Last Minute Tech Gifts: Way Better Than A Gift Card

You are here:
Small presents

California, (December, 2011) — As the big day approaches, many of us are scrambling to finish our holiday shopping, especially for those people on the list who seem to have everything… Some people seem to be just impossible to buy for, so you think, “Isn’t it safest just to get them a gift card they can use to pick something out themselves?” Safe? Absolutely. But it’s also pretty boring, and kind of calling it in, don’t you think?

So before you resign yourself to buying that generic gift card, NERDS found some great last minute gifts of online services that keep on giving.

For the Music lover: Streaming music has gotten really popular, and really easy. Whether it’s at work, on a Smartphone or iPod, or even in your car, services like Pandora and Spotify offer the ability to listen to a wide variety of music without having to purchase and/or download it. Unfortunately the free versions also have annoying pop ups and commercials. While I love Spotify, they’re expensive and don’t currently offer gifting options. Consider getting the music lover on your list a subscription to Pandora for a year of ad-free music streaming for $36.

For the Video Gamer: Do you find it really hard to shop for video game players and how to know which version of Call of Duty they want? There is a great service for console players (Xbox, PS3, Wii, etc) called Gamefly… Think of it like Netflix for video games. You can give the gift of unlimited gaming with no late fees for as little as $16, depending on the plan you select.

For the Avid Book Lover: What about the avid readers on your list? Do you wonder short of an Amazon gift card; is there something out there for the book lovers? Personally we love Audible , an online store for audio books. We travel a lot, so it lets you listen to great books on the road, or even while working around the house. You can install the audible application to download books to any number of portable electronics, from Smartphones to iPods. You can gift membership by the month (3 months is $45) or gift a specific book.

For the Movie Buff: Finally, there are a number of options for the movie or TV enthusiast. Most movie lovers probably already have a membership at Netflix, but if not, you can purchase a gift membership for them at Netflix. Just keep in mind that the certificate is non-refundable and will require that the recipient enter a valid credit card number and authorize automatic re-bills after the gift membership expires. Also, they are currently only offering gift memberships to the streaming service, not the movie delivery service. With the changes Netflix has implemented recently, many people are considering giving Blockbuster Total Access a try. Gift memberships are available at in various combinations of months and number of movies out at a time. Prices for movies delivered to your door are really reasonable, movies can be returned or exchanged in store, and the monthly rate includes the ability to rent video games. Also, consider gifting a membership to Hulu Plus, a TV streaming service that allows users to watch their favorite shows and even thousands of movies, on demand, on any number of wireless-enabled devices. If Uncle Jim is distraught when he misses an episode of House, make him and his couch happy again.


About The Author: Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at