Have a Merry Techie Christmas!

Since this is a blog for everyday techies, girl angel
I knew you’d appreciate a post on 2014 gift gadgets.

Just so you know, I have zero technology budget other than my own pocketbook. It goes without saying I haven’t purchased most of these items. However, I’ve researched them, and used reviews from others. Psst. I get my best information that way.

Ho, Ho, Ho. Let’s go!


Let’s face it. If you have an unlimited bank account, your gifts are going to be more spectacular than the average joe. It’s sad, but true.

I’ve tried to find high-end and lower-end gizmos so everyone is happy.

The 3D PrinterXYZ Printing daVinci 3D Printers

Remember the 3D printer? It’s come a long way, baby.

Today’s printer is not only affordable — not the $20,000 of the originals — but is being used for making cool stuff like food-grade art, ceramic pots, animal prosthetics, and titanium replacement bones. Who knew, right?

Believe it or not, 3D printers are selling for as low as $600.  A decent example is XYZprinting’s daVinci 2.0 3D Printer. The reviews are good for this little unit. It’s size is 5.9″ x 7.8″ x 7.8″.Replicator Mini hero-shark

A higher-end mini unit being touted by techie magazines is made by Makerbot, the Replicator Mini. It sells for just under $1400. Dimensions are 3.9 x 3.9 x 4.7 inches. See, they weren’t lying about being mini.

The Replicator Mini’s big daddy weighs in at 35 pounds and measures 20.8 x 16.2 x 17.4 inches. For each inch you pay more. Makerbot’s Desktop Replicator has a price tag to go with its size: $2750.

Reviews for XYZprinting’s 3D printer are very good. Makerbot’s reviews vary. If you’re going to spring for one of these, do your homework.


 Smartwatches

Did you know James Bond’s watch was destined to become a reality? It is. But the new smartwatches don’t allow you to remotely ignite torpedoes…or do they?


What exactly is a Smartwatch? It’s a wearable wrist device that keeps a near-constant connection with your mobile device, usually a smartphone.

Smartwatches allows you to receive notifications of text messages, phone calls, or instant messages. It also tells you if you’ve gotten any social media updates. Those are the — um, how can I put this kindly — non-life-or-death uses,

But smartwatches do have some truly great features. You can download apps to track fitness (e.g. total steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, etc.), GPS navigation, weather updates, daily planner activities, control the music or camera on your phone, and more.


With so many styles — everything from the futuristic looking LG G Watch RiWatch to LG’s G Watch R whose best-selling point is its plain watch face — everyone should be able to find one to their taste.

Prices? Watches cost between $150 and $400, pre-Black Friday incentives.

Now for the bad news. This holiday season is won’t see the iWatch. You’ll have to wait until early 2015. Maybe you could ask for an Easter iWatchpresent instead?

From the looks of it, the iWatch will be worth the wait. It should be priced around $350.

And ladies, soon you’ll be able to buy designer bracelets with smartphone capabilities. It’s not expected for this holiday season. Let’s all say “aw” together.


Fitness Trackersfitness tracker

If you don’t really want all the bells and whistles of a smartwatch, but are totally in love with its fitness features, you can opt out and buy a fitness tracker. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and range between $50 and $150. Some are compatible with mobile devices while some even tell time. Oh, did I mention there are also fitness trackers for Fido?


golf gpsGolf GPS

A few special individuals in my extended family are golf…um, connoisseurs. No, I didn’t even think “nuts”.

I’m sure they already know about this cool gadget, but I’ll Garmin golf wristwatchmention it for those who don’t. Garmin makes golf GPS. It tells precise distances to greens, layups and doglegs. Some models will help you adjust your shot for uphill or downhill.

Did I mention it also comes in a wristwatch?

These will set you back $200 to $400. Golf isn’t a game for lightweights.


UV Tracker

Being a redhead, UV exposure is important to me. It’s also a hot topic now we’re learning the importance of Vitamin D in calcium absorption, against fighting arthritis UV Trackersand cancer, plus too many more health benefits to list.

Enter the UV Tracker. There are several different kinds on the market. Some are sold by independent distributors and some from places like Amazon. They generally cost $50-$100, but in my opinion are well worth it. Check ’em out.

FYI: a new Microsoft fitness band, a bit different from a fitness tracker, has a UV tracker in it already. Before you spring for a solitary UV tracker, make sure the fitness tracker you have or are considering doesn’t include one.


 Noise MachinesNoise machine 1

I’ll leave you with one last item that’s been around for a while, but is definitely under appreciated: the noise machine.

I actually use one and own a couple. I love it. Let’s just say sleeping where I live is a challenge, and this little gadget makes my dreams come true.

Walmart has them for $25 to $30. Check the baby section, that’s where they’re usually stocked. And yes, I sleep like a baby with mine most of the time.

Noises on them include thunderstorms, rain, summer nights, white noise and more. Some have timers, some connect to your mp3 player, and include lullabies. Others let you count lighted cartoon sheep on your ceiling. No, mine does not.

If you have a loved one who struggles to sleep, this could be their ticket to dreamland.


Don’t worry if none of the above ideas fit your budget or grab your interest.
There’s always the old gift stand-bySanta notebooks.

  • Cameras and camcorders
  • Bluetooth speakers and headphones
  • Netbooks and notebooks
  • Tablets and smartphones
  • HDTV’s and movies
  • Gaming consoles and games
  • Gaming mice and keyboards
  • FOR KIDS: Radio Shack has tons of cool electronic building kits.

Plus what techie wouldn’t love a:han solo carbonite shower curtain

  • Back to the Future Flux Capacitor USB car charger
  • DC Comics coffee mug
  • Sonic the Hedgehog sweater
  • Dr. Who converse tennies
  • Minecraft plushy
  • Han Solo in Carbonite shower curtain

WHA!!? Nobody in your family wants these? You live a sad, sad existence.


Anyway, I hope I’ve helped add a few cool techie ideas to your holiday shopping list. Best of luck on your Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases.

Have a blessed holiday season, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀


 

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.

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