Top 10 best electronic gifts for the holidays

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By Sabrina Eng and Alexis Dixon, Staff Writers

With the holidays around the corner, many are scrambling to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Over the past decade, electronics have become an increasingly popular gift choice due to their practicality and versatility. We asked Townsend Harris students about their top 10 technology picks of 2019:

  1. AirPods – (AirPod pros)

 This iconic Apple product has taken 2019 by storm; the prospect of having compact, wireless earbuds appealed to a majority of iPhone users. Complete with a portable, magnetic charging case of its own, AirPods have a long-lasting battery life of five hours. The case itself can last 24 hours without needing to be charged. Users also don’t have to worry about their earbud wires getting tangled in their pockets or bags, which was a major complaint of original Apple earbuds. If you want to jam along with your music, AirPods won’t fall out of your ears. Junior Stacey Roy, who has the AirPod Pros, said, “They’re really secure in my ears, they have noise cancellation and a transparency mode. It’s helpful when I am talking to someone on the phone and listening to music. The sound is of good quality compared to previous Apple wired headphones. I would recommend them.” 

  1. iPad Pro

If you’re thinking of a great gift for a student, the iPad Pro is a great choice. It would not only minimize the weight of the student’s backpack by allowing them to carry around less physical notes, but would also help to keep them organized. “I think using an iPad is helpful because you don’t have to carry as many notebooks in your bag and you can organize all your notes digitally,” said junior Pehal Singh. “You are easily able to annotate and take notes. My iPad is basically like my notebook and computer combined in one.” 

  1. Nintendo Switch

 If you’ve grown up with Nintendo and had the original DS Lite, 3DS, or a WiiU, then this product is definitely for you. Nintendo completely stepped up their game, creating an all-in-one home and portable console. The Switch allows one to play on a TV screen at home and on its own screen while on-the-go. The graphics on this device are incredibly crisp and clear, with the resolution being 1,280 x 720. Playing multiplayer is a breeze on this console since two compact controllers easily attach to either side of the screen.“Before the Switch, Nintendo would usually release a handheld device and a console side by side, but the Switch was the first that had both handheld and console aspects,” commented Junior Johnathan Hong. “It’s very portable, easy to set up, and it’s controllers are versatile to accommodate many people at once.” 

  1. Wireless Beats

Like AirPods, these trendy, comfortable headphones are wireless but are sturdier and thicker. Covered with faux leather in metallic colors, these fit effortlessly over your ears and allow for maximum volume quality. Its clear sound and easy connection to any smart device makes it an ideal gift for students who love to jam out. The 12-hour battery life on Beats is practical for late-night study sessions. 

  1. Apple Watch

This device is essentially a computer that fits your wrist. Telling time is a breeze with this watch, as you only need to turn your wrist and the time and date light up immediately. You can view world clocks, set alarms, use the stopwatch function, check the daily forecast, and even set and check reminders. The watch also sends notifications, has call and messaging functions, and converts written messages on the screen into text. Junior Rohit Poolust said, “The Apple watch has a multitude of features, it especially benefits me when I go to the gym; it tells me my heart rate, [and] tells me the number of calories I burned in a day.”

  1. Fitbit

This device isn’t just for athletes but for anyone who wants to be more health-conscious. The Fitbit helps track all of your activity throughout the day, including exercise, heart rate, calories burned, and sleeping quality. This nifty watch helps motivate you throughout the day by counting your steps and setting goals for increased walking or running distances. A Fitbit definitely come in handy during your phys-ed class.

  1. Bluetooth Portable Speakers

 Bluetooth Portable speakers come in handy when you want to play some music while studying, or if you just want to blast your favorite tunes. Speakers also make for fun social gatherings with friends or impromptu dance sessions. These speakers are usually quite expensive, but unfortunately, most inexpensive ones are of bad quality. The OontZ Angle 3 (3rd Gen) Portable Bluetooth Speakers sold on Amazon is Amazon’s recommended choice. Not only is it at least ranked 4 stars, but it is also reasonably priced.

  1. Portable charger

In a time where smartphones are carried around everywhere, portable chargers definitely come in handy when your phone is low on battery while you’re out and about. Considering price, battery capacity and how fast it charges your phone, some good portable chargers to buy for your loved one or yourself include:

  • Poweradd Pilot 2GS 10,000mAh
  • Anker PowerCore II 10,000mAh Power Bank

If you want a battery and phone case all in one, Mophie makes great battery cases for iPhones and Samsungs alike.

  1. Instant Camera

Today, digital cameras or phone cameras are obviously the go-to’s to capture a special moment. Digital pictures can be edited, sent to friends, and so much more. With these old school cameras, however, people can have a physical copy of their photos and give them to friends. Some instant film cameras priced reasonably include:

  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Bundle
  • Polaroid Originals One Step
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera
  • Kodak PRINTOMATIC Digital Instant Print Camera
  1. Drawing Tablet

This gift is more for those with an artistic inclination: a drawing tablet where artists can transcribe their creations straight from their imagination to a screen. If you’re new to digital art and just want to get a feel for drawing tablets, the Wacom CTL4100 Intuos tablet is to get a head start. This tablet is inexpensive at $69.95, a good deal for a quality digital art tool. The pen allows for more precise control, which allows for finer strokes and details. The tablet itself is small and fits comfortably in your hand. However, a software download is required. 

  • Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet

Honorable Mentions:

  • Huion H420 USB Graphics Drawing Tablet Board Kit
  • Monoprice Graphics Drawing Tablet
  • XP-Pen StarG640 6×4 Inch OSU! Ultrathin Tablet Drawing Tablet Digital Graphics Tablet
  • M708 UGEE Graphics Tablet 10 x 6 inch Large Active Area Drawing Table

(Many of these prices come from amazon.com)

Photo by Nikki Ng.

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