Last Minute Holiday Tech Gift Guide

WRITTEN BY: Josh Smith

It’s almost Christmas and you haven’t finished your shopping yet! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO!? First of all, calm down. With modern-day advances like overnight delivery and last-minute gift guides, there’s no reason to panic. The hardest part of shopping at the last minute is deciding what to get for those people in your life that deserve to receive gifts.

We understand that you’ve waited longer than you should have, but fear not, College News has you covered. Whether you’re shopping for a parent, a sibling, a friend, or someone who’s “more” than a friend, our “Last-minute Tech Gift Guide” is sure to win you some smiles.

NuGreen Flexible Neck LED Lamp - If you live the “dorm life,” you know how precious saving space can be. NuGreen’s LED Lamp has a flexible neck and, because it’s LED powered, blasts an enormous amount of light despite it’s small stature. The capacitive touch power button is easily accessible, and you won’t need to change bulbs every month because it lasts up to 45,000 hours.

KMI K-board (USB Keyboard) - Music makers carry some type of instrument everywhere they go. We all have the friend who has an entire garage band in his trunk at every given time, so why not make their life easier? The K-Board plugs into any tablet (iOS or Android), PC, or Mac via USB. Plug it in, load up your apps, and let the music flow.

Samsung
Samsung makes the holidays easier year after year. If you’re an Android user, odds are you’ve had your hands on something made by Samsung because they put out quality products at reasonable prices. For holiday 2014, Samsung has done it again:

Galaxy Tab S (10.5”, 16GB, Wi-Fi) - The Galaxy Tab S is powerful, beautiful, and the 10.5” screen is big enough that even your parents can read on it. It’s thin and durable, the battery lasts a reasonable amount of time, and it comes in Dazzling White or Titanium Bronze. The AMOLED screen is bright enough to be viewed during even the brightest day, it’s not heavy, and has rear and forward-facing cameras. Even for beginners, Samsung’s newest tablet will impress.

Galaxy Note 4 (32GB) - This is a big phone. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but it won’t fit everybody’s hands. Grandma, for instance, may be better off with the Galaxy S4 or S5, but for those who use their phone for multiple tasks, business and pleasure, the Note 4 will fit right in. With its S Pen, the note becomes a notepad, easily used to jot down reminders, shopping lists, or to scrawl special messages to your family and friends. Finding one unlocked will be pricey (the one Samsung sent over was through T-Mobile), but they’re available on most major carriers. With 32GB of internal storage (expandable to 128GB), two cameras, Super AMOLED screen, and a number of apps that work wonderfully with the S Pen, someone’s holiday would be made complete with the Note 4.

Gear S (R750) - In my family I’ve heard, “I have a hard time remembering to charge my phone, why would I want a watch that needs the same thing?” Because it makes life easier, Mom. That’s why. For the person who is pulling their phone out every five minutes to check a message, the time, or because it’s become an unbreakable habit, the Gear S is the prescription. Instead of constantly waking your phone up because “you thought you heard a message,” instead a quick glance at your watch will confirm it for you. You can even read it right on your wrist. Check weather, the time, and a number of other apps and widgets without having to dig into your pocket. Plus, you can stay in contact with your friends without hearing, “Will you get OFF of your phone for five minutes?!”  Sorry moms and dads, this is the loophole.

Tesoro Excalibur Keyboard - Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a keyboard that has dozens of inputs, LED screens, and hundreds of additional buttons, Tesoro is keeping it simple with their Excalibur model keyboard. At first glance it’s “just a keyboard,” but at $89.99, you should expect much more. And you get it. The backlit keys are gorgeous to look at and make the user feel like they’re using an advanced model gaming keyboard. Mechanical switches can be changed out depending on your activities, the lighting can be modified, and there’s actually on-board memory to complement the profiles and UI. It’s entry-level that doesn’t feel like it’s for beginners.

Logitech C920 Pro Webcam - Whether you’re chatting on Skype, streaming your games on Twitch, or recording videos for Youtube, it’s nice to have an HD webcam that can broadcast you and your reactions. Logitech’s C920 is impressively small, but the software and quality of the video makes it a no-brainer for anybody looking for a webcam. Easy to setup, easy to use, your little brother or sister could be the next Youtube sensation thanks to the C920.

Case Logic Reflexion DSLR+iPad Cross-body Bag - With all the hardware on this list, you’ll need something to carry it with. Everybody has a camera nowadays, even beyond their smartphone, and typically they have a tablet as well. To keep it all safe, Case Logic has you covered. With multiple pockets and cushioned protection, you can look good while you carry your assortment of gadgets. It fits a tablet or ultrabook up to 13”, DSLR camera and two lenses, or remove the interior walls and have a messenger bag for everyday use. If this isn’t to your taste -- or the person you’re buying for -- Case Logic has dozens of other sizes, models, and colors for you to choose from.

GoPro Hero4 Silver - It’s pricey, but GoPro has made a name for themselves with durable video capturing hardware. Know somebody who is constantly on the go, bike riding, skydiving, snowmobiling, or any one of a dozen hobbies and sports that makes it impossible to hold a camera? GoPro was made specifically for them. Soon they’ll be recording HD video (1080p or 720p) with a piece of hardware that has built in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other options that make sharing their experiences easier.

HP Pavilion 11 x360 - An affordable Notebook that converts into a tablet, has a touchscreen, camera, Beats Audio, and dozens of other features. We reviewed the x360 earlier this summer and, despite lacking power to do hardcore gaming or video editing, for basic multimedia use and web browsing it was ideal. If you’re looking for something simple and mobile, whether for a long trip or just to carry around with you, the x360 fits the bill.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT! Simple and effective. You’re running out of time, but if you’re in a pinch, something here will fit the needs of whoever you have left to shop for. Have a happy holiday season!

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