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Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – Jon’s List

by Jon Rettinger | November 4, 2014November 4, 2014 2:00 pm PST

With all of the awesome products that are released through out the year, it can be almost impossible to pick that perfect gift for those you are buying for this holiday season. That, however, is why you have the friendly staff of TechnoBuffalo to help you out.

I tried to go with something for just about everyone this year, and I think you are sure to find something on my list that will fit with the folks you need to buy for.

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Money is No Object

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Electric cars are a staple atop my gift guides. This year though, it’s all about the X.

I love EV’s, not for the typical Eco reason (although that’s a nice bonus), but for the awesome driver experience they are capable of. Instant torque is astounding when paired to an electric engine that’s tuned for performance. Think of it like a drill. As soon as you pull the trigger, that bit is spinning at max speed. The 0-30 times of EVs is awesome. For comparison sake, a supped up Model X (Performance 85), like its Model S sibling, has a faster 0 to 60 time than a stock Porsche 911. That coupled with insane gull-wing doors that not only look cool, but make it was easier to put my son in his car seat (without killing my back) make the X my dream ride.

Gifts Under $2,000

$1299.99

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I’m a sucker for a pretty face and nice curves. The LG 34UC978-S may not have a sexy name, but there is plenty to pine over beneath the boring nomenclature. While some are waiting for Apple to pull back the covers on a new Retina Thunderbolt Display, I prefer the wandering gaze of the LG. If the 34-inch size doesn’t peak your interest, perhaps the QHD resolution will grab your attention? If not, check out the curved display that promised to immerse you in your content and reduce neck strain.

If that’s not enough, this IPS display also rocks Thunderbolt for I/O, making it essentially a plug and play panel for the Mac crowd. The LG is the perfect combination of price and features, and one I hope is staring at me lovingly very, very soon.

Gifts Under $500

Nexus 9 32GB Wi-Fi Model

Some people like apple or cherry, but stock Android is my favorite flavor of Lollipop. If you haven’t yet seen Android 5.0 in its natural un-skinned form, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Material design is gorgeous, the animations are snappy and the UI is extremely intuitive. The best way to experience this all for yourself. though, is with the Google blessed and HTC built Nexus 9.

Software aside, this 9-inch tablet also brings some serious hardware heat. Tegra K1, 192-core Keplar GPU and Gorilla Glass 3 are just some of the components that make this beast the cream of the tablet crop. If you want the latest tablet Android has to offer, look no further.

iPad Mini 2

Sure the iPad Mini 3 now comes in gold and has touch ID, but for my money, the Mini 2 still is one of the best deals going. In fact, it’s still the tablet I fall asleep with at night watching YouTube videos. It still offers a beautiful Retina display and enough horsepower to handle whatever I throw at it. It may be missing the nifty camera features, but at least that deters me from ever using a tablet as a camera. (Can I add never ever taking pictures with an iPad on my wishlist?) If you want a gift that you know will get used (and leaves you a few bucks left over) go with the Mini 2.

Gifts Under $250

KwikSet Kevo

Over the past few years I’ve been trying to slowly and purposely add some home automation to my place. A few years ago it was the Nest (a product I still absolutely adore) then it was a Phillips Hue system (I’m not sure this was the smartest or most useful choice) and this year is Kwikset’s Kevo smart lock.

The basic idea behind Kevo is simple. Use your phone (or fob) to unlock your door without every having to pull anything out of your pocket. Simply leave your phone (with the app running in the background) or your keys with the fob attached, touch the lock, and boom, it locks or unlocks. It’s super simple, and works surprisingly well. I won’t go too far into the security here, but Kwikset has made sure it is safe.

Usually my wife scoffs at my tech additions to the home. This one though, she has become an evangelist for. Whenever she comes home, she usually has our son in one arm, her purse over her shoulder and bag of some sort in her other hand. Now all she needs to do is tap the lock and go. No more need to fiddle in her purse (which is a black hole) to find her keys. She loves it. I love having cool tech in my home. It’s a win-win. Installation was super easy; so don’t hesitate to pick one up.

Pebble Steel

I like the idea of smartwatches more than the actual utility of them. In a sea of Android Wear and others, Pebble’s Steel still rises to the top. I switch phones quite often, and the Steels OS agnostic (Android and iOS) innards means I can always just keep the same watch on my wrist, a huge plus. I only have to charge it once a week, and it lets me know when I have call, text, or e-mail. That’s all I need. I have very little use for the apps is provides. I like my watches simple and to have the battery life to last. The Pebble Steel delivers for me.

Gifts Under $50

Victorinox Swiss Army SwissCard Translucent Multipurpose Tool

Life can be hard to predict so I like to be prepared. Maybe it’s the boy scout or the dad in me, but you just never know what might come your way. When I travel I prepare for just about anything I can think of, carrying a cadre of Band-Aids, medications, and creams for just about every potential ailment. You can laugh, but I’m always prepared.

One thing that always travels with me is my multitool card. I’ve used the scissors to cut countless tags out of my wife’s shirts, the tweezers have pulled out many a splinter, and in a pinch the pen has actually signed a few contracts. It’s small, can easily fit into a bag (or a wallet), it’s cheap, and most importantly, it’s useful. As Scar would say…be prepared!

Batman Money Clip

So full disclosure, I don’t own this, but I want to. This doesn’t need much of an explanation. Just look at it! If the Dark Knight can protect Gotham, he can certainly handle my 5’s and 10’s. Plus, I kind of feel like in a pinch, I can use it as a mini batarang.

Batman Money Clip

$39.99

ThinkGeek


Jon Rettinger

Jon, perhaps best known by his YouTube alter ego Jon4Lakers, has a love for technology that can never be quenched, no matter how hard he tries. If...

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