Giving the gift of tech is a great idea this holiday season, but it can be tricky. Most people aren’t geeks, unfortunately, and they may not appreciate the latest computer hardware, high-tech phones or cutting-edge software. It’s best to stick with something that’s impressive, yet also intuitive.
That limits your options, but it doesn’t mean there are none. There’s a number of nifty tech gifts that are suitable for almost anyone. Let’s take a look at ten of them ranging in price from as little as $20 to as much as $2,000.
Gift Ideas Under $50
The Kinivo ZX100 is the perfect inexpensive portable speaker. It’s capable of filling a single room, such as a bedroom or office, with enjoyable sound. It also includes an internal battery that can power the speaker for up to six hours. You simply won’t find better sound for less.
A Bluetooth headset is a great practical tech gift and the Motorola HX550 is one of the best affordable sets on the market. It offers good call quality, a versatile design that can accommodate different ears and offers up to 9 hours of talk time. Anyone with a Bluetooth capable phone can appreciate this gift.
If you know someone who wants to listen to music on the go, yet refuses to buy a smartphone, the Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip is a great idea. This small music player is available in a 4GB or 8GB capacity and includes a small LCD screen, making it superior to the screenless iPod Shuffle. The Sansa won’t sync with iTunes by default, however – the user will have to drag-and-drop.
Gift Ideas Under $200
A tablet is a good gift idea for anyone who doesn’t have one. It’s even better for the average joe than a geek because it’s best what the average joe does most – browse the web. There’s a lot of inexpensive tablets available but the best among them is the Nexus 7. This tablet benefits from a low price tag, powerful hardware and the latest installation of Android.
If you know someone who enjoys streaming video but can’t yet use it on their TV, buy them a Roku 2 XD. This awesome device can play video from Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon prime (as well as numerous other channels) and supports full 1080p output. It’s also incredibly intuitive. Setting it up takes about 5 minutes and the interface feels instantly familiar.
Gift Ideas Under $500
This 21.5” monitor is one of the best monitor values around. It offers excellent display quality, 1080p resolution and wide viewing angles. Better still, it comes with a stand that offers height/tilt/pivot/swivel options, making it ergonomically superior to a fixed-stand display. You’d normally have to pay $50-$100 to add such versatility to a standard monitor. Dell also offers the larger (but still affordable) U2313HM and U2412M.
Any Game Console
Game consoles are being sold in excellent bundles this holiday season. The existence of motion controls on all major platforms and the broad range of games for each makes a console a gift that most people can enjoy. Also remember that the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U can serve as media centers that might replace several other devices in the recipient’s home theater.
Yea, I know. How mundane. The iPad has been on gift lists for years now. Do you know why? Because it’s good. It might be more controversial or interesting to recommend the new Nexus 10 or a Windows 8 tablet but, in my opinion, neither can compete. The iPad is easy to use, powerful and versatile. Anyone can appreciate its strengths. Please note that I am recommending the iPad, not the iPad Mini.
Gift Ideas For An Unlimited Budget
Dell XPS 12
The XPS 12 is a new Windows 8 convertible laptop. It uses a unique design which lets the display flip inside the frame of the display, quickly converting it from an ultrabook into a tablet. The display itself is stunning as well – full 1080p, IPS and super-bright. At $1,200 this laptop is pricey, but it’s the most versatile laptop currently available and is competitively priced with other laptops that have similar features but lack its unique convertible design.
If you want to buy a big gift for a special someone it’s hard to go wrong with a new HDTV. Most people with access to electronics still spend the majority of their free time planted in front of a television and a high-quality like the TC-PVT50 can provide an incredible experience. Buyers who don’t want to spend $2,000 (but still want to spend a lot) should check out less expensive Panasonic plasma HDTVs like the TC-PST50 and the and TC-U50. They have fewer features but still look great.
What tech gift do you want for Christmas?