Top Five Tech Gifts: Our Holiday Wish List

Written by Joy Ma

Here’s a quickie list of five top tech gifts aNewDomain’s staff says you should gift yourself. It’s the aNewDomain wish list. Want to add to it? Email me — I’m — Sometimes the only way to get the gift you really want is to buy it yourself. One great advantage of this tactic is you don’t have to pretend you like it when you get it. Another advantage: You won’t have to return or re-gift the toys you get for yourself. I spent some time talking to folks here around aNewDomain and found out the five top tech toys our editors are getting themselves for the holidays — and what they think you ought to put on your own wish lists …

The Kindle Fire HDX


Image: Amazon 

I’ll start with my own craving. Even though I bought the Kindle Fire HD a few months ago, I’m craving the thinner — and nearly four ounces lighter– Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. It features a quadcore 2.2GHz processor and incredible, off-the-charts 1920 x 1200 screen resolution.

The Kindle Fire HDX hooks into the Amazon ecosystem and, coupled with Amazon Prime, lets you download selected movies and TV shows. That way, you can watch them without an Internet connection. The only feature that is lost from the previous generation — the one I have now — is an HDMI out cable so I can watch YouTube on the big screen or, for that matter, watch my kid play Minecraft.

Amazon has been teasing us with sales here and there. The online vendor knocked $50 off on cyber Monday and 20 percent off a few days ago. With the right timing and a little hunting, you can buy one of these for less than half the cost of the Apple iPad Mini 2. That’s the price I have my heart set on.

Fitbit Zip Activity Tracker

Image Courtesy Fitbit

Image courtesy: Fitbit

Our aNewDomain reviews editor Sandy Berger loves her Fitbit Zip Activity Tracker so much she says we all need to get one. It’s so small that you can wear it almost anywhere. She says she wears hers in her bra, but the rest of us easily will substitute a pocket or belt to wear it on.

The Fitbit Zip Activity Tracker tracks steps, distance and calories burned. And it wirelessly syncs to computers and select smartphones. The battery lasts four to six months and it survives sweat, rain and simple splashes. It includes a clip, a wireless sync dongle, a battery tool and a battery.

It comes in five colors including ugly green. It’s $59.95. Thanks for the recommendation, Sandy.

TiVo Roameo

Image Courtesy TiVo

Image courtesy: TiVo

Though he doesn’t have a problem with his Comcast DVR box so far as it goes, our Mac McCarthy wouldn’t mind an upgrade to the TiVo Roameo. And why not? TiVo Roameo ships with all kinds of features that the Comcast DVR lacks. For instance, it lets you watch a recorded NFL game on your living room TV while watching Inside the NFL on your Apple iPad. Now that’s multitasking, Mac!

Better still, you can watch that recorded episode of Inside the NFL on the sly at work — the episode is directly sent from your TiVo. Roameo gets its moniker because it really does let you roam anywhere. Sure, Mac’s rented Comcast DVR can record a few shows at once, but Roameo lets you record six just for starters. And it gives you a whopping 450 hours of recording time. With all that TV, there may be no time for work. Mac? Mac?

Da Vinci 2-in-1 Standing Desk

Image Courtesy Standup Desk

Image courtesy: Standup Desk

Your desk is the center of your work life, the hub from which your working life extends. It’s true that it’s second only to your bed as your most-used piece of furniture in your house. And yes, your bed is so much more comfortable.

Several of our staffers point out that a standing desk makes you more productive because it keeps you focused on your work. The most-productive meetings I’ve ever had are where we didn’t sit. They last about 15 minutes and we move on. Sitting for long periods of time is part of a sedentary lifestyle that shortens your time on Earth, right?

We all agree a standup desk is great present for yourself. If you prefer wood — most of us do – then the Da Vinci 2-in-1 standing desk is ideal. Not only is this desk sturdy, but it’s available in any wood, stain and inlay you’d like. That’s because it’s made to order. You pay to play, though. This handsome baby will set you back $1,395.

Beats Pro Headphones


Image courtesy: Beats Pro

Far more attention is paid to screen resolution than to the sound coming from our handhelds. Considering we use them to listen to music and play games and watch HD videos, it’s almost criminal to use the wiry ear buds that come with our devices. Our own Gina Smith will be sharing a pair of hot new headphones from Beats with her 10-year-old son Eric this Christmas. Hope he’s not reading this. (Note from Gina: He’d better not be!) She’ll be sharing them because the Beats Pro headphones top out at $449.

With the new Beats, the headphone has been redesigned and reimagined. The new Beats Pro is lighter and features precision sound, Adaptive Noise Canceling, a 20-hour rechargeable battery and Remote Talk Control which provides control for Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices. Beats warns that performance varies by device.

Oh, I have to confess. I did gift myself the Kindle, but not the $1,395 desk. Maybe next year.

What are you getting yourself for the holidays? Drop us a line on Google+ or in the comments below. Happy Holidays from all of us here at I’m Dino Londis.

Based in New York, Dino Londis is a senior commentator at He’s also an IT Pro alum at National Lampoon and teamBYTE. Email him at