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All Contents © 2019The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By the editors of Kiplinger's Personal Finance
| November 3, 2014
We know it's not always easy to come up with a great gift for everyone on your naughty or nice list. But, we're here to help.
As part of our annual Best List, in which we rank the best of everything from mutual funds, to phone plans, to places to retire, we ranked 2014's most awesome gadget gear. These devices will make great gifts this holiday season. Whether it's a professional camera, a tablet for a tot, or those ultra-hip headphones the kids are wearing, there's something on our list of gadget gifts for everyone on your list. But, hey, we won't judge if you just want to buy a little something for yourself.
Take a look at the 11 greatest gadget gifts of 2014.
Convert your LP records to digital form with the Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB turntable (about $250 online). Its direct-drive, three-speed motor (it even plays 78s) and magnetic cartridge ensure hi-fi sound. Got tapes? The Ion Select LP ($100) can’t match the quality of the Audio-Technica, but it includes inputs for cassette, 8-track or reel-to-reel decks.
The Canon Powershot (SX280 HS; $280) is a petite powerhouse that sports a 20x optical zoom lens, fast autofocus performance and a 12-megapixel sensor that captures crisp, clear images. It also shoots HD video, and it has built-in Wi-Fi for transfers to your smartphone or PC.
The Nikon D3200 ($550) is not a camera for techies. The automatic mode offers an almost foolproof way to take professional photos without paying for a lot of bells and whistles. More-advanced photographers can use the manual option. Two zoom lenses are included.
The VTech Retro Phone ($60, 6181 model pictured) connects to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones to receive cell as well as landline calls.
The new Vizio P-Series TVs, with 4K screen resolution (four times the resolution of HDTV), are packed with features. The 50-inch model ($1,000) comes with built-in Wi-Fi capability and applications for Netflix, Hulu Plus and more.
Amazon’s Fire HD Kids Edition (6-inch, $150; 7-inch, $190) is rugged and secure and comes with a year of access to a curated library of kids’ books, movies, TV shows and games. If the Fire HD Kids slate breaks within two years, Amazon will replace it free.
The $100 Fitbit Flex is a slim wristband that tracks distance, steps and calories burned during the day, as well as nighttime sleep patterns. The device syncs with Fitbit’s Android and Apple apps, which helps you track your fitness progress.
The Jawbone Mini Jambox ($120) is less than an inch thick and weighs just 9 ounces, but it produces unexpectedly big three-dimensional sound when paired with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, computer or iPod.
Soapy soloists will appreciate iFox Creations Bluetooth Shower speaker ($40). It’s waterproof and pairs with your Bluetooth-enabled devices.
BOSE AE2W headphones ($250) fit comfortably over your ears, and a detachable Bluetooth module connects wirelessly to your devices. The built-in microphone lets you make calls when paired with your phone.
The Plantronics BackBeat Fit ($125) is a pair of wireless earbuds with a perspiration-proof design. After your workout, the BackBeat Fit folds into the included neoprene armband. On-ear controls handle music and incoming phone calls.