Holiday Helper: Don’t Forget the Batteries
If you’ve ever gotten some sort of battery powered toy for Christmas only to find that it didn’t come with batteries, you probably know how disappointing it is to have to wait until the day after Christmas to get to play with it. Well, a lot of popular gifts need more than just batteries to get them started. We have a list of important (and often affordable) goodies that go well with those big ticket items.
If you’re getting a new computer for someone (or if someone you know has a big surprise waiting for him this Christmas), there are plenty of useful – and sometimes necessary – peripherals you might want to get them as well. Desktop PCs, in particular, are pretty useless without a monitor and a pair of speakers. A mouse and keyboard are more likely to come bundled, but they could be especially useful for anyone getting a new laptop.
Slightly less necessary, but still practical, gifts are options, too. A USB flash drive or external hard drive can be useful for transferring files from an old computer to the new one. And software is always handy, too – from Microsoft Office to the latest PC games. A few other things to remember are power cords, surge protectors, and Ethernet cables.
Each year, more and more households make the switch to HD. A quality HDMI cable is an absolute necessity that many HDTVs don’t include, and most Blu-Ray and other HD devices prefer to bundle poor quality cables. A mounting bracket makes a great gift, too; although, make sure it’s compatible with the TV (and that the recipient plans on mounting it in the first place). And remember, and HDTV isn’t much good without any HD content. Blu-Ray movies will go great with that Blu-Ray player.
Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 make use of HDMI connections, but neither typically come bundled with an HDMI cable. The Wii technically isn’t HD compatible out of the box, but there are HD adapters available. Extra controllers are always important to consider (and of course their batteries and chargers) no matter which console you’re getting. There are plenty of other console accessories, too, like headsets, memory cards, and specialized controllers. Don’t forget to include a few games.
Smartphones and tablets usually come with everything you need right out of the box, but there’s a lot that is easy to overlook. Most states now have laws against driving while using your phone without a hands-free device. A Bluetooth headset makes an excellent companion gift to a smartphone. Headphones do, too, since the bundled ear buds generally aren’t of the best quality. Vehicle mounting kits can also be useful, especially with all of the GPS features smartphones have these days.
For use as multimedia, tablets and smartphones often need a special HDMI cord in order to connect to an HDTV. Other adapters and battery chargers can be practical gifts, too. The same goes for micro SD cards, for the mobile devices that support them.