ideas for tech fans
Gadgets for gifts
By Tim Talevich
IT’S NOT TOO LATE to pick up that perfect (and useful) gift for the gadget lover on
your list. Here’s a look at what’s hot this year
at Costco, in the warehouses and online at
For TVs, the big buzz continues to be
about Internet-connected TVs and 3D. An
Internet-connected TV gives you instant
access to a growing library of movies and
programs that you stream from the Internet
and to special versions of sites such as
Facebook, Pandora and You Tube.
Streaming is done through your home’s
wireless network; the question is what device
you’ll use for this. Options include going
through a wireless-ready TV or a separate
device, such as certain Blu-ray Disc players
or a set-top box (for example, the Roku
Read the packaging to make the right
choice for your home setup. For TVs, wording such as “Wi-Fi” or “built-in Wi-Fi”
means it’s ready to connect to your home
network out of the box; “Wi-Fi ready” means
you’ll need an extra device, such as an
adapter, to receive the wireless signal. In
regard to Blu-ray players, some have built-in
Wi-Fi, others need an adapter and some
require an Ethernet cable for Internet access.
Note that manufacturers have unique
agreements with various websites. Nearly all
models offer access to big sites such as
Netflix. You can get updated lists on the
The Costco Connection
You can find a full selection of the products
mentioned here, along with a wide variety of
other electronics, in Costco warehouses and
online at Costco.com.
option is a sound bar, which offers an affordable and easy-to-set-up way to fill your room
with all the music and sound effects from
shows and movies.
If you’re looking at cameras, a digital SLR
is the essential tool for avid photographers, but
beginners can get great results as well by starting out with the camera’s automatic mode and
gradually learning the wide array of advanced
tools. On the other end of the spectrum, the
smaller point-and-shoots offer the ultimate in
quick and easy photography. See the “Buyer’s
Pick” on the next page for yet another option.
Watch for two exciting advancements in
the camera world: More and more models
take HD-quality video—which is great
because you can display your home videos on
your big screen—and more have advanced
CMOS image sensors, which greatly improve
picture quality in low-light situations.
Check Costco.com for camera accessories to go along with your purchase. For
example, the Targus DSLR accessory kit features a tripod, camera bag and filters that fit
certain lens sizes.
For computer users, tablet PCs continue
to grow in popularity. These ultra-thin, lightweight devices let you surf the Web, read
email, play games, watch movies and so on.
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DECEMBER 2011 ;e Costco Connection 57