Tech Gifts 2017
For most, the time of year to buy gifts is upon you. But it’s difficult to buy for your techie friends when there are so many options. Should you buy them a Samsung S8 or the latest iPhone? Which computer should you buy for your gamer son? “Tech Gifts 2017 – Buying Guide” will answer these questions and help you get the best tech gifts for your friends and family.
The goal of this buying guide is to help you choose the best gift, but we won’t get into details about specific products. CNET put together this fantastic list of tech gifts available for purchase in 2017. Keep reading to learn how you can decide which tech gadgets you should buy this year.
Tech Gifts – Smartphones
Everyone has a smartphone nowadays and new exciting phones are released every year. It can be overwhelming to try and pick the best one, but there are some simple ways to narrow down your choices.
iOS or Android
The first decision when it comes to smartphones is the operating system; the software that comes with the phone. There are two options on the market right now, iOS or Android. iOS is the operating system that comes on Apple’s mobile devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. Android is the operating system that other manufacturers use, such as Samsung and LG.
If the person you’re buying the phone for already has Android or iOS and is happy with it, the decision has been made for you! Whew, you’re off the hook. In other words, if they have iOS and enjoy it, you should buy an Apple phone. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting in the endless “returns” line.
If they don’t already have a preference, here are some tips. Android allows you to customize most features of the phone. If you’re gifting this to someone that likes to tinker and constantly change things, Android is the way to go. On the other hand, iOS has fewer customization options and can be less overwhelming. Many users will find iOS a little less complicated due to that.
Screen size is often the second most important decision when choosing a smartphone. Most manufacturers offer a “normal” size and a “large” size. It can be nice to have a larger screen as it makes it much easier to see and makes for a more enjoyable viewing experience. If person you are buying it for will be watching movies or playing games on the phone, you will probably want to choose the larger screen size.
Accessories seem never ending when it comes to smartphones. However, here is a brief list of important accessories you’ll want to buy to turn this into the perfect gift.
- Car Charger
- Headphones or Ear Buds
- Screen Protector
Even if you don’t buy the other items, a tempered glass screen protector is a must have. It will prevent the screen from being scratched and often protects the screen from breaking in case of a drop. If you’re gifting this to a particularly clumsy person, a case is a great second layer of protection. You won’t regret protecting the phone – it will save you a lot of money in the long run!
Tech Gifts – Computers
Computers are a great gift for all ages. They can help you get things done for school or work and they’re great for gaming. But there are a lot of options and not all computers are created equal. We’ll highlight some of the key differences below.
Laptop or Desktop
The first question to ask yourself when choosing a laptop versus a desktop computer is this; Will the computer be used at a stationary location like a desk, or will they take it to different places like work, school, and around the house? If the computer will be stationary, a desktop or all-in-one computer is the way to go. Laptops usually cost a little more because of their compact form factor and built-in screen. Additionally, laptops usually don’t last as long because of limitations with cooling the more compact components.
Again, because of cooling limitations, desktop computers can be more powerful. For office and school work, a laptop is plenty powerful. However, more intense tasks such as gaming and video editing are more demanding of the computer. While there are “gaming laptops” on the market, these demanding jobs are better performed on a desktop computer.
If a laptop is better for your friend or family, keep in mind the screen size and weight of the computer. A bigger screen is easier to see, but will add to the weight of the computer. You also have options for touchscreens or “convertible” laptops, which can be used as a tablet or laptop.
SSD vs HDD
You may have heard of “SSDs”, but may not understand the difference between an SSD and a HDD (i.e. “hard drive”). In short, SSDs are faster but usually cannot store as much data. Also, because SSDs don’t have any moving parts, they are more resistant to damage from movement. This makes them ideal for laptops. If you are given the option and storage capacity is not an issue, go with an SSD.
Computers marketed as “gaming computers” are usually a safe bet if you’re shopping for a gamer. However, make sure that the computer comes with a dedicated graphics card. This is one of the main components that allow a computer to run graphically intense games without slowing down. You might also see a graphics card listed as “discrete”.
Desktop computers and laptops require different accessories. Below are recommended items to buy along with your computer.
- UPS (i.e. Battery backup)
- Monitor and video cables to go along with it
- Wireless mouse and keyboard (the computer will come with a wired mouse and keyboard)
- Speakers or headphones
- External hard drive for backing up data
- Wireless mouse
- Portable external hard drive for backing up data
- Carrying case
- Stylus for touchscreen laptops
Buying the computer is half the work. But it won’t be much fun until it is setup and their favorite applications are installed. Here are some things you may want to have your computer guy do to get the computer up and running.
- Initial computer setup
- Data transfer from old computer
- WiFi setup
- Data backup setup
We hope this Buying Guide helps you pick the perfect gift for your friends and family! If you have any questions or need help picking out a gift, give us a call or send an email – we’re happy to help! We also provide all the services mentioned above, in the comfort of your home.
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