iLounge’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide, Part 3

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iLounge’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide, Part 3 2

With only a few days to go before Christmas, it’s time for our final instalment of our Holiday Gift Guide, which will hopefully help you with some last-minute suggestions for the Apple fan in your life. In part 1 we took a look at some of the interesting products we’ve seen this year in a variety of categories, and then went on to feature our recommendations for speakers and headphones earlier this week in part 2. Today we finish off with a look at a final set of products for Mac users and those on the go, along with a collection of smaller gifts that might make great last-minute “stocking stuffers.”

For the Mac

Apple’s MacBooks have inspired some pretty elegant and classy accessories and covers that make for great gifts for the Mac user in your life.

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Twelve South’s Journal for MacBook (Amazon – $130) is an elegant yet minimalist case that has become one of our personal favourites, providing the look of a vintage leather book that offsets yet complements that modern aluminum MacBook, and if you like the look of Journal for the MacBook, then it’s also worth checking out Journal CaddySack (Amazon – $80) a matching case for all of your MacBook accessories.

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For a more contemporary look, there’s Mujjo’s Folio Sleeve (Amazon – $120) for the 13″ Macbook Air and MacBook Pro models, a striking leather and felt design that provides a bit of room for cards and other small accessories.

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Yohann’s Wooden MacBook Pro Stand (Yohann – $159–$179) also really piqued our interest, providing an artistic way to elevate a MacBook Pro up to a more ergonomically-friendly eye level. It’s something that again blends the rustic with the modern, and we think it looks absolutely great on the right type of desk.

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For the person who already has a desktop monitor and keyboard setup for their MacBook, Twelve South’s BookArc möd for MacBook Amazon – $36) is a great contemporary and inexpensive stand that will help clear up desk space by allowing the MacBook to be stowed away vertically, and is specifically made to fit in with the design of more wood-focused desktops.

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There are also some great stand options for the iMac user in your life, including Satechi’s Type-C Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac (Amazon – $90) provides a modern look combined with a nice collection of front-accessible ports, while Twelve South’s HiRise Pro stand Amazon – $150) provides a more elegant look with built-in store space and a rear pass-through for USB and Thunderbolt hubs. However, if you’re looking for the ultimate in all-natural class, Understands has a gorgeous collection ofDesktop Computer Stands (Understands — $99–$399) that are also definitely worth a look.

For the Road Warrior

While there’s no shortage of car chargers and mounts out there, with Apple’s latest iPhones now sporting wireless charging, it’s a better time than ever to pick up one that can both hold your iPhone and charge it at the same time.

Scosche’s MagicMount Pro Charge (Amazon – $54) is a Qi-enabled adaptation of the company’s well-known MagicMount chargers, offering solid in-car mounting and full-speed charging for everything from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone XS Max. If you prefer vent-mounted options, Mophie’s added Charge Stream Vent Mount (Amazon – $70) to its Charge Stream family of Qi-enabled accessories. For a budget solution, we also liked Tech Armor’s new inexpensive Wireless Car Charger (Amazon – $30); while it’s not as sophisticated as the other options, it gets the job done.

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For the traveller, Twelve South’s PlugBug Duo (Amazon – $40 ) provides a pair of extra USB outlets right on top of a MacBook or iPad power adapter, and includes a set of five world travel adapters so you can use it no matter where you land. OneAdaptr’s Twist+ World Charging Station(Amazon – $43) offers an even more integrated solution for those who are frequently hopping between countries, with all of the various world plugs built right in.

Around the House

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TaoTronics’ LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger (Amazon – $43) is a handy gift, combining a basic wireless charger into an LED desk lamp that can be adjusted in both brightness and color temperature — a great option for those with limited desk or table space. For devices that still need traditional USB charging, Native Union’s Eclipse USB Charger (Amazon – $50) provides an attractive way to keep unsightly cables hidden yet still accessible.

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If you know someone who regularly needs to look at their iPad or iPHone while working in the kitchen or workshop, Twelve South’s Compass Pro (Amazon – $60) is one of the coolest and most versatile ways to elevate an iPad, while Thought Out’s PED5 Grand iPhone Stand (Amazon – $60) is a solid stand for keeping an iPhone within easy view no matter what you’re doing with your hands.

