With Thanksgiving behind us and Hanukkah arriving very early this year, we're already in the midst of gift-giving season. And technology gifts continue to be quite high on most people's wish and gift lists.

This year yields yet another bountiful opportunity for shiny new gadgets. Here are a few categories:


This area is still owned by Apple and its iPad line, but companies like Samsung and Google are producing tablets powered by the Android operating system at a remarkable pace.

If you think that an iPad is the only way to go, consider some of the new low-cost Android tablets. If what you want to do is email, Web surfing and running applications such as Netflix, Android tablets could be a viable option.

I've even seen Android tablets for under $100. They may not have all of the bells and whistles of an iPad or higher-end tablet, but for $100, it's really hard to go too wrong.

Game consoles

One might rightly wonder what the future of game consoles is with all the games on phones and tablets. However, Microsoft's new Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 are coming out this season.

Both are screaming consoles that will sell quite well. Which one to choose? Well, if you have an investment in Xbox games, you'll probably want to stick with the Xbox. Same for the PlayStation.

The Xbox integrates very nicely with a home Microsoft network and has an interface that looks a lot like Windows 8 (that may or may not be an advantage for you, depending on your opinion of Windows 8). Sony has always provided a compelling offering and the PlayStation 4 will continue that trend.


Again, Apple is still the player to beat. Its iPhone 5 models are great. But some companies are doing a pretty good job competing, most notably Samsung, but Google and HTC offer some very nice units.

Sales figures now indicate that Apple still sells the most phones, but phones running the Android operating system sold by numerous manufacturers sell more units.

Of particular note are the phones with screens larger than the iPhone. While the iPhone is an elegant device, many people are opting for phones with larger screens. Larger screens have spawned a new term: "phablet" which is a combination phone and tablet.

So, whatever your interest in technology is, you should be able to find something very appropriate for your gift recipients -- or can drop a hint if you're wanting something for yourself.

Mark Mathias is a Westport resident and has worked in information technology for more than 30 years. His "Living With Technology" appears every other Friday. He can be contacted at: livingwithtechnology@mathias.org