It’s happened to every last one of us. The gifts are wrapped, you’re checking your list, and realize that you’ve missed one. The gadget fan. The “tech nerd”, as your great aunt might say. A bottle of wine is not going to cut it. Fortunately, you’ve got options, even at the last minute.
We’ve been using the Fitbit Ionic for several weeks to track workouts and serve as a watch, and as an exercise buddy, it’s close to perfect. It’s easy to configure, with a large face that’s easy to read and a touchscreen that’s just responsive enough to be quick without lighting up at every touch. It can also take a beating; we’ve not only worked out in it, we’ve done everyday chores like washing dishes and shoveling snow and it holds up.
It also has some of the better pedometer and heart rate features we’ve tried. If you know somebody’s planning to be more active in the new year, this will be the perfect gift.
DJI Mavik Pro Quadcopter
Ever wonder how those ultra-smooth, incredibly high resolution videos you see on YouTube come from? It’s usually from the Mavik Pro, one of the top-end consumer drones. It’s fun to learn, and once you get the hang of it, you can zoom around the neighborhood, a local forest, or anywhere else and get a new perspective on the world around you.
Just don’t fly it over a ren faire.
Lenovo Yoga 920: Star Wars Special Edition
Of all the “convertibles” you can find, that is laptops that can become tablets, Lenovo offers one of the best. The Star Wars branding is just a bonus.
Know an action camera fan? Then you’ve probably seen them struggle to get perfect shots with a simple mount or holding the camera by hand. Help them out with the Skylab Gimbal, which keeps the camera relatively motionless even if you’re running a full sprint.
Smart lightbulbs like the Philips Hue can be surprisingly handy. You don’t need them everywhere, of course, but having them in your porch, in a light near the door, or other places where you might have your hands full and can’t fumble for a switch is hugely useful. That they tie to voice devices like the Amazon Echo is a handy bonus; you can just ask Alexa to turn on your lights for you if you walk in the door with groceries. We recommend the white light set for Philips Hue; the color shifting lights are fun, but unless your gift recipient is really into light color, they’ll probably never use it.
WeMo Mini Smart Plug
Smart plugs are handy ways to make your house lightly smart. If you don’t want a full robot house, say, but like the idea of being able to flip on some appliances remotely or just by asking, the WeMo Mini Smart Plug is cheap, unobtrusive and, unlike almost every other smart plug out there, designed not to hog the whole outlet.
Happy holidays and good hunting, you last minute shoppers.