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The 10 biggest gadgets of the rest of the year

In what is sure to be a busy holiday season, which gadgets will hold onto the limelight?
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By Ricardo Bilton on
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1 of 11 Ricardo Bilton/ZDNET

From the Amazon Kindle Fire to the iPhone 4S, the fall has already been pretty busy for the gadget world. But of all the annoucments that have dropped in the past few weeks, which products will rise above the crowd as we head into the winter and holiday season?  While we can't know for sure, here are a few safe bets. 

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Much of what you need to know about the Galaxy Nexus can be found in the following three words: Ice Cream Sandwich. Samsung's latest phone is set to be the first to offer the next version of Android. That alone is probably reason enough to take the Galaxy Nexus plunge, but there's more. The phone features a 4.65"-inch HD Super AMOLED screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and 1GB of RAM, the Galaxy Nexus is a pretty impressive device even without its Android upgrade.

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Announced earlier this month, Amazon's Kindle Fire is set to take on Apple's iPad hegemony on multiple fronts. It's built from the ground up to mesh perfectly with Amazon's massive selection of books, music, and movies, which makes it a far more compelling buy than most other Android tablets. Amazon also went to pretty great lengths to keep the cost of the Kindle Fire down, which is how the company is able to sell the thing for a extremely welcome $200. Make no mistake, the Kindle Fire will be the product to beat this winter.
 

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Personal fitness trackers aren't a new thing, but with MotoActv, they are certainly taking a big step up. Doubling as a music player and training system, MotoActv keeps track of the minutiae of a workout - from pace and heart rate to, most amazingly, the songs to which users exercise the most effectively. Motorola also created an Android app for the device, allowing users to track and manage their workouts via their mobile phones. Available November 6th, the device comes in two forms: one with 8GB for $249, one with 16GB for $299.
 
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While there have been a lot of questions about the PSVita since its announcement, none have been so loud and constant as the one's about its release date. Formerly given an vague early 2012 release date for the US and Canada, the Vita was finally given the official release date of February 22nd. Landing in Japan before the end of the year, the Vita offers a  5-inch multi-touch display, dual analogs, and dazzling visuals, not to mention dozens of tiles already in development. 

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No discussion of the biggest device's is complete without Sharp's Aquos LC-80LE632U. Measuring at an insane 80-inches, Sharp's display not only breaks records, but it will in all likelihood also break your bank account. Running for a steep $5,499, the display's price is a bit daunting.  But once you have one of these things in your living room, it's possible you wont mind. 

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Virtually identical to the iPhone 4 on the outside, the true strengths of the iPhone 4S are its internals. Featuring the now-beloved Siri personal assistant, a powerful 8-megapixel camera, and the most recent version of iOS, the iPhone 4S has a lot going for it regardless of how few cosmetic changes it brings to the table. It needs little introduction. 
 
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Sony's 24" PlayStation TV takes an old problem and finds a solution to it. Putting 3D to good use, the display spits out two images - one for each of two 3D glasses. The result is one video output pretending to be two - a major boon for anyone who has ever played a split-screen multiplayer game. Sadly, the display's  dual 3D will only support a few titles at launch - MotorStorm Apocalypse, Gran Turismo 5, Killzone 3, and Super Stardust HD - but Sony says more games will gain support in the coming months..  $499. Available November 13th. 

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Similar to the Sony 3D display, Samsung's MV800 solves a simple problem: taking a picture of yourself. Its 3-inch touch touch screen angles up to 180-degrees, allowing users much more flexibility with tabling shots. The MV800 marks the first time such a screen has appeared in a compact camera. Priced at $279. 
 
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At  7.1mm thick and 127 grams in weight, the Droid Razr may sound fragile, but it's not. Motorola put a lot of work into making the device's chassis a durable one - and it shows. Featuring a Corning Gorilla glass-protected display and a Kevlar fiber backing, the Droid RAZR exudes durability.Touting a 4.3-inch 540×960 Super AMOLED display and running on Android 2.3.5, the Droid Razr also comes equipped with a speedy dual-core 1.2Ghz processor. Other features include a 8-megapixel camera, 1GB RAM, an impressive 1780 mAh battery, and support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network

 

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It was only a matter of time before Amazon made the touch screen eReader plunge. Following in the footsteps of the Nook and Kobo, the Kindle Touch offers a 6" inch touchscreen display, two-month battery life, and, most significantly, a $99 price tag. That makes the device not only competitive but also a major bargain for those looking to jump on the eReader train for the first time. 

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