12/17/08
10:14 am

MacMost Now 173: Mac and iPhone Gift Guide 2008

Check out some gift ideas for Mac and iPhone users that cost less than $50: headphones, headsets, cooling pads, media readers and even a game.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today let's take a look at some great gift suggestions for the Mac lover in your family.
So this time of year a lot of people come out with these gift guides. And they usually feature very expensive things like MacBooks or iPhones. Now if you don't want to get all of your friends something extremely expensive, I know it's out of my budget, well then here are some great ideas for Mac lovers that are $50 and under.
Whether you have an iPod or an iPhone, you need a great set of earphones to go with it. I hate earbuds. I find them to be very uncomfortable. I like over the ear headphones like this one. This Phillips set, I find to be great quality, and they've got the whole noise cancellation thing going on too. And you can find them at a reasonable price. Or you can find other noise cancellation headphones just like them.
Now you know I'm always searching for the perfect iPhone case. Earlier this year I was using the Otter Box Defender Series, which is great but probably a little bit of an overkill for what I need. Then I found the Otter Box Impact Series. This is a very inexpensive case and has saved my iPhone numerous times. It also looks pretty good and provides complete protection.
Now a great gift for anybody who has a digital camera is a media reader. Instead of making you connect your camera to your Mac directly, you can go ahead and just pull the card out, use one of these media readers. You get faster access, and you don't run down the battery in your camera. You can usually find them for about 20 bucks.
Now this is a bit of an unusual gift, but I love the new Apple keyboard. I bought a new one to replace the old one that I used in conjunction with my MacBook. I even replaced the one that came with this Mac with a new Apple keyboard. You can get it for $49. It makes a really great gift for anybody that has a MacBook but uses an external monitor. Or if somebody has a Mac with an older keyboard, it's a very good upgrade to get them for under 50 bucks.
Another good gift for a MacBook, or especially a MacBook Pro user, is a cooling pad. These cheap little devices plug into your USB port and provide extra fans underneath to keep the MacBook nice and cool. You'll find a variety of them for about $20.
Another great gadget I got for myself this year was this Plantronics Bluetooth headset. Bluetooth headsets would make great gifts for anybody with an iPhone, especially now that a lot of states have laws requiring you to use such a headset if you're going to talk on your phone while driving. And this will also sync with your Mac, so you can use it as a headset for something like Skype or any microphone application with your Mac.
But if you're looking for something a little more fun to get somebody, I can recommend Spore. Now Spore took a lot of criticism for its copy protection. And maybe it wasn't as good as the ultimate game everybody expected. But I still found it to be quite enjoyable, and it works very well on the Mac. The key is to get past the early stages, which are fun but very limited, and get to the 5th level, the space trading exploration stage. And you can play that one for weeks.
I'll put up links to all of these products at this post at MacMost.com. You can find it at the following URL. I hope you can find something for the Mac or iPhone lover in your life. And if you want to get them something a little bit extra that doesn't cost you anything, you can let them know about this podcast and have them subscribe at itunes, or subscribe to the free MacMost email newsletter that comes out every Thursday.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Here are links to the products mentioned in the podcast:

  • Philips SBC HN110 Headphones
  • OtterBox iPhone 3G Black Skin Case Impact Series
  • Digital camera media readers
  • New Apple Keyboard
  • MacBook cooling pads
  • Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset [Retail Packaged]
  • Spore