'Tis the Season for Tech -- 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are here … almost. Fortunately, there’s still time to shoo away the Grinch and find some unique tech gifts for your friends, family, coworkers or even just a new toy for yourself.

While thoughts of holiday gift-giving often conjure up visions of the latest personal entertainment gadgets and toys, practical gifts for workplace productivity can also brighten a professional’s mood, especially if it can save them time or stress.

Our tech-focused readers will surely enjoy this year’s gift guide and, hopefully, so will the people who receive the gifts.

From everyone at CPA Practice Advisor, We wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a prosperous New Year.

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Turn Your Workflow Digital in a Snap
Even in the modern paperless office, there is still paper coming in, even if the end product you produce is totally digital. The most effective way to turn paper-based documents into the digital workpapers your firm depends on is to use a next generation scanning solution like those in the ScanSnap line from Fujitsu. Whether a pocket-sized mobile scanner like the S1100, a portable scanner like the S1300i, a desktop model like the iX500, or the SV600 contactless scanner, ScanSnap products and the built-in document automation software can help bring some stress relief year-round. (From $199; www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peripherals/scanners/scansnap)

 

One for the Road
When they’re on the road and living with their laptop, mobile professionals often miss the productivity boost they get from a multiple monitor setup on their desktop. Now, they can take an extra monitor with them. The 16” AOC Portable USB Monitor is perfect for presentations or everyday work, giving users a simple way to add a monitor. And, since it gets its power through the same USB cord that connects the video screen into the laptop or desktop computer, there’s no need for a separate power cord. (From $99; aoc.us.com)

Serious Grilling Requires Serious Gear
The serious outdoor chef is always prepared, and with the Tactical BBQ Apron, he or she will also have quick access to the gear needed for any grilling mission. Instead of digging through piles of tongs, spatulas, thermometers and other BBQ tools, they can be properly assembled onto the MOLLE system that holds everything the grill master requires. Includes multiple pounces, adjustable side straps, Velcro patches and compartments for storing secret spices. ($34.99; www.thinkgeek.com/product/11cd)

Pamper Your Gadgets
If you carry the latest iPhone or iPod, you want to not only keep it protected, you also want to keep it stylish and wearing a case that reflects your tastes. The Leather Collection of cases for iPhone 5s from Adopted features three distinct case styles: frame, wrap and folio. All are crafted using full-grain genuine leather and patent pending metalized frames for maximum protection and style. (From $39.99; www.GetAdopted.com)

Gaming Gear Re-Mastered
The gaming scientists at ROCCAT have taken the old-school three-button mouse and juiced it up with some advanced features to create the Lua. With a user-adjustable Pro-Optic sensor, a rugged, ambidextrous shape, no-sweat side grips and a soft-touch surface, the Lua gives gamers more precise control and the ability to instantly switch speeds in the heat of battle. ($29.99; www.roccat.org/Products/Gaming-Mice/ROCCAT-Lua)

Add a Pocket to Your Phone
Mobile technology has nearly made carrying a bag or thick wallet a thing of the past, but you still need a place to carry your ID, credit cards or a few dollars. The solution: The Q Card Case from CM4. Featuring a lay-flat screen guard for ultimate protection, a soft-touch finish and a pocket with room for three cards plus cash, the Q Card Case is available in multiple colors and styles that fit iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/5s and the Samsung Galaxy S4. ($39.99; www.cm4.com)

Get Your Pulse Up
Whether you’re a casual walker or a hardcore outdoor enthusiast, or even just busy rushing between stores during the holiday shopping season, now there’s a way to keep better track of your lifestyle. The Pulse from Withings helps you be more active and measure it, by capturing all the details from steps taken, calories burned, elevation climbed and distance traveled. It syncs to smartphones or tablets so you can put the information into perspective. ($99.99; www.withings.com)

Sleek & Rugged
Is your phone prepared for the real world? The Hydra Series of mobile phone cases are “designed to survive life,” and feature waterproof, dirt proof, dust proof and impact resistant designs. With the Hydra, even if your phone falls into 7 feet of water for 30 minutes, or falls from up to 8 feet onto a hard surface, it is protected. It also comes with a rugged holster, scratch and impact resistant screen protector, Reinforced Ballistic Corners and a slim design. ($79.99; www.GoBallisticCase.com)

