Best things you never got for the holidays

Antonio Hernandez and Gil Riego Jr.

Your little brother and sister made you a drawing of you and a goldfish, your grandparents got you a neon green wool sweater and your parents got you Spider-Man Fathead wall sticker.


But let’s take a look at a few things that you really wanted for the holidays…

Top 5 in Movies and Music

1: “The Dark Knight”Do we really need to explain why this is number one? Possibly the greatest sequel to hit the cinema last summer, The Dark Knight reintroduced audiences to the Batman.

Directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Heath Ledger as the legendary Joker, The Dark Knight assures us that the trilogy won’t be a flop. Oh, and Ledger is up for a Golden Globe for his part as Joker. How could you miss a performance like that?Blu-Ray price: $23.99DVD price: $14.99

2: Kanye West – “808’s and Heartbreak”Just when you thought Kanye’s creative well had run dry, he comes out with another stellar album. Unlike most artists who play it safe, Kanye seeks to redefine himself as-surprisingly-a singer.

A more mature album for a more mature man, 808’s and Heartbreak deals with more complicated topics. Thankfully, we still get those dance-heavy tracks from Mr. West.$9.99

3: Britney Spears – “Circus”Britney is back.

Why not? It’s better than “Blackout.”$9.99

4: Fall Out Boy – “Folie a Deux”It’s been a long time, but Fall Out Boy has finally given us another album. The album entitled “Folie a Deux” is just as abstract as it sounds.

Fall Out Boy returns with the same addictive melodies, but adds just enough musical experimentation to keep us interested. A solid follow up to Infinity on High, the group continues to keep us guessing. However, is it too much to ask the lead guitarist, Patrick Stump, to speak clear English when singing?$9.99

5: “Lost” – Season 4We know you’re out there. Don’t try to hide from us; there are at least two of you who still watch “LOST.”

It’s ok, they have groups for people like you now, but if you are still addicted you can always pick up season four. You’re not even reading this anymore, are you? You’ve already rushed to your nearest video store.$36.99

Top 5 in Video Games

1: LittleBigPlanet – Playstation 3You remember what it was like to be a child? To discover new things and create worlds out of something as simple as a cardboard box. Well, now you can relive those dreams again.

LittleBigPlanet is the latest game from developer Media Molecule, and enables players to create and share whole levels. That’s right, you can finally create that My Little Pony level you’ve been dreaming about since you were a kid. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone.$59.99

2: Gears of War 2 – Xbox 360Gears of War was one of the defining titles on the Xbox 360 in it’s early years. Heavy with the action and little with the dialogue, the first installation was a gift for all action movie lovers.

Gears of War 2 gives us the action and then some. Again, audiences are made familiar with the gun-toting Marcus Fenix and his comrades as they try to fight off an alien race named the Locust. However, unlike the first game, the campaign seems a little more robust and offers us a deeper look into the world of Gears of War. A good look.$59.99

3: Rockband 2 – MultiplatformWho doesn’t want to be a rock star? Admit it, if you had the talent, cash, and guts, you would be lounging in Beverly Hills with the shades down. To bad you don’t have any of that, but thankfully developer Harmonix has your back.

We’re talking out the game Rock Band 2, which allows you and your musically challenged friends to play on plastic instruments in your living room. Not as glamorous as the real thing, but a lot more fun. With a wealth of new tracks, and a steady flow of downloadable songs; you’ll never have to try a real musical instrument… ever.Individual game: $59.99Full Band kit: $189.99

4: Fallout 3 – MultiplatformIt’s been a long time coming for the Fallout series. Birthed in the early 90’s the post-apocalyptic game has since remained in the shadows. Thankfully, the developer, Bethesda has taken the helm and given us Fallout 3.

A proper sequel, Fallout 3 retains the same dark humor found in other iterations, while giving us a first-person look into the radioactive remains of Washington D.C. Not for the faint of heart, this game pulls the player in and refuses to let go. An essential for any gamer looking to waste away 60+ hours of their life.$59.99

5: Mirror’s Edge – MultiplatformIf there is one thing that many gamers are afraid of, it is the prospect of their favorite genre becoming stale. The first-person shooter game has been recycled over and over again, and many felt that the niche was breathing its last breath. Then came along Mirror’s Edge, a game that sought to break new ground.

Unlike many other first-person adventure games, Mirror’s Edge doesn’t focus on blasting your way through situations. Instead, the protagonist is encouraged to run. That’s right, run away as fast as you can. Mirror’s Edge the player in the capable shoes of Faith, a runner who delivers messages across rooftops in a totalitarian ruled city. Basically, it’s the closest thing to parkour that you will ever experience, without actually getting outside and jumping off of your neighbors roof.$59.99

Top 5 in Phones

1: iPhone 3G – AT&TThe standard of smart phones, Apple’s iPhone 3G has set the bar. Sadly only an AT&T phone by default, thanks to “jail-braking”, it can go to the T-Mobile service as well.

