Lots of people are asking me what's on my wish list this holiday season. For me, the list is pretty modest: I'd like a Tesla Model S electric touring sedan. You'd like one too - they are simply awesome! But, since that's not in the cards, here are the top five tech gifts I'd give (or have already given) to myself.
#1 -- Samsung - 75" Class - LED - 1080p - 240Hz - Smart - 3D - HDTV - Model: UN75ES9000FXZA - Street Price $8,999
For a mere $8,999 wherever fine televisions are sold, you can pick up this state-of-the-art Samsung 75" HDTV. Some of the features are pretty unimportant to me. I'm not interested in 3D, but I really want the 240Hz refresh rate. Any set with a refresh rate over 200Hz is technically 3D ready, but 3D at home is a sub-optimal experience. What isn't sub-optimal is the refresh rate. 240Hz HDTV monitors rock! I'm also mostly uninterested in the built-in "connected" TV features. Smart TV isn't really very smart and I think it is a sub-optimal experience, too.
However, this set has lots of HDMI connectors, so I can use my Xbox 360 or the MacMini I have set up as a media server to access Netflix, Hulu and the other online content I crave. In fact, an AppleTV box, Roku or VuDu box will serve as well (or better) than the built in features. But I digress.
What I care deeply about is the picture quality. This set is a sight to behold. I love it. Will I love is as much as the 84" UltraHD set coming out next year? Hummm ... for $8,999 I really want to be sure. Nope, I'm sure. This is my wish list, and a Samsung 75" ES9000 is item number one.
#2 -- iPad Mini 64GB with 4G - List Price $659
OK, I know... I already have one. But I love my iPad Mini so much, I'd wish for it again. I prefer the 64GB model. While mine is on Verizon, the unit is also available on AT&T and Sprint, and you should choose the carrier that has the best coverage in the areas you travel most. Do not believe the TV commercials and don't worry about the carrier that I have - you need to choose the carrier that's right for you.
Can you buy the least expensive model? The one that's 16GB and WiFi-only and sells for just $329? Sure. But don't. Photos and videos (the ones you take, not the ones you rent or buy) take up a lot of storage space. And there is nothing like LTE wireless speed when you're on the road.
By the way, I am completely addicted to the 7" size. It fits in my outside jacket pocket and I can speed-type with my thumbs standing up - a trick that cannot be done at on a 10" tablet. This is a behavior-changing device. The only reason this fell to item number two is because I really want that Samsung 75" for my living room.
#3 -- iPhone 5 64 GB - List Price $399 with Contract, $849 Unlocked
I have one of these too, but if I didn't, it would certainly be on my wish list. Notwithstanding, tied for third on my list are two smartphones from Samsung. The Galaxy SIII ($699 unlocked, as low as $49 with a contract) and the Galaxy Note II ($649 unlocked as low as $299 with a contract). I love these devices. The SIII is probably the best phone on the market and the Galaxy Note II's big screen makes it a "Goldilocks" device.
#4 -- Canon 5D Mark III - List Price $2,990 (Body only)
I don't have one of these, but I really, really want one. This is the Digital SLR that has literally changed the motion picture business. The newly-designed 22.3 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, wide range ISO setting 100-25600 (L:50, H1: 51200, H2: 102400) for shooting from bright to dim light, and next generation DIGIC 5+ Image Processor for enhanced noise reduction and exceptional processing speed makes me giddy.
This camera not only shoots 22.3 Megapixel stills - it shoots native H.264 full 1080p HD video. There are so many accessories for this camera, you're going to need about $10,000 to get your kit together. But, when you do - you're ready to make movies. Look out Mr. Spielberg ... there's a DP with a 5D Mark III chasing you!
#5 -- Macbook Air (i7, 8GB RAM, 512 GB Flash Drive) - List Price $2,199 (13.3")
This is simply the most computer in the smallest usable package I've ever seen. It literally fits inside a manila envelope, yet it is as powerful a computer as you could possibly need. Final Cut, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Windows 8 with Parallels - no matter how hard you push this thing, it just delivers.
Some people will tell you that there are less expensive computers that will do the job. Yes there are... ignore them. If you can only own one computer, this is the one to own. What about the new MacBook Pro 13"? Too big. For the road warrior in your life, this top-of-the-line Macbook Air will make the Yuletide bright.
That's my tech gift wish list for 2012. Of course, my most important wish is for each and every one of you to have a happy and healthy holiday season.