 

 

Audio with Attitude
When your music stands out in a crowd, you want your headphones to match that same personality. With a retro feel but the latest in audio tech quality, Evac over-ear headphones from Wicked Audio goes against the conformist grain and will let its wearer fully slip into the music corner of their mind. ($49.99; www.WickedAudio.com)

The Gift of a Green Thumb
Not everyone was born with a green thumb, but now even the non-savvy gardener can enjoy a real house plants that automates all of its own watering and feeding. Even better, they produce herbs to enhance your cooking. The Click and Grow is an easy-to-use electronic “smartpot” that grows real herbs and flowers, and automatically measures and applies the right amount of water, fertilizer and air based on the plant’s needs. (www.clickandgrow.com; $79.99 starter kit; $19.99 for additional plants/refills.)

Make Your TV Smarter
The latest generation of televisions are enhanced with the latest in interactive tools, but what if you’re not ready to get rid of your T.V. that’s only a few years old, but you still want internet on your T.V? Fortunately, the SmartStick TV Streamer makes it easy, without the need for a clunky box or tangled cables. Simply plug the SmartStick into the USB port on your T.V., and you can quickly access various television and entertainment apps, including Netflic, Hulu Plus, ESPN, Vudu, Facebook, Twitter and even Angry Birds. ($49.99; www.favientertainment.com)

Kickin It, In Style
Whether you want to pump up the bass or mellow out to some classical tunes, the i-Mego Throne Cambo over-the-ear headphones offer outstanding audio quality and performance, along with eye-catching design innovations that combine to provide unique and stylish headgear.  ($79.99; www.i-mego.com)

Thin Is In … For Your Keyboard, Too
From cell phones to tablets, sleek is chic when it comes to mobile tech. Now that same thin style is available for iPad users with the Bluetooth 3.0 Rapoo E6300, an ultra-thin wireless keyboard that offers the tactile benefits of typing on a real keyboard instead of a touch screen. The compact keyboard can easily fit in a pocket, briefcase or carryall, making it a convenient accessory to your must-have tablet. ($49.99; www.rapoo.com)

The Modern Booq Bag
Not all professionals want to lug around a laptop case or briefcase, which is why the creative geniuses at Booq have designed the BOA Squeeze, a laptop backpack that includes dense padding to protect your electronics, along with enough pockets for all of your other gear. The durable, water-repellent ballistic nylon is loaded with additional features, and it’s slim design will enhance your style. It’s a Booq-bag, get it? ($129.95; www.booqbags.com)

Extreme Protection
Protecting your iPhone is important, but it can be a real challenge for those who venture into extreme environments. The SLXtreme5 is up to any challenge, sporting a waterproof, rugged design, the case for the iPhone 5/5S also includes a solar-powered battery to keep your phone going longer or to charge it in emergency situations. With a military specification certification rating of 810G, it can protect your phone from 6 ft. (2m) falls, dust and sand and a waterproof rating of IP-68 for up to 6 ft. (2m) depths. ($149.99; www.snowlizardproducts.com)

Go Speed Racer
Take your virtual racing into the real world with the Griffin Moto TC Rally Car. The USB-powered and rechargeable car is controlled wirelessly from an app on the driver's mobile device. Using Bluetooth technology, the Rally racer is ready to roar- whether on-road or off. The car can also be used in competitions with other drivers, adn It includes impact sensors that detect virtual damage from other drivers and obstacles. The app's game functions also include bonuses, flip controls, and car configuration options. ($99.99; (www.griffintechnology.com/moto-tc-rally)

100-Proof Power on the Go
Having your phone, tablet, laptop and other devices run low on power when you're on the road is a constant worry for mobile professionals. Never fear, the PowerFlask is here. The portable recharging system works with all USB-powered devices, including iPhones, iPads, Galaxy Tabs, Androids and virtually everything else. The intoxicating design (yes, it's similar to a flask) features a black bicast leather skin with gleaming silver chrome trim. It can charge up to three devices at the same time and, just like a flask, is easy to tuck into a pocket, bag or pouch. ($69.95; www.digitaltreasures.com/PowerFlask)

 

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From everyone at CPA Practice Advisor, We wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a prosperous New Year.

 

 

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