2010 Holiday Gift Ideas: Sub $100

posted by on 22nd December 2010, at 1:36am
It’s that time of the year, the time when you are lining up to give gifts to those around you. With any luck you’ll end up getting some gifts too. Following from last year I figured I’d talk about some gift ideas that you could give on a reasonable budget. Most of these items will be items that are related to the tech world in some way (obviously). What I want you to take away from this list is that there are items that can be given without breaking the bank and these items are still very useful.

The first item that I must recommend is the Valve Complete Pack. The Valve Complete Pack was on my list last year and is here again because it is only $40.33 (on sale, regular $49.99) and for that price provides countless hours of entertainment. RSBandB’s PC gaming events mostly play Valve games, with this pack you can attend all of those events worry free. There’s also two of my favourites, Portal and Team Fortress 2 included. For those of you who have friends who don’t have these games or even for yourself if you only have some of them, this is still a great buy. It should be worth noting that this year most of these games are now playable on Mac OS X.

The second item that is useful for a wide variety of people is an iTunes gift card. Not only can the giftcard be used for buying music, it can also be used for buying applications on the iOS App Store. The Mac App Store is set to release on Jan 6, 2011 and it remains to be seen if one will be able to use their iTunes giftcards to buy Mac OS applications. These gift cards come in varying values which means there will definitely be something that fits your budget.

This year the price of flash memory has continued to decrease. Some of you may remember last year I recommended an external hard drive as a gift item, this year in the storage area I feel that a USB memory stick is in order. For less than $20 (on Amazon) this memory stick should be able to hold all of your personal documents. While it’s no substitute for a real backup, this kind of small redundancy can go a long way to mitigate a disaster.

If someone you know is in to social bookmarking you could always get them a subscription to pinboard. Pinboard is a minimalistic bookmarking service, it lets you import web links from various sources such as Twitter feeds and Google Reader. Pinboard charges a one time signup fee in an effort to deter spammers. The fee is currently at $8.88 and increases by one cent for every 10 additional users that sign up. They also offer an archival account for $25/year which allows you to store a full copy of each page you bookmark.

Most of you who listen to RSBANDBUpdate! will know that my favourite iOS game for the year has to be Angry Birds. I realize I already suggested an iTunes gift card but I felt that Angry Birds stands out of enough to have it’s own mention. This one is more for the iOS crowd since Angry Birds is free on Android. If you have an iPad you can buy Angry Birds HD for $4.99 if not you can get it for the iPod Touch and iPhone for 99 cents. Nevertheless this game provides hours of entertainment for a great price, buy it for your friend!

This year I had my tried and tested Logitech Clear Chat Comfort USB snap and break. This lead me to search for another headset. The headset I found and would recommend is the Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000. This headset provided decent sound both in terms of the headphones and the microphone. It also did an adequate job of blocking out noise from the outside world. I did not keep the headset as I wanted one where I could still hear what was going on around me while on Skype. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a headset (for yourself or a friend) that can be used for gaming and does a decent job of blocking out the world it’s probably one you would enjoy.

The final item is something everyone should have who owns an iPod, iPhone, or iPad. Water only works for so long to clean the screen of your device, after a while the smudges just become diluted and smeared rather than removed. Recently I picked up the Bausch + Lomb clens cleaning kit that works wonderfully. The kit comes with a decent sized bottle of cleaning solution, micro-fibre cloths, and pre-moistened wipes. It should be noted that this is also advertised to work for those Apple computers that have a glossy screen. You can find this at the Apple store for $19.95.

There you have seven items all with prices under $100 that could be bought for a friend this holiday season or yourself if you are in that type of mood. If there’s another item in this price range you feel should be on this list, tell me, I would happily add it if you provide a good description of why it’s great. Mike will be in tomorrow with some items over $100, so look forward to that!

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