I am a big advocate of giving the gift of technology during the holiday season, and this year the choices are endless. So rather than making a list of items to consider I thought I would focus on what everyone has or needs — the computer and accessories.
If your budget is in the $10 to $100 range, you need to look at computer accessories — things like keyboards, mice and speakers. In this category, the Microsoft folding keyboard is a great choice for any user that has a tablet but needs to do some real typing. It connects via Bluetooth and is compatible with Apple, Android and Windows devices.
Another neat accessory for both phones and tablets is the PopSocket. This small $10 device has a lot of uses from propping up your device for easy viewing to creating a better hold and mount for handheld devices. Check them out on Amazon. While you are browsing there you can also check out a variety of mice, speakers and other computer peripherals that make great gifts.
As I walk around the office, travel on a plane or walk down the street, everyone is using headphones. From in-ear to over-ear there are lots of choices in the sub-$100 range. The buying options include wired or Bluetooth versions, noise cancelling and versions with microphones. Even name-brand manufacturers offer low cost versions with great sound and a variety of option, but if you want the best sound quality you might need to go over the $100 mark.
Amazon is taking over the online shopping world, entertainment and many other aspects of conspicuous consumption. If you want an inexpensive entry into some of the latest in technology, their tablet brands start at under $100 and work great for browsing or accessing Amazon entertainment services. Their Echo Dot at $49 can be a great introduction to home automation.
If your budget is in the $100 to $500 range you have lots of options in the computer tablet market. Offerings from Samsung, Microsoft and Apple are all a little different and come in various sizes with a range of storage, processor speeds and operating systems. Knowing what the intended use of the tablet is will help you make the decision on which one to gift. For web browsing, streaming media entertainment and simple games almost any of these will work. If your user is a techie or a power user, you might want to jump up to the next category.
For true technology gurus there is nothing like a new computer. Of course, it would have to have all the right specifications based upon their needs, jobs or hobbies. For the power video game player it might be best to just get them a gift card, they are a picky bunch. A college student would be happy with a mid-range laptop, a Microsoft surface tablet or an Apple MacBook. For the aspiring photographer, videographer or engineer, a high-end workstation, tablet or desktop with lots of storage and the best graphics would be a good choice.
The options are endless, and every techie will enjoy the newest toys as a gift.
Steve Cerocke, founder/president of IQ Systems Inc. of Reno, can be reached at 775-352-2301, ext. 1001, or firstname.lastname@example.org.