Gift ideas for techies

Having trouble coming up with gift ideas for the techies in your family this year? Here are my top picks.

Apple AirPods

Apple just released the new AirPod Pro. These will surely be a hit for anyone that enjoys listening to music or podcasts. The new AirPod Pro are smaller and have an in-ear design that allows them to fit more peoples’ ears. They have better sound quality than previous models, and the active noise cancellation is a welcome feature. However, these will set you back roughly $250. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for your audiophile, you might consider the less expensive AirPod 2, which costs around $150.

Smartwatches

A smartwatch is always a good choice for the techie in the family, but you need to be conscious of which side of the phone fence they sit. For iPhone users, it’s obvious that the Apple Watch is the way to go. Android users have a few more options, but the important thing is to select a watch that will complement the phone they use. Apple’s new smartwatch includes functionality that will detect a fall and can automatically send an alert. It also has a high-tech heart monitor built in. Android users have several options to choose from like the Samsung Galaxy, Moto 360 and Garmin Forerunner, among others. Features vary between these watches, and they have more styles to choose from. A smartwatch will set you back anywhere from $200 to more than $500.

DJI Mavic Mini

Who doesn’t want a drone these days? This new mini drone just released by DJI might just be the perfect entry level drone. It has many features that make it a viable solution for shooting great video while also having the quality of a company that is the benchmark in the drone industry. This little guy will also be a great addition for those that are more advanced pilots with more expensive drones because the small FormFactor leaves you no excuse to not have it with you. This palm sized foldable drone starts at a reasonable $400. I may have to add this one to my list for Santa!

Wireless charging station

For some, it’s hard to come up with a piece of tech that they don’t already have. A wireless charging station may be the ticket. These come in all different shapes and sizes that allow you to simultaneously charge all your devices in one organized spot. With more and more devices now having the capability to charge wirelessly, it makes sense to have a place where you can just set down your devices and be sure they are being recharged. Often you can find one that will charge a smartwatch, phone, wireless earphones and even a tablet. These range from $25 to more than $150. My advice is to stay away from the cheaper models. You want a reliable charge for all the expensive tech you’re putting on it.

Digital assistant

Lastly, for those that don’t already have one, you can’t go wrong with a digital assistant. Like the smartwatch, it’s good to know if the recipient is heavily invested in Apple, Google or Amazon. This will determine which digital assistant family to purchase from. Apple has the HomePod, Google has several including the Home, Home Mini and Home Max. With Amazon, you’ll find the Echo, Echo Dot and the Echo Show, which has video capability. Digital assistants are fun for everyone, especially on the holidays when family and friends can gather and ask it silly questions. On a serious note, these can be used for everything from setting timers and reminders, to displaying calendars and controlling your smart home devices. These cost between $30 and $250.

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