Talk about a difficult age group. Whether you are trying to buy for your grandchildren or your own child either in or out of college, finding the right gift at the right price is particularly challenging because it means spanning the gap of sometimes two or more generations. So here’s our effort to help you find common ground – at least for the holidays.
Fitness Tracker – Garmin Vívofit Jr – This stylish, swim-friendly activity tracker encourages kids to stay on the move. While the youngsters will love the compatible app for its fun mobile adventure trail they can unlock, adults can control the app and use it to monitor kids steps and active minutes, assign chores, and even hand out virtual rewards, all from a mobile device. Perfect for pint-sized powerhouses, the Vívofit Jr features a comfortable, durable 1-piece band that kids can slip on and off. Available in multiple fun, vibrant designs, they can rock it everywhere from recess to practice to the pool and even to bed. Available for $50.
Bluetooth Speaker – UE BOOM 2 – This speaker blasts great sound with deep, powerful bass in every direction. The system can be doubled-up with a second UE speaker to make things even louder. And it’s kid-proof – after getting wet or muddy, the BOOM 2 can be rinsed with warm soapy water. The speaker will play music from up to 100 feet away, while the rechargeable battery lasts for up to 15 hours of non-stop music. It also features voice recognition for hands-free song selection. Available for $200 in a variety of colors.
Duffel Bag – Thule Chasm 70L – If your youngster is beset with wanderlust, this is an ideal travel companion. With a wide-mouth opening and removable backpack straps, this rugged, weather resistant duffel is a go-to gear hauler for any adventure. The durable and waterproof tarpaulin fabric protects contents from the elements and folds for easy storage. The internal mesh pockets help keep gear organized and the external compression straps prevent contents from falling to the bottom of the bag in backpack mode. The padded bottom protects gear from the ground and the lockable, zippered side pocket keeps small items secure and within reach. Available for $135.
Dash Cam – THINKWARE X350 – Worried about yur young driver on the roads? This dash cam records everything that’s going on – for their protection and your peace of mind. It has built-in Wi-Fi for streaming and downloading driving footage to mobile devices. The X350 comes with a premium Sony Exmor CMOS sensor for crystal clear 1080p recording. It enables superior video quality in various conditions with stunning details especially in low-light environments. With a vivid 2.7″ LCD display built in, recordings can instantly be viewed live and settings can be personalized directly on the dash camera screen. Available for $155.
Chromebook – Acer 15.6″ Chromebook – At most colleges and schools these days, the availability of Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, making Chromebooks a cost-effective computing choice. Acer expands upon its already dominant Chromebook position with an affordable 15.6″ HD Chromebook. With a 27% larger screen area than the 13.3-inch Chromebook, more content can be shown with less scrolling. It’s just the right size to make this Chromebook an “everything” book. The smart design of the Acer Chromebook brings videos and games to the next level and the antiglare HD display is designed to minimize the glare resulting in less strain on the eyes, even after long hours of use. Available for $200.
Tablet – RCA Voyager 7″ Tablet – This Google-certified tablet operates on Android Marshmallow 6.0 so your kid will be able to enjoy more of what the Google Play store has to offer. The tablet’s front camera will allow them to share a smile with friends and family and the built-in Bluetooth will allow them to pair with compatible devices. Whether taking in a movie, playing a favorite game or surfing the web, the RCA tablet’s quad-core processor and 16GB flash-storage surely won’t disappoint. Available for $35.
Durable Portable Speaker – iHome iBT82 With the iBT82’s Bluetooth-enabled wireless system with built-in speakerphone capability your youngster will be able to take his or her tunes with them wherever they go in whatever conditions. They can stream wireless digital audio via Bluetooth and the built-in mic and digital voice echo cancellation make speakerphone use a pleasure. The speaker operates on internal rechargeable battery and charges via micro USB charging jack. It’s also IP67-rated waterproof and dustproof and shock resistant. Available for $50.
Koozie – YETI Rambler Colster – Your outdoor oriented youngster will instantly recognize the Yeti name. The YETI Colster is like a frosty stainless steel bear hug (or can cooler) for sodas or longnecks. The load-and-lock gasket secures drinks in place while the Coldster’s double-wall vacuum insulation keeps beer or soda frosty longer. Plus, it has a no sweat design, which means they can say adios to damp or frostbitten hands. And the stainless steel exterior is customizable with many college emblems so your college kid can sport school pride from the tailgate to the afterparty. Available at Ace Hardware Stores and elsewhere for $30.
Wireless Headphones – Jabra Halo Smart – From the minute they start their day, these headphones will help them to take calls, organize their workload, keep their schedule, and play music with amazing sound. They offer an industry-leading 17 hours of talk time, or 15 hours of music time, with just one charge. The Jabra Assist app will help Android users to track exact battery usage and suggest when to next charge the Jabra Halo Smart, giving them total peace of mind when on the go. Available for $50 in three colors.
Mini Fridge – RCA Igloo – Great for a dorm room or a garage apartment, RCA’s latest 1.6 cubic foot fridge is available in a wide variety of colors. It features an ice cube chamber and ice tray and a clever reversible door which allows the fridge to be opened from the right or left, as well as the space saving flush back design that allows the fridge to be placed virtually anywhere. It’s compressor cooled, so it’s perfect to keep food and drinks cold no matter the temperature outside and contains an adjustable thermostat. Available for about $86.
