There was no Cyber-Monday this year, and not much of a Black Friday. Instead, retailers hosted a minor level of price cuts in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, a means of testing the waters. That text wax only moderately successful, which is good news for technology buffs, because prices of almost everything are now in free-fall. The close we get to the end of the month, the more competition and price cutting we can expect.
At any price, however, there is the other issue of what to buy your favorite geek. Regardless of price. Must of the stuff being celebrated by the tech intelligentsia are relatively worthless to accountants (drones are a good example).
So here’s a list of 10 truly useful tech gifts, just in time for the holidays.
Mophie Powerstation Plus
An accountant who travels will eventually have a power issue – stuck somewhere with a dying battery and no charging stations in site. For this situation, the Mophie Powerstation Plus offers a compact solution with integrated charge and sync cables. The Mophie Powerstation Plus charges faster than the charger that comes with your phone, iPod or tablet and is good for 500 charging cycles at full capacity. Price: Starting at $79.95.
Equil SmartPen 2
Those terrific ideas that crop up in clients meetings – on everything from a napkin to a pad of paper – can now be captured, converted to sleek images and texts, and prepared for sharing with the account team and client.
As you scribble, the smartpen stores each keystroke – or sends it to your tablet or laptop via Bluetooth. There are apps for IOS, Android, XOS and Windows. The pen also comes with two applets, Equil Note and Equil Sketch, to assist the process. Price: Starting at $170.
Android phones send and receive signals from their headphone jacks. Phones normally send audio output to headphones. Pressy takes advantage of the fact that phones are also ‘listening’ for inputs through the headphone jack even when the phone is in sleep mode. Pressy uses button clicks and converts them into signals that your phone can understand. From there, the phone app matches the patterns of the clicks to any of the pre-programmed clickable sequences and, if a match is found, the application is launched! Price: Starting at $25 each.
Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device K480
The all-new K480 is designed to toggle between any three Bluetooth-enabled devices — Android, iOS, Windows or anything else. A built-in tray stand accommodates most tablets and phones. It’s a nice and inexpensive stand/keyboard combination starting at just $50. The solar-powered version is the K760, available for about the same price for Android and slightly more for the IOS version.
Especially for those who grill during the winters months, nothing can kill a meal faster than running out of propane. This smart propane tank gauge connects to a free IOS or Android Wink app so no matter where you are, you’ll always know when it’s time to refuel. Price: $50.
Roku Streaming Stick
Stream over 200,000 movies and TV episodes; plus music, news, sports and more, wherever you are. This small device gives a road warrior accountant access to more than 1,000 free and subscription channels such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, Vudu and Watch ESPN. It requires an HDTV with an HTML connection, and Internet connectivity via wifi – all three of which most hotels now offer. Price: Starts at $38.
iRobot Roomba 770
Roomba 770 removes dirt, dust and pet hair on its own. It features Dirt Detect™ Series 2 technology to concentrate cleaning in the dirtiest areas and a Full Bin Indicator that lets you know when the bin needs to be emptied. Using iAdapt Responsive Navigation Technology, Roomba thoroughly vacuums the entire floor, including hard-to-reach spots under furniture. Dual HEPA air filters stop fine dust from circulating in your home. Price: Starting at $375.
iProp Tablet Stand
The 8-oz., beanbag style iProp will bring an end to tired arms, sore necks, and strained eyes that are the result of using your tablet. Whether you’re watching a movie in bed, browsing on the couch, or playing games on your trip, the iProp will replace your tired arms and hold your device where it’s comfortable for you, so you can focus on the important stuff (the screen!). Works with any tablet thinner than 18 mm, including the iPad, iPad 2, 3 & 4, the iPad Mini, Mini 2, & Mini 3, iPad Air and Air 2, Samsung Galaxy Tabs, Nexus 7 & 10, Dell Venue 8 PRO, Microsoft Surface RT, Surface 2, & Surface Pro 3, LG G Pads, Acer Iconia tabs, Blackberry Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Notes, Barnes and Nobles Nook tablets, HP Touchpads, HP 8, ASUS Tranformer EEE Pad, ASUS Transformer Prime, Toshiba Encores, Sony Experia Tablet S & Z, and many more. Price: Starts at $25.
Digital Signature Pad
An accountant or tax preparer not already using a digital signature pad for client documents is spending unnecessary (and non-billable) time to have clients hand-sign each. The Topaz SigLite T-S460 (SigLite® 1×5) is Topaz’s low-cost, pressure-sensitive electronic signature pad. T-S460 features all the high-quality biometric and forensic capture techniques of a T-S261 (SignatureGem® 1×5) tablet but with a low-cost touchpad and stylus in place of the active electromagnetic pen and sensor. Price: Starting at $101.
Joby Grip Tight Micro Stand
As cell phones increase their photo and video capabilities, they are seeing increased use by accounting firms for events, employee files and pre-production of marketing materials. Keeping the cell phone camera steady is as problem without a camera stand, so enter JOBY. Designed with a durable steel inner frame and zinc alloy legs, the stand is durable enough to keep in your pocket or on your key chain. Price: Starting at $17.