Tablets take top spots on holiday wish lists

What are bargain hunters going to be looking for this coming Black Friday and what’s on everyone’s holiday gift wish list? The latest Retrevo Pulse Study asked consumers about what they want for the holidays and what they’re going to be looking for in the bargain bins. For bargain hunters, tablets top the list followed by HDTV sets, laptops and smartphones.

Would you get up at four o’clock in the morning to get a deal on a tablet or laptop computer? Apparently there are plenty of bargain hunters who plan of braving the elements this Black Friday to buy electronic things. Although we don’t expect to see too many doorbuster deals on iPads or even other tablets, it’s at the top of the bargain hunter’s list this year.

It didn’t surprise us that iPads and Kindle Fires beat out other gadgets in this "year of the tablet" however, we were surprised to see digital cameras holding on despite the competition from phones. Meanwhile, Blu-ray players and iPod Touchs finished at the bottom of the list but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t make great gifts.

This is a trend we don’t think anyone will dispute or be very surprised by but this Pulse study found fewer shoppers saying they are only going to a store on Black Friday this year than last while more say they will shop both in a store and online this Black Friday. Although many stores say they don’t put their best deals online, many end up there and some stores like Wal-Mart are offering free shipping on Black Friday.

Which Gadgets appeal most to Whom?

When Retrevo analyzed the data from this Pulse study in relation to certain demographics, we were able to recommend what could be popular gadget gifts for each of these groups. Tablets are at the top of just about everyone’s list but there are other gadgets that would surely make that special someone happy. Here are some suggestions:

Best gadget gifts for women. Actually an iPad would make either a man or woman happy but if you’re thinking of buying a Kindle Fire instead, the iPad just barely beats out the Fire with most woman. However, don’t bother with a 3DTV set for the woman in your life, meanwhile, a new digital camera on the other hand, should be well received.

Best gadget gifts for men. The Kindle Fire edged out the iPad among the men in the group. After a tablet a new HDTV set including 3DTV is the most popular gift for men.

Best gadget gifts for under-25 year-olds. A laptop would be even more appreciated than a tablet for this age group, especially a MacBook Air. An iPhone 4S would also be a popular gift along with a digital camera.

Best gadget gifts for middle-aged adults 45-55. Believe it or not, this age group is very interested in 3DTV as well as HDTV but 3D or not we imagine it’s the middle age lifestyle, sports and reality TV shows that make HDTV so appealing to this age group. Along with the TV why not throw in a Blu-ray player while you’re at it?

Best gadget gifts for iPhone 4 owners. We’ll give you one guess what iPhone 4 owners want the most this holiday season. Ready? It’s an iPad, who would have thought? Yes iPad topped the list but that’s not to say iPhone 4 owners aren’t interested in a Kindle Fire as that followed closely on the list. A lot of iPhone 4 owners said they wouldn’t mind an iPhone 4S while a digital camera also came up high on the list.

Rich or poor, it's nice to get a gadget gift. When we looked at the gadget wish list by income iPads were on top for both lower and upper income brackets while the Kindle Fire was more popular among the very high income group. Laptops were high on the list for low incomes while a digital camera was up there in high income households.

Andrew Eisner is Retrevo's resident gadget enthusiast. The former PC World executive producer helped establish Ziff Davis' premiere test lab, where he led a team testing the latest high-tech gear.

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