The Best Tech Gifts of 2019
It is that time of year again, where we all rush to get the best deals on the most popular tech gifts of the season. There are so many great choices out there today, but deciding what to buy can be hard. This year, OTELCO wants to lend a helping hand, with our 2019 Tech Gift Guide. Right in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
OTELCO’s Top Tech Gift Picks
A New Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are on everyone’s must-have gift lists for 2019, because they are fun, easy to use, and affordable. Check out these top brands when shopping this season:
Alexa is easily the most popular virtual assistant and every year Amazon perfects their star product a little more. Her models start at just $35 and now include the Echo Auto for your car and the brand new Echo Frames eyeglasses.*
If you know an Apple aficionado, the HomePod is the perfect gift. It was designed for sound, and has six microphones so Siri never misses a command. Of course, like all Apple products, it is on the pricier side, $300, but if you are someone who doesn’t mind spending more for the company’s special touch, this exceptional home system is worth it.
Google Home has continued to grow in popularity. The tech giant has a few models out now, starting at the Google Home Mini at just $49 and going all the way to their Google Home Max, which is a powerful smart speaker priced at $249. They have also added their Nest Hubs, “digital photo frames” (similar to the Amazon Show) specially designed to control smart home technology. *
A Smart TV or Streaming Device
Streaming devices and Smart TV’s are always a safe bet. If your loved ones are already streaming, an upgrade to the latest device will only enhance their experience and if they are not, Christmas is a great time to start. Here are a few devices to choose from.
Amazon Fire Cube
The new Fire Cube offers all the same features as the Fire Stick, but with the hands-free aspect of the Echo. With the TV Cube, Amazon perfected their Alexa microphone so that she can pick up your voice over background noises. The cube can also control your traditional cable, satellite, or blue-ray setup.*
If you are building that perfect Apple home, Apple TV is a must. Like most Apple products, is going to set you back a little more, but it offers a Siri voice remote, is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Airplay, and the iCloud. Apple also just came out with their own streaming service, Apple TV+, that offers a bunch of original content that you can access through their streaming device.*
Roku Streaming Stick +
The Streaming Stick’s simple navigation has stayed true to Rokus original vision and makes streaming very straight forward. As a bonus, the advanced wireless receiver makes it easy to place it anywhere in your home without having to worry about losing your Wi-Fi signal. It is compatible with both Alexa and Google Home.*
The Chromecast is Google’s answer to streaming. The small puck-like device is unique in the sense that it doesn’t have an interface or a remote. Chromecast runs entirely through smart devices, and computers, from which you can “cast” content to the device via the Cast Button. This can be hard to navigate but is a popular gift among the tech community.
A New Streaming Subscription
Streaming subscription are gifts that keep giving, and right now there are some great deals on yearlong subscriptions. These are just four of the top streaming services out there right now.
The long-awaited Disney+ has arrived just in time for the Holiday season. Stream all your favorite Disney classics, Disney Channel Originals, new movies, and some brand-new original content from the Star Wars and Marvel universes. For a limited time, you can bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99 a month.
Hulu + Live TV
An excellent gift for the family looking to cut out cable. Hulu’s Live TV option is $44.99/mo. and offers Alexa voice support. Hulu offers 60+ channels, including many local channels, depending on where you live. With Hulu + Live TV, you have access to Hulu’s immense on-demand library, including Hulu Originals and exclusive Dream Works content.
The perfect gift for that family member who is finally ready to binge Game of Thrones. With HBO Now you can access all the best original HBO content (their new show lineup is fantastic) and a massive collection of blockbusters. If you know someone who loves good TV, we highly recommend this service.
If one of your loved ones is still without Netflix you must buy them a subscription this Christmas, even if you just give them your password and set it up on their TV. Netflix is better than ever, with an easy to use interface and amazing original content like Stranger Things and The King
A New Laptop
Everyone has that one family member with the old laptop. Maybe this is the year you give them that much-needed upgrade, by choosing from one of these leading brands.
The MacBook is probably the most popular laptop out there, because of its modern design, straightforward operating system, and dazzling retina display. Their newest MacBook Pro, $1,599, is their lightest model yet, with True Tone technology and surprisingly great sound. For a less expensive option, take a look at their MacBook Air, at $999.*
Microsoft is doing some very cool stuff with their Surface laptops. The new Surface Pro 7 comes in an array of colors, has a touch screen and a detachable keyboard so that you can use it as a laptop or tablet. It comes in just a little under the MacBook at $1,393.98 at Walmart.*
The Chromebook has come far in the last few years. It is a sleek and affordable laptop, that starts as low as $219. The Google Pixelbook Go has a real following, and Amazon chose the Asus Chromebook Flip as a 2019 Editors’ choice. *
LeapFrog My Own Leaptop
Though it is not a real laptop, the Leaptop is a cute tech gift for computer obsessed kiddos who are still too young to get the real thing. They can pretend to play while learning the alphabet, spelling, music, rhythm and more. This $22 toy is so much fun that kids will think they are playing with the real deal. *
Fun Gifts for Kids
The littlest family members are the most fun to shop for, and these three devices are sure to produce some big smiles this Holiday Season.
