The 2012 holiday shopping season is now in full swing and, like most years, retailers are expecting particularly high demand for the hottest electronics, toys and games of this year. With over 6 weeks left until Christmas, some of the most in-demand items are already disappearing from store shelves and from online retailers' web sites. While stock of many 2012's hottest gifts remains readily available, industry experts expect stocks to dwindle or disappear by December 1st.
In fact, 2012 is expected to be one of the most challenging years in recent memory for parents and other gift givers, when it comes to finding some of the most wanted gifts. The reason? In response to a weaker economy, retailers are ordering smaller numbers of most products from manufacturers in order to avoid being saddled with excess inventory if consumer spending disappoints this holiday season.
“The best weapon for this year's holiday shopper is knowledge,” said a spokesperson for whohas.it, a service that monitors product availability through online retailers. “Knowing what this year's most wanted products will be and taking action to secure them before stocks dwindle will help keep stress levels down and disappointments to a minimum.”
whohas.it has just released their 2012 Holiday Gift Guide, detailing their picks for 2012's Top Toys, Games and Electronics, in an effort to help shoppers target this year's sure-to-please items. whohas.it's top list includes picks for video games, digital cameras, toys, dolls, tablets and more. Shoppers can use it as a reference for identifying products that are expected to be in short supply or simply for some gift giving inspiration.
The great and powerful Oprah Winfrey has dubbed the Microsoft Surface the "Mercedes-Benz" of tablets. Each year, Winfrey creates a list of her favorite products and shares them with her fans. This year the Surface tablet from Microsoft had the honor of being included on the prestigious list. Other Oprah "Favorite Things" include the $4,999 Bose VideoWave II, a $3,000 elliptical trainer, and a $238 set of 14 soaps from Lafco Soap. Oprah fans can pick up the December issue of O magazine to learn how to win all the the items on the list.
The Surface tablet is currently available for purchase via the Microsoft Store. The 32GB version retails for $499, the 32GB model with Black Touch Cover is $599, and the 64GB version with Black Touch Cover will set you back $699.
UPDATE: The 32GB model is currently out of stock.
The shipping date for the 32GB Microsoft Surface tablet has been pushed back three weeks. It's unknown how many tablets Microsoft has ready to ship, so it's unclear if a three-week backorder is impressive or not. However, it does prove there is some demand for the Microsoft branded tablet, and interested buyers should pre-order now if they would like to get their hands on one soon. The shipping date for the $599 model and 62GB is still listed as October 26, the same day the tablet becomes available at Microsoft stores and at 34 North American “pop up” stores launching for the holidays.
The 3GB model without the Touch Cover combination cover/keyboard retails for $499. The 3GB w/ Touch Cover is $599, and the 62GB version with Touch Cover is $699. Both models are currently available for pre-order through the online Microsoft Store.
The Thrive boasts a 10.1 inch wideview display with 1280 x 800 HD resolution (720p) and a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor. It has a 2 megapixel forward facing camera and a 5 megapixel camera on the back. It is powered by Android 3.1 Honeycomb and supports Adobe Flash. Connectivity includes HDMI, USB 2.0 and mini USB ports, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and an SD card reader. It is also capable