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Hottest holiday tech

Top ideas for under the tree

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I was at a Starbucks recently, and saw they have already updated their drink menu for the Christmas season.

Sipping on my caramel brulé, I realized if you want to shop online, orders must be placed shortly so they can arrive in time for Christmas. If you have a tech brother, niece, son, granddaughter -- whatever -- hopefully I can provide some insight into what their little technology hearts might desire.

Let's talk categories. The typical technology gifts are smartphones, tablets, headphones, iPods and laptops. What's the coolest product from each of those categories? Let me help you -- plus, I'll throw in some bonus gift suggestions, too.

1. Reviews for the iPad Mini are in, and they are good! This small tablet would make a great Christmas gift. iPad Mini is perfectly sized for social media, web browsing, video-watching, games and more. The added bonus is this tablet is $329, so it isn't terribly expensive. Your special someone will not be disappointed to find this tablet under the tree. Purchase: Apple website, or Apple store.

2. Headphones always make for a great gift. Many of you would think to buy Dr. Dre Beats because that is the current fad, but this year I would recommend SMS Audio's Street by 50 Cent. These headphones are incredibly stylish, and the sound quality is incredible. There is a wireless version, but I'd recommend saving $200 and buying the wired version for $179.95. Purchase: .

3. A Blade Runner Umbrella would make any Blade Runner or Star Wars enthusiast extremely happy. It's an umbrella, but the handle and shaft are a LED blue light sabre. This gift is incredibly geeky, but also freaking awesome. It costs only $24.95 plus shipping, so this may fit in a smaller budget. Purchase: .

4. Vio Light -- Studies show cellphones have more bacteria than a public washroom toilet seat. Disgusting, right? Vio Light is a docking station for the iPhone that sanitizes and zaps those unwanted germs away. This product costs $49.95. Purchase: .

5. Smartphones are always a popular Christmas gift, but which is the right one to choose? Well, you know my opinion, I have ranted against the iPhone 5 for the past three months so I'm definitely going to be recommending the GS3 this holiday season. The phone is fantastic, has great battery life, and is just all-around awesome. Purchase: Rogers Store.

6.A $49 iPod? Boo-yah! You can't go wrong with an iPod shuffle. I've had one for more than three years, still works, still holds it charge, and it still gets the job done. This gift is perfect for that outdoorsy and very active person. It has a built-in clip and is very lightweight, which makes it perfect for slow or vigorous activity. Purchase: .

7. Get rid of those headphones, plug in the TuneBug and blast that music! TuneBug is a mini-auxiliary speaker that will allow you to play your music from your smartphone or what have you nice and loud. It only costs $69.99 so it fits into many budgets. Purchase: .

8. This gift is a little more expensive, so you are going to have to really love this person if you buy them a MacBook Air. I've always been a huge fan of the Air. It comes in two sizes: 11-inch and 13-inch. The base model starts at $999, and I'd highly recommend it. If this product is too costly, I'd recommend getting an iPad Mini. They're very close in abilities, but obviously the MacBook Air trumps the Mini.

I hope this list has helped you. Over the next few weeks, I'll be throwing in many more techy Christmas gift suggestions. I want to create a diverse list that will fit in across many different budgets. If you guys have any quick questions, hit me up on Twitter @thedavidbell. If you guys need some consulting, or you just need more ideas, shoot me an email. I can definitely help you out!


David Bell (@thedavidbell) is a young entrepreneur in Winnipeg. He specializes in emerging technology and online aspects of business, including web and social media consulting. Access his company online at . He is an active member of the YouTube community (, with more than two million views and 5,000 subscribers. He was also a Dragons' Den contestant. Email: .

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 4, 2012 A15

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