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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By the editors of Kiplinger's Personal Finance
| November 4, 2013
Wondering what to get for the tech junkie in your life for the holidays? We've selected 18 of the coolest gadgets of the season. From smart phones, to cutlery, to pet trackers, there's surely something here for the whole family, including man’s best friend.
You can find prices as low as $330 on an Acer Aspire V5 laptop with 4 gigabytes of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.
SEE ALSO: Cheap Cloud Computers
Android fans can’t go wrong with the Samsung Galaxy S4, a slim, 5-inch phone with a rear camera that may make you ditch your point-and-shoot. Price: $200 and up with a two-year AT&T, Sprint or Verizon contract, or look for a deal on Amazon.
The Vizio 55-inch Class Razor LED Smart TV ($768 at Walmart) comes with built-in Wi-Fi and apps for streaming Netflix and other services.
SEE ALSO: 8 Ways to Stream From the Web to Your TV
Buying a tablet for a preteen or younger child? The Kindle Fire HD ($139) has the best built-in parental controls—you can set time limits on reading, video-watching and game-playing—plus a wide selection of children’s books.
The Fitbit One ($100) is a health tracker that clips onto your belt or bra. It includes a screen that displays the number of steps taken and distance walked, calories burned, stairs climbed, and even hours slept. Info syncs wirelessly to a computer and a few phone models. If you prefer a trendy wristlet style, you can opt for the Fitbit Force ($130).
SEE ALSO: Healthy Habits That Save You Money
Born to run? The Garmin Forerunner 10 is a lightweight GPS wristwatch that displays essential factoids: distance, pace and calories burned. It beeps when you finish each mile, compares your current pace to your target and is comfy to wear. $130.
SEE ALSO: Best Bets for GPS Apps and Devices
A Pro Santoku Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels (7-inch model, $120) is a beautifully balanced, Asian-style chef’s knife that will become your go-to tool for chopping meat, fish or veggies.
The Self-Watering Planter by Lechuza ($40; other models available) has a water-recycling system that automatically waters your plants for up to 12 weeks.
Chunky bling watches go to the next level with the cutting-edge Samsung Galaxy Gear. It acts as a liaison between you and a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smart phone so you can take calls and send texts via the watch, while the Note 3 stays tucked away in your pocket or handbag. $300.
Stream music from your phone or tablet wirelessly from up to 50 feet away with a UE Mobile Boombox with Bluetooth by Logitech ($80). It has a ten-hour rechargeable battery.
Mark Hunter via Creative Commons
For the handyman in your life, a Laser Distance Measurer by DeWalt ($123 at www.homedepot.com) measures distance (up to 100 feet) and calculates square and cubic footage quickly and accurately.
SEE ALSO: Home Remodeling Done Right
Will Folsom & Developers.android.com via Creative Commons
The Google Nexus 7 Android tablet ($229 for the 16GB version) is $100 cheaper than the iPad Mini and more likely to be discounted during the holiday season.
SEE ALSO: 5 Tablet Alternatives to the iPad
Charge your phone, tablet or digital camera with the Amp Portable Solar Charger by Voltaic ($99), which offers twice the battery storage of most other solar chargers. The 1.1-pound device comes with two solar panels and a USB battery.
Janitors via Creative Commons
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a Windows phone with a rear camera that packs a whopping 41 megapixels and lets you zoom and crop digital pics. One caveat: Windows has far fewer apps than the Apple or Android platforms. Price: $200 and up with a two-year AT&T contract.
SEE ALSO: Best Ways to Share and Store Your Photos Online
The Tagg pet tracker sends an alert to your smart phone if Fido wanders outside of the home zone. You get the tracker collar clip and three months of service for $100. After that, it’s $7.95 per month.
SEE ALSO: The True Cost of Owning a Pet
The iPhone 5s ($200 and up with a two-year contract from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon) has some cool new features: a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your phone, an improved rear-facing camera and speedier performance.
Instead of giving Apple’s new-generation iPad as a gift this holiday season, snap up the iPad 4 ($499 for the 16GB version). It is likely to drop $100 in price.