A Switch LITE
When the Nintendo Switch dropped a few years ago gamers of all ages fell in love, and now Nintendo has released more kid-friendly version with the $200 Switch Lite. This handheld device can also act as a console and comes in variety of different colors. Make sure to check out the special Zacian and Zamazenta Edition if you are shopping for a Pokémon fan.*
A Coding Robot
The future is tech, and the Wonder Workshop Dash coding robot is a great way to give your little one a head start. Using five free apps that come with the $150 Dash robot kids can explore loops, events, conditions, and sequences. Extend the possibilities even further with Sketch Kit, Building Block Connectors, and more from Wonder Workshop. *
Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset
The best gift for the gamer who has everything. The new Oculus Quest is the latest thing in gaming, offering virtual reality games that transport the users into whole new worlds. The Oculus is priced at $399, but they also off the Oculus Go Standalone, for $199.*
The Best Gifts for the Home Chef
With these kitchen-based tech-gifts you can transform your home into a five-star restaurant.
Anova’s Precision Cooker
Anova’s precision cooker is all the rage in the cooking community. Toting “perfect results every time,” it uses the Sous Vide cooking technique, which uses circulating heated water, to cook food to the exact temperature. (Anova’s app offers a collection of Sous Vide recipes to make sure you master this new style.) The original model starts at $199, but they also offer a mini at $99 and a pro version for $399. *
The Pro 575 Wifi Pellet Grill and Smoker
Introducing the Grill you never knew you needed! A Home Depot Innovation 2019 finalist, this grill and smoker uses pellets and wifi to produces a perfect, wood fried, meal each time. Starting at $699.99, you can control this pellet grill and smoker from anywhere using the Trager App.*
A Robot Bar Tender
This gift from Uncommon Goods allows you to throw the perfect party. Mingle with your guests as this stainless steel smart bar creates the classic cocktail. Of course, luxury is not cheap, and this gadget comes in at $1,029.00.‡
Gifts For Music Lovers
Music is unquestionably one of the best parts about the holiday season. Blast all your favorite bops with these musical tech gifts.
The Sonos Move Portable Speaker
Sonos is a long-trusted audio manufacture, and there new Sonos Move speaker, $400, is beloved by a host of tech experts. It has ten hours of battery, is Alexa enabled, weather-resistant and ultra-durable.*
When it comes to sound a Bose Soundbar just can’t be beat. Their newest Soundbar 500 is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, voice, and AirPlay compatible, and has Alexa built-in. Their less expensive options start at $200. *
New Record Player
If you are ready to jump (back) into the record trend Audio-Technica is the brand you want. They produce a lot of great record players, and the newest model of their $93.04 turn-table, is getting some rave reviews. (This blogger has their Direct-Drive Professional Turntable and absolutely loves it.)*
A Karaoke Stick
A super fun gift you can give to almost anyone in your family, for just under $30. Connect your phone through Bluetooth and access the singing App to create a karaoke stage right in your living. It comes in 11 exciting colors and has a multitude of settings.*
Gifts Under $100
These underbudget tech gifts will make it look like you spent a lot, without passing the $100 mark.
An Amazon Fire Tablet 7
Tablets are always a hit, and the Amazon Fire is an affordable gift that feels pricy. User can access all their favorite apps, music, games and books through the Amazon Appstore and it won’t even cost you $50.*
If you have a loved one who is always losing things this is the gift. Tiles connect with your phone so you can track misplaced items wherever they may be. They offer several models: a Tile Sticker you can slap on just about anything, the original Tile Mate keychain, and the new Tile Slim, that can be easily tucked into or stuck onto objects. Pricing starts at $24, and right now they are offering some great combo packs from $70 - $140. *
Click and Grow Smart Garden
House plants are trendy right now, and this self-watering Smart Garden can turn any thumb Green. It comes in three different colors and is priced at $99.95.*
Don’t let slow Internet hold your family back from enjoying their new tech-gifts. OTELCO Lightwave
fiber Internet can offer symmetrical speeds to power all the devices in your home, no matter who is visiting for the holidays. Visit our Lightwave Locator today to see if you live in a Lightwave Zone.
*Pictures Courtesy of Amazon.com
†Picture courtesy of BestBuy.com
‡Picture courtesy of UncommonGoods.com
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