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Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – Sean’s List

by Sean P. Aune | November 23, 2017November 23, 2017 8:00 am PDT

As with most things in my life, my taste in the items I love is eclectic. My interests are widely varied, and of course my list reflects that.

From technology to movies, I can love the simple things such as a smart outlet to a TV I can only dream of owning. Most of what is on this list I own or use (minus that blasted TV), and are things that I feel improve life in some small way, or simply put a smile on my face.

Money is No Object

TCL has grown to the top television brand in the United States due to its combination and pricing. The new C-Series 75-inch model clocks in right around $2,000, and that’s hard to say no to. With built-in Roku functionality this is a heck of a deal.  And, no, you aren’t limited to just using the Roku thanks to the 3 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 (one with HDMI ARC), 1 USB (media player), RF and Composite inputs.

With 4K HDR display technology, anyone would be thrilled to receive this as a gift this year.

Gift Under $2,000

The iPad Pro is a powerhouse of a tablet, and can easily handle most of your computing needs on the go. Add in the Apple Pencil and it’s a versatile device that can be used in many different scenarios.

While Apple does offer the iPad Pro line in different sizes, I’m definitely an unabashed fan of the 12.9-inch model. It gives me plenty of room to work and it makes for an awesome movie viewing experience on planes. Paired with a good case you can hook it to the seat in front of you and then you have a private movie viewing experience that’s tough to top.

Gift Under $500

The Nintendo Switch is the hottest gaming console on the market right now, and with good reason. With games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey it’s easy to see why. Add in the ultra-portability of the system and you can totally understand why people are so hot for this system.

Nintendo is hinting at huge plans for the Nintendo Switch in 2018, and so now is definitely the time to jump on the wagon. No one is going to be sad to receive this system as a gift.

Gift Under $250

Echo Show

Amazon’s Echo products are a nice addition to any home, but when you add a video screen it gets to be even more fun. With instantaneous video calls, families separated by great distances would love to have this. Simply say something like “Alexa, call mom” and you can be sharing special moments with grandma within seconds.

Ass in all of the usual features of an Echo such as streaming music, controlling smart home products, placing orders with Amazon and so on, and it’s truly like stepping into the future. And one of the best parts is it’s simple enough to use that just about anyone can use it.

Order This From Amazon

Cozmo

Cozmo may be small, but he’s ton of a fun. We’ve had one in our main office for some time now and there’s just something awesome about a robot that not only follows you around, but can recognize different people. Cozmo is full of personality and will keep people entertained for hours on end.

Order This From Amazon

Gift Under $100

Roku Ultra

As we said in our Roku Ultra review, this is the complete package for streaming. If there is anyone on your holiday list that hasn’t cut the cord yet, this will definitely get them to consider if this is for them.

With thousands of channels (including a TechnoBuffalo channel!), there is something here to entertain everyone. Even if the person has no plans to cut the cord, this makes a fantastic supplement to more traditional television content providers such as cable companies.

Order This From Amazon

Ancestry DNA

Ancestry DNA is a gift for just about anoyone on your list. My maternal grandmother had been able to go back a few centuries with her own family tree, but there were three more grandparents that couldn’t tell me much about where we came from. I did a test with the kit – which is super simple to use – and I discovered some interesting things  in what makes me, me.

Gift Under $50

Bluelounge Cableyoyo

Traveling with cables is a pain. They inevitably get tangled with one another and then you get angry as you try to pry them apart. The Bluelounge Cableyoyo is a soft silicone rubber spool that allows you to wrap up your cable and then has a magnet in the center to keep the ends under control. I personally use several of these when I travel and am much happier for it.

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Britbox

British TV is awesome. From comedies to drama, British TV is just awesome and Britbox has quickly become one of my favorite streaming services. Classic Doctor Who is amazing, and Coronation Street is a great British soap… that I do not watch. Nope. That does NOT happen…

Yeah, watch the very serious dramas… NOT Coronation Street

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Free

Movies Anywhere isn’t something you buy for someone, but it is definitely something you can do for free for your loved ones who may not be so good with technology. Set it up and let their digital films sync across iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon. Your family will love you for it.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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