the beginning.*Game provided by Activision
8/15Krups 5240 Precise Tamp Espresso Machine, $199 at buy.comEspresso drinkers I know have switched to home-brewing to save a few bucks and learn the art. The handsome Krups 5240 Precise Tamp Espresso Machine is a notch up for a starter machine, known for its easy-to-clean cake ejector and tamping consistency but still comes in under 200 bucks. It does single, double or ESE pods without changing baskets. Rad. Krups also redesigned the steam nozzle for us cappuccino fans.
9/15Cruzan 9, $13.99 ay Binny'sSpices + rum = holiday cheer in my book. And the spiced rum can make a fine holiday cocktail. No time for mixology; team with ginger beer and slices of lemon. Family-run Cruzan's latest 9 will be a guest at our holiday party.
10/15Propellerheads Balance and Reason Essentials, $479.99 at frontendaudio.comI have yet to get my hands on the Balance audio interface for a review, but in theory, the new computer hardware plus the WYSIWYG audio recording software in Reason will get musicians straight into recording and creating and skip all the cables and confusion. Is that worth $500? You betcha.
11/15Sony Internet TV (24 inch), $299 at sony.comSony Internet TV with Google has come way down in price and not too soon. TheTV/computer hybrid may be just what you need for that second room, bedroom, den or mancave.
12/15Eames Plywood Elephant, $185 at mcachicagostore.orgThere's only one real Eames plywood elephant in existence, but design fans will want to own this miniature version. It is sturdy enough to hold a child, but I'm not sure you want to open up that can of worms.
13/15Blue Yeti Pro USB & XLR Microphone, $229 atbhphotovideo.com Whether you are working on your pop smash, jamming acoustic with your bros or podcasting with your book club, the multipattern, stereo Yeti Pro will up your game instantly. Here at TOC, we use this bad boy on every Live at TOC session with consistently amazing results. The Pro version also has an added XLR hookup, making it way more versatile as a studio microphone for making music, commercials and whatnot.
14/15Carrera Champion sunglasses, $120 at Solsticesunglasses.somSnow will soon be upon us, but that's no reason to abandon style. Embrace your retro ski lodge god/goddess image with these throwback Carreras.
15/15Travelpro Maxlite 2 22" Expandable Rollaboard, $102 atluggagepros.comForget overly sexy, showy luggage if you travel a lot for work. Go with Travelpro, the light, functional luggage that anyone who flies for a living will tell you get the job done. The Maxlite 2 is even lighter than the famed original.
By John Dugan|
Online shopping has enabled us grown folks to extend that most youthful and hopeful indulgence of Novembers, making a holiday wish list. Believe me, if it wouldn't be completely ignored and make me look a fool, I would still make one with magic marker and slip it in my significant other's purse, but instead I send links for wants and see if anything sticks. Drawn from my own personal materialistic passions without too much worry about price tag, here are some decadent indulgences that I wouldn't mind seeing turn up in gift wrap under my tree. Wishing, remember, is free. How about you, what are you wishing for this year?