Ever since seeing Avatar in 3D, I've been a fan. And seeing demos of various 3D-enabled plasma televisions under proper lighting conditions has done nothing to change my mind. I am going for Plasma because it generally gives better blacks, has superior viewing angles, quicker response times (I'm a games fanatic, so yes, this is an important factor for me) and doesn't suffer from as much crosstalk when showing off 3D content the way even the best LCD-based 3DTVs do. So my choice is Panasonic's top-of-the-line 42in Full HD 3D VT-series.
Sure, I would love to go for the bigger and far more expensive 65in P65VT20, as bigger is always better and it makes 3D ever so much more immersive. So why stick to the smallest available size instead? Three reasons:
a) I already feel guilty for buying a display technology that uses considerably more electricity than rival LCD, and neither the environment nor my wallet would thank me for the 300W that a 65in plasma would suck down.
b) I move around a lot and wouldn't want to drag this beast from house to house or, heavens forbid, another country.
c) I'd need a new room to fit the thing in the first place.
So the P42VT20 is just the ticket, despite its staid design. Panasonic is the only brand to offer Full HD (let alone 3D) plasmas this small, and its panels have some of the deepest black levels since the golden days of the Pioneer Kuro. Indeed, it offers some of the best performance around in many regards, whether playing with that extra dimension or not.
The free Avatar 3D Blu-ray, which is mooted to be a Panasonic exclusive till 2012, is merely the icing on a very desirable (if somewhat overpriced and dumpy) cake.
Panasonic Lumix GH2
I'm currently the happy owner of the original Panasonic Lumix G1. I love practically everything about it; its build, lightness, comprehensive yet intuitive controls and, most of all, that gorgeous 3in, fully articulated screen â€“ the amount of times I've been able to take successful photos at odd angles thanks to it is uncountable. Yet it's lacking one essential ingredient: video.
Panasonic rectified this with the wonderful GH1, but at a price slightly out of reach for most. Now the first generation G-series of micro-four-thirds 'compact system' cameras has finally been updated, and in addition to the more affordable yet award-winning G2, we have the superb GH2. 1080p video at 60fps, inbuilt stereo microphone, an ISO range from 160 to 12,800, SDXC support, touch focusing on its twistable screen, and â€“ best of all â€“ it's bundled with a video-optimized 14-140mm lens.
It's the ultimate camera/camcorder hybrid, and if Santa were to put it under my Christmas tree (a pretty impressive feat in itself considering I don't have one set up), I'd promise not to post that snap I caught of him crawling up the chimney last year.
The Ultimate Convertible Laptop (AKA tm3?)
If you're going to reach for the stars, it might as well be with something imaginary. So here's my wild-card wish for Christmas 2010: the ultimate convertible laptop. Yes, that's right, a laptop with a high-quality swivel screen that folds back and incorporates both multi-touch and a Wacom digitizer.
What I want is really quite simple. It's an iPad combined with a tm2 and Dell XPS 17, with a pinch of Intuos 4 thrown in.
I want the build quality, aluminium body and, more importantly, screen quality of the iPad. Unlike almost every laptop around, it doesn't use a TN panel but rather IPS - at base the same premium panel technology used in pro-grade monitors such as the Dell UltraSharp U2410. Obviously it needs to be higher resolution than Apple's tablet, at least matching the tm2's 1,280 x 800 pixels, but a few more would be even nicer. I also want the awesome keyboard from the tm2, not to mention its long battery life and classy swirl imprint.
Then there's the connectivity, touchpad and HD webcam from the XPS 17, along with some of its specifications (powerful CPU and discrete switchable graphics) and quiet operation. Last but certainly not least, as a digital artist I want the pressure- and angle-sensitive pen feedback of the Intuos 4 (always handy for CAD or even just handwriting too).
There you have it, gaming aside this would be the ultimate portable PC â€“ and if any manufacturer creates this, I promise to give it a great score (Terms and Conditions apply)!