You can ease your gift-giving anxiety this season by selecting from among these five gift recommendations for the Apple professionals in your life.
Less than $100
A stylish method of transporting Macs and iPads will be appreciated — additional room for power cords and other accessories is a handy bonus. Case Logic's LoDo laptop attaches, available in 14" and 15.6" models and several colors, capably and comfortably accommodate the demands of the daily commute.
I tested the 14" model (retail price $69.99) and was impressed with the bag's fit and finish. A padded compartment held my 13.3" MacBook Air with no trouble, while front pockets stored keys, a wallet, and a Moleskine notebook. Bose over-the-ear headphones fit comfortably inside next to my laptop, with plenty of room for a charging cable and even an iPad. And the front pockets' magnetic clasps made access easier than on traditional buckled bags, while padded leather handles and a shoulder strap provided two options for carrying.
If a business professional on your list doesn't require a full attache, Case Logic's LoDo sleeves offer an alternative. At just $39 for the 13.3" model, the sleeve includes a padded pocket for more securely transporting 13"-series MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros (11.6" and 15.6" sleeves are also available). The LoDo sleeves sport a second compartment for accessories, cables, or even a charger. Unlike many sleeves, the LoDo's ability to transport a charger and cables makes life easier.
$100 to $300
Apple professionals employing Mac desktops or even laptops mated to large-screen displays and external keyboards and mice may not know what they're missing using a traditional Apple keyboard. While Apple's wireless keyboards work well and provide many years of reliable service, they're no match for the quality and tactile feedback typists enjoy using mechanical-switch-equipped keyboards. Matias' $169.95 Laptop Pro Bluetooth keyboard is likely to surprise most users with its crisp and accurate feel.
Bose's QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones for Apple devices are an excellent gift option for music fans, public transportation commuters, and workers in louder, open office environments. Sound quality is almost unmatched, while noise cancelling impressively blocks much ambient noise and many potential distractions. Foldable construction makes the headphones easy to pack for travel. I debated purchasing a pair of these $299.95 headphones last year, and I regret not purchasing them earlier.
$349 to $399
Apple Watches unseated Apple iPads this year as the most popular tech show raffle award, at least in my experience. Apple's new Watches are incredibly compelling and versatile devices.
Apple's Watch Sport, which starts at $349 for 38mm models and $399 for 42mm editions, makes a thoughtful holiday gift that enables the recipient to do far more than track just the time. Apple's Watch also enables receiving email and news notifications, tracking health and fitness, and even paying for purchases, among other capabilities. One thing's for sure: An Apple Watch Sport is unlikely to be re-gifted.
- The seven best books for Apple aficionados (TechRepublic)
- The best Mac laptop bags Apple doesn't sell (TechRepublic)
- The best keyboards for Mac users aren't Apple's (TechRepublic)
- How the Apple Watch has improved my daily professional life (TechRepublic)
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.