November 21, 2011 3:01 pm

Rob’s Favorite Things for the Holidays

This is a guest blog post from industry analyst Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group.

Well it is that time again and I’ve been going through my office and looking at the products I’ve looked at over the last several weeks that stood out. From the new class of stunning Ultrabook notebooks to some of the great accessories and games this year there are cool products for everyone on your list in tech.

Ultrabooks

This class of product is kind of like a nice blend of a tablet and a laptop computer. With between 5 and 7 hours of battery life depending on the configuration these products trend toward the beautiful and with a sub 3 pound carry weight they won’t break your back. The ASUS ZENBOOK line stands out and it comes in an 11.6”configuration and a 13.3” configuration. Hardly underpowered this lightweight product sports either an Intel Core i5 or i7 Processor. I, and most guys, will likely prefer the larger product due to our larger hands and because it gets better battery life, women the 11.6” offering because it will fit in large purses. Starting at around $999 it is reasonably priced for such a stunning product.

Laptops

If you are on a budget the Sony VAIO Y has a fun design and a much more affordable price. For the cost of a tablet you get a stunning 11.6” laptop with a nice design and decent performance. This laptop uses the brand new AMD Fusion processor which provides one of the best power-to-battery life performance scores in the industry. My wife loves Sony laptops. At $499 and with Sony quality it is hard to go wrong here.

For a little more the Dell XPS 14z provides a combination of performance and beauty that is seldom found under $1,000. The XPS is Dell’s premier line and this is their latest showcase product. This sports a 14” display in a 13.3’ laptop showcasing some amazing ingenuity. Heavier at a little over 4lbs this is more of a guy’s laptop and it has NVIDIA graphics and either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 for substantial performance. At a little over 4lbs it is still light but is best for those that need the horsepower even though it still has around 6 hours of expected battery life. Prices start at $999.

Accessories

I’ve found the high-definition line of webcams to be a strong combination of industrial design, performance, and price. The latest the Microsoft LifeCam Studio webcam has full 1080P resolution and a price that is more than reasonable for your late night chats on Skype. You can typically find it for around $55.

Finally one of my favorite products is the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse. It actually flattens when not in use but they bend into a more natural curve and has the feel of a full sized mouse. It uses their blue laser which works on anything but glass and it is the best portable mouse I’ve ever had. You can find it for around $30.

Have fun shopping and I’ll look forward to chatting with you next year on the next crop of interesting products.