Saturday, November 17, 2012

CNET's 18 favorite tech gifts - Holiday Gift Guide

Samsung Galaxy S3 (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Verizon)

Samsung's Galaxy S3 has a huge, vibrant HD screen, a large battery, an awesome camera, and a boatload of software extras -- the best lets you tap two like phones together to share photos and video. A fast dual-core Qualcomm processor and 4G LTE make it a compelling Android 4.0 package. You'll have your choice of 16GB or 32GB versions, which also store up to 64GB of your movies and e-books on a microSD card.

4.0 stars - CNET Editors' Rating

Starting at: $99.99

The good: The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes fully loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4G LTE/HSPA+ 42 capability, a zippy dual-core processor, and a strong 8-megapixel camera. S Beam is an excellent software enhancement, and the handset's price is right.

The bad: The Galaxy S3's screen is too dim, and Samsung's Siri competitor, S Voice, disappointed.

The bottom line: Pumped with high-performing hardware and creative software features, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is an excellent, top-end phone that's neck and neck with the HTC One X.

Read CNET's Full Review

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V

Those who need a camera to satisfy a couple different users will like the HX200V. Its 30x, f2.8-5.6, 27-810mm lens is good for a variety of subjects -- from close-ups to field shots from the bleachers. It has a wide selection of shooting modes, too, so whether you like to fiddle with settings or leave it in auto, the HX200V has you covered. 

4.0 stars - CNET Editors' Rating

Starting at: $385.00

The good: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V is a fast-shooting megazoom with excellent photo and video quality for its class, and plenty of shooting options to make casual and advanced shooters happy.

The bad: The HX200V lacks advanced bridge camera features like raw image capture, a hot shoe, or mic input. Some of its shooting modes and general operation can get confusing if you want to do more than leave it in auto.

The bottom line: A lot of camera, both in lens and features, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V is a solid choice for point-and-shoot users looking to do a little more than that.
Read CNET's Full Review

Samsung SyncMaster S27B970

The Samsung SyncMaster S27B970 impresses with both its sleek aesthetics and stellar performance. It's a bit on the pricey side with a hard to disconnect DisplayPort, but both design and performance of the monitor outweigh its cons.
4.0 stars - CNET Editors' Rating
Starting at: $999.99

The good: The Samsung SyncMaster S27B970 has stellar performance, a sleek, sexy design, and useful OSD options.

The bad: At $1,200, the monitor will set you back a few car payments. Also, attempting to remove the DisplayPort cable can have disastrous consequences.

The bottom line: The Samsung SyncMaster S27B970's excellent performance and beautiful aesthetic outweigh some thoughtless design choices.

Read CNET's Full Review>>

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