Spots for your Dot

Amazon’s Echo Dot is one of the most inexpensive ways to get into the Alexa ecosystem, but it’s a pretty lousy speaker. So if you’re planning to gift an Echo Dot to a friend, or know somebody who already has one, there are some great options to accessorize it further by putting some real speaker power behind it.

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iHome’s iAV5 Blueooth Rechargeable Speaker for Amazon Echo Dot (Amazon – $30) is a nice color-changing speaker that will add both flair and better audio to the Echo Dot experience, as well as battery-powered portability, although it pairs via Bluetooth, making it less than ideal if you want to stream audio to it from your iPhone.
Divoom’s ADOT (Amazon – $70) offers great sound for the price, an integrated battery for portability, and a wired connection so you can still stream to your Dot via Bluetooth.
iHome’s iAV2 (Amazon – $40) goes in a similar direction, but focuses on providing a bedside clock speaker at the cost of portability.

Stocking Stuffers — Gifts $50 and under

Even if you’ve already bought all of the big gifts, there’s always room for a few little odds and ends to round out your shopping list. These are all relatively small and inexpensive items that make great stocking stuffers, or may complement other big gifts.

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We covered headphones in detail in part 2, but if you’re looking for a simple pair of in-ear ‘phones at a stocking stuffer price, Anker’s SoundBuds Curve Wireless Earbuds Amazon – $26) are the ones to buy. The package includes a ridiculously generous set of accessories, and clean sound with a heavy bass boost that’s well-suited to workout mixes. iFrogz’ Cocoon Earbud Charging Case (Amazon — $13) also makes a nice addition to the Anker SoundBuds, or any other set of wireless Bluetooth headphones, providing a great place to store and charge just about any set of wireless earbuds on the go.

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If you’ve got a set of AirPods on your gift list, or a friend who already has one, then Catalyst’s Special Edition Waterproof Case for AirPods Apple – $30) is definitely worth a look, providing a great way to protect and carry your AirPods.

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While Mujjo’s Touchscreen Gloves (Amazon – $50) have often been copied, none come even close to Mujjo’s originals, and this year’s version are even stealthier and thinner with a top 3M Thinsulate layer. They’re wind-resistant, sturdy, and durable, and fleece-lined on the inside for comfort. They’re an improvement in every way over last year’s already great versions. Mujjo also offers a great line of Full Leather Cases (Amazon – $50) that complement the gloves, but look and feel great by themselves too.

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Add-on lenses have traditionally been on the expensive side, especially for the casual photographer, but Olloclip has recently changed that with its new Intro Series Lens (Olloclip – $20), a really inexpensive option that lets anybody add wider angle and macro shots, although you’ll want to add a clip if you’re giving it to somebody who doesn’t already have one. Olloclip also now offers a Slim Case (Olloclip – $30) that’s guaranteed to work with its lens products, ensuring that you don’t need to risk leaving your iPhone uncased while out shooting.

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As we said in part 1 of our Holiday Gift Guide, we still think Anki’s Cozmo is one of the coolest family gifts you can get this year, and if that’s on your list and you’re hoping to introduce your kids to coding, be sure to also check out Anki’s new Create with Cozmo Book (Anki – $20) which provides a great series of tutorials and exercises to help you get the most out of building projects with the little guy.

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Screen protectors aren’t new by any stretch of the imagination, but with so much recent research revealing the harmful effects of blue light, ZAGG has expanded its lineup with InvisibleShield Glass+ VisionGuard (Amazon – $45), which not only provides InvisibleShield’s well-known physical screen protection, but also filters out the blue light that can damage your eyes, and cause headaches and sleep loss. On the flip side of the iPhone, Toast’s Natural Wood Covers (Amazon – $40) make a very attractive way to provide some style and a small level of protection to an iPhone while still keeping it ultra-slim.

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Lastly, if you’ve got a friend who is always hopping between coffee shops and libraries and does a lot of typing on their iPhone, Logitech’s Keys-To-Go Portable Bluetooth Keyboard (Amazon – $47) is another great gift. While it’s not as portable as some of the foldable Bluetooth keyboards we’ve seen, it’s got full-sized keys and a good feel — exactly what we would expect from Logitech.