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Holiday Gift Guide: Tech

Ready to shop for the techie in your life? From tablets and tech toys to game systems and beauty gadgets, we have your holiday tech shopping covered.

Tablets for the Whole Family holiday gift tablets for parents, tots and teensOnce again, tablets will be a hot item gracing wishlists from preschoolers to parents. The new Kindle Fire HD promises to please the whole family with an improved high-resolution HD display for movies, faster processor for browsing the web, and a longer battery life so you can try one more time to beat your Candy Crush high score.

You can also read your books, listen to your music and give your kids time and content limits with the included Kindle FreeTime. Toys R Us released their updated Tabeo e2 tablet for kids 5 and up (though let’s be honest, your 3-year-old could probably handle it just fine.) This Android-based tablet has an 8″ screen, dual-facing camera, microphone, and a removable hard case. Plus it’s ready for play right out of the box with 30 preloaded apps like Fruit Ninja, Little Pim, Temple Run 2 and Crayola with the Tabeo app store offering thousands of other free apps. The new Surface Pro 2 from Microsoft gives you the size and convenience of a tablet with the power of a laptop. It has a Window 8.1, the ability to split the screen and run two apps at once, a built-in kickstand and comes with a free year of unlimited Skype.

For kids that can’t get enough of your iPhone, we suggest the innovative PlayMG. Designed for younger kids who can’t have a phone yet, the MG is a portable Wi-Fi device that features over 60,000 games, a cool touch screen, and a cool “Digital Wallet” and “Remote Trust” notification functions so parents never need to be shocked by unwanted app purchases.

Another favorite tablet is the Lenovo Miix tablet. Perfect for families, this tablet is a great for families where parents can browse the web and kids can watch movies. It is also ideal for on-the-go travel and work thanks to its “quick flip” keyboard case.

Last but not least, LeapFrog has hit another homerun with their new LeapPad Ultra Learning Tablet. Unlike the previous LeapPad, the award-winning Ultra model has a touch screen, thinner frame, rechargeable battery pack, WiFi and a fun peer-to-peer play option so your kids can race and challenge each other each other.

Another favorite is VTech’s InnoTab 3S, a fun children’s learning tablet with Kid Connect, a unique app that allows families to communicate. This includes fun features where kids can send voice messages, text messages, animated stickers, photos and drawings to parents’ smartphones and tablets, from a kid-safe, kid-friendly tablet.  Parents can also send messages all over the world. Another bonus is that it includes Wi-Fi, a kid-safe web browser, a rechargeable battery and 20 free apps. Designed for kids  ages 3 – 9, the device also has a special price for the holidays at only $69.99 that makes it quite the bargain where kids can discover 650 titles of additional age-appropriate content – making for hours of fun and learning.

Gifts for the Video Gamer new video games for the holidays The video gamer in your life will have lots of chose from this holiday season – a new console, new handheld and dozens of new games. The new Xbox One is an all-in-one entertainment system that combines your movies, music, movies, games, apps, and live TV together in one system. (Yeah for simplifying!) New features include voice-activation (“Xbox on. Xbox, go to Hulu”), biometric sign-in (Xbox One recognizes you and loads your favorite apps, shows and games), instant switching between games, apps, tv and music, Smart Match for games and much more.

If you’re looking for something smaller, check out the Nintendo 2DS, an affordable entry-level handheld game device which has many of the features of the 3DS like touch-screen controls, StreetPass, online multiplayer functionality and the ability to download games, but without the 3D capability or price tag. There are also lots of new video games to choose from this season, but we’re looking forward to these kid-friendly releases – Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, The Croods: Prehistoric Party!, and Turbo: Super Stunt Speed.

Must-Buys for Beauty Lover holiday tech gifts for beauty loversTechnology helps us do more and stay organized, so why not help us look better too? These new beauty tech products are perfect to give (or receive!) for the beauty lovers in your life. I’m sure you’ve been hearing about the new T3 Featherweight hair dryer that actually makes your hair healthier as you use it – even healthier than air drying! I can tell you that this hair dryer makes getting salon-style shiny, frizz-free, static-free hair at home possible with T3′s Tourmaline® that emits negative ions and healthy infrared heat and their SoftAire™ technology fan that pushes out air in a wide, cone-shape allowing your hair to dry quickly, but gently (mine dried in less than 4 minutes!) This special T3 holiday gift set combines the Featherweight 2 dryer with Alterna’s Caviar CC Cream Complete Correction Hair Perfector which offers 10 benefits in one do-it-all, leave-in product – perfect for creating holiday-worthy hair.

If it’s other hair you’re worried about, you’ll want the new Tria Hair Removal Laser 4x by Tria Beauty which uses an FDA-cleared diode laser to eliminate unwanted hair. The updated Tria 4x has a longer battery, LED display showing battery life and a pulse counter, and 5 treatment levels to match your pain tolerance. Plus this new Tria 4x is approved for use on the face (women only, sorry guys.) I’ve used the Tria and can vouch that it works as good as professional laser treatments for hair removal (as long as you are consistent). I love that this updated model is easier to use, has a longer battery life for doing larger areas like legs and comes in 8 colors to help you start the new year with silky smooth skin. Finally, we can’t forget about your most important asset this holiday season – Clarisonic’s Mia 2 promises to clean your face 6 times better than using your hands plus allows your moisturizers, creams, and serums to absorb better into your skin. Every time I don’t use my Clarisonic, I shudder to think about all that grime I’m not getting off. The Mia 2 has two speeds and comes with a carrying case and sensitive brush head (though you can order one of Clarisonic’s five other brush head styles to fit your needs).  

