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Apple TV 3rd-Generation ($99)
Apple calls it "Just a hobby business" but the Apple TV 3rd-generation is primed to disrupt the entire entertainment industry and may enable you to "cut the cable" and eliminate subscription TV services. Provided you have broadband internet access, Apple TV allows you to stream on demand TV shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu+ and iTunes, and has the ability to act as an airplay client for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to beam movies, music and game output right to your TV set and home entertainment system.
Nest 2.0 ($250)
Although the Nest 2.0 digital, Internet-enabled thermostat seems pricey at $250, this home automation marvel could actually save you big bucks over the course of the year by intelligently managing your heat and air conditioning system. Nest automatically turns your HVAC off when you leave the home, and knows from learning and crowdsourcing and local weather conditions as well as when you're about to return home to adjust the system to an optimal and energy-saving temperature.
Google Nexus 7 16GB ($199)
While the $329 iPad Mini may be the Apple of everyone's eye this Christmas, the miserly choice is without question Google's Nexus 7 tablet, which runs on the Android 4.2 operating system, runs hundreds of thousands of applications from Google's Play Store, with access to massive amounts of content, and is loaded with a 720p HD screen, a powerful nVidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 16GB of onboard storage, for a whole $199.