New and Next

by Katie Essner on November 22, 2010

Editor’s Note: This is part of a regular series that features new and upcoming technology and devices.

With Black Friday and holiday sales right around the corner, for this edition of New and Next we’ll explore the e-reader giving iPad a run for it’s money, how Facebook is getting in on the holiday gift list and the easiest way to get friends and family to pitch in on a present.

Take a Look at the Nook
E-readers are expected to be big sellers this holiday, but the oft-coveted iPad may not be the obvious choice. Barnes and Noble’s Color Nook is a fierce competitor to the iPad, offering a color touch screen, built-in wifi, homepage personalization, virtual bookmark, personal shopping, web browser, games and an app to share books. All this for $249, as opposed to the iPad’s starting price of $499.

Those not looking for all the bells and whistles of the Nook or iPad can find comfort in the price and quality of Amazon’s Kindle, priced at a mere $139, the lowest of the bunch. Only January will tell if the power of Apple can triumph over one of America’s most popular bookstores and online retailers.

Give the Gift of Facebook Credits
What more would the avid social media relative love this season than the gift of Facebook? Facebook Credits will be available for purchase at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target stores for users to redeem online. Credits can be used on purchases in-games (such as FarmVille) or through applications on the site.

Group Gifting Made Easy
The auction website eBay created an online group gift-buying service to make it easier on everyone planning to give a group gift this holiday season.  Called eBay Group Gifts, users can select a “buy it now” eBay item (no auction items) and contact friends and family members via e-mail or Facebook to see if they’ll chip in to purchase the gift.

The Quickest Way to Compare Prices
Tired of scouring holiday ads to find the best deals? One simple application called ShopSavvy aims to ease the price comparison stress.  The free application takes a photo of an item’s bar code and identifies the item, how much it retails for online and its cost in stores nearby. With Black Friday just around the corner and many stores already rolling out the holiday discounts, being able to quickly compare prices is a lifesaver.

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday everyone! Let us know in the comments section what your must-have Black Friday buys will be.