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Editors' top picks

CNET editors' favorite tech available this holiday.

CNET Reviews staff

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V

A multitalented megazoom, the HX9V will satisfy a broad range of users--from snapshooters looking for more zoom to enthusiasts who want the latest and greatest compact camera features.

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Kodak PlaySport Zx5

An exemplary shoot-and-share minicamcorder, the PlaySport is a very good choice for capturing those spur-of-the-moment clips. Plus, its rugged construction means you can take it where other devices can't go.

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2012 Audi A7

The Audi A7 evokes the best of European refinement, while at the same time sporting the newest technology both under the hood and in the cabin. It is a definite executive-level gift.

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Pioneer AVIC-Z130BT GPS/DVD receiver

The flagship of the AVIC series of all-in-one car receivers makes yet another appearance in our Holiday Gift Guide. The 2012 update adds Aha Radio integration to an already robust feature set that includes Pandora Internet Radio connectivity and voice command for iPod playback, hands-free calling, and navigation.

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Toshiba Portege R835-P70

The Portege R835 is still one of the best overall values in the 13-inch laptop category, with a solid magnesium alloy chassis and a thin and lightweight design. It even beats out the more expensive 13-inch MacBook Pro on battery life (topping 7 hours), while offering some step-up features (USB 3.0, eSATA ports, integrated DVD drive) rarely found in many competing models in this weight and size class.

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Apple iMac

Apple's higher-end iMac still has the largest screen of any all-in-one computer. It's also one of the fastest all-in-ones, as well as the best looking. You don't get the touch software, and it's not as user-friendly for those looking to turn an all-in-one into a media hub, but the iMac remains the elite product in its category overall.

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Sony PlayStation 3 Slim Move Bundle (320GB)

Priced at $350, the PS3 Slim Move Bundle is not only an excellent value, but offers an impressive amount of storage space, too. And because the PS3 is such a great media hub, we recommend all the hard-drive space you can get.

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Astro A40 Wireless System

One of the best-sounding wireless headsets we've ever tested, the Astro A40 is a great complete system that offers superb surround sound. It may be a bit pricey, but the A40s may be the only system you'll ever need.

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Logitech Harmony 650

A quality universal remote is one of the best gifts to give. A lot of people can't get past the idea of spending more than $50 on a remote, but once they use one they'll never let it go. Logitech's Harmony 650 is the best universal remote to buy for less than $100.

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Roku 2 XS

Whether you're looking to cut your cable subscription or just augment your existing subscription, the Roku 2 XS is our Editors Choice streaming media box. It supports more way services than the Apple TV and its nifty Bluetooth remote even lets you play Angry Birds on your HDTV.

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Ultimate Ears 700 Noise-Isolation Earphones

Logitech lowered the price of the Ultimate Ears 700 to $150 when it took over the company a few years back, which makes these headphones some of the most affordable dual-driver earbuds on the market right now. You'll notice a big difference in sound if you're upgrading from the stock headphones that came with your music player, and as long as you don't mind the lack of a remote control on the cord, the Ultimate Ears 700 headphones won't disappoint.

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Sonos Play:3

An elegant way to add streaming music to your home, the Sonos Play:3 is easily controlled by any iOS or Android device.

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Canon ImageClass MF3010

The ImageClass MF3010 is easy to set up and use as a daily output device for students and office professionals, and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this unit for budget-minded consumers.

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Asus PA246Q

It's rare to get such a high level of performance at such a low price. Also, with the extra precision it affords when designing or photo editing, the PA246Q's unique grid overlay will enthrall both graphic artists and photographers alike.

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Samsung Galaxy S II

The Samsung Galaxy S II makes a great gift for anyone. It packs tons of features and power for the demanding user and also offers a sleek design and ease of use for smartphone newbies. Plus, it's available from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, so you have your choice of carrier as well.

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Jawbone Era

The Jawbone Era has a sharp and attractive design that makes it one of the most fashion-forward Bluetooth headsets around. It's also one of the most technologically advanced, with a built-in accelerometer, HD quality audio, and killer noise cancellation.

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Apple iPad 2

Big surprise, right? Yep, the iPad 2 is still the tablet to beat. With the most and best apps of any tablet, impeccable design, and Apple's deep eco-system, this should be your first choice when considering buying a tablet. Period.

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Kindle 2011 ($79 model)

If you don't need to use a keyboard too often--for taking notes or searching for text--the entry-level 2011 Kindle is the best (and one of the only) e-book readers you can buy for under $80.

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Samsung PND7000

Samsung's second most expensive plasma tops the recommendation tree as our star TV of 2011. It delivers excellent picture quality second only to the significantly more expensive Panasonic TC-PVT30, and in our opinion the differences are slim enough that the price step-up isn't worth it. Meanwhile the more expensive Samsung PND8000, which has a basically identical picture, simply costs more with extras like a QWERTY remote that you really don't need. The Samsung PND7000 strikes the perfect balance of videophile picture quality without putting you in debt for the rest of the year.

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Sony Bravia XBR-55HX929

Our favorite LCD TV of the year also happens to be one of the most expensive. Blame that on the Sony's local dimming, full-array LED backlight, an extra that also allows this TV to deliver some of the best non-plasma-sourced pictures we've ever seen. That beautiful Monolithic styling and a feature list longer than Santa's "Nice" roll don't hurt, either.

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