Last minute tech gifts 2010: SoundFreaq SFQ-01

Note: As the holidays reach fever pitch, Technotainment will be offering some last minute gadget gift suggestions this week. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our more complete gift guide that ran in the paper right around Thanksgiving for several other ideas for the tech hound on your list. Happy holidays to all.

SoundFreaq SFQ-01 – iPod speaker docks are pretty commonplace these days, so unless a device really stands above the crowd, it’s hard to recommend it. The SoundFreaq SFQ manages to do so.

Know going in that this hefty speaker system isn’t the best on the market – and, at $200, isn’t the cheapest – but it does have a number of features that make it stand out. The integrated FM radio and ability to stream music via Bluetooth or aux-in is nice. And the sound quality is infinitely better than the iPhone or iPad’s internal speaker.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Last minute tech gifts 2010: Astro A*Star Ear Buds

Note: As the holidays reach fever pitch, Technotainment will be offering some last minute gadget gift suggestions this week. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our more complete gift guide that ran in the paper right around Thanksgiving for several other ideas for the tech hound on your list. Happy holidays to all.

Astro A*Star Ear Buds – Astro has already made one great product for audiophiles this year – the A30 headset. But as portability becomes the watchword in so many forms of entertainment, the company has pivoted and added Ear Buds to its product line.

At $80, the A*Star buds aren’t cheap – but they’re less than several competing brands. And, like the A30s, they provide a high quality sound experience with a heavy bass and nuanced range. No matter how loud I cranked up the volume there was no distortion.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Beyond the screen: Non-game gifts for gamers

Holiday shopping for gamers should, in theory, be an easy affair. After all, with so many titles on the market, it’s just a matter of choosing the best one, right?

But there’s a good chance your gamer already has a copy of what you’re buying. Or, perhaps, he or she isn’t a fan of the blockbuster that GameStop or Best Buy employee assured you was a surefire winner. And gift cards? They’re just so impersonal.

Video game culture, thankfully, extends beyond games themselves. Here are a few alternative suggestions you might want to consider:

Read more at Yahoo! Videogames

For the Geek: Hot Holiday Gadgets 2010

Someone, somewhere on your holiday shopping list is going to want a gadget this year—and odds are they won’t be alone.

Consumer electronics are the most dependable category in the retail space during the holidays, but the sheer volume of gadgets on the market can be confounding. Here are a few sure-fire choices for your favorite gadget hounds.

See the gift guide at CNBC.com

Video Game Industry Looks for a Holiday Miracle

Holiday cheer may be in short supply for the video game industry this year.

While there are bound to be some hot titles and big sellers, it will take a true Christmas miracle for the industry to see retail sales hit positive territory in 2010. Year to date, they’re down over 8 percent and analysts say it will be hard for any month in the fourth quarter to top 2009’s numbers.

Read more at CNBC.com

Video Games on Holiday Wish Lists 2010

Retail sales might be in the tank, but that doesn’t mean 2010 has been a year of bad video games. It’s quite the opposite, in fact.

While shoppers have been more picky about what they buy — and spending more time with games that have extensive multiplayer elements — there are a lot of highly rated titles on shelves and others coming soon. The good news? That makes it easy for gift buyers to find something for everyone.

Here are some suggestions that can’t be overlooked.

See the gift guide at CNBC.com