NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- 2011 has been a year full of exciting gadget launches. Here are 10 of our favorite electronics that are sure to delight your loved ones this holiday season.
Amazon's ( AMZN) Kindle Fire At $199, the Kindle Fire is a less expensive alternative to Apple's ( AAPL) iPad which retails for $499. The 7-inch touchscreen device lets users browse the Web, stream music, movies and video, play games and read e-books. It also includes free cloud-based storage, so you don't have to physically sync the device. Last week, the Kindle Fire became the number-one selling electronics device on Amazon.com. The company issued a statement, calling this past Black Friday the best ever for the Kindle family. According to research firm iSuppli, the Kindle Fire is expected to ship 3.9 million devices during the last three months of 2011, making it the second most popular tablet besides the iPad with a 13.8% market share.
Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4SWhile it isn't the iPhone 5 that gadget geeks have been dreaming about for months, the 4S still makes a solid holiday gift. The device is faster and slimmer than its predecessor with a better camera and a virtual personal assistant, Siri. Available on AT&T ( T), Verizon ( VZ) and Sprint ( S), the phone comes in both black and white starting at $199 for the 16GB model. It's also available for $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB. Three days after the launch of the iPhone 4S in October, Apple sold four million devices, more than double that of the iPhone 4 during its first weekend. Global sales of the 4S are expected to top 25 million during the fourth quarter, more than 77% than its predecessor during the same time period.
Barnes and Noble's (BKS) Nook TabletAt $249, the Nook Tablet is a good choice for shoppers looking for a solid tablet but aren't willing to splurge on the iPad. The Android-based device, an upgrade of B&N's earlier Nook Color, has a 7-inch touch screen with built-in WiFi and popular apps like Pandora ( P) and Netflix ( NFLX) (though it has significantly fewer apps than Amazon's App store). The Nook Tablet bookstore has more than 2.5 million titles as well as magazines and comics. The Nook Tablet also boasts 16GB of storage which can be expanded to 32GB through a microSD port. Its battery can handle 11.5 hours of reading or 9 hours of video without recharging.
Jawbone's Jambox Wireless SpeakerJawbone's wireless speaker is a must for the music lovers in your life. The device lets you stream music from your iPhone, iPod or other Bluetooth devices with blaring sound (up to 85 decibels). For $200, you can carry the tiny speaker with you wherever you go, without the hassle of cords and wires. Besides using the speaker to listen to music, it can also be used to broadcast conference calls as well as video chat through iChat, Skype or Google Talk. The device works in a range of 33 feet and offers about 10 hours of continuous play. It also comes in four different colorful designs.
Bose QuietComfort 15 headphonesAt $300, Bose's QuietComfort headphones don't come cheap but they may be one of the best purchases you make this holiday season. The headphones offers excellent sound and noise-canceling capabilities, making them a great choice not only for music lovers but also for frequent travelers looking for peace and quiet on the airplane. The earphones are also super comfortable. Powered by AAA batteries, the headphones have a 35-hour life before they need to be replaced.
Mophie Juice Pack PlusIf you're thinking about giving out the data-hogging iPhone 4 or 4S this holiday season, consider paring it with the Mophie Juice Pack Plus. The pack is a special accessory case that doubles the battery life of your phone -- great for long trips or just days when you don't have access to a power outlet. The Mophie Juice Pack Plus wraps around your phone, acting both as a protective case and a rechargeable battery. You can also charge and sync your iPhone to iTunes without removing the pack by using the included USB cable. The accessory costs $100 and comes in a variety of fun colors including magenta, purple, cyan and red.
Pogoplug MobilePogoplug Mobile, made by Cloud Engines, is a small box that allows users to stream digital content like video, photos or music from their home to their tablets or smartphones without the fear of data limits. The box, which retails for $80, is connects to your home router via an Ethernet connection. The user then plugs in an SD card or an external hard drive into the device. The media files stored on these devices are then available remotely via Pogoplug's free mobile apps or through a browser-based online account.
Griffin Beacon universal remoteGriffin's Beacon system lets you turn your iOS or Android devices into a universal remote that can control your entire home entertainment enter. Beacon is a small device about the size of a hockey puck that sits somewhere in your living room. Once you've downloaded a free Universal Remote app from Dijit onto your smartphone or tablet, Beacon works via Bluetooth to turn your iPhone or Android device into a remote control. The system enables you to change channels on your TV, control the volume and to set your DVR. It requires no wires and the technology runs via four AA batteries.
Powerstick USB Portable ChargerPowerstick's chargers are about the size of a stick of gum and are designed to eliminate wall chargers. The sticks, which cost $50 each, can be plugged into any product with a USB port and then used to charge any type of portable device, from digital cameras to smartphones. Each Powerstick also comes with six different type of connectors so they can fit most popular manufacturers including Apple, Nokia ( NOK) and Samsung.
Roku's LT Streaming PlayerRoku's LT Streaming Player is both incredibly affordable ($50) and powerful. The WiFi-only purple box lets you stream over 300 video and audio channels and services, including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Go and Hulu Plus, onto your TV. The box, which is compatible with virtually any TV, works without the need for any PC device. It's also half the price of rival product Apple TV. Pricier Roku models include more features, such as gaming and USB/Ethernet ports.
-- Written by Olivia Oran in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Ozoran. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.