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Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Technology

From our smart phones to our computers, we geeks love our gadgets and find all sorts of uses for them. With so many new, shiny things and upgrades on the market this year, Fanboy Comics’ staff and contributors are here to show off the best gadgets and their customization options, so you can get the techie in your life the perfect toys to play with for the holidays.
     – Kristine Chester

Kindle HDX dcfKindle Fire HDX
Recommended by Jodi Scaife

Have someone on your list who loves to read but just can’t fit one more bookcase into his or her living space? The Kindle Fire HDX is Amazon’s 3rd generation of eReaders/tablets which will be released just in time for the holiday season. The latest addition to the Kindle family is available with 7- and 8.9-inch displays, quad-core 2.2 GHz processors, 2x more memory, 11 hours of battery life, dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio, and still manages to beat most iPad models on price.

The full-color screen with increased image quality is perfect for reading magazines or comics, and the 4G LTE option for Verizon and AT&T cellular customers allows super-fast streaming of online content. Best of all, the Kindle Fire HDX is light; the 8.9-inch display version only weighs 13.2 ounces!
The 7-inch models range in price from $229 to $424 and have 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB memories.

The 8.9-inch models cost between $379 and $594 and offer 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB options. The Wi-Fi plus 4G LTE models have a release date of December 10, 2013.

Xbox and PS4 e09Next-Gen Consoles: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Recommended by Ben Rhodes

On November 15th, the PlayStation 4 is launching. One week later, on November 22nd, the Xbox One launches. Fanboy Comics is here to try to help you pick the right system for you.

Now, the most important thing to remember is that there are no wrong choices here, not even the Wii U. Each of these systems (not the Wii U) is going to bring incredible graphics to your living room. It is also worth noting that the games will look even better in a few years. Go back and look at Kameo and compare it to Grand Theft Auto V.

So, what is the difference between the systems?

That depends on how you look at it. They aren’t using exactly the same hardware or software, but, by and large, the games that come out for both are going to be about the same. See almost any cross platform game from the last few years. A few perform better on one system or the other, but most are exactly the same.

ps4 vs xbox one 45bSo, what about the console exclusives? I wish this was cut and dry. There are a handful of games that have been announced as exclusives for each platform, and they are compelling. The PS4 is aiming to be more open to indie games, but the Xbox has made great strides in that area too. Also, Titanfall is an Xbox exclusive.

Each system will require an internet connection and a subscription to their online service to get everything that the system offers, like playing games online. The costs of the subscriptions are $50 a year for PlayStation Plus and $60 a year for Xbox Live Gold. You will also need a television, house, and electricity.

The prices of the systems are $400 for the PS4 and $500 for the Xbox One. Microsoft justifies the higher cost by including the upgraded Kinect camera with every Xbox One. The camera can do some really cool things like power on the system with a voice command, but there are some potential privacy issues associated with the always-on camera.

There are people out there who will tell you that one or the other of these systems is the correct choice. Those people are wrong. It may be true that one is better for you, though. The PS4’s controller is widely regarded as the best video game controller yet. (The superior Xbox 360 controller was the main reason I did most of my gaming on that system.) The inclusion of the Kinect with the Xbox One opens the door to more party and children’s games on the Xbox, while adding a few neat features.

There are compelling points to both systems. Each has great looking exclusive games and stand-out features. There are far more similarities than real differences. To horribly misquote War Games, “The only way to lose is not to play.”

Wacom Intuous Stylus 7feWacom’s Intuos Creative Stylus
Recommended by Bryant Dillon

Created for the casual artist on the go, the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus is the perfect holiday treat to find in one’s stocking. Described by Wacom as “a professional-grade stylus for the iPad,” the Intuos Creative Stylus has received several glowing reviews, including one great focus from the always excellent Comics Alliance.

price: $99.95
platforms: iPad Mini, iPad 3, iPad 4
colors: blue, black
batteries required (single AAAA battery – 150 hours of operation)
Available here for sale.

While the capabilities of the the iPad and the stylus that are available for the device are limited in regards to professional work, every dedicated artist loves to sketch, and the Intuos Creative Stylus is sure to make their heart sing, their fellow pencil and ink slingers Hulk green with jealousy, and finally give them something fun to do when waiting in a crowded airport during the holidays.




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