Holiday Tech Gift Guide: 2014 Edition

I’m a big fan of giving useful gifts—not vacuum cleaner useful—but gifts that actually enhance people’s lives in a meaningful way. This is why technology has always appealed to me. While choosing clothing or jewelry may be very personal, I always question how much these gifts enhance people’s lives in the longer term. So, while some might disagree with me, I do tend to lean toward tech gifts as Christmas approaches because I feel that these gifts will stand the test of time and bring joy for longer than that t-shirt or sweater that will end up forgotten at the back of a drawer.


So with that vote for tech gifts, here are the top five tech gifts on my holiday shopping list this year:

1. Smartwatches

These might still seem like the gimmicky gift that will go out of style quickly, but I think these devices are here to stay. The reality is that it’s impossible to carry your smartphone EVERYWHERE but it’s uncomfortable for many to be away from their primary mode of communication. Smartwatches solve this dilemma by allowing their wearers to be connected while being away from their smartphones.


If you’re looking to pick up a smartwatch for someone on your nice list this year, I recommend the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Smartwatch. This device pairs perfectly with a wide range of Samsung mobile devices, allowing users to receive messages and other notifications right on their wrist. The device also has S Health features that track heart rate and step count, just like a wearable fitness device—it’s an all around winner.

2. Tablets

Tablets have become a staple piece of technology for a lot of people. For power tech users, they offer a level of portability that laptops just can’t compete with (though they may try) and the ease of use that makes them intuitive to even the casual or low-tech users. Like laptops and smartphones, these devices do become outdated and clunky so if there’s someone on your list who’s still sporting a first generation iPad or equivalent consider getting them a new lighter, more powerful tablet.


If you’re shopping for a tablet for someone this year, consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite. For Apple fans, the new iPad Air 9.7” is ideal.

3. E-Readers

OK, you might think e-readers are old news but like tablets, they’ve improved. Those with first generation e-readers could benefit from a little update with one of the newer models that have features like backlit screens.


Check out the Kobo Glo with ComfortLight or the Kobo Aura H2O, which is not only backlit but also waterproof—perfect for those who enjoy reading poolside on vacation.

4. Speakers

Purchasing quality speakers is often not on high on people’s priority lists with so many necessities competing for our hard earned dollars. This makes speakers a great gift because they are often not something people can prioritize to buy for themselves yet they make all the difference when enjoying music.


If you’re looking for high quality speakers with fantastic features this holiday season, look no further than Bose. Bose makes fantastic speakers that deliver some of the best sound quality in the industry. They also offer Bluetooth compatibility so their speakers can be paired with a wide range of devices.

5. Media Streaming Devices

More and more people are cutting the cord when it comes to cable TV in favour of services such as Netflix. These services offer entire seasons of TV shows on demand and a wide range of movies at affordable prices that cable companies just can’t compete with. Not to mention that using these services eliminates the need to watch endless commercials. While cutting the cord might not be ideal for everyone, it’s nice to have the option to access services like Netflix when there’s nothing on TV.


In either case, a media streaming device is a great holiday gift. If you know someone who might like one, check out the Roku 3 Streaming Media Player.


What are some of the tech gifts on your shopping or wish list this year?

By Mike Agerbo

November 04, 2014