Gift picks

Procrastinators, unite! Here are a few last-minute gift ideas for the tech lover on your list

The holidays have crept up on us. Again. The next few days are pretty much the last hope of getting something shipped in time for your holiday gift-giving. We know that some of us still have gifts to buy, and that some of them will be for the tech enthusiast in your life. 

We can't help you find a place to park at the mall, or keep you company while you're in that long line at the checkout, but we can give you a few quick ideas to make things just a little easier. Jump past the break and see what last-minute gifts we're filling our carts — both online and off — with.

Jerry Hildenbrand — The Chromecast


The Chromecast — these little gizmos rock. Yes, I know you can get more functionality from a Roku or an Apple TV, or even from the now-defunct Google TV, but these are $30 at Amazon, and they say they can get you one by December 17. You simply won't find as much bang for your buck any where else.

There's no installation, you just plug it into an empty HDMI port on your TV or A/V receiver, plug in the microUSB power, and go. Set-up is easy from any Android or iOS device, or you can just use the web. The Chromecast connects right to your existing Wifi network, and streams media right from the Internet. You control what you're seeing or listening to via your Android, iPhone or Chrome on your computer, and content streams directly to the Chromecast itself.

The apps you can use with the Chromecast don't make a very long list, but more are coming every day and Google is finally preparing to release a proper SDK so developers can build more. It's worth the $30 right now, and should only get better.

Alex Dobie — Pebble smartwatch


The smartwatch market is still in its infancy in late 2013, but right now the Pebble is the best example of a great, simple, multi-platform wearable. That makes it an excellent gift idea for any tech-savvy smartphone owner in your life, whether they’re on Android or iOS. The Pebble’s basic function is putting notifications — be they emails, calls, texts, appointments or IMs — on your wrist, but there’s a bunch of other stuff it can do too. You can customize the watch face with a wealth of different designs to suit your tastes, including some more advanced offerings that show the weather and other relevant info as standard. And the built-in music controls are a great way to pause and change tracks without reaching into your pocket and unlocking your phone.

Ultimately, the Pebble an ideal way to get your feet wet in the world of wearable computing without spending a ton of cash or being overwhelmed by whizbang features you’ll never use. Priced at over $100, it’s not exactly cheap, but for those who need to be constantly connected in their professional or personal lives, the Pebble delivers quite the bang for your buck.

Andrew Martonik — Nexus 7 (2013)

Nexus 7 (2013)

It may seem like a bit of a cop-out to pick such an extremely popular product, but it really is hard to go wrong with a Nexus 7 for any friend, family member or significant other this holiday season. Even though the price has been bumped up by $30 this year, you’re still getting an amazing value that’s certainly still within that range of a generous gift to someone that wants a little more technology in their life.

Whether they have an Android phone or not, the Nexus 7 is still very capable, accessible and easy to figure out even for the first-time tablet user out there. And best of all as a last-minute gift, you should have no problem tracking one down in time — Google Play has them ready to ship out, and even has some discounts if you decide to pick up a Chromecast on Jerry’s recommendation at the same time.

And if you just can’t make up your mind on a tablet, maybe you can just pick up a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the way to the holiday party — that usually goes over well regardless.

Phil Nickinson — lots of little things​

Android Central mug

My desk is a mess. Full of things I use on a daily basis. Or things I think I'll use on a daily basis. Just in case. I'm going to cheat a little and offer up a list of things I'd love to see in my stocking if they weren't already taking up space on my desk. Here goes:

  • Bose MIE2i headphones: I've been using these for what seems like forever. They sound great, don't break the bank at around $100, and are pretty comfortable.
  • Moto G: Because you'll not find a better off-contract smartphone for $200.
  • Google Play Gift Cards: Use 'em to buy apps, music, movies and more. You can buy them at a handful of retailers, or online.
  • Anker 15,000 mAh external battery: Wanna be the cool kid this Christmas? Have some spare juice ready to go. And the built-in LED flashlight is cool, too. I love these things, and $50 is a good price.
  • SIM card adapters: Several options here, but they're a must for anyone with multiple phones these days.
  • Anything from the semi-secret Android Central Cafe Press store: This is kinda old-school, and we never really publicized it. This is just for fun — we're not making any money off it. But who doesn't need a Lloyd thong, right?

Reader comments

Ask the AC editors: Last-minute gift picks


Nexus 5 is More expensive than everything on this list.

Posted Via VZW Moto X on the Android Central App

Yeah, not to mention, the Play Store is still back-ordered, I believe.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

I was able to order one Thursday and have it my house the next day. They'll make it by Christmas.

