Shoppers, start your engines! Gizmovember is here!

November really snuck up on me this year. Yesterday I got spam an ad from an oologically-themed online retailer announcing "Black November" sales and it dawned on me that it was 11/1/11. That led me to check my calendar and it's going to be a good month for gadget lovers! Well, unless all the new toys turn out to be junk.

Here're some of the highlights I'm looking forward to.

On Monday, November 7th, Barnes & Noble is holding an event that's Nook related. Smart money is that they're going to roll out a NookColor 2 in order to get a jump on Amazon's Kindle Fire. Of course we don't have a launch date but one would think they'd ship it by Black Friday at the latest.

On November 9th, the Asus Transformer Prime is supposed to launch. This is the first quad-core Android tablet to hit the market (sporting an Nvidia Tegra 3, aka Kal El, chip). It'll come running Honeycomb but Asus says it'll roll out an update to Ice Cream Sandwich eventually (until Google delivers they can't offer a firm date). Given how long it took Asus to take the original Transformer from "shown on show floor" to retailers shelves, I'm pleasantly surprised to see the Prime coming so soon. My cynical prediction was February 2012. Glad I didn't print that. Oops.

On November 10th, some of the Internet elves tell me, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus — complete with Android 4 — will be available on the Verizon Wireless network. Of course other, more recent elves, are saying it won't be here until the week of Black Friday or even a few days after. I'm actually skeptical of the November 10th date. It's only 8 days away and we haven't heard a peep out of Verizon. In Europe the phone has a firm ship date of November 17th. My guess is that the 10th was an internal target date that is going to be missed by a few weeks. Either way it should be here before the end of the month..

On November 15th, of course, Amazon ships the Kindle Fire. By all accounts, they've had to manufacture eleventy-billion of the things. Kidding aside, Amazon isn't saying how many but they have mentioned that based on pre-orders they're manufacturing "millions more" of the 7" tablet. The Fire will be followed up by the Kindle Touch on November 21st.

At this point we're getting more vague, but Engadget has unearthed an image talking about the Motorola Xoom 2 coming out "this Christmas" in Ireland. €399.90 for the WiFi, 16GB tablet with an 8.2" screen and Android Honeycomb. No word on a US launch and I realize Christmas doesn't fall in November, but what the heck.

So those are some of the grown-up toys I expect to see under the holiday tree this year. At least that's how things look now as we enter the hardcore holiday shopping month. I'm sure I've missed something though. If you know of a cool device shipping this month, please leave a comment.

Also, what are you buying yourself this year? I've got a Kindle Fire pre-ordered and the two-year contract on my Droid is about up, so I'm thinking of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. That's about as much damage as my bank account can handle this year. I'll be lusting for the Transformer Prime though. Quad-core, baby!

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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