Are you looking for holiday gifts for your spouse or adult kids? What about other special adults in your life? When you see some of these recommendations, you might even want to buy them for yourselves. And none of them will break the bank.
HP Stream Laptop
These brand new laptops come in an 11″ for $199 and 13″ for $229. How are they so cheap? There is no hard drive. Everything is saved in the cloud. However, having no hard drive makes the laptop extremely light and very easy to travel with.
The HP Stream laptop has everything else that all laptops have. Unlike the HP Chromebooks that are inexpensive because they don’t have a full operating system like windows (they are browser based on run on Chrome). HP Stream comes with everything you would want and need from a laptop, including Office 365 Personal for a year.
I just bought the HP Stream 13 because I needed a very light laptop for travel. However I still have a perfectly good desktop. Even though the laptop comes with 1TB OneDrive Cloud Storage for one year, I don’t think I’ll need to use very much. I will use dropbox to transfer files back and forth from laptop to desktop. And if you have Amazon Prime you get free photo storage.
Media Streaming Devices
These devices allow you to watch everything on your television set, even if it is web-based. So you can watch Netflix (you still need a subscription), YouTube, and Hulu, play games and more. And they are simple to use. Roku, Apple, Google and Amazon are the four brands with media streaming devices.
The Roku has been around the longest, has the most channels (over 1,800), is rated the best, and I own one and can fully attest to how great it is and how simple it is to use. The newest box is the Roku 3 for $99, which I highly recommend.
If you are looking to spend less money, then I would recommend purchasing a streaming stick instead of a box. You can get one from Roku for $49, Amazon for $39 and Google Chromecast for $35. The Roku will still give you the most channels (you still get all 1,800 but less accessories).
However the Google Chromecast at only $35 is very interesting. It works by actually casting websites and apps from your computer and mobile devices directly to your TV set. So, instead of turning on your Roku and see all the channels, when you open your Chromecast, you will see a blank screen until you choose a website or app to appear. We have a Chromecast also, in another room, and my husband loves it. He uses it mostly to play music from Pandora and other apps since he has great speakers on the TV. And this would make the perfect gift for college students.
Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
Why are Wireless Bluetooth speakers so important these days? Because most of us store our music on our mobile devices, which have terrible sound systems. So we need speakers to enjoy our music. Headphones or earbuds are only good if we are listening alone. And wireless Bluetooth speakers allow us to place them anywhere, or take them out this us, if we buy buy portable speakers as well.
Bluetooth speakers range in price from less than $20 to thousands. I am only recommending a few from the $50 – $100 range, where you can find some very good speakers with great sound.
- Logitech X300 Mobile Wireless Stereo Speaker – These speakers come in four beautiful colors and have a 30 ft wireless range and a 5-hour battery. $69.99
- JBL Flip 2 – Comes with a built-in microphone (to answer phone calls when streaming music from your phone) and a carrying case. Selection of primary colors and black. $89.95
- Philips Wired Portable Speaker BR SB5200B/37 – Very rugged for outdoor use and different modes for indoor and outdoor play. If you have more than one of these speakers, you can connect them and they will synchronize. Microphone included. $79.99
Happy Holidays everyone. I hope this article helps you with your gift giving, or maybe you found something to purchase for yourself.
Thursday 4th of December 2014
I finally gave in and bought a new smart tv. Maybe I'll have to look at some of these gadgets you mention to complement it.