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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Your technology gift guide

Dec 06, 2018 03:05AM ● By Adam Cochran

It’s December, which means the gift-giving season is upon us. So this year, my gift to you is this technology gift guide.

The following products are recommendations based on my experience with each item. Indeed, these are a few of my favorite things.


There are dozens of inexpensive tablet computers and ebooks on the market, but the iPad is by far the most versatile. The iPad Mini or standard iPad will do 95 percent of the jobs that are most fitting for a tablet.


There are two great choices when it comes to smartwatches. The Fitbit (Ionic or Versa models) and the Apple Watch. The Fitbit is an underrated fitness watch with support for a variety of apps, and a sub-$250 price. The Apple Watch is a James-Bond-like assortment of features and apps but the price is over $400 for most models.

I love my Fitbit because the battery lasts almost a week while the Apple Watch needs to be recharged every night. Both watches feature heart rate monitoring, GPS, relaxation apps, and allow you to screen calls and control your music from the watch’s touchscreen.


Bells, whistles and brands vary, but almost any 4K TV is probably better than the one you have, even if it’s only a couple years old. This holiday season, you’ll probably find a number of great deals on gigantic Vizio and Samsung 4K TVs for under $1,000. If you can afford to spend a little more, get one with HDR (high dynamic range). It’s worth the extra dough.

Bluetooth headphones

Phones, computers and tablets all offer support for Bluetooth peripherals. If you enjoy music, podcasts, movies, video games, or any other multimedia content, a set of Bluetooth headphones can be extremely handy.

Bluetooth headphones are wireless with a range of around 30 feet. That means you can listen to audio in headphones even if the device with the content is located in a different room. I’ll also argue that they are safer than corded headphones, with no cord to get tangled up in the chainsaw. If I want to skip a track or pause the music, I can use the controls that are on the headphones themselves or on my Fitbit.

A car phone mount

You should never text and drive, but using your phone as a GPS or playing music through your car stereo can be very handy.

I recently purchased a phone mount that allows me to place my phone in my windshield so that I don’t have to take my eyes off the road to look at the GPS, screen calls or skip songs on Pandora. If you have one of the new wireless charging phones, you can buy a mount that also charges your phone for under $50.

Hopefully, one or more of these items will be the perfect gift for a friend or loved one on your shopping list.