Holiday Gift Guide
Year after year, technology gifts top holiday wish lists. Tablet computers, smartphones, digital TVs, digital cameras and camcorders and video game systems are in demand. If you’re looking for great, easy gift ideas for that special person on your list, look no further than accessories.
Very few products come bundled with everything the user needs to complete the experience. Whether it’s music and apps downloads for a tablet or smartphone, or the right cables and mounts for setting up a home entertainment product or a software title for a home theater or video game system, accessories complete the package.
This guide gives you a look at some of the must-have accessories for many of the must-have products this holiday season.
Tablets and eReaders
Tablets and eReaders are two of the hottest products this holiday season. With new devices hitting shelves from some of the biggest names in consumer electronics, they are sure to be a hit throughout the year. Here are some accessory gift ideas for someone who owns or will be receiving a tablet or eReader:
• Most tablets offer productivity apps for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets,
etc., but their on-screen keyboards just aren’t up for the task of writing or editing. A
Bluetooth keyboard makes an excellent accessory, and can also be used on desktop
PCs, laptops and some smart phones.
• Tablets are media consumption devices, ideal for enjoying movies, TV shows, music and podcasts, yet most tablets don’t ship with headphones. Therein lies an excellent gift giving opportunity. There are a wide range of headphones, from ear-bud style to the over-the-ear noise-cancelling type.
• A stylish case is less of an accessory and more of a necessity. Cases offer not only protection and a personal touch of style; they also add serious functionality and ease. Road warriors will love cases with built-in stands for propping up their tablet on desks, countertops and airline tray tables. Parents will appreciate a seat-back video case that transforms a tablet into the ultimate rear-seat entertainment system. Business users will appreciate a case with a built-in keyboard for shooting off a quick email or editing a document on the go. eBook lovers will appreciate designer cases or perhaps those with built-in lights for reading at night. Cases are made specifically for each tablet or eBook reader, so make sure you know which device your recipient owns.
• Apps are essential for any tablet user. Whether it’s for gaming, productivity or just fun, apps are an essential part of the tablet experience. Different brands of tablets access different app stores, so make sure you know which tablet your recipient has.
• What good are tablets or eBook readers without content to consume? Gift cards to online eBook or music stores like iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Amazon are great ways for those on your list to stock up on books, music and movies to enjoy on their devices.
• Do you have any music lovers on your gift list? Wireless music players or “music extenders” let them stream music from a
portable player (including many smartphones), a PC, a network hard drive or the Internet to multiple rooms.
• Chances are your gift recipient has a TV, DVR or Blu-ray player that can stream online movies from services like Netflix, Amazon and Vudu. A gift card to one of these online movie rental services will ensure they’re geared up for movie night.
• Sound bars are a great accessory for 3D and HDTVs, adding rich stereo or virtual surround sound from a slim-profile speaker array.
Traveling the World
• Coddled in a TSA-approved laptop bag, a netbook, notebook or full-sized laptop can cruise untouched through the X-Ray
scanner, saving time and hassle at security.
• Noise-cancelling headphones will magically dissolve any ambient noise on those long, crowded flights.
• A Bluetooth mini-speaker system is great for listening to music and offers surprisingly big sound in a small, lightweight package.
• A portable network storage drive is a must for the gadget-loving traveler. It allows them to wirelessly access files on the hard drive from any of their WiFi devices.
On the Go
• Are you shopping for a social shutterfly? A WiFi-enabled memory card allows them to wirelessly sync photos from their digital camera to a PC, tablet or to favorite social networking site.
• A flexible tripod is a must-have accessory for any digital imaging device, from a camera phone to a full-sized digital SLR. These tiny wonders let you shoot photos or videos from nearly any perspective and are perfect if you actually want to be in
your own group photos for a change.
• Give any runners on your list a Nike+ sensor for their running shoes. The sensor will capture data about their runs and send them to their iPods or iPhones. The Nike+ app can track calories, distance, strides and route and share runs in real time.
By the Numbers
$25 or less
• Flexible tripod
• App, music or eBook store gift card
• 3D or Blu-ray title
• Memory card for portable devices
• Nike+ running shoe sensor
$50 or less
• In-ear (“ear bud”) headphones
• eBook reader cover
• App, music or eBook store gift card
• Video game
• Bluetooth wireless keyboard or mouse
$100 or less
• Bluetooth portable speaker system
• Over-the-ear headphones
• WiFi-enabled memory card
• Laptop case or TSA-approved bag
$300 to $500
• Digital-SLR camera lens
• Universal home theater touchscreen remote control
• Noise-cancelling headphones
• Gaming chair
• Audiophile-quality headphones