Avoid Technology Gift Giving Blunders

Getting a shiny, new technology toy can be the highlight of any holiday season. But there are lots of ways you, as the gift giver, can go wrong when it comes to picking the perfect technology treasure.

E-book Readers

One of the biggest technology gift giving blunders waiting to happen this year is the e-book. From the Amazon Kindle to the Barnes and Noble Nook, there has never been more choice for mainstream book lovers.

However, standalone e-book readers are all generally clunky compared with more refined hardware and are likely to be surpassed in 2010 by multi-function devices. The most exciting device that is predicted to fundamentally change the e-book game is the Apple Tablet—a much rumored device expected from Apple in the next 6 months.

Selecting an e-book reader is also a bigger decision than it might at first seem. For example, if you choose the Amazon Kindle, you will be determining where and in what format your recipient will be able to purchase e-books. In the case of the Kindle, e-books can only be purchased from Amazon and only using their proprietary format.

Multi-function devices like the rumored Apple Tablet and the existing iPhone and iPod Touch are likely to beat out stand-alone readers because they offer the ability to do many things using a single device. This multi-tasking ability makes it more likely your gift recipient will carry the device on a regular basis and access the books they’ve purchased from the booksellers of their own choosing.


For years now Apple has offered exciting new models of its legendary digital music player—the iPod—with each new holiday season. However, this is not a straight forward gift to give. There are now 4 distinct models of the iPod, all of which have different strengths and weaknesses.

Determining which of the four models is the right choice for your recipient has everything to do with how they plan to use it.

iPod Shuffle: great for athletes who want to clip a simple player onto their sleeve and go running or lift weights. However, there is no screen which can make navigating music challenging for some users.

iPod Nano: an ideal option for teenagers who like taking photos and videos of their friends and listening to music or watching TV shows and movies. The Nano comes in lots of colors but doesn’t have a huge amount of storage.

iPod Classic: all about storage. If your recipient is in love with the idea of carrying around their entire music, video and TV show library, they’ll love the iPod Classic. If not, the Classic will bomb.

iPod Touch: perfect for those who need a portable computer without the accompanying phone and mobile data plan (otherwise an iPhone is the better choice) and who are interested in mobile gaming and multi-media viewing. Sadly the iPod Touch lacks a camera so there is no way to take pictures or video like with the iPhone or iPod Nano.


Computers need to be purchased very carefully. Deciding between a PC from Microsoft or a Mac from Apple is a big decision that your gift recipient will not take lightly.

It is also very easy to get needlessly up-sold on hardware that vastly exceeds what normal computer users will ever need.

We also recommend advanced configuration to make sure that smiles don’t turn upside down if things fail to work out of the box.

What if I have questions or need help?

There are, admittedly, a lot of other technology gift giving blunders and subtle complexities with these 3 big blunders that we weren’t able to address in the space of this column.

If you have more questions we are always here to help at 847-515-9242 or at Mindovo.com.

Happy Holidays!