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5 tech gifts for last minute holiday shoppers

Still haven't finished all your holiday shopping? There's still (very little) time to pick up some great last minute gifts like a battery pack, a tablet and more.
By
December 22, 2014
Nexus 9-19

Christmas is just a mere few days away now, so surely you’ve completed all your holiday shopping, right? Okay, let’s be honest, sometimes stuff happens then causes us to wait until the last possible moment — a last minute visitor needs a gift, you simply were a little short on cash up until now, you simply forgot someone on your list and so on. Regardless of your reason, there’s still time to save Christmas for that special someone and pick up the perfect gift.

In fact, many of these items are even cheaper then they were a mere few weeks or months earlier. Of course, you’ll also have to pay significantly more for shipping than you would even just a few days earlier, as all the “free Christmas shipping” deals have pretty much dried up by now. Thankfully you can still get that gift in time thanks to one and two-day shipping options on Amazon.

Google Nexus 9

The brand new Nexus 9 from Google and HTC is an Android fanboy’s dream. It runs the purest, most recent version of Android – Lollipop 5.0 – and it will stay current for at least two years. There are no OEM additions (though stock Android may be a little too minimal for your taste) and therefore nothing to bog down the user experience.

The Nexus 9 is just as impressive on the hardware side – you get a 64-bit dual-core Tegra K1 processor running at 2.3GHz, a beautiful 1536 x 2048 pixels screen, stereo front speakers (disguised under the protective glass), 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, an 8MP rear cam, 1.6MP front cam and a big 6,700 mAh battery. However, like all Nexus devices, there’s no microSD card slot.

The device features a utilitarian, yet elegant design, with an aluminum frame that gives it rigidity without adding much heft.


Beats Pill XL Portable Bluetooth Speaker

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The Beats Pill XL offers some of the best audio performance we’ve heard on a Bluetooth speaker. It’s sleek, made from premium materials and offers up to 15 hours of audio playback on one charge. It even has a nifty battery saver mode, which turns off the speaker after 10 minutes of not being used. If you decide this speaker isn’t loud enough for you, sync two Beats Pills together to give double the volume. This is a great Bluetooth speaker, and we think it will be difficult to find a better one out there — though obviously it comes at a fairly premium price.


Fire TV

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The Fire TV is Amazon’s answer to Google’s Chromecast. Though the Chromecast is a simply an HDMI dongle that plugs directly into the TV, Amazon’s Fire TV is a set-top box, allowing for a little more substance when it comes to software. The interface is similar to that of the Nexus Player, where it suggests movies, television shows, and games based on your history. It comes with a voice search-enabled remote that allows you to search more easily than typing your queries onto the screen. Amazon is also throwing in a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, letting you experience a huge selection of movies, television shows, and more.

Stuck on whether to buy the Amazon Fire TV or the Chromecast? Check out our hands-on!


Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E4 13000mAh External Battery Pack

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Personally I find battery packs to be one of the best gits (or stocking stuffers) for those times when you simply can’t think of anything else to put under the tree. After all, who couldn’t use a bit more juice for a long camping trip, shopping excursion or other moments where we simply can’t get to an outlet? While many of the geeks in your life will very likely have one (or more) battery packs laying about, it’s a useful gift for even the non-techie phone/tablet owners in your life, and it is something they likely will never to think to buy on their own.

External battery packs don’t usually come cheap, especially for anything over 5,000mAh. Well, most of the time. The Anker Astro E4 battery pack packs in 13,000mAh. This device is small, sleek, and even comes with an LED flashlight built in.


Amazon Gift Cards

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Having trouble figuring out what to give your favorite tech head this holiday season (or even that non-techie in your life)? When in doubt, Amazon gift cards may just be the answer. From tech to fashion and so much more, you’ll find almost anything on Amazon and there’s denominations that are as little as $10 or as high as $2000.