The holiday shopping season has arrived and with it the daunting task of finding a great gift for everyone on your list. Fortunately, there are a lot of great tech gifts to choose from that will please almost everyone.
You’ve probably heard that Apple Airpods are hard to beat. I have to agree. They don’t look great, but Apple is all about the user experience and they lead the pack in this category. They’re comfortable, have a snug fit and excellent sound. If you can splurge, the Airpods Pro at $235 have rave reviews. The sound quality and noise cancellation compare with high-performance, over-the-ear headphones. They also stay in your ears even better than standard Airpods. They’re designed for the iPhone, which means if you have an Android you miss out on some features exclusive to iOS and there may be degraded sound quality when streaming music. Comparable wireless earbuds made for Android are Jabra’s Elite Active 65t for $140 and Sony’s noise canceling WF-1000XM3 for $230.
Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock
Waking up while it’s still dark outside is the worst. Waking up in the springtime to a light-filled room is a completely different story. Sunrise clocks try to simulate this effect. One version is the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation for $40. One customer review states, “This thing is a gentle and kind beacon of hope in the morning. The light fades up, and the birds start chirping, and it’s time to greet the day!” You can wake up to the sounds of birds singing or an old-fashioned alarm while light gradually brightens your bedroom.
If you have a loved one who complains their phone battery is always drained, instead of offering tips to improve their battery life, put a charger in their stocking. You can get a keychain charger, a bracelet charger or a Mommy Power Stroller Power Hook charger. The power hook charges various devices and doubles as a carabiner that holds up to 25 pounds. Although it’s marketed to moms because it can attach to strollers, it connects just as easily to backpacks and water bottles. You can find keychain chargers for $10, bracelet chargers for $15 and the Stroller/Power Hook for $30 to $50. The cheapest price for the Power Hook is currently at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Larger and more powerful chargers are also on the market at every price point.
Foldable Drone Camera
For those who love to travel and share their scenic shots, a foldable drone with a camera allows for amazing photography. High flying cameras let you capture unique viewpoints. Several years ago, the cost of drone photography was unreasonable for the average person. That’s no longer the case. Prices for decent models, like the Holy Stone FPV Drone with 1080P HD camera, start at around $80 and go up from there. The SNAPTAIN SP500 sells for $140 and includes GPS Auto Return and a “Follow Me” mode.
Does someone in your family need a new laptop? The Dell XPS 13 has been a top-rated laptop for years. It’s what I use and I have to agree the model is hard to beat. I bought my son the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, and while it doesn’t usually rank as high with reviewers, it’s also a solid choice. Another favorite that often gets rave reviews is the Apple MacBook Pro. It’s powerful, as well as beautiful. If you love Mac, but you find the Pro’s price tag staggering ($2,000) consider the MacBook Air. PCMag.com offers a side-by-side comparison of the best laptops based on 11 categories, including best uses.
This device is for the animal lover on your list. It lets you keep an eye on your pet and talk to them while you’re away. The Furbo Dog Camera, priced at $200, also allows you to virtually toss your dog treats and alerts you when they’re barking.
Tile Stickers and Slim Trackers
These tiny trackers can help you keep track of all your stuff, including your remote, bike, keys, and camera. The Bluetooth enabled devices ring if they’re within 200 feet. If the item is far away, the Tile app will help you find it on your phone’s map. The Tile Slim is the size of a credit card and can neatly fit in your wallet or luggage. The sticker is tiny (27mm in diameter and 7.3mm thick) and can be used on almost everything, from your laptop to your cat’s collar.
Melissa Brown is a web developer at SimpleDzn.com and former business professor at the University of Alaska. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is brought to you as a public service by the UAF Department of Applied Business.