Express Your Inner Geek with These Gift Ideas
From the December 2012 issue.
Whether you have snow or sand outside your door, the holidays are nearly upon us. That means getting together with friends and family, enjoying some time away from the office and, of course, gift giving.
Whether your list includes extreme tech fanatics, grandparents, kids or your staff, it’s sometimes hard to find the right gift for each of them. It’s getting easier, though, since virtually everyone in the U.S. now has some form of office or mobile technologies and gadgets.
CPA Practice Advisor’s annual Gift Guide is split into this December issue and our January issue, which will be delivered to subscribers and online in mid-December, just in time for last-minute ideas. From everyone at CPA Practice Advisor, We wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a prosperous New Year.
Take Your Music Everywhere
For the extreme outdoor enthusiast and music lover, the Braven 600 and 625S Wireless HD Speakers are a perfect match. Ready for the mountain, water sports or any other activity, the speakers also work as a speakerphone and phone charger. They have rugged, shock absorbing cases and tough aluminum grills, and come with a waterproof bag, USB flashlight and up to 16 hours of battery life. (www.Braven.com; $179.99)
Give Your Smartphone Videos a New Perspective
When you take videos with your smart phone, you’re usually limited to the length of your arm. The iStabilizer Monopod lets you add more creative angles and perspective, extending up to three feet and providing much more professional quality videos, whether taking videos of yourself or of others. (www.iStabilizer.com; $34.95)
Dude, Protect That Pad
In December of 2011, my iPad didn’t survive a 5-foot fall… Don’t experience what I went through by letting an accidental drop end the life of your iPad. Protect it with the G-Form Extreme Hydro Sleeve, a water-resistant sleeve for iPads, providing protection against drops from as high as 35 feet, and with a design that makes it easy to pack in backpacks or other bags. (www.g-form.com; $49.99)
One Less Thing to Carry
You take your phone with you everywhere you go, but why do you need to also carry along a full wallet when all you really need is a place to hold a couple of cards and some cash? The Q Card Case helps lighten your load by turning a durable protective iPhone (4/4S) case into a convenient wallet for the essentials of your mobile life. (www.cm4.com; $39.99)
A Smart Phone Case with a Built-In Battery? Brilliant!
If you’re always on the go, keeping your smart phone charged is a challenge. It’s a lot easier, though, if you have a Power-Skin Battery Case. The cases provide up to twice the power for popular models of iPhone, Android, Windows and BlackBerry smart phones. A new designer series adds options for vibrant colors, more battery-boosting power and reinforced impact protection. (www.power-skin.com; $69.99-$79.99)
The Digital Flower Pot
For those who enjoy house plants, but weren’t born with a green thumb, check out the Click and Grow, an easy-to-use electronic “smartpot” that grows real herbs and flowers without needing to water or fertilize, and without having to know anything about gardening. The Click and Grow automatically measures and applies the right amount of water, fertilizer and air based on the plant’s needs. (www.clickandgrow.com; $59.99 starter kit; $19.99 for additional plants)
Cool in the Pool, or Take it to the Lake
Sometimes even I’m at a loss for words, and the ECOXBT has almost done it this time. It’s a wireless Bluetooth speaker for any device, plus it doubles as a speakerphone. Oh, it’s also 100% waterproof and can be fully submerged in water. It’s also rugged and stylish and comes in cool colors. (www.ecoXgear.com; $99.99)
Let the Good Times Roll
Need a fun distraction from work or just a cool toy to play with in the house? Check out the Carbot, Tankbot and Trekbot, micro-robotic race cars and devices that can battle opponents, navigate mazes or just drive around. The wireless gadgets are fully-controllable with an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android device. (www.MyDeskPets.com; From $24.99)
A Tablet for Everyone
Tablets are fun, easy for users of all ages, and you the ability to access full dynamic web, video, apps and email from anywhere. Even better, now there’s an affordable Android tablet. The eMatic EXP8 runs on Android 4.0, and offers a full-size tablet experience with a 9.7 inch high resolution screen and fast processor and GPU. The EXP is less than a half inch thick and is a great lightweight companion for those on the go. (www.ematic.us; $179.99)
Dock Your iPhone in Style
iPhones are popular partly because of their sleek style. Now, you can add to that its elegance when charging by using the MetalDock, a charger and dock for iPhone 4/4S that offers an elegant, contemporary design, combined with heavy-duty metal construction. Perfect for the home or office, it’s a simple way to stylishly display your phone. (www.bracketron.com; $34.95)
Mobile phones are convenient, but not always comfortable to use as a phone. The ePure Mobile Bluetooth Station offers a handset and speaker phone that allows you to view your phone while speaking, without having to be on speaker. It also connects and recharges your mobile device, and has an extended Bluetooth range of more than 60 feet. Plus, it can reduce exposure to potential radiation from cell phones. The stylish design compliments any desktop, and can even stream your music in stereo. (www.epure.swissvoice.net; $149.99)
This is not at all tech, but what the heck! For people with a passionately prurient palates, the consummate confectioners at 240 Sweet have your fix of luscious luxury. We’re talking magnificent gourmet marshmallows that come in nearly 200 unique flavors, from bacon chocolate chip and salty caramel swirl, to maple with bourbon sugar and even a spicy Thai chili. The puffs are hand-crafted in small batches, using only local, all natural real foods. These are definitely not your grandma’s marshmallows. (www.240sweet.com; from $6.00 for small packages, also available in monthly theme sets.)
