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11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season

Tim Brookes 10-12-2012

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Best Buy. What will your gift do? The actual contents and recommendations expressed in this article are the sole views of


The holidays are a time for merriment, coming together with your nearest and dearest, eating too much and the sending and receiving of gifts. Ruthless consumerism is all well and good, but if you play it smart and ditch the boring perfumes and costly consumables you might want to consider upgrading the tech in your home.

These are the gifts that last all year round, most of which will serve you well for many years to come. Say no to socks, reindeer antlers, overpriced chocolate and the new fragrance from a French guy you’ve never heard of, and treat your abode to some of the latest technology this December 25th.

Here are some suggestions for improving your living quarters this holiday season.

A Massive Samsung TV

A Samsung 55” Smart TV to be exact, with LED backlighting, full 1080p resolution, a buttery smooth 240Hz refresh rate and stereoscopic 3D technology. Sure, you might have to spend a good half hour explaining to grandma why the 25,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and nearly-55” screen size meant you absolutely had to have it but the purchase will speak for itself once you start streaming Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and more over Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season samsungtv


The apps might be a little gimmicky, but at just over an inch thick it’s as good to look at as the rich pictures it produces.

Make It Even Better With An Apple TV

Samsung and Apple don’t always see eye to eye, but if you go for the stunning Samsung 55” behemoth listed above then you can’t go far wrong with an Apple TV. Rent, stream and download movies and TV shows as well as using it as an AirPlay receiver to stream content from your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Mac running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season appletv1

If you really want to get the most out of an Apple TV then watch out for the third generation jailbreak that’s rumoured to be coming soon.


Which Will Complement Your New iPad With Retina Display

The recently announced iPad Mini is lovely to hold and even better to walk around with, but it shows up its bigger, faster, and sharper brother when compared side-by-side. While the iPad with Retina display is mobile enough you’re most likely going to be using it at home, on the sofa.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season ipad4

That’s just as well, because with games like Real Racing and other apps like Vjay [No Longer Available] that have been optimized for use with AirPlay receivers you won’t want to go outside very much any more.

Complete Your Entertainment Hub With A WiiU

The next generation of gaming has arrived and Nintendo are once again first to release their hardware, well in advance of both Sony and Microsoft. Unlike the Wii, the WiiU feels more like an incremental upgrade than brand new concept in gaming, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With a brand new controller complete with touch-screen, backwards compatibility with the Wii and the ability to play many new games without the need for a TV your WiiU will last you a few holiday seasons yet.


11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season wiiu

You’ll probably want to opt for the Deluxe version which comes with more storage and a copy of Nintendo Land, don’t forget to pick up a couple of Wiimotes and nunchucks for multiplayer action if you don’t already have them lying around.

Don’t Forget The WiiU’s Best Launch Titles

The WiiU’s launch titles have been described as “uninspiring” and “lukewarm” by consumers and reviewers alike, but that’s not to say there’s nothing worth playing. Two games will keep you thoroughly entertained, with the first being New Super Mario Bros U.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season nsmbu


Mario is back in 2D which can only mean one thing – thoroughly addictive gameplay that will keep you busy for hours. It’s a solid game that doesn’t necessarily say much for the WiiU but reaffirms our faith in Nintendo’s ability to still churn out quality plumber-themed platformers and it’s must-have stuff for any new WiiU owners.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season zombiu

The second somewhat overlooked title you’ll probably want to buy is ZombiU, a game that – from the title at least – sounds like a glorified tech demo. What initially seems like just another zombie game soon proves itself to be a challenging, brutal and ultimately rewarding undead tale that will shock, scare and thrill you.

Beef Up Your Network With A Wireless-N Netgear RangeMax Router

Because a network is for life, not just for Christmas – right? If you’re adding devices that hog network bandwidth then you might want to consider upgrading your crusty old router to a nice new one, like this Negreat RangeMax router. It has a standard set of four Ethernet ports, wireless-N, plug ‘n’ play shareability via USB and a built-in bandwidth usage monitor to ensure you don’t exceed your monthly cap.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season netgear

Of course you could keep your old router handy and use it as an access point to extend the range of your network What Is DD-WRT And How It Can Make Your Router Into A Super-Router In this article, I'm going to show you some of the coolest features of DD-WRT which, if you decide to make use of, will allow you to transform your own router into the super-router of... Read More , a fitting post-Christmas project to sink your teeth into.

Expand Your Storage With A WesternDigital MyBook Network Drive

You can never have enough storage, especially network-enabled media storage that’s ready to stream via DLNA/UPnP like this WesternDigital MyBook. This particular edition comes with an impressive 2TB of data which is housed in a metallic charcoal casing. Sit it next to the router, on your desk or pick it up and take your entire movie, TV and music collection to a friend’s house for easy streaming.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season mybook

Use it for media, important files or as a backup slave for your PC or Mac, with gigabit Ethernet and built-in wireless the potential uses are endless.