Grab that envelope of cash your aunt gave you to chip in for your own touch-screen legend from Apple, AT&T or Best Buy for $149 to $299 depending on your contract or a solid $399 without one.Contract: $149 – $299No Contract: $399

2: Blackberry Bold – AT&TAT&T scores a double header with the exclusive ownership (for now) to the Blackberry Bold. A sleek upgrade to the Curve, the Bold boasts a bigger screen and a smoother design.

Get ready to pay for that extra Blackberry plan but it’s well worth it if you’re not so into the finger-pointing abilities that Apple offers. Getting one will require using your disposable income to pay $299.99 with a contract or $659.99 sans commitment.Contract: $299.99No Contract: $659.99

3: G1 Android – T-Mobile

Sell your current phone on eBay in order to get a few dollars to let the G1 and Android invade your cellular space for $179 with a contract with T-Mobile or $399 if you want to rule the world on your own terms.Contract: $179No Contract: $399

4: Nokia N97 – UnlockedOne of the major names in cellular phones is Nokia and they still have what you might want. What they are calling their “Flagship Phone” the Nokia N97 boasts the touch screen that we’ve all grown accustomed to and a full QWERTY keyboard that will please people familiar with Sidekicks and Blackberries.

Packed with a 5 mega-pixel camera, a 16:9 aspect ratio screen for watching movies and 32 gigs of INTERNAL storage it’s easy to forget this is a phone instead of a pocket-sized computer. The apex of Nokia’s N-series will be available early 2009 in Europe for $695, so keep saving those gift cards that uncle you don’t remember gave you until then.Unlocked: $695

Blackberry Storm – VerizonResearch in Motion makes it twice on this list with its Blackberry Storm. Boasting a tactile touch screen (that means you can click it) Research in Motion takes a stab at Apple with this product. Though some reviews claim that it’s not the best that RIM has developed over the years, it doesn’t make it any less popular. With two keyboard modes (for those familiar with the Pearl’s design and a QWERTY style), an amazing video player, GPS and Verizon’s network, the Storm could replace that brick of a phone in your pocket for $219 with the “Can you hear me now?” guy following you around with a contract or $499 with your current contract.Contract: $219No Contract: $499

Top 5 in Tech1: Mini-NotebooksMiniature sized notebooks, or “Netbooks,” are setting the pace of quick portable computing. Models like HP Mini-1000, Dell Mini 9 and Asus Eee PC 1000h and similar items are putting the power into the palm of your hands, literally.

Lightweight with a small footprint, it’ll be your best friend when you can’t keep up with writing lecture notes with a conventional pen and paper. Scrap that ancient 486 desktop for some cash to get these bite-sized beauties can be found from as low as $199.HP Mini-1000: $359.99Dell Mini 9: $349Asus Eee PC: $549.99

2: Macbook and Macbook ProBut if power over convenience is something that you’re looking for in a school laptop, you might want to trade in all the reindeer covered sweaters you unwrapped for one of the newly-designed Macbooks or Macbook Pros; Apple’s answer to graphic design, video editing and photo management.

These portable beasts will be perfect for those who want to join that army of Jobs. The Apple Store or will let these go for $ 1,299.00 to $1999. Don’t forget to use your student discount!Macbook: $1,299 – $1,599Macbook Pro: $1,999 – $2,499

3: Flip MinoHDStop using your cell phone to record video of your buddies hitting beer bongs or doing keg stands is soooooo 2001. Get yourself the new Flip MinoHD and upload your videos onto YouTube, Facebook and MySpace in full glorious HD. Slimmer than most digital point and shoots, they can be picked up with up to 4GB of internal memory.

Keep the gift receipt on that pair of shoes one size too small to order a fully customizable personal Flip. They can be ordered from, ranging from $129.99 to $229.99.$129.99 – $299.99

4: iPod and ZuneMicrosoft Zune

Apple iPod

It’s been more than seven years since Apple revolutionized portable music with the iPod; more than two years with Microsoft joined in with the Zune.

But if the little stripped box you opened up didn’t have one of these two, you can probably collect all the wrapping paper from those nights and recycle it to get an extra five bucks towards an iPod or a Zune. There’s no real reason to explain why it’s on this list. But it’s always something we could use. Apple has your soul waiting for you for $49 to $400 while Microsoft has it for $99 to $249.iPod: $49 – $500Zune: $99 – $249

5: Amazon KindleFor the bookworm in all of us, Amazon’s Kindle is the perfect storm of technology and literature. The ability to put every single book from your favorite book of the month club in the size of a paperback novel will be that great space saver when you’re figuring out what book you’ll read on your long flight home for the holidays.

Just gather all of your Harry Potter books and whatever epic novels your Nana gave you and sell them to a second-hand bookstore to save up the $359 that Amazon is selling their billion-books-in-one reader for.$359

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