It’s the holiday season, a time where people give gifts to loved ones. While nobody would balk at receiving a Microsoft Surface tablet or a Microsoft Sculpt Comfort keyboard, we wanted to focus on some smaller gifts that you may not normally think about. Smaller, less expensive gifts, that any technology-loving friend would appreciate.
If you live in a cold climate, you’ve undoubtedly been frustrated by an inability to use a touchscreen while wearing gloves. From answering the phone to using a GPS, the non-conductive material of regular gloves stymies all attempts to use the technology that you love. Enter the NuTouch Gloves. These hand warmers have conductive material woven into all five fingers, allowing you to use your electronic device while outside in the cold. While they’re definitely not made for the brutal winters of northern Minnesota, they’re wonderful when the temperature is above 0F/-17C. We’ve been using them ourselves for the past few weeks and our only complaint is that we didn’t know about them sooner. For a mere $9 from Other World Computing, they’re a great stocking stuffer for the technology lover.
While some think that the advent of cloud storage removes the need for USB thumb drives, we find that we use our thumb drives all the time. While most drives are boring and plain, you may remember that we absolutely loved the Star Wars themed drives, called Mimobots. While the guts contain USB 2.0 storage, the unique packaging is what sets these apart from plain thumb drives and we think they make a perfect gift for the technology enthusiast. Someone may not want to spend the extra money for themselves, but as a gift they’ll absolutely love it. The company offers many different varieties, from Star Wars, to Hello Kitty, and to Transformers, and more. Last month the company announced the launch of Star Trek Mimobots (including Kirk, Picard, Spock, and Data), and let’s just say that we wouldn’t object if one happened to find its way into our stocking this year.
This product has the strangest name of any product we’ve seen in awhile, but it’s functionally a pretty cool idea for someone with an iPhone. You connect the iHangy to the bottom of your iPhone/iPod Touch so you can wear it like a necklace. This is useful when exercising, or perhaps to add extra security from pickpockets. The company also has an iHangy keychain which is great for connecting your phone to a bag or belt, and an iHangy Music Necklace that has built-in headphones. This is an interesting product with a crazy name and might just be the gift someone on your list would really appreciate this year.
If you know someone who likes to exercise and you’re looking to spend a bit more than a traditional stocking stuffer, you might want to consider the FitBit One, a high-tech pedometer. The device keeps track of how many steps and flights of stairs you’ve taken in a day, and wirelessly sends that information to a website (via Bluetooth) for historical tracking. You earn badges for various accomplishments, both daily and lifetime. The device is tiny and can be put in your pocket or clipped to a belt or bra. In addition, you can use the FitBit One to track how well you sleep by wearing it on wrist. If you want to take things even further, you can track specific activities you’ve done and food you’ve eaten on the website to help it more accurately predict how many calories you’ve consumed and burned for the day. At $99, it’s an expensive stocking stuffer, but overall it’s a great device.
Still trying to find the right cell phone?
If you are looking for a smartphone this season and are trying to stay away from a fruit phone, Android and Windows Phone both offer up great choices.
On the Android side of the fence, make sure to check out our review of the LG Optimus G. This is a well rounded device whose "sheer performance capabilities are nothing to sneer at" and will make any recipient quite happy this holiday season. Boasting a wide set of features and top of the class performance, this phone will surely delight anyone on your holiday list.
If you are wanting to stay within the Microsoft ecosystem, make sure to check out our reviews of the HTC 8X and Nokia's Lumia 920. Both of these well received devices pack a lot of punch and come with Microsoft's latest OS and will surely put a smile on anyone who opens them up on Christmas morning.