Looking for a great last minute tech gift for the kid or grownup on your holiday list? If so, you’re in luck! Tech expert and Emmy winner, Katie Linendoll joined me once again, this time to dish on the must have tech takeover gadgets, games and apps that everyone is sure to love!
Candace Rose: What’s trending in technology and a bang for your buck this season?
Katie Linendoll: “I think a lot of people on their wishlists absolutely have laptops on it. But for parents especially, it’s like ‘how can I get a great quality laptop without breaking the bank and spending thousands of dollars.’ The Acer C720 Chromebook is getting great reviews from top tech sites online, but also the value is just killer. It’s $199 and full on packed features. It’s 11.6 HD display, Intel processor working behind the scenes, eight and a half hours of battery life, and all of this works off the cloud, so all of your data is backed up. And I like to say Bonus- super portable: 2.76 pounds, it’s .75 inches, so throw this in a backpack, throw this in a purse- gotcha covered. Acer C720 Chromebook, 199 bucks.”
Candace Rose: What would be a great surprise for a grown up?
Katie Linendoll: “Tell someone they never have to vacuum again and they will love you. This is (please see video for details) from iRobot (one of my favorite companies) because they get robots to do the work for ya. This is their latest from their Roomba 800 series. It picks up 50% more dirt and debris than ever before. I know this is really nerdy but they actually use arrow force extractors. These special brushes are not like brushes, they’re kind of rubberized so hair doesn’t get tangled in there- so hair won’t get tangled in there, pet hair won’t get tangled in there, and again it’s doing more cleanup than ever before. This baby is cool too. When you see it in action, you don’t realize how easy it is. One touch operation to clean, and also it’ll avoid all those obstacles right onto wires. And you can put it on a cleaning schedule. It’s an awesome high tech option and easy to use option for anyone in your life: iRobot Roomba 800 series.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions for a fun learning experience for kids?
Katie Linendoll: “Love this for parents- if your kids like Legos (which they probably do) and really of all ages…I’ve been waiting for this sucker to come out. The Lego Mindstorms is the third generation of Mindstorms, and this is really awesome because it actually combines Lego building with interactivity and technology. You can create and command up to 17 interactive bots. One of my favorites is Reptar, it’s this rattlesnake option, and you can create each of these bots that you make. You can actually control them with your smartphone, computer or a remote…so all in 360 you’re getting kids involved in technology and programming, and engineering with Lego building and having fun while they’re doing it: Lego Mindstorms.
Candace Rose: What are some of your favorite apps?
Katie Linendoll: “Apps are big, especially this time of year. I think that people don’t realize the number one day for downloads (and it skyrockets) is Christmas Day. I’m going to hook you up with one convenient app that I like: PayPal. I use PayPal online pretty much every day, and also I don’t think a lot of people know that you can actually use PayPal in stores. It’s on both the Android and IOS side. You can check in at specific stores and you can head right to the register, and you can pay skipping the line. You can also pay in advance at a restaurant (right at the table) which is a nice option. AND of course, who doesn’t love coupons and offerings on the PayPal app? Again on both the Android and IOS side- you can take advantage of $5 coupons and up! It’s a nice little option there.
Again, during the holidays is probably the only time we all can relax and have fun, two entertaining apps on the Monopoly side- call it a little Monopoly with a twist, Monopoly has Monopoly Slots and Monopoly Bingo. Now, if you’re into slots and bingo, this is kind of a fun virtual way to play both of those. What’s neat is it’s kind of a fun, few minutes of entertainment whether you’re waiting in line shopping or you’re on a commute. I like the Bingo one, especially because you can play with a number of different cards. There’s also bonus scratch tickets and you can hop into different Monopoly properties. Just fun little apps for entertainment.
And last, but certainly not least on my list is Bluetooth speakers. I call that a no fail option for the holidays, this baby here and you’ve got to write this number down: it’s an iHome IBN26 Bluetooth speaker. It’s a 360 degree speaker under three pounds: it’s $79.99. I would typically put something like this around 200 bucks, so it’s a great value. It’s NFC (near field communication) enabled, Bluetooth enabled. It also has a built-in mic for taking calls and echo cancellation. You can put this in an office and get great music and sound quality, and also take calls.
So a little something for all different kinds of individuals on your holiday list.”