Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Jesse's recommendations

By on December 10, 2013, 8:30 AM

Welcome back to TechSpot's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide! All of this year's tech gift recommendations are coming individually from our staff members and editors with their own picks on gifts they would like to receive or give. Jesse is a front-end web developer/designer, technophile, and futurist with a idealogical affinity towards paying for quality, as you'll see shortly. Find his picks below and be sure to check out the rest of our staff's gift guide posts here.

1

Panasonic TC-PST60 Series $999+

The TC-PST60 plasma series from Panasonic received the CNET Editor’s Choice Award in April of this year, and was granted the first ever five-star rating to come from CNET. These panels deliver outstanding picture quality with some of the deepest black levels ever to come from a plasma, and do it at great price. Panasonic recently announced that they are discontinuing their plasma line, so now is the time to buy if you've got videophile taste on a budget.

Product Finder score:  88

2

Revolv Home Automation Hub $300

The Revolv home automation hub controls the internet of things in your house. Program and control devices like Nest, Sonos, and Hue, or any other smart device, in the unified Revolv app with IFTTT style logic. Imagine, as you pull into your driveway, the garage door opens, the front door unlocks, the lights in the house turn on, the thermostat is adjusted, and your favorite internet radio station starts playing. And then reverse the process when you leave.

3

Wiha ESD Screwdriver Set $50

Take your hacking, modding, and tinkering seriously with a set of Wiha ESD screwdrivers. These precision drivers from the legendary German toolmaker help to protect components from electrostatic discharge. Buy quality tools and you’ll only have to buy them once.

4

Sonos Speakers $200 - $700

One of the consequences of surrounding yourself with technology is the mess of cables that often comes with it. I’m all about leveraging technology to eliminate the inconveniences of everyday life, and Sonos does this with style. Connect one Sonos component to your router, and the rest of your setup need only be plugged in for power. There’s much more to love about Sonos beyond their wirelessness, including awesome audio quality, and an app that aggregates your local media library and dozens of other music services, and allows selective streaming to any ‘zone’ in your house.

Product Finder score: 87

5

Roomba 800 Series $700

Roomba 880

The new Roomba 880 represents the next stage of evolution in vacuum robots. While the previous generations used traditional brushes that invariably become tangled and require maintenance, the 880 uses “tangle-free debris extractors” that greatly reduce the hassle of owning one of these laziness enablers. Coupled with a motor generating five times more sucking power, iRobot says these new models remove 50 percent more dirt.

6

Brunton Hydrogen Reactor $169

Portable rechargeable battery packs are super convenient to have assuming you’re able to charge them before heading out into the field, but what if you won’t have access to a power source for an extended period? Seemingly straight out of a sci-fi novel, Brunton has you covered with their mini hydrogen reactor. That’s right, a hydrogen reactor for your pocket. It ships with two hydrogen cores that each provide enough power for six iPhone recharges. New hydrogen cores are $20 each, or you can purchase the H20 Hydrolizer and recharge them yourself.

7

Jellyfish Art $366

We can’t all live the opulent lifestyle of a Russian billionaire with his own designer pets, but having exotic critters in your home has been made a lot more accessible by Jellyfish Art. Jellyfish are typically difficult to keep in tanks because they tend to get sucked into filtration systems. Installations in restaurants or hotels use expensive custom systems to circulate the water through a round tank to keep the jellyfish in the center. Jellyfish Art’s desktop tank miniaturizes this system so that you too can add a dash of extravagance to your life.

TechSpot's Holiday Gift Guide 2013 is sponsored by Best Buy.




User Comments: 11

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Other than the home automation unit & low-end priced speakers (Not sure how the high-end perform so I can't say much for that) everything on the list seems over-priced...a plasma TV which clearly states they're about to discontinue, a $5 screw driver set (Almost any screw driver set with a rubberised handle will discharge static electricity), a $700 vacuum that you can't have with a big dog (I have photo evidence if you'd like to see it), the hydrogen "reactor" which is actual a simple "generator" - basically $170 to charge my iPhone 12 times?

