The 2015 Beard Blog Holiday Tech Gift Guide

Back in my day, toys were the rage of the holiday season. Everyone wanted the coolest, most popular toy, and stores had trouble keeping up supplies. From ‘Tickle Me Elmo’ to ‘Zhu Zhu Pets’ we’ve see our fair share of off-the-wall gifts of the year. Nowadays, the climate has shifted to technology. Kids and adults alike want the latest craze in technology whether it be wearables, tablets, or video games, nothing is out of bounds.

I’m going to recommend some great tech gifts for every budget and every recipient. This list is representative of my opinion and is not influenced by any company or compensation. Links to buy items will be at the bottom of the page

Tablets
I think by now, everyone knows that if you don’t have an iPad, you don’t have a real tablet. Since Apple offers 3 different sizes of iPads, there is one for everyone.

Apple iPad Air 2 – 64GB $599
Don’t waste your money on the 2013 version (iPad Air) or the 16GB version of anything. You’ll need all the space you can get on the iPad.

Apple iPad Mini 4 – 64GB $499
The Mini 4 is a great iPad if you don’t like the size of the iPad Air 2. This is the go to iPad for young children or iPad beginners.

For this holiday season, I do not recommend the iPad Pro. It’s a great device, see my mini-review here, but supply limitations, lack of accessories, and not many apps makes this a device to wait on.

Computers
This post is all about the best gifts for this year, not what you can or cannot afford. I will tell you what the best laptop is and you won’t be surprised:

Apple MacBook Pro – 13” Retina – Starts at $1399
The best laptop for both Windows and Mac OS X with the best looking screen. The size makes this great for travel, meetings, or class. If you need a bigger/beefier system you can upgrade to the 15” version. As with most Apple products these days, be sure to get the memory and hard drive size you want now, because you can’t upgrade later.

Wearables
I’ve been a wearable technology user for about 3 years, so I’m a big advocate of this use. I like to gather statistics and wearable technology is the best way to do that.

Apple Watch Sport 42mm – $399
The best smart watch that doubles as a fitness tracker, and the only option if you use an iPhone. This is not a good gift for kids as it delicate and requires daily charging.

Fitbit Flex – $99
Simple step tracking device that syncs to your phone so you can compete against friends. I used one of these for almost two years and it worked great. There is no need to get any of the newer fancy fitbit devices as they try to do too much. You either want this simple tracking, or a full-featured smartwatch

Others

Drones, drones, and more drones.
From tiny mini drones to big professional photography octocopters, drones are the big thing this year. These airborne remote-controlled devices usually come with a camera to capture all the action. I know I have one on my list this year!

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced – $999

Bluetooth Speaker
The best way to enjoy music on the go, at the beach, or in the garage. Almost every phone out today has bluetooth with audio support, so this is a safe tech gift for almost anyone.

Logitech UE Mini Boom – $99

Beats Pill+ – $249

TV Accessory

Apple TV 4th Generation – 32GB – $149

The best TV accessory out today, see my review here. Your kids and friends will love playing games on the big screen that they already know and love. Watching movies and TV shows is a lot better on this generation and it’s worth the buy this year.

 
Links
Apple iPad Air 2
Apple iPad Mini 4
Apple Macbook Pro
Apple Watch Sport
Fitbit Flex
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
Logitech UE Mini Boom
Beats Pill+
Apple TV

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