Holiday gift round-up: Part 1

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Date: Monday, December 16th, 2013, 08:27
Category: Accessory, Apple, Apple TV, Consumer Electronics, Fun, Gadget, Holiday, iPad mini, retail, Television, Wearables

Christmas-GiftIt’s that time of year again, when everyone is scrambling to fill their gift giving list for the holidays, and for those that have tech geeks in their family or other circles, it is getting more and more difficult to find that perfect gift. Thankfully it is also the time when every magazine and blog is posting their holiday gift guides, and the PowerPage is no exception. So here then are 10 or so items that aren’t crazy expensive, culled from other gift guides or my own product wish list, that offer a nice range of items and that I wouldn’t mind seeing under the tree (if I didn’t have it already).

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Amazon Prime

We’ll start off with one that I think is a great idea, and didn’t even know you could gift until recently. I’ve been using Amazon Prime for years, and at least for me, it really pays off (I order way too much stuff online). For eligible items (ie most of them) you get free 2-day shipping, there is no minimum order size, you can borrow free books from the Kindle lending library, and you also stream premium movies, TV shows, and exclusive content. And just think, maybe someday it will include Prime Air service too, assuming that ever gets off the ground (ha, pun). The service costs $79 a year, and now you can gift a year of the service to someone. Perfect for anyone who shops a lot online and might not think to get it for themselves.

 

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Pebble Smartwatch

This one should come as no surprise as something I’d recommend since I’ve written about it a few times. Grant you, this is one you’ll need to reserve for that serious tech and gadget geek in your life. Current retail price for a Pebble is $150, but you can probably go on eBay, like I did, and get it used for closer to $100. A lot of people bought them early and then got bored waiting for them to be more useful and bug free, so you can get them in excellent shape for a good bargain. The Pebble is finally getting some forward momentum and integration with more apps which is making it a very affordable bit of wrist gadgetry.

 

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Apple iPad mini

The iPad mini is on the high end of this list, but it does make a really useful gift for just about anyone. I am a recent convert to the mini’s form factor, believing it would be too small after using a full size iPad for a couple of years. As it turns out, I’m finding the size and weight so much more convenient without feeling like I’ve lost a lot of screen space. It’s good for games, video, and reading (almost Kindle sized). The 16 GB wifi model (retina display) starts at $400.

 

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AppleTV

I’ll get all the Apple product recommendations out of the way. I’ve been using an AppleTV since the very first model came out. The original looked like the current Mac mini and got REALLY hot. It also was before iCloud and needed to stream audio and video from iTunes on your computer. I think it was also $200-300 and didn’t have HDMI. The current model is $99, fits in your pocket, does 1080p, and can stream shows from Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO, Disney, and more.

 

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11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver TV Remote

What gadget geek wouldn’t want to be The Doctor?! I don’t know, but I’m not one of them. The thing is, your gadget geek may be too proud or too embarrassed to ask for a sonic screwdriver toy, so some brilliant people (in cooperation with the BBC of course) have come up with a solution, theĀ 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver Programmable TV Remote! Now there’s a title that could use some shortening. There is also a 10th Doctor version here. This thing is made of metal, so it has a nice heft to it, and it’s super easy to program because…it actually tells you what to do! Voice prompts from the remote itself walk you through the process of assigning one of the 13 available gestures (rotate, swipe left, swipe up, etc) to the controls of any of your IR controlled devices. Now the Whovian in your life can destroy as many living room Daleks and Cybermen he or she wants and be able to say, “Oh, I was just changing the channel.”. Each screwdriver is $99 and comes with a display stand.

Ok, so there is Part 1 of the guide to get you started shopping. Come back to check for Part 2 in the next day or so!

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