The year has flown by and 2014 has reached its holiday season, which means the usual cold weather, long lines, gift shopping, family visits, delectable food, and exorbitant amounts of sweets. In an effort to help you avoid the lines and still find meaningful gifts for your friends and family, my colleagues and I have compiled our yearly holiday gift guides with a gift for everyone on your list.
Throughout the year, I’ve come across several amazing devices, accessories, and services that I’ve grown to love and use daily. Each of these has a lasting value and isn’t likely to be forgotten, abandoned, or returned the day after Christmas – a quality I look for in things I purchase all year long.
iPad Air 2
If you’re looking to give only the best to someone special this holiday season, Apple’s latest iPad is nothing short of incredible. Its thin, light form factor is simply gorgeous (gold!) and its functionality and app selection is unparalleled by any other tablet on the market. More geeky recipients will appreciate its 2GB of RAM and triple-core processor, but everyone is sure to love the magic behind it.
Starting at $499, the iPad Air 2 isn’t a stocking stuffer by any means, but its value will last for years, and it’s certain to be appreciated by the young and old alike.
Applydea Maglus stylus
If someone you know has an iPad or will be receiving one for the holidays, a stylus is an excellent accompaniment for the artists and writers in the family. Even college students are likely to appreciate this gift for annotating digital textbooks and taking handwritten or drawn notes during lecture, which happens to be my most common use for it.
Consumers agree that the Maglus stylus by Applydea is the best stylus for all-around use. Its solid aluminum design magnetically attaches to iPads and even Smart Covers / Cases, and it has the best rubber tip in the business for sensitivity and firmness. If you or someone you know is tired of drawing or writing on their iPad with their fingers, Applydea’s Maglus stylus, coming in at $36, is the perfect gift.
Bose AE2i headphones
Beats may be all the rage, but Bose still manufactures higher quality headphones, in my opinion. The AE2i headphones are extremely comfortable, with a light, padded, around-ear design for hours of use. The sound quality is excellent, and I wear them all day for listening to music, watching videos, playing games, or just blocking out background noise.
Priced at $150 on Amazon, these headphones are unparalleled in comfort, with leather-covered, replaceable ear cups and a surprisingly light feel. Its 3.5mm aux cable is several feet long and features an inline mic and remote with play/pause/Siri and volume controls, just like Apple’s inline mic for EarPods. Bose’s AE2i headphones are the perfect gift for a friend or family member who spends hours listening to music or watching videos.
Logitech G502 Proteus Core tunable gaming mouse
If someone you know is into gaming, the G502 tunable gaming mouse from Logitech makes an excellent gift, with its sleek design, button mapping, customizable weights, and multiple profile support. Train the mouse to the surface on which you’ll be using it and set up to three custom profiles for fast switching, or let it automatically adopt a new profile depending on what game you’re in.
The ability to customize the buttons on this mouse not only helps me in gaming but in working also, as copy and paste commands can be assigned to mouse buttons, making hotkeys and shortcuts a thing of the past. The customizable DPI (cursor speed) settings, as well as the ability to change them on the fly makes this mouse great at quickly slowing down to fine tune your pointer, whether it be a in sniping mission or Photoshop project. Coming in at $70, Logitech’s G502 mouse is feature-rich and extremely useful for both work and play.
Custom iPhone case
Personalized cases and monogrammed accessories are highly popular and make great gifts all year round, and you can’t go wrong by ordering a custom-made iPhone case for your holiday gift recipients. Etsy’s reputation for made-to-order products situates it as an excellent place to go for custom iPhone (or other types of phone) cases with a variety of designs, monogrammed or otherwise.
CreateItYourWay is an Etsy shop with some particularly nice designs, an incredible reputation for quality, and it’s offering iDownloadBlog readers a 10% discount by using the promo code “iDB10” at checkout. The cases are $17 before the 10% off, which is inexpensive even for standard, non-personalized iPhone cases. Your case design of choice can be ordered for iPhone 4 or newer (including iPhone 6 and 6 Plus), as well as Samsung Galaxy S3 or newer, and come in “plastic,” “rubber,” and “tough” builds.
It’s difficult to go wrong when giving the gift of music, and people of all ages, each with their personal favorite artists and genres, are certain to find something they like in Spotify’s massive library. Spotify Premium grants users unlimited access to countless songs, albums, artists, playlists, and radio stations, with unlimited skips, no ads, high quality streaming, offline storage, and more.
Spotify’s gift cards will keep the joy of music flowing throughout the year via Spotify’s adept cross-platform app for desktop and mobile. The service is $10 a month, but from now until December 31, Spotify is offering a $1/month for the first three months to users who have never gone premium or used their free, 30-day trial. Whether it’s for working, studying, or relaxing, or listening to your favorite holiday songs, Spotify can set the mood and delight ears for hours at a time.
Regardless of whether the product is for me or someone else, I’m a firm believer in researching an item to find the best in its category before making a purchase, and each of these items reflects an enduring quality and value that will last for years to come. Be sure to let me know which of these gift ideas you liked and if you’ll be purchasing any of them this holiday season, and have a wonderful rest of the year!
Be on the lookout for more gift guides from all iDB editors: