This is Day 8 of the 30 Days of Giving: Making Christmas Meaningful campaign, which is designed to bring the Believe.com community creative and practical ways to cheerfully give this holiday season through gifts, relationships and charity. Come visit the 30 Days of Giving Advent Calendar each day in our countdown to Christmas for intriguing and original ways to help you to experience and spread the spirit of joyful giving that God intended throughout the holiday season.
If you are hoping to score a base hit or even a home run with a techie on your Christmas list this year, the odds are in your favor. Items that were once financially out of reach are now available for much less than they were just two or three years ago, with more new, or new-and-improved gadgets hitting the market every day.
Not sure where to start as you make your way through the holiday shopping list this year? Don’t want to break the bank? No worries, just consider one of these 12 popular electronic gift ideas that you can easily find online or in a store near you.
1. HDMI Streaming Media Player
These handy little devices allow you to stream video to your TV directly – and easily – from your laptop, tablet or even your smart phone. The Google Chromecast is one of the most affordable at just $35.
2. Activity Tracker
They can monitor calories burned, number of steps taken, distance traveled, track your workout route and much more. With a variety of styles, brands and functions to choose from, one of these trusty gadgets will surely please the fitness-fanatic on your list. Different trackers have different functionalities, so take into account what kind of athlete your “giftee” is and review the options and prices before settling on the perfect tracker.
3. Wearable Video Camera
In this, the age of the “selfie,” a portable, durable, waterproof video camera that can be mounted to a bike, skateboard, helmet or even held in the palm of the hand is the perfect gift for the athlete or daredevil on your list who will love capturing that “you should have been there!” moment. GoPro has become one of the most popular makers of these mountable and wearable cameras and start at around $200.
Easy to carry with you anywhere and perfect for meeting most mobile computing needs, tablets are also popular for playing games, watching movies and reading books. Tablets come in a wide range of styles, sizes and prices. Check out the top ranking tablets of 2013 as rated by TechRader and find the perfect combination of price and functionality for your gift-giving experience.
5. Finger Mouse
Your cursor is now at your fingertips, well — fingertip. This next generation of the computer mouse is strapped onto your index finger to allow your hands to remain on the keyboard for better computing ease. It can be worn on either hand and is perfect for home, office or travel, and ideal for working in tight spaces like the airplane.
With many electronic reading devices now well under $100, virtually anyone can carry their entire library with them anywhere they go. From simple devices that allow you to shop for and read your favorite book to electronic tablet readers, there is an eReader to fit any budget or age group.
7. GPS Device
They’ll always be able to find their way with a GPS tracking device that can be worn, pocketed or carried in the car. CNet reviewed the best GPS navigation systems so you can choose the right one for you. If you’re looking for a GPS receiver for the hiker on your list, check out this expert advice on how to choose the right one on REI.
8. Smart Phone Car Connector
This is the perfect “hands-free” device for any smart phone owner. It lets you dial by voice command, stream music from your phone, even check your Facebook (hands-free, of course) — all from the convenience of your car. BestBuy has a multitude of options.
9. USB Air Purifier
What will they think of next? This self-explanatory device retails for under $50 and is the perfect gift for home or office use. These cute apple-shaped ones from Amazon make the perfect stocking stuffer, or opt for a futuristic looking version.
10. USB Portable Turntable
This is must-have for the vinyl collector on your shopping list. In addition to making it easy to play those records wherever you go with your computer or laptop, this device is ideal for digitalizing those LPs to MP3 format or on a CD. Check out the options from Ion.
11. Solar Powered Charging Station
Perfect for “going green,” this device can also be a lifesaver during power outages or for use while traveling.
12. Virtual Laser Keyboard
When is a keyboard not a keyboard? When it’s virtual! It works by projecting a laser-image keyboard onto any surface from a portable projector that tracks your finger movements with software that then converts those movements to characters or commands. Check out the designs from Magic Cube.