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Gift ideas, big and small, on K-State technology wishlists

IT staff have a wide range of items on their wishlists, from fun and entertaining technology to a Cessna Citation jet with new-tech features. If you’re still searching for that special gift, these ideas may help.

This list was compiled from K-State IT staff who answered the question “What tech gifts would you like to receive or give this holiday season?”

  • HEXBUG Aquabot with Fishbowl ($14.99). K-State staff said: “When adults get fascinated by a cute little 3-inch fish swimming around in its own bowl with real water (it’s water-activated), just imagine how much kids will love it. I even want one.”
  • Fitbit health/activity trackers (from $59.95).  From the website: “…products and experiences that fit seamlessly into your life so you can achieve your health and fitness goals.”
  • Sentry Turret USB Desk Defender ($29.99). From the website: “Strike fear into the hearts of your enemies (or coworkers) with your very own Turret Desk Defender, powered by USB. When it detects movement, the wings open and it will announce the acquisition of a target…”

Entertainment, audio, video

  • Chromecast streaming media player ($35). K-State staff said: “An interesting gift idea for people who aren’t nerdy enough to have a HTPC but would like a way to use streaming services on their TV.”
  • Bluetooth speakers ($18.99 and up). K-State staff said: “Decent quality Bluetooth speakers have become pretty cheap this year. Nice for better audio from tablets and phones while movie watching, working in the yard, or singing in the shower.”
  • Oculus Rift headset ($300 for development kit). From the website: “The Oculus Rift is a next-generation virtual reality headset designed for immersive gaming.”

Tablets and notebook computers

  • Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch tablet, 64GB ($379). K-State staff said: “It’s lighter than an iPad Air, has a screen resolution that’s higher than the iPad Air, works wonderful with Office 365 email and calendar, and costs $100 less than an iPad Air.”
  • Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro notebook (from $949). K-State staff said: “If people are looking for a Windows notebook,  the new Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro 13-inch is amazing. It’s 3 pounds and has a screen resolution of 3200 x 1800. Nicest ultrabook I have seen yet.”
  • Nexus 7 tablet (from $229). K-State staff said: “It seems to hit the sweet spot for features vs. price. I also prefer the size over larger tablets.”
  • Surface 2 tablet ($449). K-State staff said: “Great for school.”

Cellphones and communications

  • Peace on earth, joy to all, and a Nexus 5 for everyone” was a K-State staff comment.  “Seriously, the Nexus 5 may be the best phone I have ever owned.
  • Moto X and Moto G cellphones. K-State staff said: “I have been hearing really good things about the Moto X and Moto G phones, too, which both have more vanilla Android experiences.  Moto X has great battery life.”
  • SPOT Connect satellite communicator with emergency mode ($169.99). From the website: “No cell signal? No problem. Turn your smartphone into a satellite communicator” no matter where you are on the planet.  The SOS mode will transmit your GPS location to the nearest emergency responders.

Bigger than the budget?

  • Double Robotics telecommuting tool ($2,499). From the website: “…anywhere in the world, you have a physical presence in the office and can speak to co-workers at anytime. Double is a remotely controlled, mobile teleconferencing system…”
  • Manoi PF01 Humanoid Robot ($4,784.85).  According to the website, this 16-inch and “17 degrees of freedom humanoid robot” can “reproduce all movements created using the programming software”.
  • Cessna Citation Longitude jet ($26 million). From the website: “sets a new standard in private business travel for cabin efficiency, technology, luxury, and comfort.”  Check out new-tech features that include smart-touch control and three-dimensional vision.

About Betsy Edwards

• Web/information specialist in Information Technology Services • Editor/writer, K-State IT communications • IT News blog moderator • ETDR specialist