Newest electronics and computer gadgets at the top of many holiday wish lists

Gifts like iPods and Microsoft Xbox 360s are hot commodities this season.

Nikki Wee

Technological gifts like Apple iPods, Microsoft Xbox 360s and others are hot commodities this season.

Gadgets frequently are at the top of holiday gift lists.

Ernest De los Santos, assistant manager at Sharper Image in the Mall of America, said electronic gifts are popular because they are fun and entertaining.

“They’re pretty much toys,” he said. “They can keep you entertained for more than an hour.”

De los Santos said people will come in to Sharper Image to find gifts most other stores wouldn’t offer.

The Philips digital photo frame, a picture frame that allows users to display digital photos directly from a camera’s memory card, was one item De los Santos said is popular with holiday shoppers.

De los Santos said another item that has been popular with customers is the iJoy Zipconnect massage chair, which plays music with its built-in speakers while giving users a massage.

“We sell those things like crazy,” he said. “We can sell anywhere from three to four a day.”

And for music lovers, the new Play ‘n’ Roll electric piano allows pianists of all skill levels to roll up a flexible keyboard they can bring anywhere with them.

Apple iPods are once again one of the most popular items out there this year, an Apple Store representative said.

Accessories for Apple’s handheld music player also are selling well. These include the Apple Incase, a line of protective iPod cases, or the Kensington digital FM transmitter, which allows users to play their digital collection through the radio.

University students also have gadgets on the mind.

First-year student David Pinter said that while he is a “computer guy” who would like “computer stuff,” he thinks the best part of receiving a present is the element of surprise.

“When I get gifts, I don’t like to have an idea about what I am getting,” he said. “I just like the idea of getting the gift.”

Pinter said computer gadgets are becoming more popular each year.

“I think the iPod will be big again this year,” he said. “More and more, I see people with iPods. I don’t know anyone without one.”

First-year math student Nicole Thompson said she is hoping she will receive a DVD burner for the holidays this year.

Thompson said electronic gadgets are always popular around the holidays because companies are constantly coming up with innovative products or versions of older products.

“New things are always coming out, and people just want new stuff,” she said.

Another thing students expect to be big this year is the recently released Microsoft Xbox 360.

“I’ll bet the Xbox 360 will be really popular this year,” said first-year electrical engineering student Mithun Suresh.

But not all students are asking for gadgets this season.

Suresh said his ideal gift would be seeing the Gophers win the Music City Bowl.

Eric Falde, a first-year biomedical engineering student, is asking for something else.

“Personally, I’m hoping for a pony,” he said. “It’s sort of been a big dream of mine to have one.”