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What tech gifts did you give and receive this holiday season?
It’s that time of the week again: Friday Debate. For this week, we asking those that celebrated the Holiday Season this year (Hanukkah, Christmas, what have you) — what kind of tech-related gifts did you get? If you received multiple items, be sure to tell us about your favorite, and why. Additionally, did you gift any tech-related goodies to your friends and loved ones this year?
For those that don’t celebrate gift-giving during the holidays or simply didn’t get any tech-related items this season, if you could receive any tech gadget (Android phones, accessories, etc) without paying a single cent for the privilege, what would you hope to receive?
As is our recent custom, we start out the Friday Debate by hearing from our community, followed by members of Team AA and finally we’ll give our readers the opportunity to voice their opinion in the comments section. As yesterday was Christmas, there wasn’t a whole lot of response from the community this week, but our community’s MasterMuffin was gracious enough to respond!
I’ve been a long time Android user, but I’ve always stayed away from Android tablets. I had been talking about the Nexus 9 for a long time and someone from my family must have remembered that while doing their Christmas shopping. I didn’t ask for it, because I think Christmas isn’t about expensive gifts or getting everything you want, but I’m not complaining! The N9 definitely isn’t as bad as some say, but it isn’t as good as some say either. I didn’t get one with horrible screen bleeding or a moving rear cover, but this one does have the unresponsive volume and power keys. Also I don’t like that it constantly redraws the launcher when pressing home key. Those are all quite small problems though, it’s overall a solid device. By the way, I got the Nexus 5 last year, I’d like this tradition of getting a Nexus every year to continue!
I also got a lot of DVDs (that’s somewhat tech-related, right?). I guess someone in the house doesn’t like the fact that I keep stressing our router by torrenting huge movies often. Now they’ve been paid for, I’m not a bad person! I didn’t give anything with electricity running inside. Happy holidays to all.
What Team AA has to say
Now that you’ve had a look at what community member Mastermuffin had to say, it’s time for Team AA to weigh in:
Almost all tech related gifts that got flung around by my family and friends this year revolved around gaming. I received an Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle along with a copy of Dragon Age Inquisition along with a Nintendo 3DS and a copy of Bravely Default. It was a much needed refresh in my gaming repertoire that had included such brand new games as Halo 4, NHL 14, and a PSP running PlayStation games from the late 1990’s.
My friends all got awesome things from their families but from me, it was video games (I think all together, we unwrapped about a dozen video games yesterday). They were happy, I was happy, and it was all around a great holiday. We ended it with about 3.5 hours of Cards Against Humanity and blueberry pie.
Personally, I was quite happy that I didn’t give or get any Android-related devices this year. It sounds weird but I’ve come to learn after many, many hours of helping others and reading comments that it’s actually not always a good idea to buy someone a device like that. I remember when I got my first tablet, I was so excited about it but it ended up laying in a pile of dust for a year because I had no idea what to do with it. I feel like for many people, it would be the same thing. I helped someone in our forums once pick out a phone. Based on his use case, I suggested a phone that would’ve been perfect for him but he ended up going with something else and was totally happy with it. Shows what I know about people’s preferences, right? Thus, no one got a tablet or a smartwatch or a smartphone under the tree from me this year.
On the flip side, I’m super glad no one bought me any Android devices this year. Like most bloggers, I have many complex opinions on what I think a great device should be that changes about every 3 months. It would’ve been impossible and unfair to make someone try to shop for an Android-related gift for me. I also own a tablet, a smartwatch, and two smartphones so I feel like I actually wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much. I already spend egregious amounts of money in the Google Play Store, so there wasn’t really anything on my wishlist that a gift card would’ve helped with. Thankfully, my friends know me better than that.
With that in mind, video games were the obvious choice. Everyone in my circle loves video games (including me) and it’s extremely easy to find video games they don’t own that they want to own. There were plenty of great Android deals this year, but in my apartment, outside of a Google Play gift card (my brother plays a game with IAPs and wanted to take advantage of a deal on them), there was no Android at Christmas this year for me.
