Holiday Bonus: Top gift guide ideas from the Cool Yule Tools Team

Feel free to peruse this handy-dandy slideshow, offering up our favorite gifts that you can give to your favorite techie.

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For those procrastinators

The smoke has cleared from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Tech Tuesday and Whatever Wednesday, and you’re probably still thinking, “Oh, gosh, I still have no idea what to get people for the holidays.”

Fear not, fellow late-comer to the holidays. Feel free to peruse this handy-dandy slideshow, offering up our favorite gifts that you can give to your favorite techie, based on our earlier “Cool Yule Tools” holiday guide, plus some additional stuff we’ve seen since our initial testing occurred. Enjoy!

Fizzics Freestanding Draft Beer System (FZ101)
Fizzics Freestanding Draft Beer System (FZ101)

The coolest way to turn ordinary, “store-bought” beer into something that tastes like it came out of a keg – the Fizzics Freestanding Draft Beer System hits the spot. This runs on four AA batteries (not included) and turns an ordinary beer can, bottle or growler (up to 64 oz) into something better. No additional CO2 or nitro canisters are needed – the system pours the beer and adds the head to make the beer taste much better than if you drank it from the bottle or can.

Kodak Video Monitor (model CFH-V10)
Kodak Video Monitor (model CFH-V10)

This tiny video camera connects to a home Wi-Fi network, providing video footage and home monitoring for end users connecting via a mobile device from anywhere in the world. An included app lets you see live footage or “events”, driven by the motion sensor on the camera. Two-way audio communication also lets you talk with someone (or scold a misbehaving pet) in the home being monitored.

IK Multimedia iLoud Portable Speaker
IK Multimedia iLoud Portable Speaker

This very cool studio-quality portable speaker is one of the best Bluetooth speakers we’ve tried in a while. In addition to easy pairing, the iLoud also provides excellent tonal quality and a very good deal of “loud” – forget about wimpy sound from your Bluetooth speaker.

Perfect Bake cooking system
Perfect Bake cooking system

At first glance this is a bunch of mixing bowls and a food scale, but when you add the app and its numerous recipes, you’ll never want to bake holiday goodies without one of these ever again. By connecting the scale to the app, you can follow step-by-step directions to create cookies, cakes and other delicious treats. If you have too much or too little, the app automatically adjusts the recipe to fix your flub. No more “there’s too much salt in this cookie!” complaints!

Plantronics BackBeat Sense Smart Wireless headphones
Plantronics BackBeat Sense Smart Wireless headphones

Headphones these days are either too big or too flimsy, so it’s nice to see a pair that’s neither. These Bluetooth headphones are aimed at those in-between moments – for listening while on the go, but not when you’re running on a treadmill or half-marathon. The best part of these? Smart sensors that automatically stop the music when you take them off, whether answering a phone call or answering a question from your significant other. Highly recommended!

NETGEAR R8500 Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart Wi-Fi Router
NETGEAR R8500 Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Smart Wi-Fi Router

Netgear has accomplished the truly remarkable – this wireless router blows the door off anything we’ve seen in the past, as well as from the competition. If you’re looking for a wireless router that beats even some enterprise-class systems in terms of specs and performance, look no further. With the ability to give everyone in your residence the performance they need (and we could be talking between 10 to 15 clients these days), you’ll want this in your home.

Epson Expression Premium XP-830
Epson Expression Premium XP-830

We still love printing things, whether it’s a tax form, email or the latest photos from your Disney World vacation for the kids’ autograph books. To do these jobs in the quickest and easiest fashion, check out this multifunction printer, which includes printing, copying and scanning functions, as well as the ability to quickly print to multiple paper sizes with two separate loading trays. Network connections are abundant (wired, wireless or direct-from-the-mobile-device), and the user interface makes the job easy for even the youngest in your home.

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Ventev Chargesync tangle-free charging cable and Choetech CHOE 51W, 4-port Smart Multi USB Quick Car Charger

OK, we’re putting these two together, because like peanut butter and jelly, they just go better when together than separate. The tangle-free charging cable from Ventev does exactly what it says – it won’t tangle up when you pack it into your laptop bag – the aluminum alloy cable is strong, won’t fray and is just plain awesome to hold. The Choetech charger, meanwhile, offers four (yes, four!) USB charging ports that can recharge your devices from your vehicle’s power adapter (for those of a certain age, the cigarette lighter adapter). Two ports are for wimps – the gadget-obsessed among us need four ports, and this delivers.

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Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

While most of the world tries to go to voice recognition or gesture computing, there are still many people out in the world who enjoy using a keyboard. With devices getting smaller, the keyboard will likely be the largest device you own at some point. Fortunately, the K380 from Logitech gives you a keyboard for all of those small devices, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or notebook. Connecting quickly via Bluetooth, you can also switch devices quickly by tapping a key on the keyboard. This is an awesome little device.

SnapPower Charger wall outlet cover
SnapPower Charger wall outlet cover

For such a low price, these outlet covers make for the perfect stocking stuffer, and it gives you an additional power source for your USB-powered devices without having to use up the valuable power outlet itself (or having to attach a power surge protection strip). Easy to install, we also like the company’s other design, which includes three small LEDs that can act as a night light (instead of buying a separate one). Yay SnapPower!

Re-fuel by DigiPower (Dual USB Rechargeable Power Bank – RF-A78)
Re-fuel by DigiPower (Dual USB Rechargeable Power Bank – RF-A78)

This tiny, flask-sized device lets you recharge two devices via USB cable (you have to provide the cable) at either 1A (smartphones) or 2.1A (tablets). The 7800mAh battery can recharge devices up to three times on a full charge, which means you don’t have to scramble around looking for an outlet when you get the “low battery” warning on your phone. Perfect for recharging while you’re out and about with your family during the holidays.

Other gift ideas Cool Yule Tools for the home

Cool Yule Tools for Work

Cool Yule Tools for Play