Family and friends are getting smaller, 2000-3000 mAh battery packs. At $10-$20, they make great stocking stuffers.

Spot on!! Amazon has a lot of them on sale. Definitely, a great deal.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Have the easyacc 10000mAh power bank was just $25 on Amazon and it has two usb ports one at 1amp and another at 2 amps

Posted via LG G2

Chromecast and battery packs for my needs friends, booze for the alcoholics and I still am not sure about my wife... Time is ticking I guess

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

How about a Lloyd thong, for the misses?

I'm only joking; never take gift advice (for women, anyway) from me. I'm terrible, at buying gifts for women, lol.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

They can be =) There's tons of places that do prints and engravings for clothing.

Personally, I'd just buy some edible underwear for lady friends.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Think Jerry or Phil will come after me for using the logo?

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

Link removed? I don't see it on the the PC!

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

It will make a GREAT stocking stuffer. or divorce exhibit... Either way it would be worth it

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

There are lots of things the wife is good at, I do the cooking.

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

I love my Bluetooth headset. It's a Plantronics that I got from Radio Shack for 20. Works like a champ and battery life is great.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

What about a raspberry pi perhaps and running raspbmc a great gift idea or a beagle board or the zotak- Zbox although the latter being the most expensive lol

Posted via Android Central App

I'm looking for an inexpensive ($70 or less) but fairly loud wireless speaker for my niece. Do any of you guys own one in that price range which you're happy with?

Admittedly, I'm not completely satisfied with my own more expensive portable speaker, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised by the bad sound quality of the few cheaper ones I tried out in-store over the weekend.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

The Oontz is a solid bluetooth speaker without breaking the bank, I love mine. Amazon for $44 and they have different colors. Tried to post a link to Amazon but it wouldn't let me.

OK my fine feathered friends, I have a bit of a quandary. I am indeed taking Amazon up on the offer, and will be getting either the Kindle Fire HDX 7" or Kindle Fire HDX 8.9". I just can't decide between the screen sizes. My primary uses are book reading, video viewing (movies and TV), and music listening. Does anyone have experience with both and which did you decide on, without the price points being a factor? Does the HDX 7" indeed have the bad bluish tint on the outlying lcd screen and is it really that bad? Is the HDX 8.9" less portable due to the screen size? And is the sound really better as compared to the HDX 7"? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks again so much. Happy Holidays.

really just personal preference and really nothing to do with Kindle, but I have a 10.1" and a 7" tablet.

I much prefer the 10.1 to the 7 when doing the things you mentioned and it is not a big deal to carry it around. I am torn right now on my next tablet, but 8ish is the lowest I will go.

Maybe you need the whiskey to put up with the Google Nexus 7. YMMV, but I had to return mine due to phantom touch issues. I now have a new Kindle Fire 2013.

Posted via Android Central App

Skyline, I just saw your post. I have a 7 inch 2013 new Kindle Fire, and I love the size. I can easily hold it with one hand. It doesn't cannibalize a table when I set it down: I have room for kindle plus other items on the same table. It's also a great size for watching movies. Hope this helps!

Posted via Android Central App

lol, its saying This post has been automatically been marked as spam. Please revise your comment to either remove links and/or references to money. If you are still having problem, please e-mail site support and include a copy of the comment. In reply to ahutchga1972. Huh? I was trying to post Awesome. Thanks for the quick reply. I have pretty much decided on the seven. Its got 323 compared to the pixels per inch of 339 on the eight point nine. I don't think that's going to make that much of a difference. Thanks again!

I'm torn. I want a Pebble, but I also want the Moto G. Both at the same time are out of the question, but I'm leaning towards the Pebble only because I'm not sure how reliable T-Mobile's 3G is in my area. 4G is non-existent, but 3G may work.

Posted via Android Central App

Im surprise the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 edition not on there. That thing is a beast and a great looking tablet of this year :)

Best phone with no commitment is the Nokia Lumia 520 on sale at Best Buy for $50 with no contract.

For those who will flame about it being an non-android,is there any android off contract at that price that matches the Lumia's specs?

It would be nice you have one of those awesome Android Central t shirt but unfortunately like always you never think of the big guy the football player the wrestlers so forth I'm a football player and there's not even a size it would come close what I wear I would have to buy 2 or 3 of the biggest size offered and sew them together or put one on each arm in the one around my waist come on guys don't leave us fat guys out.

Posted via Android Central App on my Note 2!