The IT Nerd’s Holiday Gift Guide 2018

For the fifth year in a row, I am doing a holiday gift guide. This year, I will focus on gifts that caught my eye from my all over the place. I will also give gift suggestions from the various items that I reviewed this year. So, without further delay, let’s get started.


Most thermostats only read the temperature in one place (usually the hallway) which can make other rooms uncomfortable. ecobee4 comes with a room sensor to help manage hot or cold spots. When you place sensors in your favorite rooms, ecobee4 can read the temperature and detect occupancy. That’s how it ensures comfort in the rooms that matter. With Amazon Alexa Voice Service built inside, ecobee4 can perform the many ‘skills’ that come with Alexa. All you have to do is ask, and watch the blue light pipe on top of the thermostat blink in response. For total hands-free control, it can even hear you from across the room. Expect to pay $249.


Enable the binge-watcher in your life with a new 4K Ultra HD resolution Hisense TV, built in with Roku’s innovative SMART TV operating system — newly upgraded with Amazon Prime Video in Canada.  Access to 100,000+ movies and TV episodes including blockbuster films, primetime shows, live sports, news, kids’ programming and music across thousands of free or paid channels like Netflix, Spotify, Google Play, and many more.  They will thank you eventually, just after one more episode. MSRP is $599 CDN.


The new HP Sprocket 2nd Edition, a portable, pocket-sized photo printer, is perfect for the seasoned holiday party-hopper. It’s easier than ever to snap pictures, instantly print from a mobile device, and share in the fun with as many friends connecting to the device at once. It’s available in four new colors – Luna Pearl, Noir, Blush and Lilac. Pricing is $159.99 CAD


The OMEN by HP laptop offers a design built for die-hard gamers, with increased VR capabilities, expansion capabilities, and additional ports. Built to deliver peak performance, optimize the gaming experience and enhance gameplay, the OMEN supports some of the fastest technologies available today with a broad range of options targeted at delivering unprecedented performance across all aspects of gaming. These laptops start at $1599 CDN.

This holiday Nikon is featuring its most portable entry-level DSLR, the D3500. It’s a great option for parents or photography enthusiasts who want to take their photography to the next level. The D3500 uses Bluetooth to create an always-on connection between the camera and a compatible smartphone or tablet, making it easy to share images to social media. You can pick one up at your local Nikon dealer. The body only is $569.95. But you can also get it with a 18-55mm lens for $699.95.

For the experienced photographer, the D7500 offers a great sensor, advanced manual controls, and an 18-140mm kit lens that handles just about any scenario, from portraits to distance shots. You can pick one up at your local Nikon dealer for $1,699.95 for the body only. If you want it with a 18-140mm lens for $2,099.95.

Powerful and portable, the Roku Streaming Stick + gives the gift of entertainment on-the-go all in a powerful stick. Perfect for holiday road trips, the Hotel & Dorm Connect feature lets you connect to wireless networks that only require a browser login, so you can binge-away. Choose your favourite program with the included point-anywhere remote, or just use the Roku app on your smartphone to control the action. MSRP is $89.99.

TCL 4K Ultra HD Smart LED Television, 55” marry superior 4K UHD picture quality with Dolby Vision HDR for a stellar imaging experience. This TCL 5-Series’ TV which goes for $550 CAD comes with HDR Dynamic Contrast technology which uses information embedded in the Dolby Vision content to optimize every scene for an accurate display of details in the bright and dark areas simultaneously. The 5-Series models’ iPQ Engine™ provides precise color replication while HDR Pro Gamma significantly improves HDR performance in any setting.

The Deco M9 Smart Home Mesh System connects and controls all your smart devices with seamless whole-home Wi-Fi coverage. It’s Alexa-compatible and an Internet of Things hub that connects everything with one app. It’s $399.99 CAD

Whether the pro-gamer in your home is trying to defeat a MOB or dominating the battlegrounds, survival is determined within fractions of seconds of network lag. The Archer C5400x Gaming Router automatically prioritizes gaming traffic to ramp up performance for any online match. $449.99. Read the review here.

Sonos has a bunch of deals on their great audio gear between Nov. 22 – 26:

  • $30 off Sonos One (discounted price: $219)
  • $60 off Sonos Beam (discounted price: $439)
  • $150 off Sub (discounted price: $749)

Plus Sonos will have a Holiday Pop-Up at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. Both the Sonos Beam and Sonos One will be featured there.


For some of us, the holidays mean traveling. This holiday season, make sure your home is in good hands while you’re away. Safe by Hub6 uses the security system hardware you already have and frees you from long-term contracts or monthly fees.. It redirects any alerts triggered by your system to your phone, friend, or  HUB6’s Professional Monitoring when you need a back up. Expect to pay $299 CDN.


With the popularity of creative software, more and more creators need a laptop that suits them. The MSi P65 can serve the needs of 3D Animators, Video Editors and 2D Designers. Sporting the Nvidia GeForce® the P65 squeezes incredible performance into the world’s fastest, quietest, and thinnest laptops. Msi’s exclusive True Colour technology offers near perfect colour presentation and powered by an 8th generation Intel, the P65 can keep up with any content creator. Take a look at my first look here. Expect to pay $2,399-$3,499 depending on configuration.

Wherever you’re living, access to high-speed internet is essential for staying connected. TekSavvy allows you to avoid the big telcos by offering high speed internet at an affordable price. You can sign up for an unlimited internet package that offers TekSavvy’s highest speed internet (50 MBPS) for just $57/month for 12 months. Meanwhile the highest speed cable internet package (250 MBPS) goes for just $90/month. TekSavvy puts customers first and Now Magazine readers agree, awarding it Best Internet Service Provider for the last seven years. If you’re tired of getting your internet from the big guys check out TekSavvy, it’s different in a good way.

Grovemade has decided to start their Black Friday sale early! Starting tomorrow and ending Sunday, November 25 at 11:59 pm, the leading designer in handcrafted accessories will offer 20% OFF a large selection of their EDC products. Techies will want to pay attention to their Apple Watch bands which look very stylish.

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The first patented multi-device luxury docking/charging luxury station for all mobile devices of every brand and generation, udoq 400 Power for Apple and udoq 400 for Android is a one-size-fits-all station for charging/docking up to five smartphones, tablets, music players, smartwatches, eReaders, and other devices. Created by the minimalist designers of Porsche according to German engineering standards, udoq 400 Power is plug & play ready, made of elegant sturdy high-grade aluminum that’s built to last. udoq organizes multiple devices and cables with an innovative patented process which allows users to quickly and neatly move and slide back and forth all the charging cables (including Lightning, Micro USB, USB-C, 30-Pin, with Adapter for Apple Watch) from multiple devices in one station without the mess and disorganization of tangled cables and lost devices. Price: $139.90-$169.90

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The Mixcder E7 Active Noise Canceling Bluetooth over the ear Hi-Fi stereo headphones with deep bass and built-in microphone deliver on the company’s mission to create premium noise canceling headphones at an affordable price for everyone – at only $59.99. The Mixcder E7 employs Active Noise Canceling (ANC) Technology that continuously detects and reacts to outside noises, analyzing sound waves and blocking out ambient sound by creating inverse waves for a totally immersive experience for beautiful music and sound. Price: $59.99
Do you have any suggestions for additions to this list? If so, please post a comment and share your thoughts.




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