Hot holiday gift ideas include technology

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Technology items are a hot commodity for holiday shoppers every year. This year is no different with new video game consoles, phones, tablets and a whole lot more to rave about.

These six items are the hottest technology gifts that are worth your money this holiday season and are sure to bring a smile to you or a loved one this holiday season.

Apple iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is the latest spinoff of the iPhone brand. iPhone 5s introduces the first A7 chip to the iPhone family, giving it a substantial boost of functioning speed inside Apple’s smallest phone design — 4.87 inches tall and 2.31 inches wide. The phone gives its users the ability to be identified with a Touch ID fingerprint identity, a sensor that replaces typing in a password to unlock the phone. Though it is the smallest Apple smartphone, it features the largest retina display and resolution capacity at 4 inches and 1136-by-640, respectively.

While the price tag of the iPhone 5c may catch your eye, the improvements that the iPhone 5s bring to the table are enough to justify the higher price, especially if you’re a storage nut and need more than the iPhone 5c’s top 32GB unit. It’s a smaller, faster and prettier unit that is unmatched in the cellular market. Plus, who needs to type in a password when your phone can read your fingerprints?

Price (with contract): 16GB $199, 32GB $299, 64GB $399

PlayStation 4

The Playstation 4 is the latest Sony video game console and rival to the Xbox One. The system is noticeably smaller than the original design of the PlayStation 3 at 10.8 inches wide and 12 inches long. Inside, the machine packs a punch with high-end PC architecture that’s been said to be 50 percent more powerful than the Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 also has a “remote play” feature with the PlayStation Vita handheld, where one can play every console title on your PlayStation Vita using a wireless connection. So, if you’re wanting to watch football but want to keep on playing “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” you can do so using remote play via PlayStation Vita.

Simply put, it’s $100 cheaper than the Xbox One and has the potential to be more powerful in terms of its tech specs. However, Sony really has the advantage in online play with PlayStation Plus. Plus offers countless new and recently released games for free, including titles like “Resogun” and “Blacklight: Retribution” right out of the gate. If you’re only interested in playing games, the PlayStation 4 is for you.

Price: $399

Xbox One

The Xbox One is the newest video game console from Microsoft that aims to take over the living room as the “all-in-one entertainment system.” The new Kinect is at the forefront of the Xbox One and features vast improvements to video and voice over its Xbox 360 predecessor. Users can use both the controller and Kinect to navigate the dashboard and switch between apps and games seamlessly. The Xbox One also gives users to ability to multitask using the “snap” feature. For example, if you’re playing a game and would like to watch your favorite show on Netflix at the same time, all you have to do is say “Xbox, snap Netflix” and the console will pull up the application in a side window.

The console really does deliver on its entertainment promises, while revealing promise for the longevity of the system. But surprise, it’s also a great video game console with a lineup of exclusive games like “Ryse: Son of Rome,” “Dead Rising 3” and “Forza 5.” While it is $100 more than the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One does standout as a living room giant in terms of entertainment ability.

Price: $499

Fitbit Flex

Fitbit Flex is a wireless fitness tracker and sleep wristband. Flex tracks steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes to push you towards your daily goal. Fitbit Flex updates you with a simple LED light design that matches the style of the wristband. It also has the ability to monitor your sleep and wake you with a silent alarm.

Unlike most fitness wristbands, Fitbit Flex actually has a sleek and stylish design that looks great with any outfit. Flex also doesn’t ever need to be taken off. It can be worn in the shower, in the pool or during a sporting event. Most importantly, Fitbit Flex is an excellent tool to monitoring your fitness and keeping you challenged to meet your daily goal with a simple LED concept.

Price: $99.95

Kindle Fire HDX

The Kindle Fire HDX is a follow-up to the 2012 Kindle Fire HD. The tablet features a 2.2 quad-core GHz processor that is the fastest of any 7 inch tablet. The resolution has also been improved to 1920 x 1200, yet still holds an impressive 11-hour battery life. Lastly, Kindle Fire HDX includes millions of Android and Amazon cloud apps and games, including the ability to download titles from Amazon instant video for Amazon Prime members.

Why you should buy it is summarized in one word: price. The Kindle Fire HDX starts at $229 for the 16GB model and runs to $309 for the 64GB model — the latter of which is nearly $200 cheaper than the 16GB iPad Air. The tablet runs fast and bests the iPad in many features. For the price, there’s no better holiday tablet than the Kindle Fire HDX.

Price: 16GB $229, 32GB $269, 64GB $309

Roku 2

The Roku 2 is a streaming media player for your TV. The device has the ability to stream more than 1,000 channels of movies, TV shows, sports and more in 1080p HD. Roku 2 also allows headphone usage via the device’s remote, so that one can watch without disturbing anyone else in the house.

Unlike the Roku 3, Roku 2 works with virtually all TV’s and trashes some of the gimmick features that the third iterations boasts. Plus, Roku 2 is the last device of the Roku brand to feature channel shortcuts that make accessing different channels much easier. You won’t find a more complete media option at a comparable price, especially one that connects wirelessly. Roku 2 is an impressive piece of hardware all around.

Price: $79.99

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