Your Gadgets Should Match Your Style
Whether you prefer a classic menswear look or something to reflect your inner preppy, Preppy Princess was a wide range of iPad and iPhone cases for individuals wanting something more elegant than generic covers and cases. The covers are available in “Bespoke Suite” styles, as well as shirt and tie, and nautical flag designs. There are also designs for the anti-preppy, in their “GTH” group. All of the products can be personally monogrammed. (www.PreppyPrincess.com; From $25)
A Powerful Portable Projector
Mobile professionals often need a projector, but they always pose a challenge in airport travel and it’s just inconvenient to have to lug an extra case around. The Acer C120 USB Projector is the solution. It’s travel-friendly size is about as big as one iPhone (and the thickness of two), and the C120 instantly connects to a laptop or PC and is a great fit for travelers, providing up to 1280x800 resolution and 100 Lumens of brightness. (www.Acer.com; $259.99)
Get Your Game On… On Your Tablet
Tablet gaming is on the rise, but playing the games, especially first-person shooter and sports, using the touchscreen isn’t the best interface and hands get in the way of the display. GameStop has the solution, with its exclusive Bluetooth tablet controller, giving gamers with Android tablets a more comfortable gaming experience whether at home or on the go. It has a connectivity range of up to 30 feet, perfect for when playing tablet games when connected to an HDTV. (www.GameStop.com; $39)
A New Way to Record Group Conversations
Instead of relying on individual notes of group meetings or conferences, the new Microcone offers professionals an easy way to record these discussions. With the single microphone arraty device, the system can record people around it from six different directions. It records them onto six different audio channels, so that users can break them down to easily understand each speaker, or use in conjunction with a voice recognition system to automatically produce transcripts. Other benefits include the ability to independently control levels for each person in a group, improved group voice transcription and rich surround sound reproduction of a conversation. Available for Windows and Mac. From $359. (http://dev-audio.com/products/microcone)
Control Your BBQ from Your Smart Phone
Perfect for the backyard grillmaster, especially during chilly winter weather, the CyberQ WiFi is the world's first temperature control device for charcoal grills. It works with any WiFi-enabled device. In short, BBQ Guru gadgets use a fan system that turns on when the temperature needs to rise and turns off when it needs to cool... keeping the charcoal grill at a consistent temperature for hours on end without having to constantly check on it and adjust dampers. (www.thebbqguru.com; $295)
We all have gear: Luggage, laptops, purses, sports equipment, computer cases, backpacks, etc... unfortunately, at first glance many can look the same. Now it's easy and affordable to add some custom swagg to your gear with SwaggerTag. Starting at only $3.99, they're affordable and truly useful, plus you can have them made with family pics, a sports team, corporate logos or almost anything else. They also make unique pet IDs, and can include personal contact information hidden within. (www.swaggertag.com; From $3.99.)
In the January issue, we'll have even more last-minute tech gift ideas. From everyone at CPA Practice Advisor, We wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a prosperous New Year.