Plenty of Options This Year for High-Tech Gifts
This year has brought a wealth of high-tech gadgets. So many, in fact, that deciding which ones should be on your holiday wish or purchasing lists may be a daunting task.
There are several types of products you will probably be interested in. These include high-tech gifts that everyone craves, gadgets for specific tasks, some that are just plain cute and great gadgets that are just too well-priced to pass up. My top high-tech gadget holiday list has some products from each of these categories.
This year, the gift that everyone craves is a tablet. The iPad 2 is this year’s must-have item. It lets you surf the Web, play games, read books, listen to music, view photos, send and receive email and much, much more.
Yet with iPads priced from $499 to $829, they will not fit everyone’s budget. That’s where the new $199 Amazon Kindle Fire and the $249 Barnes & Noble Nook come into play.
While these two tablets lack some of the extras found in the iPads, they have all the basic tablet functionality and plenty of content. For many, they are just too well-priced to pass up.
For another item that is “too well-priced to pass up, check out the Canon T3i. This is an extremely capable high-end digital SLR camera. Previous versions of this camera started in the $1,000 range. This year, however, many retailers are selling it for much less.
You may have to shop around for the best price, but I saw Black Friday prices as low as $550. It’s a great camera for beginners and will even serve seasoned photographers quite well.
For just plain cute presents, check out our local Walmart or Walgreen’s stores or online resources such as Shutterfly or Kodak Gallery, where you can get any digital photograph and message put on everything from mugs, calendars and ornaments, to magnets and mouse pads. You can even get your photos put on blankets and/or printed on canvas ready for framing.
You can also create a photo book filled with photos of the kids, grandkids or favorite pets. These inexpensive personalized gifts are just plain cute and are sure to make your recipient smile.
If you are buying a present for a gadget freak, check out one of the companies, such as Skin It (www.skinit.com), which makes personalized covers for just about any device.
These are made of thin but super-strong flexible vinyl that adheres to the device without glue and can be very easily removed with harming the device. They come in designs that cover everything from sports teams and college logos to comic characters and abstract art.
You can even upload your own artwork to create a truly personalized cover. All you have to know is the make and model of the device you want to cover.
As for gadgets that handle a specific task, the Amazon Kindle e-book reader makes a great present. It can’t do a myriad of things, yet it allows you to do one thing — read digital books — extremely well. With this year’s new models and price reductions, you can buy a Kindle for as little as $79. If you have a book lover on your list, it makes a perfect present.
If you are buying a present for someone who has a large collection of vinyl records or VHS tapes, you might look into giving them a way to digitize all that content. Ion has an inexpensive USB turntable that will capture the music from those old LPs and put it right into your computer. Sony, Panasonic and others have devices that will easily turn old VHS tapes into digital formats like DVDs.
This year, Blu-ray players also make perfect presents. Although you may not be able to find any more of the $39 Black Friday-priced players, you will still find a good selection under $100. Even some of the best high-end players are under $200 this year.
If you are shopping for a present for a friend or relative who already owns a Blu-ray player, you’ll find that the price of Blu-ray disks has also plummeted, with some as low as $5. Remember that for most people, viewing a Blu-ray movie is the only way to see real 1080p content on their high-definition television.
If someone on your holiday list is a gamer, the Microsoft Xbox 360 ($150 and up), Sony PlayStation 3 ($250 and up) and Nintendo Wii ($100 and up) are all readily available, as are games for each of these.
If you have someone on your list who is constantly talking on a cell phone, check out Bluetooth hand-free headsets. Jawbone and Plantronics are two of the best and most popular headset manufacturers. Jabra, Motorola and others also make Bluetooth hands-free car kits. Buying someone one of these may also help make everyone just a bit safer on the road.
Last, but not least, check out the new set-top media streamers for a television. These make perfect presents for that person who seems to already have everything they need. No one actually needs one of these, but they are fun to have. Devices such as the $99 Apple TV and Roku boxes ($50 and up) let you stream video from the Internet to your big screen television.
With so much to choose from, this year high-tech gift-giving is sure to be fun!
Contact Sandy Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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