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December 5, 2014
Tech Gift Ideas for the Holidays
Tech items make great holiday gifts, and some of these gifts become a much-
High on the gift list could be one of the many companion items to use with the new iPhones, iPads and other tablet computers. The Logitech K810 Illuminated Bluetooth Keyboard (Amazon.com, $90) makes it easier for typists-
For those who would like better quality sound from their Bluetooth capable smart phones, iPads and other similar devices, a great gift would be a portable wireless Bluetooth speaker. Our personal favorite remains the original Jambox from Jawbone (Amazon.com, $100), remarkable for its compact size and terrific sound. There’s also a small “fit in your palm” Bluetooth speaker, the Bop (Brookstone, $30), which has an integral suction cup so it will stick to almost any smooth surface; a built-
A wide range of colorful and stylish wireless Bluetooth headphones and earphones are available masquerading as stylish hair bands or dangle earings, but for keeping your runner or walker friends safe, there’s the Bluez 2 (www.aftershokz.com, $100) stereo headphones that use bone conduction technology to transmit sound through the user’s upper cheekbones to their inner ears, keeping their ear canals unobstructed. This allows the wearer to listen to whatever is playing through their earphone and still hear ambient sounds, such as oncoming traffic, car horns, sirens and the like.
Technology aides for health and fitness abound this holiday season. Tops on the list are the various fitness wristbands that can track activity such as number of steps taken, heart rate, respiration, estimated calories burned and even a module for measuring blood oxygen saturation. Some of the devices are self contained, while some use Bluetooth to wirelessly send data to a smart phone or a smart watch. With such a wide range of options available, it’s best to check your giftee’s needs. Prices range from $80 to several hundred dollars.
Another useful gift helps users stay informed during blackouts or other emergencies. The Mini Emergency Radio (L.L. Bean, $30) is a small, portable device that includes an LED flashlight, a hand-
A super phone accessory is a lipstick-
A good gift choice for the readers in your life: an eReader. The two popular ones are Amazon’s Kindle ($89+) and Barnes and Noble’s Nook ($99+). Both offer access to a vast selection of books, magazines and other reading material-
For someone who’d like to create digital art, the Intuos series drawing tablets (www.wacom.com, $80+) are a great place to start. These pressure sensitive drawing tablets come complete with a smart pen and full versions of Autodesk Sketchbook Express and Artrage 3 Studio drawing software. A wireless kit for the writing tablet is available to free the budding Rembrandt from the wire tangle.
For the barbeque chef, consider the iGrillMini (www.idevicesinc.com/igrill, $40) that is connected to a cooking probe and tracks the temperature of whatever the user is grilling and, using Bluetooth, connects to their iPad, iPod or iPhone to notify them when a pre-
Universally useful gifts are USB thumb (flash) drives (8GB+, $10+). The lower capacity drives make great stocking stuffers, won’t break your budget and can be used for a variety of applications such as archiving or backing up selected files, photo or music collections. Recently, high capacity USB thumb drives, such as the Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 1TB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (www.Amazon.com, $915) contain enough storage capacity to make it possible to backup an entire computer (or large amounts of any data) and uses the newer USB 3.0 standard to allow lightening fast data transfer.
Happy Holidays and Happy Tech Gifting!