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Best Buys

Caught Dad trying to regift that croquet set you gave him last year? Take heart. Our holiday gift guide is full of expert picks — covering gadgets, décor, toys and more — that everyone on your list (and maybe you, too) is guaranteed to love.

Author JACQUELINE DETWILER

PHOTOGRAPHS BY LISA SHIN
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHN JAY CABUAY

GIFT GUIDE: ELECTRONICS

Expert Pick
PRECIOUS METAL

You can bet that most of what your college freshman will be doing with her brand-new computer is Googling and writing papers, so there’s no better person to ask what netbook to give her than Brian Rakowski, vice president of product management for Google Chrome. He recommends the new Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. “It’s incredibly simple to set up and it maintains itself, so you won’t end up with a second job as tech support for the lucky person you give it to,” he says.
$430 / www.samsung.com

FRESH AIR
Fast (and silver) as a speeding bullet and light enough to leap small desk obstacles in a single bound, Apple’s latest entry-level notebook, the amazing MacBook Air, which boasts Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, should be on the wish list of anyone who’s ever had to lug a heavy laptop around while on the road.
$999  / www.store.apple.com

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT
If you’re ready to get into the DSLR pool but think you’d rather wade in than do a cannonball off the diving board, ask for the Canon Rebel T3 Red 18-55mm IS II kit. It has a 12.2-megapixel sensor and all the ISO settings you could possibly need, yet is as user-friendly as a pool noodle.
$900 / www.usa.canon.com

DOUBLE TALK
Cell phones and Skype are great, but when you’re not at the office, you might miss the feeling of importance conveyed by holding (and slamming) a traditional banana phone. Enter Native Union’s Moshi Moshi 03i, a Bluetooth adapter that can sync calls from two devices and transmit them to a handset.  
$150 / www.nativeunion.com

OF SOUND MIND
Collecting 13,000 international radio stations, all your personal songs and an intelligent music feature à la Pandora and playing everything on listening stations throughout your house, Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound 5 Encore might be the most comprehensive home music setup short of a house band.
$3,350 / www.bang-olufsen.com

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