Better Sights & Bigger Sounds Holiday tech giftsParents used to lugging cameras to soccer games and piano recitals, amusement parks and school assemblies will rejoice. This holiday season, Canon proves less can be more with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR camera yet. The EOS Rebel SL1 has an upgraded 18.0 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, DIGIC 5 Image Processor, and new Kid, Food and Candlelight modes. I don’t know what most of that means, but what I do know is the pictures come out waaaay better than my cell phone and at just 14.3 oz, it doesn’t weigh down my purse. It’s an investment to be sure, but one that will pay off with years and years of beautiful pictures.

Looking to capture your family adventures in a whole new way? The new GoPro HERO3+ camera attaches to your bike, boat, helmet, handlebar, surfboard, or chest strap to get your video camera right into the action (basic mounts included; additional mounts may be needed depending on the activity). Kids of all ages will love to see themselves catching a wave, hitting a jump, or carving the slopes. This latest model is smaller and lighter, but more powerful than previous GoPros. Plus it has built-in WiFi for use with the WiFi remote and GoPro app, a waterproof housing to protect it up to 131 feet underwater, and captures amazing, professional-quality videos and stills right in the middle of your wildest family activities.

The Shutterball is a small way to help your selfies and group shots look a whole lot better. This remote shutter and mini-stand remove the distortion that often happens when you take selfies and helps you get in the group shot, triggering the camera from up to 60 feet away. Have a music lover in your life? Sonos music systems allow you to wirelessly stream your music (mp3s, Pandora, internet radio and more) throughout your house and expand your music system to fit your needs. The Sonos Playbar connects to your TV, can be controlled by your smart phone, and will transform your movie watching and music listening while the Play 1 Gift Pack is an excellent starter pack for transitioning your home away from traditional radio.

The Ultimate Ears MINI BOOM packs a punch of sound into a tiny package. The 10 hours battery life and 50 foot wireless range makes the MINI BOOM ideal for party music in your backyard or at the beach, lullabies or white noise for nap time, or family phone calls to grandma.

For workouts, travel, or day-to-day, the new urBeats Earbud Headphones by Dr. Dre offer noise-cancellation, amazing sound quality, and built-in mic all packaged in an ultra-lightweight design.

Tech Toys for Tots to Teens Tech toys for kids and teensReady to introduce your tot to the world of tech? The Vtech Lil’ Smart Top is geared for 18 months to 4 years and teaches your child letters, phonics, music, and shapes through activities, songs and stories. You can even personalize it with your child’s name and favorite stories and songs by downloading additional content. And at just $19.99, it will let you keep your tablet to yourself – at least for a little bit longer.

Have a HEXBUG fan in your house? They’ll flip over the two new additions to the family – the gravity-defying, climbing Nano V2 HEXBUGS and building sets and the Aquabot, a water-born micro robotic creature powered by electro-magnetic propulsion. It’s like having a fish without any of the clean-up! Another clean-up-free pet is the popular Zoomer Interactive Dog. Kids can train him to sit, stay, roll over and do tricks — sans any wet spots on your kitchen floor. Fun for your kids and a good gauge of how responsible they’d be with a real dog.

Parents with budding inventors will want to pick up a new littleBits Kit this holiday season. Awarded Dr. Toy’s top Tech Toys and Best Children’s Toys for 2013, littleBits aims to make anyone an inventor by making electronics easier to understand. The Base Kit comes with 10 click-together Bit modules including a motor, buzzer, light sensor, dimmer, and more, allowing your child to create over 150,000 possible circuit combinations including an alarm, prank handshake buzzer, windmill, car and more. Guaranteed fun for kids and adult alike. If your kids love LEGOs, but are ready for more, the new Mindstorms EV3 is sure to amaze. This investment piece comes with a touch sensor, color sensor, infrared sensor and more than 550 LEGO Technic elements to create five different walking, talking robotic creations. Geared for ages 10+ or an excellent family project.

Tech Gifts for Techies

tech gifts for techies

These holiday tech gifts are sure to impress the technophile in you life. The Leap Motion lets your control your computer’s applications, games and more with a swish, flick or swipe of your hand. The LG Pocket Photo  Mini Mobile Printer lets you wirelessly print your Android smartphone photos – perfect for getting those Instagram pics on the fridge or getting grandma a copy of that group holiday photo. The future is here – for under $200, this Sony SmartWatch 2 lets you check the time, Facebook, or email, take a call or listen to music from your watch. The genius Iris Starter Kits let you control, monitor and keep track of your home’s temperature, security, pet doors, surveillance cameras, and more – all from your smartphone. Finally, a gift for techies to give perhaps? Google Chromecast plugs into your parents’ TV to let them enjoy movies, shows, music, and more from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Google Play Movies and more. Without getting a new TV.

Whew! That’s a lot of tech. What’s topping your tech wish list this holiday season?

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. Samples of some products were received.