December 19, 2014
If you’re like me, you have been putting off your holiday shopping and will likely turn to a power hour (or two) of online shopping frenzy for last-minute gifts. My goal is to help you to come up with great ideas for some wonderful and thoughtful last-minute gifts. And, don’t just take my word for it; these gift ideas were pulled together by the entire Tech.Co editorial team – so you’ve got lots of tech-savvy minds working for you to produce this mega holiday gift guide. Last year, I published a similar list of last-minute gift ideas so you could always look back at that list for some ideas, too!
Amazon’s latest addition to its line of Kindle readers, it’s the only e-reader on the market right now with an adaptive front light that adjusts according to the environment in which you find yourself. You can lend e-books with other friends who own Kindles, get immediate access to free classics in the public domain, and you can try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days (giving you the ability to borrow from more than 700,000 available books from the Kindle library).
Alternative: Kindle Paperwhite priced at just $99 offers a cheaper alternative – but slightly lower resolution and doesn’t have the adaptive front light (but it still has a front light).
olloclip 4-In-1 Quick-Connect Lens Solution for iPhone 5/5s
Although the iPhone has a great camera, sometimes the object you want to capture is too large or far away. The Olloclip is a little lens attachment you can carry in your pocket for when inspiration strikes.
Alternative: If you don’t have an iPhone, this Camkix version fits other phone types and costs only $32.99.
Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you travel a lot, or work in noisy spaces or shared office space, you might want to get in the zone and void out all the noise around you. That’s just what these do well.
Alternative: You can’t go wrong with a pair of Audio-Technica headphones like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. These noise-cancelling babies provide high-quality sounds that those in the audio engineer industry demand, but at an affordable price of just $168. If you don’t care about the noise-canceling technology, a slightly cheaper alternative at about half the price would be the Bose SoundTrue Over Ear Headphones as they still block out sound due to its over ear design but also offers a microphone for taking calls on your mobile device.
Misfit Shine – Sleep and Activity Monitor
The Shine is a minimalist-looking activity tracker that gives you stats on your steps and sleep – a good way to confirm in black and white that you’re sleep-deprived.
Alternative: Misfit Flash, a cheaper version for around $50, it’s made out of plastic but is available in colors like red and “wave.”
The way you carry yourself matters and posture is a big part of that. After slouching to read your mobile device or computer all day you may form some bad habits, so this device can help remind you to sit up straight or stand tall and improve the way you carry yourself on a regular basis.
Alternative: The previous, more bulky model, called the Lumo Back at just $69.
Dash is a tiny sensor that connects underneath the steering wheel of any car model made in 1996 or after, and connects to your phone via Bluetooth to provide useful driving information. It can tell you how much gas you’re using, or what the check engine light might mean.
With this 3-inch ultra portable, durable, and flexible Lightning-to-USB cable, you’ll never need to borrow someone’s power cable again; you’ll always have one on your key ring with you.
Alternative: Get an extra phone charger cord for $9 and carry it with you everywhere you go.
Stream movies, music, and documents to any television set with an HDMI port with this nifty device.
Alternative: Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick offers a slightly more costly alternative ($39) but offers 4x the storage and 2x the memory of Chromecast.
Mistobox Monthly Coffee Subscription
Price: $20 per month
Who wants to pay $3 a cup for coffee? With Mistobox, you can choose the type of roast you want (light, medium, or bold) and the type (single origin, blends, or espresso).
Alternative: Order a gift subscription from Craft Coffee ($30 or less a month) or my favorite, Blue Bottle Coffee, that offers a similar monthly subscription service for just $21 per month. The beans won’t ship by Christmas, but you can schedule a date for the gift email to go out, notifying the recipient of your generosity.
Price: $299 pre-ordered
A real deal HUD (heads up display) in your car. Let me repeat that. A HUD. In your car. It’s pretty rad.
Alternative: A nice alternative is to turn your smartphone into a pseudo-HUD. Simply buy a dashboard mount to hold your phone at eye level.
This might be the biggest innovation since the release of the iPhone. So even though it’s not out for purchase yet, give a paper IOU they can claim as soon as the watch is available.
Alternative: Since a paper IOU may not be as well received as you anticipate, you could go after the Moto 360 alternative option for some instant wearable gratification.
SONOS PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Speaker
This portable speaker by SONOS will offer some wonderful sound for its size. The SONOS technology enables you to get a couple of speakers and link them together to create your own ad hoc surround sound system.
Alternative: For a slightly less expensive and smaller alternative, check out the MINI Jambox Wireless Bluetooth Speaker by Jawbone priced at $119. Monster offers an even smaller portable speaker called the Monster Power Superstar priced at $99.
Canon SELPHY CP910 Black Portable Wireless Compact Photo Color Printer
All our pics are trapped on my phone or in the cloud. This printer will help enable you to have a throwback moment and have some printed photographs around again.
Alternative: Shutterfly, Snapfish, other online services. I also like printing my Instagram pictures into a calendar via Keepsy.com.
NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner and Digital Filing System
Because, receipts. You have a thousand of them. And if you don’t scan them in right away, they will fade. And then where will you be when you’re trying to claim all those “business dinners”? This comes with organizing software so that there isn’t a lot of extra management after the scan.
Alternative: I mean, you could use envelopes and file folders. Or, the Pandigital Hand-Held Wand Scanner is $35 and doesn’t come with any software.
It’s not a new product but it’s a fan favorite. Access your iTunes library from your television and have access to a number of other applications, TV shows and movies streamed to your TV.
Alternative: Amazon now offers a similar product called the Fire TV for just $79 and Roku 3 offers its similar device for $84.
Hi-Fun BlueTooth Talking Gloves
It’s fun to look like you’ve completely lost your mind while walking down the street talking on the phone. But look at it this way: Your phone stays safely tucked away and will never be dropped in a snowbank. And the looks you’ll get are memories that will last a lifetime. In case you didn’t catch it, these are bluetooth gloves that enable you to take a phone call by holding your thumb and pinky to your face.
Alternative: Call Me?
The North Face E-Tip Gloves
Looking for something slightly simpler than what Hi-Fun offers these gloves by The North Face enable you to use your touchscreen devices in cold weather with your gloves on.
Alternative: If you like the feel of knit gloves you might like this pair by AGloves that also enable you to use your touchscreen with your gloves on for around ten bucks.
Marpac DOHM-DS, Natural White Noise Sound Machine
A little white noise is good for everyone. Babies and puppies get less spooked at sudden conversations or doorbells, the neighborhood barking dog noises are filtered out while you sleep, and real, analog white noise is more real and more calming than any digital app that recreates white noise. Use it for home or office – the incessant commentary about your co-worker’s cat fades away while you focus on the task at hand.
Alternative: You could run a vacuum or an oscillating fan instead, but there are probably a few reasons that wouldn’t be very practical. But if noise filtering for a baby is what you’re after, here’s a portable version. Perfect!
This Is Ground Cordito Cord Wrap
Great for wrapping up all your cords so you don’t damage them or create an ugly tangle. It’s big enough to carry my headphones, toothbrush charger, phone charger, and hard disk cable. Also available in turquoise and brown.
Alternative: If you don’t need to move around many cords except your headphones, get the small, cute Cord Taco from This Is Ground – a pack of 5 is $29.
3Doodler 3D Printing Pen
It’s a pen that can draw in the air! 3Doodler is the 3D printing pen you can hold in your hand. Lift your imagination off the page. The world is literally your canvas to create.
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