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Are tech counting in your holiday shopping? This outfit is sure to please.

The holiday shopping season is coming, and technology is featured prominently on many gift lists.

This shopping guide lists many of the tech products I’ve tried out over the past year, and in some cases links to my in-depth articles on these gadgets.

Check back in the coming weeks as I will be adding new products to this guide from time to time.

What technical equipment are you buying this year or are you hoping to receive? Let me know in the comments below.

VIDEO CHAT DEVICE

For a laid-back video chat with friends and family, try one of Facebook Portal’s smart displays with built-in cameras.

Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
Portal go

Recent versions include the $ 149 Portal Go, the first model that can be carried from room to room because it has a battery, and the $ 299 Portal +, a trendy model with a gorgeous 14-inch screen and a stunning speaker.

The portals are ideal for those using Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and they also support video chats via Zoom, Webex, GoTo and BlueJeans.

If Facebook video chats aren’t for you, consider the $ 179 Nest Hub Max from Google. This smart display is Zoom compatible with Google Duo and Meet services.

THE APPLE OF THEIR EYES

Apple’s trendy tech products tend to be expensive, but some of them won’t cost you much.

Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
HomePod mini

Apple users on your list may already have HomePod smart mini speakers for $ 99, but you can’t have too many of them and they are now available in red, yellow, and blue, as well as black or white. (Third-party mini speakers include Amazon’s Echo Dot for $ 49.99 and Google’s Nest Mini for $ 24.99; both are available in multiple colors.)

For those who, like my wife, are constantly losing things, AirTag diapers for $ 29 are hung on a keychain or stuffed in a purse so that their location can later be located using an iPhone. Buy 4 packs for $ 99. (If you’re not using an iPhone, try the tile tracker.)

The new AirPods are out now, but it’s also worth considering the $ 199.99 Fit Pro headphones from Beats by Dre (owned by Apple). You can find them to buy better. Check out my monsters chart comparing Apple and Beats headphones and earbuds.

AMAZING LAPTOP

When asked for a laptop recommendation, I often suggest the following:

  • MacBook Air. Similar in appearance to the models of yesteryear, but packaged in Apple’s own silicon, this laptop screams. This is the best car for the average user and starts at $ 999.

    Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
    MacBook Air

  • Surface Pro 8. The Surface Pro has been my favorite laptop / tablet hybrid for a long time and has just been updated. It starts at $ 1099.99.
  • Galaxy Chromebook 2. There are many Google-y laptops out there, but this Samsung model is a great combination of style and performance. It starts at $ 549.99, but consider buying the $ 699.99 Intel Core i3 version.
  • Acer Spin 713. This Chromebook is better suited for hardcore performance, in part because of its 3: 2 aspect ratio. I have praised this laptop before and it has gained acceptance in other countries. I last checked it out at Best Buy for $ 529.
  • ThinkPad X1 series. I love Lenovo ThinkPads. In particular, I love the X1 Carbon, a serious laptop for getting work done, and the ultraportable X1 Nano. Prices for these laptops tend to vary, so stay tuned for offers. I recently saw a Carbon for $ 1221 and a Nano for $ 1363.45. (Touchscreen models are more expensive.)

TABLET TO RECEIVE

Looking at the tablet? Buy an Apple iPad. Nothing else beats. Trust me on this one.

Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
Ipad mini

Apple recently updated its iPad mini, a compact tablet starting at $ 499. It’s a great device for consuming content (like watching videos or reading e-books), but not for creating content (like getting work done).

That’s why I brought back an iPad mini that I recently bought and bought an iPad Air (over a year old, but still great) with a dockable keyboard that I plan to use heavily. The Air starts at $ 599 excluding the keyboard.

If you’re on a tight budget, Apple’s newly refreshed entry-level iPad only costs $ 329.

If you’re on a budget, check out the $ 799 iPad Pro models with the same M1 chips found in Apple’s latest Macs. But these powerful iPads are overkill for most people.

PHONES, WATCHES

Apple’s recently released iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models are great, but they represent incremental updates (albeit with a few interesting new features like macro photography). Depending on your budget, look for older models that Apple offers at lower prices. Even the relatively old iPhone 11 is a big phone for many.

Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
Apple Watch Series 7

If you’re buying an iPhone, consider adding an Apple Watch. This is the best smartwatch on the market and only works with Apple phones. I’ve been using Apple Watch as a fitness tracker for a long time. Avoid the long Apple Watch Series 3 ($ 199) and look out for the Apple Watch SE ($ 279 and up). The high-end Apple Watch Series 7 are great if you can afford it ($ 399 and up), but you won’t miss out on great if you stick with the SE.

Also consider adding an adhesive battery to the iPhone user’s stockings. These compact power supplies from Apple and other vendors magnetically attach to the back of your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 to keep the internal battery from draining.

If you’re leaning towards an Android phone, be sure to check out the Google Pixel 6. This is the first Pixel that seems like a worthy competitor to the iPhone. With a starting price of $ 599, it costs less than the most affordable current iPhone model, the iPhone 13 mini, which starts at $ 699. I tried the Pixel 6 provided by AT&T and T-Mobile and Verizon sell it as well.

If you’re adventurous, the $ 1,099.99 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 foldable phone is worth a look.

PROTECT YOUR DEVICE

If you are spending hundreds or thousands on a computer device, you want to protect it from damage. Several companies that I have followed over the years are ready to help you.

Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
Byrd & Belle Wool Felt Sleeves

Bird and Belle. The local company uses wool felt, leather and other materials to make sleeves for Apple laptops, tablets and smartphones, as well as Amazon Kindles and Microsoft Surface computers. Each piece is designed, manufactured and shipped from a Minneapolis studio by company founder Angie Davis (who also responds to all customer emails) and her team.

Pad & Quill. The company, also based in Minneapolis with some manufacturing facilities in St. Paul, specializes in folio-style leather cases for iPhone, iPad and MacBook. Some of these products have sturdy wooden frames that cover the devices for added protection.

Nedrelov. The signature Magic Sleeve is a smart merino wool accessory that hugs iPad tightly with built-in magnets. Nedrelu also has magnetic sleeves for the Apple MacBook (but they’re currently out of print) and even a Magic Sleeve Duo for your iPad. and your MacBook. There is currently no Magic Sleeve for the iPad mini, but I need to try out a prototype so such a product may become available over time.

Waterfield. This San Francisco-based company sells heavy-duty laptop cases and sleeves. Laptop screen protectors are suitable for Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo and other computer manufacturers. Waterfield also sells iPad cases and covers.

HOME OFFICE SETTINGS

Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
Active seat

Upgrade someone’s home office script at a reasonable cost. The FlexiSpot Crank Standing Desk H1 is durable work furniture that starts at just $ 189.99. As the name suggests, the table is raised and lowered with a crank to cut down on your electricity bills and give you green credit.

Add to that the $ 275 Vari active seat, a comfortable stool-style fixture that rises and falls with an air-lift piston so the user can work in a seated or semi-standing position. This thing also swings in all directions to keep the user active and alert while having a little fun (I love that).

Need a permanent desk on the go? The Vari Portable Laptop Stand fits almost anywhere, folds down to fit in a bag or backpack, and costs just $ 125.

If you’re looking for a desktop keyboard and mouse, my gold standards are the Logitech MX Keys Mini (PC or Mac versions, $ 99.99) and the MX Master 3 mouse (PC or Mac, $ 99.99).

NEW COMCAST TV

The all-new XClass TVs are actually manufactured by Hisense in partnership with leading cable provider Twin Cities (and you don’t need to be a Comcast subscriber to use these TVs). They are sold at Walmart.

Are Tech Counting In Your Holiday Shopping? This Outfit Is Sure To Please.
XClass TV

I was a little skeptical about these kits, but they have pretty good 4K picture quality for the price ($ 298 for the 43-inch model and $ 348 for the 50-inch version), and they support Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos.

There’s nothing special about the interface, but it has most of the suspects of using regular streaming services, and more (like Apple TV +) in the future. You get a full year of Comcast Peacock Premium streaming service.

The TV remote has the same voice search function as the Comcast Xfinity X1 clickers.

If you don’t like Comcast, Hisense also makes TVs with Android TV and Roku TV software.

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