First off, Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you had a great one.
This year I gave my fiance a Nexus 7, and I’m happy to report that she’s having a ball with it. She loves playing builder games like The Simpsons and Ice Age, and since she’s always playing on her 4.7 inch phone, I thought she could use the extra screen space. She also reads books quite a lot on her phone, and with the Nexus 7 being the absolute perfect size for reading books, I think she won’t be using her phone for such things ever again.
I didn’t get any tech stuff this year because well, I pretty much already have everything I need. I wanted a bunch of things for the gym, and I got everything I wanted!
If I could have ANY piece of tech it would have to be a true gamer desktop PC. My laptop is a 20 inch Intel i7 monster, with 8gigs of RAM and an Nvidia 650M graphic card with 2GB of its own memory, which allows me to run games like AC4 Black Flag or Batman Arkham Orgins on high with no problems. But there are a few games it struggles to run on high, and we all know that laptops aren’t optimal for gaming regardless of specs (mainly due to heat). As there still isn’t a game for the Xbox One or PS4 that has convinced me to go next gen yet, a gamer PC with 16GB of RAM, an updated i7, and a beefier graphics card is pretty much all I’m missing. The thought of a true gamer rig appeals to me more than any next gen console right now, as PC gaming is making a huge comeback. Plug a powerful PC into TV via HDMI, fire up the wireless Xbox 360 PC adapter, and see how badly you miss a console.
As far as a phone or a tablet, if I could have any device it would be either the newest iPad Air or the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. The massive screen of the Pro tablet with all the Spen goodies is surely to be fun, but I could buy a nice computer for the price of the thing. An iPad Air 2 would be awesome because, well, iPads just work so darn well at pretty much everything they are made to do.
If I was really reaching, I would go with a Nexus 6 only because I like big screens. But as I’m so satisfied with Lollipop on the Note 3 (more on that to come), I don’t really have any phone wishes at present.
I didn’t receive anything tech-related this year, though I bought my mother a TYLT Energi 2K battery pack for Christmas. Now TYLT makes some great products — they’re super high quality and perform really well. And usually, I couldn’t see myself spending $40 on a battery pack that can’t even charge a smartphone up to 100%… so I didn’t. A few weeks ago TYLT was hosting a 50% off sale, which included everything on the website. I snagged one of the battery packs for only $20, which is an okay deal for the quality that comes with TYLT products. She seems to be enjoying it so far, and it’s already been used quite a bit.
Since I didn’t receive anything tech related, I suppose I’ll weigh in on what I wouldn’t mind getting without paying a cent. I’m really enjoying my tech setup so far. My Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) are both holding up really well. A few months ago, I purchased an 11-inch MacBook Air, which is what I use for work. I’ve been really liking my experience with the computer, but at 11-inches, it’s a bit small for my taste. I’d have to say that a new monitor would be my choice for the next tech-related item in my queue. As for specifics? I’ve been looking at the ASUS VS248H-P 24-Inch HD LED monitor. It’s relatively inexpensive and has a pretty decent resolution, coupled with a big screen size.
Like Jimmy, I also did not receive any tech this year, but I gave tech. For most, I also gave the gift of power!
You know, electricity, not those other types of power.
It is happening to all of us, we are gathering more and more electronic devices in our lives, and they all need power. I am grateful, in ways you can probably imagine, that a ton of tech these days is conforming to this crazy Universal Serial Bus standard of the micro persuasion. I do not miss the days of having to lug around multiple cable types.
With all these devices running micro USB, I have purchased chargers and cables for the folks in my life. Anker is my preferred manufacturer of chargers and Monoprice for cables.
I am a fan of having power everywhere in my world, from the wall and portable, because a dead device is a useless device – and I would hate to put ‘useless’ and ‘Android’ in the same sentence.
Now it’s your turn
You’ve heard from Mastermuffin and Team AA, now it’s your turn. Tell us what you gave and received, tech-wise, this year. For those that didn’t get any tech gifts (or don’t celebrate any of the typical gift-giving holidays), let us know what tech-related gizmos you’d love to be given.