What’s Cooking in Tech for Black Friday 2012?

Some high and low tech ideas and places to shop this Black Friday

Phil Butler
Epoch Times Contributor
Created: November 15, 2012 Last Updated: November 15, 2012
Related articles: Technology » Products
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The Lytro light field camera - just one amazing new holiday gift

The Lytro light field camera -- just one amazing new holiday gift

Next Friday, the 23rd of November, shoppers on and offline will be hard at it hunting holiday deals for 2012. Black Friday this year, affords some special incentives where tech is concerned. We thought we’d bring you a few. 

Inc. lists the top innovations of 2012, such things as predictive technology, HTML5, social analytics, you know, those “too techie” things most technology buffs and shoppers could care less about. While such “utility” and features as high resolution for the Apple iPad 3, on the other hand, consumers do care about. Factor in “prices” like those available only on Black Friday and after the New Year, and Voila! Here’s some tech gift ideas you maybe never heard of. 

The Luxury of Gaming

For most of us who work on the web, in whatever capacity, gaming is not in the cards anymore. Sadly, even old techies like me can ill afford to pass the time shooting villains, driving fast cars, solving riddles, or role playing with the masses anymore. Time is of the essence, but! If I were to somehow be allotted four hours a day to be a virtual warrior someplace, the MAINGEAR F131 is what I would want in my Christmas stocking. This attractive, ultra fast gaming PC is on most experts’ list as a first choice to dominate whatever requires such speed and performance. The down side for Santa is the $3,000 dollar plus pricetag. But since you are making lists for St. Nicholas, here’s some specs to jot down. 

  • Motherboard - Asus® Maximus V Gene Featuring Lucid Virtu MVP
  • CPU - Intel® Core™ i7 3930K Six-core 3.2GHz/3.8GHz
  • Cooling -- MAINGEAR EPIC 120 Supercooler
  • Graphics -- 2x AMD® Radeon™ HD 7970 6GB Total GDDR5 in CrossFire w/Eyefinity
  • RAM -- 32GB Corsair® Vengeance™ DDR3-1600 1.5V (4x8GB)  
  • Hard drives- 2x 600GB SSD (w/ TRIM) [270MB/s Reads]

For your best Black Friday deals on MAINGEAR custom PCs (so far) check the company’s offers here. The video below from PC Perspective tell the story best. 

Audiophile’s Wish List

Grado PS 1000 headphones - screenshot from GradoGrado PS1000. If money is only a secondary concern, and you don’t care about Earbud-like portability, the best sounds to hit your ears in years will probably come from Grado Labs’ wonder listening product.  

What makes these so special, you ask? The hybrid design of these professional series headphones are actually artwork in selected species of hand-crafted mahogany, machined metal honed to perfection, to form a near perfect “listening chamber” inside the headphones. Meticulous detail, to the extent most humans cannot imagine, produce what are in effect Ultra-Fi listening devices. For those who are not aware of the term Ultra-Fi, there is a realm of perfection in audio far beyond what the naked eye, or even what most ears are trained to hear. While Ulta Fidelity is a totally custom realm, it can safely be said these PS1000 units are as close as production headphones will ever get to real sound. For the novice out there, just think “zero distortion” and the best audio sound (depending on the source) you ever heard. Features include: 

  • Vented diaphragm
  • Hybrid air chamber
  • UHPLC copper voice coil wire
  • UHPLC copper connecting cord

The price may be a Santa choker, the best we could find is $1,695.00 at Amazon. 

The 36 inch MASTERPIECE® - courtesy screenshot of Thermador design PDF

The 36 inch MASTERPIECE® -- courtesy screenshot of Thermador design PDF

 What Else Is Cooking?

During the holidays, besides opening all those presents I mean, what is the next marque attraction for the family? FOOD, you guessed it. So, who says all the gadgetry geeks cotton to have to be hand held, communicative, or playthings? The Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop, as innovations go, is almost the reinvention of fire. Rather than discrete heating elements, this cooktop actually senses cookware on its surface, applies heat, and even maintains surface temperature if you slide the pot or pan around on the surface. 

Available from Thermador, you probably won’t find a discounted Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal on this high tech bit of culinary preparedness. Shoppers can save over $6,000 if they choose to buy two top of the line Thermador products, check out the details here. As for the all new Freedom? You’ll have to get a quote, if that tells you anything. 

Verismo™ 580 Brewer Piano Black - screenshot from Starbucks Store

Verismo™ 580 Brewer Piano Black -- screenshot from Starbucks Store

A Cup of Holiday Joe Too

Along the same lines, is there any reason fans of tech would refuse a good cup of Joe? And who better to prepare your coffee than Starbucks, eh? Sure, you can ask dear old Santa to head on over Macy’s for Black Friday and stir up Verismo 580 to serve single servings in just 15 seconds. You read that correctly, this model of Starbucks machine offers:

  • 19-bar high pressure pump
  • Automatic pod ejection
  • Manual water level regulator
  • Automatic start/stop mode
  • Integrated rinse function
  • 15 second or less to heat up
  • Energy saving with automatic switch-off after 5 minutes
  • Height adjustable drip tray
  • Pod container hold 10 used pods
  • and 1-liter removable water tank

The machine comes in burgundy, piano black (shown), and champagne for the low price of $199.98, which compared to our other tech finds, seems like peanuts. 

Last But Not the Least of Gifts

You know the old saying; “great things come in small packages.” Well fact is, you don’t have to spend a mint or hire a moving company to give and receive really cool stuff for Christmas. Case in point, the Lytro Light-Field Camera. I know, most of your are asking; “What the heck is that?” Simply put, the camera gives the photographer the ability to refocus a photo AFTER it has been snapped. Now if that is not game changing, I don’t know what is. 

The video below from Lytro tells the story of this very cool and innovative device, far better than we can. To test how the camera works (and this is amazing) there’s a demo test aspect on the company’s website. 

Photo credits: PS1000 image -- screen shot of Robert Williams photo at Grado, Thermador cooktop -- courtesy their design pamphlet (PDF), feature image of the Lytro -- courtesy their Facebook. 


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