Jeremy Hellstrom’s Picks
I was hoping that I could recommend an affordable thin bezeled monitor this year but again we are disappointed as the newest arrival on the market has a terrible secret. The plastic part of the bezel may only be 2cm wide on the AOC i2353FH but there is another 10mm or so underneath the glass which is not part of the actual screen, making it thinner than many bezels but not as thin as they would have you believe. Maybe next year.
The Logitech C920 Pro Webcam has been bringing you the PC Perspective Podcast for quite a while now and has held up brilliantly. Apart from occasional bandwidth deficiencies, Skype and otherwise, this camera is capable of recording and sending 1080p video and functions well in adverse lighting conditions. The built in microphone might not be good enough to be used on the podcast but for general usage it works perfectly well. The controls are decent and in most cases you will be able to adjust the levels to look as good as possible in most settings. At $75 it is a worthy investment.
For a mere $18.99 you can have some fun building and configuring a RAMDisk of up to 64GB on your Intel or AMD powered PC, as long as you have enough DDR3 installed. As the included software backs up the data stored on the RAM to a physical drive of your choice you can install programs directly to the RAMDrive and they will still be there after a reboot or power interruption. For such a low cost you can have some fun putting that DDR3-2133 to work for you, or opt for the free c!
With Far Cry 3 already out, Crysis 3 on its way and BioShock Infinite arriving some time before the heat death of the universe you might want to consider upgrading your graphics card. You can make the bet that AMD and NVIDIA will deliver on their promises of new GPUs for Q1 2013 or you can grab an HD 7970 for $380 ($360 including rebate card). The Never Settle Bundle is included of course!
Quadrocopters caught on in a big way this year, with none more popular that Parrot's AR.Drone 2.0. Not only does it have chassis appropriate for indoor use where it is much more likely to bounce off hard surfaces or worse a friend or family member, there is a huge list of accessories which you can pick up to make flying the drone even more fun. Along with the official add ons, this quadrocopter can be modded by following the various projects which exist on the web and as it has WiFi onboard, you can control it with just about device you want. At $300 it is expensive but you should have a lot of fun getting your moneys worth out of it.
Last but not least if you see a bottle that has Port Charlotte on the label, you have just found the best way to get into the spirit of Christmas!