Windows 8 Your Household

Are you “ready” for Windows 8? If you’re thinking of taking the plunge then you could probably do with a copy of Windows 8, and why settle for the base version when you can get Windows 8 Professional with Media Centre functionality?

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season metro

If you’re unsure about using the Modern UI with your mouse and keyboard alone then you could always opt for an Acer T-Series IPS Touchscreen monitor.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season acerips1

Featuring a 23” anti-glare panel, ultra-fast 5ms response time and sophisticated styling to boot this Windows 8-ready monitor will transform your laptop or desktop into a multi-touch, multi-input machine that plays nicely with Microsoft’s latest release.

Leave The Cleaning To The Roomba 770

Robot vacuum cleaners aren’t for everyone, but if you live in a Roomba-friendly household (i.e. not too many tough to reach nooks and crannies, no overly destructive pets) then the 770 might just be for you. The bagless design features a three-stage cleaning system, dual HEPA filters for better dust filtration and an anti-tangle system designed to avoid and traverse any wires that might be in the way.

11 Gifts to Make Your Home More High-Tech This Holiday Season roomba

The Roomba 770 can be scheduled to clean whenever you like, so it could wake up in the day when you’re out at work, or start cleaning at night while you sleep so you can wake up to a spotless floor. Regardless, it makes the holiday cleanup a lot easier and even returns to its charging station when it runs out of juice.

Do you have any favourites from this list? What would you get for the house this holiday season? Leave your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below!

Image Credit: Vector Gift (Shutterstock)

Related topics: Gift Guide, Smart Home.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Arslan Amir
    August 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    If you are a user of Apple products and you are looking for an app called PlayerXtreme can provide you unlimited features like casting videos through your iPhone on your Apple TV with 1080p Playback and 3times better audio quality than any other audio/video player is a lot more than a gift. You can use Airplay and chrome cast to use this feature and you can also download the pro version for more premium features.

  2. Twirl Around
    December 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    oh golly would I love to be named winner! I'm so tired of people laffing at me for not having a WII! (etc). man, this Win would Shut Them Up for good ~ and I wouldn't invite them to come play with me. sike! I probably would.
    I would refer back to my MakeUseOf Newsletter for exciting tips and tricks and/or whathaveyou and Really kick their buts!
    Y'all, root for me to win!

    • Tim Brookes
      December 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this isn't a giveaway. I like your style of thinking though, this would be an incredible prize pool!

  3. Marko D
    December 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    What about steam winter sale? :)

  4. Kashif Maqsood
    December 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Would love to buy samsung tv.... might have to sell a kidney :)

  5. Thehunting Lion
    December 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Samsung for entertainment is never a bad idea.
    Worth its price tag.

  6. Junil Maharjan
    December 11, 2012 at 4:14 am

    nice list but have been nice? :)

  7. Obed Cutaran
    December 11, 2012 at 1:54 am

    I already bought myself a christmas present, 2 22inch LED Monitor, Matrox Dual Head2Go, office desk and a comfy executive chair.

    I might get a NAS for my movies and music on December 27th if I have enough money.

  8. Deimarr Callender
    December 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Wii U and Windows 8. I second those.

  9. Gerald Huber
    December 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Roomba. But if i got it i know that i would take it apart then hack it up.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 11, 2012 at 12:25 am

      Wow I had no idea there was such a vibrant vacuum cleaner hacking community. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I guess!

  10. John McRon
    December 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    This must have been sarcastically written, since all MUO does is rip on any and all Apple products. This page is so freaking lame I'm leaving.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 11, 2012 at 12:24 am

      Well that's a big inaccuracy. We've a mixed team of writers who use all manner of hardware, software and mobile devices. Only last week did I write an article about my overwhelmingly positive experience with Apple's customer support. I'm not afraid of criticising the company when the need arises, but to say that all our writers "rip on any and all Apple products" is just wrong.

  11. Robert Szubarga
    December 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    nicely done but why windows 8 ? ;)

    • Tim Brookes
      December 11, 2012 at 12:04 am

      I'm sure someone would appreciate it... no? ;)

  12. Félix S. De Jesús
    December 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Wii U + Mario = Best Gaming Experience!!

  13. Austen Gause
    December 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    why wii u? why not ps3 as a home media center and gaming console (unless you used a pc)

  14. Robert C
    December 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    sleaziest advertorial I've seen yet. I thought gawker media was bad, but this takes the cake.

    • juan david gil
      December 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      is comments like this that make me wish for a "like" or +1 button

      • Tim Brookes
        December 11, 2012 at 12:02 am

        Well, you'll be pleased to know we're looking into that feature.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 11, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Sleazy? Really? Do you want to rethink that, because I don't see anything "sordid, corrupt or immoral" (to use Google's definition) here. The first paragraph is straight up "this is a sponsored post" - clear as day. You may not like advertising, but you could have read that and decided to give the article a miss if it really bothers you that much.

  15. Mac Witty
    December 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    External hard disk for back up is already bought both to friends and to myself. Not a very fancy gift but very useful