2013 Holiday Tech Gift Guide

By IDS staff members Corey James, Allie Muur, Brittani Carter, Paul Schouten, and Ronald Smith

In this years holiday tech gift blog we will highlight several popular and cool tech gadgets that are under $100 as well as those that are over $100.  IDS staff hopes you all have a wonderful holiday season and ring in a very happy new year!  Please remember to come visit us in Horrabin Hall 104 next semester for all of your technology needs!

Under $100

Google Chromecast

~$35-50

Google Chromecast is the newest and easiest way to enjoy online music and videos on your television. Chromecast will allow you to enjoy music, YouTube, Netflix and Chrome (The Internet).  You can view all of these different programs and app without having to huddle around a small screen.  Chromecast works with any devices that you might already have such as smartphones, tablets, and even apple products.  It allows you to control playback and even the volume from any smart device as a remote.  You can plug it into any HDTV and connect to WIFI. This will allow you to send videos and much more with a press of a button.  For only $35 you can own a Chromecast that will keep you and all your apps up-to-date.

Logitech Washable Keyboard K310

~$19.99-40

Have you ever spilled coffee, food, even water on your Computers keyboard? Well I the perfect the solution for when those accidents occur.  From a price range of $19.99-$40, you can be worry free with a Logitech Washable Keyboard.  This keyboard is washable by hand it has ultra-durable keys with laser printing and UV coating for long life of the keys. It can be full submerged into water that’s up to 11’ feet deep.  It is a contemporary slim modern design that looks great with any MAC or PC. It has east USB connectivity for installation.

iPad Styli

An iPad Stylus is a computer accessory that is used to provide precision and help with navigation on touchscreens. Using a stylus avoids marking up your iPad with fingerprints and makes it much easier to write notes. There are many types of styli and below are some of the best rated.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus

~$21.96

One of the main features of the Wacom Bamboo Stylus is the small tip, which is replaceable if it needs to be replaced. Having a small tip on the stylus makes it easier to write on the touchscreen and also gives you a more precise selection.

Adonit Jot Pro

~$29.99

The Adonit Jot Pro is made out of aluminum and steel and has a rubber grip. One of the nice features about this stylus is the magnetic insides that allow it to stick to the top of the iPad so that it doesn’t get misplaced. This is also one of the most precise iPad styli you can find.

Applydea Maglus

~$34

Like the Adonit Jot Pro, the Maglus is magnetic and will stick to the side of your iPad. The Maglus is flat, so you won’t need to worry about it rolling back and forth on your iPad.  The magus may be a little heavier, but that allows for less exertion to make a mark on your screen. Some styli require you to press down on the iPad in order to make a selection or mark.

Griffin Technology: Crayola over-ear headphones

~$29.99

These stylish headphones also come in green and blue. They are very comfortable to use for extended listening sessions because of the polyurethane ear cushions. Also, the volume-limiting circuitry helps keep sound pressure at a safe level.

InstaWatch

~$44

The InstaWatch is a unique holiday gift idea for those who use Instagram or would enjoy a highly customizable wristwatch. The InstaWatch allows you to upload a photo from Instagram and use it as the background of a wristwatch. Also, there are several preloaded images to pick from if you choose not to use a photo from Instagram. The customization does not stop there. After you choose an image, you can alter the color of the top and bottom bands of the watch itself. You can also change the finish of the watch, as well as the colors of the buckle and keeper, even the arms of the watch!

Roku

~$50-100

The Roku is a small device that allows you to stream movies, TV, and even music to your television. With this little box, you can use your TV to watch shows and movies from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Crackle and many more different options. You just plug it in to the TV using an HDMI cable and your WiFi or Ethernet cable streams the different channels to your TV. It’s that simple.

Porkfolio

~$49.99-79.99

Do you ever have loose change just lying around, but you never know what to do with it because it’s not enough to buy essential items? Well the Porkfolio Smart Piggy Bank is just for you.  This piggy bank is special because you can actually keep up with your balance via your smartphone or tablet. Every time you enter a coin (it only takes U.S coins) the piggy bank nose will light up, indicating that it recognizes the coin, and the coin will be added to your balance.

The Porkfolio mobile app is what makes this piggy bank different than the traditional piggy bank. Not only can you keep up with your balance, but you can also set saving goals for yourself. Therefore, if you want to save up for the new iPad Air, just enter the amount you want to save, and when you reach that amount, the Porkfolio will alert you.

This smart piggy bank is very much affordable, with a price range of $49.99-$79.99 depending on color and the department store. This makes the perfect gift for adults and children alike. You can teach a child the fundamentals of saving and banking in a cool and modern way. This is one thing I am definitely putting on my Christmas list.

Spotter – Multipurpose Sensor

~$49.99

Who knew that a little sphere could do so much? You can use this portable motion sensor for a baby monitor to being notified when dinner is ready. You can monitor motion, sound, light, temperature, and humidity. The cool thing about this is you can monitor things from your smartphone! With the Wink app, you can set up alerts for anything you want. You want to know if your bedroom door opened while you were at work or class? The spotter will let you know guaranteed. The spotter is magnetic, therefore you can stick it somewhere and people wouldn’t even know its there. With the appealing price of $49.99, this makes a perfect gift for moms and college students alike.

