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article imageDigital Journal's Holiday Gift Guide: Tech edition

By David Silverberg     Dec 1, 2014 in Technology
Our holiday gift guide returns, with reviews of some of the hottest tech goodies you'll want to buy for your loved ones. Learn about new Koss headphones, how to charge cellphones on the go, addictive Nintendo games, and a gadget to find your lost items.
It's that time of season when you're stressed out by prowling for the ideal gift for your uncle who has everything, or your brother who knows way more about smartphones than you do. But this quick Digital Journal guide on the cool tech we reviewed recently should inspire you to find a present you may have never considered.
Let us know what you think about these gadgets in the Comments below:
NomadKey, the mobile phone charger
Price: $30
Your phone-nut brother might have memorized all the specs for the latest Samsung Galaxy, but does he get frustrated by how quickly his phone battery dies? That's where NomadKey comes in, a handy tiny tool that lets you charge phones on the go. It works with any USB port, and fits with any iPhone or Android phone. When a phone's battery is on life support, simply plug in the NomadKey into your phone and then the other end into a USB port, and watch all that juice get a healthy boost.
We found the device to work flawlessly. Best of all, it's small enough to fit on a keychain but durable enough to resist any rough handling. It would make a great stocking stuffer for any phone-loving relative or friend.
The NomadKey phone charger
The NomadKey phone charger
Via NomadKey
Tile, for your forgetful friends
Price: $25
We all have friends who often lose their keys, misplace their phone, leave their wallet at the bar. If one of those friends are on your Christmas list, give them a gift that keep on giving them peace of mind. Tile is an app and associated tool that lets you track the whereabouts of your various possessions. It looks like a little white square you can attach to almost anything, and after you download the corresponding app to your phone you can list the item as, say, "Phone" and now you can forever track the location of your item via a Bluetooth-enabled signal, which reaches about 100 feet. And if you lose your phone, you can log into your Tile account from any other phone or PC and then find where your phone was last.
Tile is best used for items in your house you may have misplaced, compared to a stolen phone. A feature we have yet to test, though, is where you can ask other Tile users to find your lost item via a crowdsourcing tool available on the app.
How the Tile app can be attached to a keychain
How the Tile app can be attached to a keychain
Via Tile app site
NHL 15, a video game for hockey heads
Price: $50
The latest update to the classic NHL series of video games for Xbox and PlayStation wows even this seen-it-all sports gamer. The graphics are smooth and realistic, gameplay is upped a notch with moves matched to each player, and a new "collision physics" engine adds secondary collisions, player pileups, and net scrambles. The main downside, though, is the loss of Online Team Mode when the game first rolled out, but the publisher EA promised this mode would be added in a future game update.
Screenshot from NHL 15 video game
Screenshot from NHL 15 video game
Courtesy EA Sports
Super Smash Bros., for the wee ones
Price: $40 to $60 (for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U)
After months of teasing, the wild Nintendo brawler is back with a bigger-than-ever cast of 49 characters. Super Smash Bros still hooks you with that addictive party-with-friends aspect of the game, whether you opt for the Wii or 3DS handheld version.The 3DS game has a special “Smash Run” mode where you take on famous Nintendo enemies and then your opponents, while the Wii U version allows up to EIGHT players to battle it out at once. Plus, the new amiibo peripherals will make the Wii U experience even more challenging. Highly recommended for any kids on your shopping list who love their games more social and less solitary.
Screenshot from the the new Super Smash Bros. video game
Screenshot from the the new Super Smash Bros. video game
Koss BT540i Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, for the picky audiophile
Price: $200
Forget Beats by Dre. Forget iPhone earbuds. If you want to give a present that keeps on giving, consider the new Koss wireless headphones dubbed BT540i. Comfortable and durable, these cushion headphones offer sharp and clear sound without needing a cord. Going wireless with headphones is a luxury that you soon take for granted. Also, the built-in lithium-ion battery delivers more than eight hours of listening time on a single charge.
What I've always admired about Koss, too, is their lifetime warranty. You don't even need a receipt! If the set requires repair in any way, send the unit back to Koss HQ and you'll get a replacement pair, no questions asked. That's the kind of customer service elevating a tech company beyond the competition.
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