Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Top Christmas Gift Ideas 1 of 3

The holiday season is here and as the urge to spend our hard earned money grows stronger, we suddenly realize there's so much to buy and not enough time or money. You could be shopping for gifts for your friends, family or maybe even for yourself - a little self indulgence doesn't hurt once in a while. So how do you decide on what to buy? Well, that's where we come in the picture.
This being a technology site you'll notice a common trend among all products we've chosen, so if you were looking for a fridge or a microwave, then you'll be disappointed. Below, we've listed some of the most common and popular tech gifts. Without further ado, let's check out some of the best buys for the season.

Digital Camera 
Digital cameras have been separated into three categories; point-and-shoot, prosumer and DSLR. Out of these we've chosen one for each category.

Sony DSC W190 (Rs. 10,000)
This Cybershot packs in 12.1 Megapixels, CCD sensor and comes with a 2.7-inch LCD display. This large screen makes it very easy to view photos, compose shots and toggle between menus. The 3x optical zoom lets you capture images even from a distance; while the macro lets you shoot images from as close as two inches. Other features include, Smile Shutter, Face Detection, Image stabilization, various scene modes, Multi purpose resize function and lots more. The camera is powered by a Li-Ion battery for easy recharge. All this is packaged in a very simple but elegant design that won't scare away novices.

Canon SX120IS (Rs. 15,000)
This is a newly launched model that aims to replace last years SX110IS model. The most notable change is the resolution, which has been bumped up to 10.0 MP. But apart from this, the body remains pretty much the same with similar dimensions and weight. You get a 10x optical zoom, Image Stabilization, 3-inch LCD display and most importantly a new image sensor (DIGIC 4) that should provide improvements in noise, autofocus and auto exposure.

Canon EOS 1000D (Rs. 27,000)
The 1000D takes many of the features from its older brother and puts it in a lighter and less expensive format. This makes it a perfect option for someone who wants to get their feet wet in professional photography.

Featuring a 10.1 MPixel CMOS sensor, 7-point wide area AF system and up to 3fps continuous JPEG shooting, this makes it an ideal "first DSLR" for a budding photographer. Some of the highlights of this camera are listed below;

  • 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 7-point wide-area AF
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • 2.5" LCD with Live View mode
  • Large viewfinder
  • DIGIC III processing
  • SD/SDHC memory card compatible
  • Compact, ultra-lightweight body
  • Compatible with all EF lenses and EOS accessories

Stepping into the world of LCD televisions, we've split this group depending on the size of the TV. We therefore have the best 32-incher, 40/42 -incher and 46-incher.

32-inch LCD TV
LG  32LH35FR (Rs. 37,000)
This was a toss up between the Samsung LA32B530P7R and the LG 32LH35FR, as they are both priced very similarly around 38K. In the end we had to go with the LG and here's why. Both TVs have similar specifications like Full HD resolution, very high Dynamic contrast ratios, low response time and so on. As for performance, both aren't that different once calibrated well, but where the LG pulls ahead is in the connectivity. Here you get an extra HDMI port as well as a USB port, which supports DivX files and the NTFS file format.

40/42-inch LCD TV
LG 42LH60YR Jazz Theater (Rs. 73,000)
If I was to focus purely on picture quality then the Samsung 6-Series would probably beat the LG, but when you consider overall performance and value for money, you really can't beat the Jazz Theater. For roughly 73K you're getting a 42" Full HD TV, 200Hz Tru motion (which I'll admit does a bit more harm than good), 700W PMPO belted through a nine-speaker system and not to forget the cool blue neon light on the side. Plus, you also get a USB port that supports DivX.

46-inch LCD TV
Samsung Series 6 UA46B600VR LED TV (Rs. 1,40,000)
Samsung has done a brilliant job with their new design. The full glass stand itself is sure to attract a lot of attention. The build is typical Samsung; solid from the ground up and made to last. Due to its slimness, they had to sacrifice a couple of composite ports but you get four HDMIs, which make up for that.

The one thing that it retains from its predecessors is the picture quality of the L6 series televisions, which is nothing short of amazing. BluRay's never looked as good as it does on this panel. However, this is not without some niggles.

The USB port does not support video files, which is a let down. Apart from the price there's nothing much to crib about, as it delivers as promised.

LCD Monitor
Samsung 2233SW (Rs. 8,800)
I think the features of this monitor are pretty well known by now. But put simply, this is the best 21.5" Full HD LCD monitor currently available in the market. You can currently find this monitor for as low as 8.8K, which makes it really good value.

BenQ G2412HD/Samsung P2350 (Rs. 10,800)
The colour gamut for this monitor may not be that impressive but for the price and features it offers, we can overlook this small shortcoming. The G2412HD comes with a slimmer bezel, HDMI port and most importantly a good price of just Rs. 10,800 or even lower depending on where you're located. Another very good alternative is the Samsung P2350 Lavender, but you'll have to sacrifice the HDMI port.