Over $100

Playstation 4

~$399

Playstation 4 sales reached the 1 million mark on the first day it was released. The Playstation 4 is Sony’s next video game consoles that competes with Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U as one of the 8th generations of video game consoles. With the PS4, Sony focuses on social gameplay allowing players to share their in-game play experience streaming it live to their friends. They can do this using the “Share” button on the DualShock 4 Controller. The DualShock 4 has several new features including a point capacitative touch pad on the front of the controller. The controller also supports motion detection and has an improved vibration. Although the PS4 does not play PS3 games, most of Sony’s new Playstation games will be released for both consoles for a while.

Xbox One

~$499

Xbox one is a video game console developed by Microsoft and is the third console in the Xbox family. It competes with Sony’s Playstation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U as one of the 8th generations of video game consoles. Microsoft has classified their new console as an “all-in-one entertainment system”, making it a competitor to home media devices such as Apple TV and Google TV platforms. Xbox One also has a blue-ray player allowing you to play your games and movies in HD.

Kindle Fire HDX

~$229-309

With the holiday season upon us it means Amazon should be releasing a new Kindle Tablet. The past few holiday seasons Amazon has released a number of different tablets built for both work and play. This year Amazon has released the new and improved Kindle Fire HDX.  This Kindle has a faster quad-core processor, HDX display, improved battery life, hundreds of new apps and features, a “MAYDAY” button that allows automatic customer/technical support, and much more. It has photo-sharing option and also has ultra-fast wireless. This device is portable and powerful.

Samsung Gear

~$299

The Iconic Innovation is here, the all-new Samsung Galaxy Gear available in six stylish colors.  The Galaxy Gear is a phone on your wrist, it can be used to locate your lost phone, it is a more intelligent way to interact, and it also offers a lock down method that allows you to keep all of your important information private. You can place and answer calls, voice record memos, you can even receive app notifications; it automatically sync with your phone and opens the one upon request. If you walk five feet away from your phone it automatically locks your phone when your return it unlocks it with no password or pin needed. This is one of the coolest and newest smart technologies around. It’s a perfect holiday gift!

Galaxy Note 3

~$699 (varies with 2-year contracts with phone companies)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you know that there are two teams in the cellphone universe: You’re either team iPhone or team Android.  I myself am team iPhone, but after reading about the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3, I just might reconsider switching teams.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the latest edition in the Galaxy Note series.  It has tons of features that make it one of the best phones to date. Did I mention that the Note 3 display is 1080p! The phone is basically a portable HD TV.  With the use of a SD card, you can save more music and photos; many modern phones abandoned this feature so it’s refreshing to see that it’s still available. It will fill up the page if I talk about what this entire phone can do; but one thing for sure, I am using the Porkfolio smart piggy bank to save up for this.

iPhone 5c

~$99-199 depending on model

I could not leave team iPhone hanging. One of the latest editions to the iPhone family, the iPhone 5c gives buyers the option of choosing between 5 different colors for the phone. With the recent launch of ios7, the phone pops and stands out with ultra bright, and beautiful colors. It’s also the biggest iPhone to date, with a width of 2.33 inches, height of 4.90 inches, and weigh 4.65 ounces. With most companies starting the buying price at $99.99 with a 2-year contract for a 16gb, it is affordable, modern, and the perfect option if you want a cheap, but good, smartphone.

Beats by Dr. Dre: Clip on earbud headphones

~$149.99

Try these clip on ear bud headphones that feature adjustable ear hooks and 3 pairs of ear tips to ensure a sure fit. They are perfect to use while working out and they produce smooth vocals and directs sound into the ear for crisp, clear audio. They have a remote that allows you to easily make and receive hands-free phone calls, skip songs and adjust volume without having to locate your music player or mobile phone.

Livescribe 3 SmartPen Pro Edition

~$199.99

This Livescribe3 Smartpen Pro Edition allows you to simply write on paper and then it pairs it with your tablet or smartphone and your notes instantly appear in the Livescribe3 mobile app. Your notes become more useful when they are converted to text, tagged, searchable, and shared with friends and colleagues. With a few quick taps of your finger, your notes can be used in your favorite apps to create contacts, appointments and reminders. Record and play back audio that’s synced to your handwriting.¹

The Livescribe3 smartpen Pro Edition gives you a smart deal on an elegant collection that includes a premium 100-sheet hardbound journal, a leather smartpen portfolio, a one-year subscription to Evernote premium and an extra ink cartridge.

iPad Air

~$500+

The new iPad Air is much more sleek and light compared to previous iPads. Weighing just one pound and at a 20% thinner design, the iPad Air has twice the battery life as well as twice the graphics performance of previous iPads. It also boasts an increase in WiFi speed.

Wireless Smartphone Photo Printer

~$220

The name is fairly self-explanatory. This photo printer connects wirelessly to iPhones or Android powered phones to print photos. Using a free app, you can send the pictures you want to the photo printer using home WiFi. It prints 4” by 6” 300dpi resolution borderless photos.

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