For the 12 days of Christmas (which is also more than enough to cover the eight days of Hanukkah or the seven days of Kwanzaa), I thought I would take this opportunity to serve up my Sony choices for giving or receiving this year. Of course, my 14-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son might have other ideas, especially about the order, but for this older guy here’s my Top 12, working my way up to No. 1.
No. 12 — The sleek, silver Cyber-shot 8.1 Megapixel Digital Camera with its 3.5-inch LCD. It features a Carl Zeiss 5X optical zoom lens. It recognizes up to eight faces in a photo with its face detection technology. It also features the nifty Smile Shutter Mode to capture everyone’s pearly whites. And it has an HD output for viewing photos on you HDTV set. I’d also get it engraved if I was giving rather than receiving.
No. 11 – The latest PlayStation 3 Computer Entertainment System. Whether for videogames or movies, it offers the latest in full HD 1080p playback capability since it is the only console available based on Blu-ray Disc technology. It also has 7.1 audio channels, built-in 802.11 wireless Internet capability and a Memory Stick slot.
No. 10 — The Platinum DVD Dream System. It begins with a glass-surrounded, wall-mounted, top-loading DVD/CD/SA-CD player/AV receiver (very cool!), which features HDMI output with 720p/1080i DVD upscaling. The three front speakers and the two wireless rear speakers can also be mounted on the wall.
No. 9 – Sony’s newest Noise Canceling Headphones (model MDR-NC60) are very sweet with up to 85% ambient noise reduction capability. Great to have on a plane. They have a built-in monitor switch to mute the music so you can listen to the flight crew announcements. Of course, you can also just turn them on and listen to nothing at all (snooze time).
No. 8 – A “Champagne Gold” VAIO TZ Notebook. This ultra-portable premium notebook really rocks. (Other color options include dark blue, black and “Bordeaux Red.” You can even get a mouse to match the color (sold separately). This TZ series feature a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, integrated wireless WAN and Microsoft’s Vista operating system. The 11.1-inch razor-thin panel has great LED backlighting. A leather carrying case is also available, which I’d definitely include as well.
No. 7 – The 100GM hard disk drive-based Handycam Camcorder, which allows you to choose between high-definition and SD recording. It features a 3.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and 6.1 megapixel still image capture. A new technology called x.v.Color helps capture and display color reproduction that’s as close to real life as anything I’ve seen. And, of course, it offers Sony’s famous Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization for my shaky hands.
No. 6 – The BRAVIA Internet Video Link is a must for those who want to “be the first on their block” with the latest and greatest. You can enjoy streaming Internet video content, movie trailers, news, music videos, RSS feeds and more. No PC required. Just use your existing Internet connection to the device and attach to the back of a BRAVIA television – sight unseen.
No. 5 – The latest Reader Digital Book in silver with its stylish brown leather case. It’s slimmer and sleeker than our initial version of the product. The controls are now on the right side as well as the left, which is a big plus. The contrast of the 6-inch, monochrome e-ink display is better than ever on the eyes. I love it for those long plane rides. It can store about 160 books and hundreds more using a removable Memory Stick or SD card. In addition to more than 25,000 new releases, classics and popular book titles available (usually at lower prices than paper versions) through the Sony store, you can also download, as well as a variety of other documents through Adobe PDF10, RTF, TXT, BBeB and Microsoft Word. Its incredibly long battery life lasts for up to 7,500 page turns. Wow!
No. 4 – The HD Radio. (Sounds kind of like “The Ohio State.”) I definitely want this one. Clear and static-free, I am looking forward to hearing FM stations that sound like CDs and AM stations that sound like FM. Plus HD radio offers hundreds of additional stations (depending on where you live of course),
including FM multicasting and data services (sans any subscription fees). And at a suggested price under $200, I gotta have it.
No. 3 – The current top-of-the-line Sony Blu-ray Disc Player. Its superb construction and design encompasses a player that offers full HD 1080/60p & 24p “true cinema video” quality cinema resolution output. For you video buffs, it has Dolby True HD and dts-HD bit stream out over HDMI. It offers DVD upscaling to 1080p via HDMI and is with Sony’s BRAVIA Theater Sync (HDMI-CEC). It provides BD, DVD and CD playback, and features the latest AVC-HD technology and x.v.Color output.
No. 2 – The VAIO LT HD PC/TV. This “all in one” computer and high-definition television is as elegant as it gets. To begin, the silver unit surrounded by its 22-inch floating glass screen is wall-mountable using a standard VESA-100 bracket. It comes with a wireless keyboard that can be hidden away when not in use. It is powered by a Intel Core 2 Duo processor and features the Microsoft Windows Vista “Ultimate OS.” In addition to its cable television capability, it features Blu-ray Disc playback and recording, as well as XBRITE-HiColor LCD technology. Check it out. (I just gave this gift to myself.)
At No. 1, numero uno – The 52-inch BRAVIA XBR5 LCD Flat-Panel HDTV. It’s simply the best of the best in both high-definition quality and product design. Its full HD 1080/24p input capable. It has HDMI V1.3 (Deep Color) and x.v.Color technology for the best possible picture, in addition to Motionflow 120Hz for smooth motion when viewing action packed movies or sports. Its BRAVIA Engine Pro with Digital Reality Creation upconverts all interlaced and progressive video signals, including HD, directly to 1080p for amazing picture sharpness. And 10-bit processing and a 10-bit display allows 64 times the levels of color expression than an 8-bit panel, translating to smooth color transitions from image to image that are faithfully reproduced. This all comes in a piano black finish with Sony’s unique floating glass frame. Yes, this is my favorite. I just hope Santa is a blogger too and he’s got a really big bag with him this year.
So there you have it…my top 12 for the holidays. Now it’s your turn. I’d like to hear what’s on your gift giving (or getting) list.