Smartphone – Moto Z Droid Edition – This smartphone can be transformed via the Moto Maker by selecting storage amounts, front and body colors, and an array of Moto Mods. With Moto Mods, the phone instantly becomes a movie projector, a boombox, a battery powerhouse, and more. The durable, ultra-thin 5.5″ quad HD design features aircraft-grade aluminum chassis with Corning Gorilla Glass and a long-lasting battery. Available for $624 only from Verizon.
Smartwatch – Fossil Q Crewmaster Hybrid Black Silicone Smartwatch – We know a lot of youngsters have given up wearing watches, but this may change some minds. This yacht-inspired hybrid smartwatch blends analog design with smart connectivity. With new smart technology, this handsome wrist essential is always on and always connected with a battery life up to six months. Fastened in an accordion black silicone strap, the Q
Crewmaster features stick indices and a two-tone rotating timing bezel. Using Bluetooth technology, the watch can receive smartphone notifications and accomplish daily fitness goals when the hour, minute and sub-eye hands spin or the watch case vibrates. Set an alarm, view 24-hour time, compare time in multiple time zones and track everything from steps to calories to sleep. Available for $175.
Camping Pillow – Therm-a-Rest Air Head Pillow – Designed with the perfect amount of lift and loft and just the right combination of firm and soft, this pillow will help them drift off just about anywhere. Combining air and open cell foam technology, this innovative pillow is made with an inflatable, baffled core, providing a stable, highly compressible foundation. Then, to top it off, there’s a luxuriously soft layer of open cell foam and the entire pillow is covered in brushed polyester. And it packs exceptionally small for easy travel. Available for $30.
Robot Builder – Cubelets Robot Construction for Kids – These smart toys can help inspire a love of learning through play. Cubelets Robot Blocks make it fast and easy to engage children as young as four in learning by building robots. There’s no wrong way to build with Cubelets, so it is remarkably easy to transform these blocks into brilliant bundles of robotic curiosity. They don’t need to know how to code or wire to construct robots with Cubelets – just snap the robot blocks together and the magnetic faces do the rest. Every unique arrangement is a new robot with novel behaviors emerging from the construction. 12-pack available for $330.
Drone – Air Hogs Connect Augmented Reality Mission Drone – This drone takes radio controlled gaming to a whole new dimension. It’s the first physical toy that is played in an augmented reality with immersive 3D game play. The gaming platform blends real world remote control action with augmented reality gaming — enabling players to command an RC drone in the real world and inside a fun virtual world. They can test their piloting skills as they fly through power rings, navigate between buildings and locate objects in this massive virtual world. Air Hogs Connect puts them in the cockpit as they navigate through missions using an iPad or Bluetooth-enabled tablet (sold separately). Available for $115.
Robot – Cozmo – Say hello to Cozmo, a gifted little guy with a mind of his own. He’s a real-life robot like you’ve only seen in movies, with a one-of-a-kind personality that evolves the more your kid hangs out with him. He’ll nudge them to play and keep them constantly surprised. And there’s more to Cozmo than what meets the eye. His powerful technology lets him survey the world, explore it, and make decisions based on his mood. He’s ready to go out of the box – all they’ll need is a compatible iOS or Android device. And things like safety, security, and durability have all been rigorously tested. Available for $180.
Virtual Reality Headset – Samsung Gear VR – This is one we know is topping many a gift list this season. Your kid will be able to snap their compatible Galaxy smartphone into the portable and wireless Gear VR headset to dive into a world of 360° experiences. There’s an endless world of VR games to be discovered, with new ones being added all the time. An expansive library of premium content is available as well, with new stuff debuting daily from major TV networks, film studios, and more. Available for $100.
Ear-Safe Headphones – Puro Sound Labs BT2200 Studio Grade Children’s Headphones – With their Puro Balanced Response sound curve along with Healthy Ears hearing protection, these headphones are unique on the market and a great choice for parents and grandparents who are concerned about hearing health but want to give their children a product that they will actually want to use. They’re noise-cancelling and block out 82% of background noise and the volume is limited to 85 dB, the maximum safe listening level as recommended by many health organizations. Additionally, they deliver genuine studio grade audio, engineered to deliver a great listening experience with clear, crisp vocals and full, dynamic bass all within 85 dB volume limit. Available for $75.
Table Light – Humanscale Horizon LED – This designer lamp will be right at home in a dorm room or sophisticated apartment. Horizon is the award winning embodiment of Humanscale’s commitment to high performance and functionality. Horizon resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This iconic piece is available in eight vibrant colors and seamlessly complements any design aesthetic. Horizon’s brilliant light throw is powered by Thin Film LED Technology — producing an adjustable ultra-wide glare-free footprint that is smooth and even. Available for $400.
Gaming Laptop – Lenovo Ideapad Y700 15.6″ Immersive Gaming Laptop – Your gamer will experience intense, immersive gaming – the IdeaPad Y700 gives them quad-core power, discrete graphics, and a complete multimedia experience with hi-def display, surround sound, and subwoofer. The Y700 has thermal cooling for serious competition, immersive JBL speakers with Dolby Home Theater audio and the optional Intel Realsense engages sight, sound, and touch, taking them into an immersive world. Available for $800.
All-In-One Printer – Epson Expression Premium XP-640 Small-in-One All-in-One Printer – Whether printing out term papers or printing favorite photos, your youngster can do it all with this wireless printer. It delivers superior photo quality and sharp text. They’ll save time, money and the environment with auto 2-sided printing and print 4″x6″ photos in as little as 20 seconds. Easily print from mobile devices with or without a router. Of course it will also scan, copy, and fax. Other features include a 2.7″ LCD, plus built-in USB and card slots for PC-free printing. Available for $90.