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How can you tell which gaming console, computer or phone is right for your gift recipient? There are so many options available! To make it a little easier, here are our recommendations.
You want to get the gift that’s just right for everyone you love and gaming consoles are always at the top of a lot of lists. They’re fun for individual play as well as for entire families to use.
Gaming consoles are a great gift because playing video games actually has benefits you may not be aware of. You might assume that kids who play video games are less likely to be physically active, but the opposite is true.
Kids who play games in a virtual world often develop an interest in joining sports teams to play the games that they play online. And some of the games require you to get up off the couch and move in a virtual type setting.
Using a game console to play games is good for adults, too. Studies have shown that people who play video games experience a reduction in their stress levels. They also develop the ability to think faster.
Even senior citizens can take advantage of the benefits found in playing video games. Not only does it help with dexterity, but the games also help boost memory function and improve cognitive function.
A gaming console is a great gift for family or friends. And you can find a selection to suit your budget. The cost of gaming consoles isn’t nearly as expensive as it used to be. If you can find consoles sold in bundles, you get a lot of extra goodies and accessories along with the console.
In creating this gift guide, I went right to the source – my two college boys. When it comes to electronics and the loyalty of distractable consumers, things can change rapidly. Fortunately, their recommendations lined up with what the gaming industry is telling us.
The Xbox One S is a top-rated game system. The console has high-quality features like 4K Blu-Ray and the higher TB than many of the competing systems. Plus, it’s a smaller console so it’s less bulky than the older models. There are currently 3 great bundles with this system.
The Forza Horizon 3 Bundle includes the console, a full game download of Forza Horizon 3, and wireless controller.
The Gears of War bundle comes with the console, the Gears of War 4 game, and controller.
The Madden NFL 17 Bundle comes with a full game digital download of Madden NFL 17, seven Madden Ultimate Team Pro Packs, one month of EA Access, and of course the console and controller
If you want to get a console for your kids that adults can enjoy as well, then you’ll want to check out the Sony PS4. I found two bundles available with some of the hottest, and most wanted by gamers, games this year.
The limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro Destiny 2 Bundle comes with the game, but also bonus content such as a competitive multiplayer map, a three person co-op Strike, a new ship, specialized gear set, and an exclusive exotic weapon.
The PlayStation 4 Bundle with Call of Duty Black Ops III includes the console, game and controller.
Hot Game Releases
Of course, with any gaming console, you want to make sure that you have plenty of games on hand to play.
There are a literally hundreds of different video games you can buy but, if you’re planning on giving some as gifts, you’ll want to look at what’s popular but you also want to check out the newest and hottest game releases.
The top X Box One games are Destiny 2, Madden NFL, Mega Man Legacy, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. A full list of best sellers and new releases will give you much to choose from.
The top PS4 games include Destiny 2, Madden NFL, Nier: Autonata, Uncharted, Call of Duty, and South Park.
PCs and Laptops
You’ll find some of the top selling gifts in PCs and laptops. PCs and laptops are multifunctional, allowing one to work and play on the same platform.
They can be used for personal or professional use and even for gaming or watching Netflix. You can find a variety of models, suitable for anyone.
If you’re planning to buy a PC as a gift for someone who’s into graphic design or does video creations, then you’re going to want to get a computer that has speed and power to handle the load.
One of the top selling PCs is the Lenovo Ideacentre 300 Desktop Computer. It’s popular because it has a powerful 3.7 GHz IntelCore i3, 8 GB of RAM and can be upgraded to more RAM if you need it. This model has 5.1 channel surround sound and a DVD R/W drive, so users can listen to music, watch movies or game. It’s already Bluetooth ready. If you’re looking for a PC that’s low in cost but high in features, then this one is a good choice.
For those friends and family who are heavily into gaming, you probably want to look at something like the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A Gaming Desktop. This is also one of the top selling PCs. It has 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5, better resolution for gaming as well as a high-quality graphics card. There’s enough storage on this one to hold all of your games and plenty more. Because it’s DirectX 12 Gaming optimized, it’s the number one choice among gamers when choosing their own system to buy. You can expect to pay more for this one, but it’s worth it.
When it comes to laptops, hybrids are becoming popular. These are laptops that can convert into tablets. So basically, you get a device that can function as a laptop or a tablet, depending on your needs.
Need to do a presentation at school or work? Flip it into a tablet. Want to write a report for your teacher or boss? Flip it into a laptop. The advantage of a hybrid is that you have fewer devices to manage and you don’t have to shell out for a keyboard for your tablet. Basically, you get the power of a laptop with the portability of a tablet.
There are two top contenders that combine affordability with features.
The first one is the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM2T 13.3 – inch, Key features include Windows 10, Microsoft Cortana with voice, lightweight and slim at under 3 pounds, next gen mobile graphics, video chatting and award-winning audio
The second one is the ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM2T and bonus Zenwatch
Lightweight (2 pounds) and flexible, the flipbook lets you use it as a table, stand or in laptop mode. Battery life is rated up to 10 hours and it has 16GB solid state storage. The bonus Asus ZenWatch comes with gorilla glass. The ASUS FaceDesigner lets you create your perfect watch face. It’s water resistant and has a built in pedometer for counting activity steps.
As a Mac user, I would be delinquent if I didn’t at least touch on Apple computer products! The MacBook Pro is my personal computer of choice and the one that accompanied several of my college-bound kids. I’ve found that they’re very sturdy, reliable and easy to use, but the customer care is undoubtedly one of their best features. Apple will go above and beyond to make your shopping and computing experience all that it can be. Every computer issue I have had has either been promptly resolved or I was given a brand new replacement. I purchase AppleCare (an extended warranty) with my mac and I would encourage you to do the same with any computer you purchase.
The Apple MacBook Pro features powerful graphics and sound, and state of the art speed and performance. The newest Pro also features Touch Bar and Touch ID. The 7th generation Intel Core processors deliver amazing performance and conserves energy when you are doing light tasks like email or browsing. It’s super thin and light and, if you can call a computer elegant, the MacBook Pro is that.
For Smartphone and Tablet gift ideas, check out the College Student Gift Guide.
Be sure to check out our other gift guides: