Lumps of Coal: 5 Gadget Gifts to Avoid

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Whether you’re buying a tablet for your 8-year-old or a new smartphone for Mom, you don’t want to gift a gadget that’s going to end up gathering dust in a closet somewhere. It’s easy to get drawn in by a bargain or fall for advertising hype that makes a tech product look a lot more useful than it is in real life.

Unfortunately, when Dad discovers that the $300 computer you gave him doesn’t run his programs and Junior complains because he can’t play the same games as his friends on that console you bought, you’ll feel more like the Grinch than Santa Claus. Save yourself from standing in that return line and don’t give anyone these five gadget gifts to avoid.

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
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  • danny565 Says:

    I agree with the iphone 5c

  • Loren Says:

    Surface 2 is some nice hunk of metal, and nice screen. All in all, not a bad tablet / netbook (when keyboard added) for around $300 or $399 with keyboard. Would value it higher if it had more apps. Full Win 8.1 Surface Pro would be nice, if around $599.

    The $199 on original Surface seems like a good price. That Surface 2 at $449 just ain't gonna fly. More apps, or lower price to $300

  • Loren Says:

    The Chromebook is a wonderful device as much as any other Internet/Web tool you will find. It may not be for everyone - this is true, but it will serve most people just fine. It is working great in the school system. As for Office like applications, anyone familiar with tech today should know that Google Docs, as well as, Microsoft free office is available to use right from the browser. Typing a word document is simple. You can edit photos with Pixlr app. You can place your works on Google Drive, Skydrive, and Dropbox, along with a long list of other Cloud sites. You can use for email in your browser. True, Chrome will be the only browser - there are limitations. What you don't have is viruses, long updates and reboots, and a slowdown over time as Windows would ball-up. What you get is clean and lean, with up to 8 hours of battery time. The boot up time is around 8 to 10 seconds.

    Although many sites what you to believe only Microsoft and Apple choices are out there, it is simply not true, for some people Linux or this ChromeOS are a good alternative.
    Make a Great Christmas Gift. Why do think Microsoft is so worried???

  • Greg Says:

    You are so right about the Wii U! Who wants to play this "Mario Bros" stuff? I mean, come on, how many people have played that game? Like a few hundred million? Sheesh. And who's this Zelda character? Never heard of her. I guess the 60 million copies or so of games in that franchise must have been Happy Meal toys or something. Where are all the carbon-copy shooters? The endless array of lookalike racing games? The last-gen rehash sports games? You call that a game console!?

    Don't even get me started on the graphics. Full 1080p? I mean the Xbox One and PS4 have launch titles in 720p so that must be way better.

    And a touch screen!?! Who the heck uses one of those in this day and age. What on earth were they thinking!?

    Wait? What? This article wasn't a joke? Oh man, sorry about that, I thought I was in on the gag. Here's hoping your readers aren't silly enough to take game console advice from a laptop magazine.

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