We’re all kids during the holidays — especially those of us who love technology. Each year, new and cutting-edge gadgets grace the marketplace and it’s a thrill to be gifted something we can tinker with and explore. Gifting technology can be even more satisfying when we hunt down the perfect item a fellow technology fan doesn’t yet know they want or need.
But gifting any kind of technology can be pretty spendy if you’re not careful. It’s easy to get carried away with all the exciting options available and the many deals that pop up this time of year. The best way to approach technology gifting is to first evaluate your budget and then determine whether you’re giving a gift for play, home, or work use.
Check out my handy tech gift guide for any budget and you’ll be guaranteed to make any tech lover’s day this holiday season.
$ Fire HD 7/8/10
The Fire HD tablets are the best mixture of low price versus good quality sold by a reputable brand. You can never have too many tablets around the house to share with family or guests.
$$ Google Daydream View
The Google Daydream View headset is the definition of a great gift. It’s an extravagance — I’m unlikely to buy for myself, but I would definitely use it if I had one (family and friends: consider this a hint). VR and AR are the future of software. As a developer, I want to program for VR and AR. As a consumer, I want one for games and watching videos.
$$$ Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a large library of available games, but the ones it does have are great. The Switch is a unique console that you can take with you anywhere and play with the whole family. Gaming consoles can be expensive. Luckily with this device, that cost gets split by the number of users and the number of hours of entertainment. It’s worth every penny!
$ Portable Chargers
Whether travelling or at home, nobody likes running out of power or tying themselves to a wall outlet. A power bank will keep your devices powered yet mobile. You can never have too many chargers. They make a great low-cost present.
$$ Harmony Hub
Logitech makes programmable remotes you can use to control your home theater system. The Harmony Hub is the most versatile device they make. All it takes is one button push or Alexa voice command to do multiple things at the same time. If you told Alexa to “Play Nintendo” the Harmony Hub could turn on your TV, turn on the game console, turn on the stereo, and switch inputs. If you need to leave the house in a hurry, you just say the word and it can turn off all outlets for you. When friends or family come over you’ll never have to explain which remote control works with which device or which inputs to use.
$$$ Hardware Firewall
Home security is a serious subject. In my opinion, you should treat your home like a castle. A good hardware firewall can help protect all of the devices on your network without slowing them down. “Next-generation” firewalls actively scan for viruses and malware, blocking it before it ever reaches your machines and mobile devices. Firewalls can also filter content for your kids to create a safe browsing environment.
Yubikeys are hardware security authentication tokens. Login security is becoming increasingly important as the number of hackers increases. A yubikey adds another layer of security to your passwords and login systems for a low price.
$$ Small Electronics Repair Kit
If you’re going to fix small, modern electronic devices then you need a very specific set of tools. I recommend the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit. This high quality kit has everything you need. It comes with tweezers, screwdriver tips, prying tools, and a suction handle.
Drones aren’t just for fun, they can be great professional tools as well. No modern workshop would be complete without a drone to accomplish tasks which would otherwise be impossible for an individual to do. They can take pictures of hard to reach places or make videos without an extra camera crew. The DJI Spark has the right features in a well-made small package at a reasonable price.
BONUS: STOCKING STUFFERS
Want some small tech gifts that’ll fit inside a stocking, for a small price? My personal favorite is this small folding stand for a phone or tablet. For family or friends who love taking pictures and video, a micro SD card reader is small and fits on a key ring. A Roku Stick, Fire TV Stick, or Chromecast will provide plenty of entertainment in a small package and they’re great to use at home or in a hotel. A STEM toy subscription is a great option for kids ages 3 and up.
What are some tech items on your holiday gift list this year? Tell me in the comments below.