*nerd*Although - By far one of the most unique gift line-up's I've ever seen. And for that, I tip my hat to you Jesse!

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

But Guest, the holiday season is the best time for overpriced stuff you may never normally buy!

But in all seriousness, the plasma is my number one recommendation for a reason. It's being discontinued for any variety of reasons *not* including quality. My guess would be that the market just isn't there. David Katzmaier of CNET says...

Panasonic has announced that it will no longer manufacture plasma televisions after 2013, making these TVs the last of their kind. That fact doesn't negatively affect our buying advice; in fact, just the opposite. We have confidence Panasonic will remain a viable company, and continue to support its plasma TVs, for years.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That plasma TV is one of the highest rated TV's. Ever. And because it's being discontinued is a great time to buy. I think it's an excellent recommendation.

$700 for a damn vacuum cleaner?? No thanks, but I'm sure they'll sell a million of those things.

Love the jelly fish tank. Very cool. If it were in the $100 price range, I'd get one.

1 person liked this | EClyde EClyde said:

OK forget that it's another useless gift guide. The gifts are all stupid esp the vacuum, the screwdriver set the TV, the Hydrogen reactor, the Jellyfish, the home automation gizmo. All that aside, these gifts capture the true meaning of Christmas, er Holiday, I mean and show you really care. Thanks for the filler Best Buy.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

These useless gift guides are entertaining if nothing else. You need to be a Russian billionaire in the first place to even vaguely consider most of the suggestions.

Guest said:

But Guest, the holiday season is the best time for overpriced stuff you may never normally buy!

But in all seriousness, the plasma is my number one recommendation for a reason. It's being discontinued for any variety of reasons *not* including quality. My guess would be that the market just isn't there. David Katzmaier of CNET says...

*Same Guest*

This is true! Sad...but true!

IMO - The plasma is rated for great quality, but even with a high refresh rate it's hard to compare the plasma line-up to the crisp look of the LEDs, for instance...Microcenter has a 4k for the same price. Sure it might be a no-name brand but I'd be curious to see how they look side by side...I have a plasma and I get image-burn-ins, does this still happen?

(By the way, Samsungs version of this TV is $50 less) .

You should come out with a gift guide for us non Six-Figuree's *nerd*

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To the people freaking out about a $700 Vacuum cleaner, ever look at Dyson? If you don't like the price, don't buy one and shut your mouth about it. The portable Hydrogen Reactor charge station would need to be able to power something like, say, a laptop for it to be viable. The concept is still cool, albeit geeky as hell, but how many people do you know with a Hydrogen Reactor they can bring with them anywhere they go.

EClyde EClyde said:

To the people freaking out about a $700 Vacuum cleaner, ever look at Dyson? If you don't like the price, don't buy one and shut your mouth about it. The portable Hydrogen Reactor charge station would need to be able to power something like, say, a laptop for it to be viable. The concept is still cool, albeit geeky as hell, but how many people do you know with a Hydrogen Reactor they can bring with them anywhere they go.

Why must we shut our mouth about it? Did you buy one? LOL,

Guest said:
mailpup mailpup said:

I think we've had enough mouth shutting, eh?

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Oh Adhmuz must be the man who holds all knowledge! Too bad the most expensive Dyson is $650, and the average vacuum sold from them is between $400-$500. If you think for a minute that this robotic version of a vacuum will last nearly as long as my $400 Dyson then sir, you need to shut your mouth.

Next time click the link, its a $699.99 vacuum by Dyson, and yes I own one. It cleans like nothing else, but you wouldn't know, because your too "special" to even click a link before opening your mouth, freakin' guest's, say what they want, nobody cares.

Why must we shut our mouth about it? Did you buy one? LOL,

No, I own the Dyson I linked to. Nobody in their right mind would buy that vac-bot thing.

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