December 14, 2012, 10:54 AM — With the last column of the year, instead of doing some additional reviews I wanted to present a list of my favorite devices/gadgets that I tried during the year. If you still haven't completed your holiday shopping yet, there's still some time left to try and grab one of these:
Amazon Kindle Fire HD ($199): For the longest time I've been clearly in the Apple iPad camp -- many other tablets came and went, but the iPad always held strong in my heart (and the hearts of my kids). But the Kindle Fire HD was able to squeeze some additional space in there, and it also changed my opinion on e-readers (I now enjoy reading books with a smaller, 7-inch tablet rather than a larger, 10-inch version). The UI of the Kindle Fire HD, which focuses on a user's content rather than apps, makes it easier to quickly access that content than the app-based iPad.
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Brinno TLC200 time-lapse camera ($200): If you have a great idea for a time-lapse or stop-motion video, you really need to pick up this camera, which quickly and easily lets you record video at set time intervals (a frame every second or three, or maybe a minute or longer) to create a time-lapse video. You can then quickly import the file into other videos or upload to YouTube on your own. An optional stop-motion shutter lets you create videos like Lego animation or claymation-type videos, if you have the time and patience.
Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone ($200): I still own an Apple iPhone 4, but the performance, design and style of the Galaxy S III is seriously tempting me to switch to Android for my next smartphone. My wife now owns an S III and I haven't heard her say a single bad thing about it, unlike several other smartphones and cellphones that came before.