How to have a high-tech holiday without the high price
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Nov 06, 2013 | 10019 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - Have a holly, jolly, high-tech holiday - and in case you didn't hear - it doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Some of the season's hottest tech gifts are more affordable than ever this year.

Spending on consumer electronics this holiday season is expected to grow 2.6 percent, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), with three quarters of American gifters planning to purchase tech gadgets.

Big screen TVs continue to be on consumers' top wish-lists. In fact, a nationwide survey conducted for LG Electronics USA found that about six in 10 (58 percent) said they are likely to consider giving a TV as a gift.

Surprisingly, more than half of respondents (52 percent) said they'd prefer to receive an 84-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV (roughly $17,000) over an expensive piece of jewelry or watch (23 percent). More consumers also said they'd like to receive a $2,300 Internet connected 'smart' TV than a European vacation.

For more budget-minded Santas, here are five tech gift ideas with big appeal and big value. Just imagine how your teen, college student, parent or best friend will react when they open up one of these:

1. Dual docking speaker

For the music lover in your life, few things beat a great speaker system. A Dual Docking Speaker system allows anyone to get the most out of a music collection with impressive style, design and functionality. A Dual Docking speaker like LG's ND5630 is compatible with iPod, iPhone and Android and also boasts built-in Wi-Fi, so it's simple to stream music via Airplay or Bluetooth. You can even charge one device while playing another. At a suggested price of $249, you get a lot of holiday bang for your buck.

2. Ultra-wide monitor

Gamers and geeks alike will light up when they open a modern ultra-wide monitor that brings cyberspace to life. With a 21:9 aspect ratio screen (2560-by-1080p resolution), these new monitors produce a theater-like experience when playing games or watching your favorite movies. The dual link-up feature allows the monitor to display two source devices at once. For example, any combination of two devices, such as computers, cameras, smartphones or Blu-ray players can be connected to the monitor and displayed on a single screen simultaneously. One of the most popular ultra-wide monitors, the LN450W from LG is both PC and Mac compatible, has a built-in tuner so it can be used as a TV and you can get it for $649 or less at some online retailers.

3. Earbuds

Is one of your loved ones still rocking the factory earbuds that originally came with his smartphone or MP3 player? It's time to gift them a better listening experience. Earbuds and headphones will be the most popular consumer electronics devices given his holiday season, CEA says. Earbuds - tiny in-ear headphones - are convenient for listening to music or other audio in private, but just because they are small doesn't mean they shouldn't produce quality sound. Starting at about $50 you can give high-end earbuds with noticeably better sound capabilities. This is one gift that is sure to be used over and over again.

4. Smart/3D Blu-ray disc player

Know someone who loves movies? Some Smart Blu-ray Disc players can play DVDs, and 2D or 3D Blu-ray discs. They can also stream content like movies from Netflix or Hulu Plus or videos from YouTube - especially great if that special person on your shopping list isn't ready to upgrade to a smart TV yet. You can get one from LG (BP530) as little as $100 at some online retailers.

5. Tablets and accessories

Some tablets come with outrageous price tags, but every month new models become available, many of which are surprisingly affordable. CEA says tablets are at the top of adult's wish lists this holiday season. You can find options for $200 or less that include a quality processor, impressive battery life and considerable data storage. Compare to save and don't be afraid to shop the sales. Does your special someone already have a beloved tablet? You can't go wrong by gifting accessories like attachable keyboards and decorative protective covers.

This holiday you don't have to choose between giving high tech gifts and saving money. You can have both and impress your loved ones with the best tech gifts of 2013.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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