Black Friday 2011: Rise of Android, Where is Nikon

Tomorrow marks the start of the joyous Christmas shopping season. Here’s my review of the electronics I care about, and places I’ll be avoiding.

The Year of Android Tablets

I seen Android tablets literally everywhere. Even CVS and Toys-R-Us have one from Sylvania. Dick’s Sporting Goods is giving away Android tablets with the purchase of some cardio machines. Most of these devices aren’t too terrible, either. Toshiba Thrive and Samsung Galaxy still lead the field IMHO, but they’re also a little pricier. There are plenty of very affordable entry level systems available. Next year I think we’ll see Android overall making a dent in the iPad dominance.

eReaders are Low Level Tablets

Can we end the charade and just say devices like the Kindle Fire, Nextbook eRader and Nook Touch are just less capable Android tablets? Because that’s what they are technologically. Calling them something else is just marketing spin.

TouchPad is Back (kind of)

Office Depot and HH Gregg offering TouchPads for $149 with HP computer purchases.

Where Are the Nikon DSLRs?

I noticed this in Costco the other night–there are no Nikon DSLRs anywhere. There used to be a nice area where you could hold the cameras, and piles of happy yellow boxes, but no more. Canon is well represented everywhere, Sony also has a fine showing in the Ritz ads, but I do not see Nikons anywhere. I see plenty of pocket Nikons, but no DSLRs. Intriguing, to say the least. My best guess is that they decided not to get into the price wars with Canon and Sony at that level, and instead engage with their new Nikon 1 at the consumer level. That looks like an interesting system, but I’m not sold on the obtrusive lens. I prefer my pocket cameras to be more compact than that.

No Flip Cameras

Curse you, Cisco, a pox on your house, except for your routers because the world depends on them. The Flip was awesome.

Strong 2012 For XBox Hard Drive Upgrades

I see 4GB Xboxes everywhere, so I’m predicting a strong market for XBox upgrades next year. If you want some free Christmas money next year, make a good blog post and YouTube video of how to upgrade an XBox, join someone’s affiliate program, and start self promoting.

Office 2010 Pricing

I approve, Microsoft, good move! Office Home is $79 for single user, $99 for the three user version. Easy to add on, and well placed in ads for laptops and PCs. I know your coop marketing budget helped out there, but great move on the pricing this year. Just to reaffirm thoughts you should already be having–you do have a lot to worry about from OpenOffice or Libre Office at the family and student level. Take them seriously.

Cell Phones All Around

Amazon has penny pricing, TRU has one for kids, and everyone from Costco to Target to Radio Shack to carrier stores are loading up on devices and deals. Beware the data plan, but deals are practically yours for the asking.

OMG – Gas Minibike at KMart

I have no idea how KMart is still in business, but they have a gas Minibike this year. And it’s cheaper than an XBox or Nintendo DS. Let’s hear it for bruises growing up! Those were good times.