Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gift ideas

Still trying to come up with a few gift ideas for that special tech loving guy & don't wanna resorting to the standard gift card as result? Here are a some ideas that might give you some thoughts on how to jump-start your holiday shopping:

This 1st one is probably the most common idea, so I’ll get it out of the way with right now… it’s of course, the all important Apple iPod. There are several versions of iPods available, so the 1 you’d want to target would certainly depend on the intended use of the device. But for any tech geek in training such as myself – the iPod Touch ($230 - $400), is the best option as it boasts the most features of any current iPod model. The iPod Nano starts as $140.

If “Mr. Man already has an mp3 player/iPod or mobile phone that he uses or music playback, a set of BT Headphones (which is NOT to be confused for a standard BT earpiece) is a relatively cheap gift for your favorite tech lover at $50, but can get as expensive as $300 depending upon how high-end the model/manufacturer is. A docking station is never a bad gift for any iPod/iPhone owner either.

If he reads or has the desire to do more of it, Amazon's Kindle e-book reader would be another great solution for such. The Kindle 3G retails for about $190, & there’s a non-3G (Wi-Fi only) version that starts at about $140.

Nowadays BluRay players are cheaper than ever before, I’ve seen many priced in the $120 range recently, so that’s another gift idea if he’s a movie watcher, especially if premium sound & graphics are at the forefront of his desired movie watching experience.

Playstation 3 video gaming consoles feature BluRay playback as an embedded option, so this too is a decent, albeit pricier idea ($250 - $400) if you have any thoughts of killing 2 birds with one stone.

Has he been super-good this year? If so, he might really enjoy the use of an Apple iPad. iPads feature a wide range of media, gaming, application & web browsing capabilities which are perfect for occasional or frequent use. Wi-Fi only iPads start at about $499, Wi-Fi + 3G iPads starts at about $629.

***Note: Anyone weary about buying an iPad 3G for use with AT&T’s data plan (in anticipation of the iPhone’s unveiling on Verizon in 2011) should keep in mind that Verizon already offers iPads with 3G data services & they’ve been available in their stores since about the 18th of this month, so you could always grab an iPad now & get an iPhone at some point in 2011.

If he’s an Apple product ‘head’ like myself, or simply uses his iPod or iPhone ALOT for music in the home, viewing videos, photos or YouTube, AppleTV is wonderful media extending device that combines the functionality of each of Apple’s device capabilities to create the perfect audio-visual multimedia experience & it keeps getting better with each update. Quite simply, it remains the best media extender on the market. AppleTV syncs with the iTunes library to stream media to any given TV/entertainment system.

Some of the many conveniences of AppleTV includes access to your iTunes library, the iTunes Music Store – for HD (& standard definition) tv show/movie rentals/purchases, song/music video purchases & more. It can be used to view sites like YouTube, Flickr & will even allow access to you individual account. It flawlessly handles online or streamed photos/video including internet radio & of course allow you to listen to/watch video & music from your own iTunes library. It’s not an expensive device either these days, as it’s priced at just $99 on Apple’s website. I bought one 2 years ago for $250 in comparison.

Lastly, does he have a billion components connected to the TV/entertainment sytem, complete with a remote for each device? A universal remote might be another good gift idea then, that way he can get rid of all but one remote. I use the Harmony 1100 Universal Remote Control which controls everything from my laptop to my PS3, to electric window shading (If I had those kind of shades, of course – lol).

The rechargeable remote (& included docking station) features a colorful, touch-screen & fully customizable design that can be used to display wallpapers, favorite channels & activity power-up/down sequences with the push of just one button. Updates to the remote (essential when new devices hit the market) can be found online using the included software & installed by syncing with any computer. It’s a pricey device, but he won’t need another one for 10 years - it can be found online or in major electronic stores in the range of $250 to $400, so shop around.

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