Christmas is rapidly approaching, and a quick glance at the calendar tell us we only have about two weeks left to finish up our last-minute holiday shopping. Luckily, for those of you that are still having trouble deciding what to get that special someone, iDB is here to help. Over the past few days we’ve been bringing you our top picks for Christmas gifts as part of our first ever iDB holiday gift guide. And now that you know what Sebastien and Jim suggest, here are my personal recommendations…
The iPad mini is by far my favorite gadget of 2012. It’s thinner and lighter than all of Apple’s previous tablets, and the fit and finish on its aluminum shell are second to none. No, it doesn’t have a Retina display, and it’s not going to win any awards for performance. But its industry-leading iTunes ecosystem, which includes the App Store, iBooks and millions of music and movie downloads, more than makes up for any shortcomings. At $329, it’s on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but it’s still much cheaper than a full-sized iPad. For these reasons, the mini makes the perfect gift for a significant other, close friend, or family member. And honestly, it’s what I’d be getting my mom if she didn’t already own one.
The Jawbone Jambox isn’t the best Bluetooth speaker on the market, but there are several reasons why I like it. For starters, the thing just looks cool. It has a super-contemporary design, and Jawbone offers it in a number of stand-out colors. I also like that it has a built-in microphone, and a stereo input jack, and that it’s really easy to pair and operate. Plus, it sounds great too. Retail on the Jambox is listed at $199, but often times — especially around the holidays — you can find it for nearly half that price. I actually gave one of these to a friend as a wedding gift earlier this year, and he still uses it on a daily basis.
It shouldn’t be hard to convince you why the Apple TV would make a great gift. It’s easy to setup and operate, and provides seemingly endless entertainment. The little 4-inch set-top box offers access to popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube, and obviously it connects to the iTunes Store, where you can rent or purchase tons of content. I personally like the AirPlay feature, which allows me to stream photos and other media from my iPhone to my TV, as well as play my iOS games on the big screen. The new third-generation Apple TV streams everything in full 1080P, and is a steal at $99. It’s perfect for a parent, friend or relative who could use some help entering the 21st century.
Eton BoostTurbine2000 USB charger
The above gifts are great and all, but what do you get for someone who already has them? Well if it were me, I’d consider Eton’s new BoostTurbine2000 rechargeable USB battery pack with hand-powered generator. It looks like your typical USB charger, but it has a flip-out hand crank that actually generates power when you turn it. So let’s say you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, and your phone dies, you can give it enough juice to call for help. Eton says that one minute of cranking equals about a 30-second phone call, or a handful of texts. In this day in age of mobile devices and hurricanes, I see the BoostTurbine as a win-win, and worth every bit of its $70 price tag.
Adonit Jot Pro Stylus
Who holds the title for the best iPad stylus is still up for debate. There are dozens to choose from, and it seems like everyone has their favorites. But if you’re having trouble picking out which stylus to give as a gift this year, I recommend the Adonit Jot Pro. It’s inexpensive, well-made, and is largely considered to be the most accurate out of all the other styli. You see, instead of the usual rubber nub, the Adonit Jot Pro has a fine tip that sits on a plastic floating disk, allowing you to see what you’re doing and draw much more precisely. It’s perfect for drawing on your iPad, or taking notes, and at $20 makes a great stocking stuffer.
iTunes gift card
No matter who you’re shopping for, there’s a good chance that they own an Apple device. So if you’re really stumped on a Christmas gift this year, you can never go wrong with an iTunes gift card. These cards can be purchased in virtually any denomination between $15 and $100, and work in any iTunes Store, meaning they can be used to purchase apps, games music or movies, and yes even iBooks. I usually purchase a handful of these every year to use as stocking stuffers, and they never disappoint.
Hopefully these suggestions have given you a few ideas. But if none of them are appealing, don’t worry, Oliver, Christian and Jeff will be along shortly with their own recommendations.