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robot holding giftsIt may come as no surprise, but here at Total Networks, our technicians love to play with the latest gadgets, video games and computer-related products on the market. For fun, we surveyed our staff to find out what items they are looking forward to this gift-giving season. Their choices ranged from modern home assistants or smart speakers to classic throwback video games, computer accessories and home décor, and some other cool items in between. For those of you that are ‘techies’ or that have a loved one who is a ‘techie’, here are some of our techs’ top picks for gifts this season.

If retro is the way you want to go:

Atari Flashback 8 Gold – This system features 120 built-in games. If you want to ‘go back, way back, back into time’ where graphics are primitive, but the gaming was pure, this might be the one for you. Some updates include a 720p HDMI output, and the ability to pause, save or replay difficult sections of the game. ATGames offers variations on this system, with different games available, as well.

SNES Classic – This gaming system can fit in the palm of your hand and includes 20 classic Super NES games plus one never before released game. Feel free to take a snack or potty break, because you can pause and rewind gameplay. As an alternative, you can check out the other NES Classic Mini gaming systems.

Tetris Stackable Desk Lamp – Not much to be said about this one, except that it’s REALLY cool. Stack it any way you want it. The LED lights turn on once stacked together, and they turn off when you take the lamp apart. You can purchase multiple sets to make your lamp bigger and to optimize the visual effect.

Now, let’s get back to the future:

Nintendo Switch – Continuing with gaming, there is the Nintendo Switch. If you want a system that transforms from a home console to a portable gaming system in a snap (literally), the Switch is for you. It can connect to your TV, you can play online with friends, but it also has its own screen, making it portable, with the Joy-Con controller. The Joy-Con controller can be combined as a single controller or split for multi-player functionality. Also, you can connect the controller to the Switch screen and have complete gameplay on the go.

Rocketbook Wave Erasable Notebook – A notebook to end all notebooks? Maybe. With this reusable notebook, take your notes with pen an paper. Using the accompanying app on your smartphone, you can send your notes to the cloud. Erase the pages using your microwave. Curious? We certainly are.

Smart Speakers/Home Assistants – In this category, we have a few to choose from, so buyer compare. Amazon has had a head start on its competitor, Google, for a couple of years in this area. This means that the Echo and Alexa families of devices and accessories will offer more functions. With compatible appliances and devices, you can automate your life with the sound of your voice. Check the weather, get the latest news, listen or watch entertainment, and even control your smart home. While newer to the market, Google Home is a solid alternative to the Amazon devices. If you use Google, then you know that it knows a lot about you. Using your Google account, not only do you have access to a wealth of information available through Google, but it can help you keep track of upcoming appointments, create a shopping list, or check the weather or your commute in real time. It works with compatible devices and has accessories. It can be used for games and entertainment. Both brands offer attractive designs to fit in any space.

And the list goes on. Here are some other honorable mentions: Xbox One X, Steam Gift Card, Oculus Rift VR Headset, Sphero Robots, Professor Einstein – AI Robot, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, TrackR Pixel Bluetooth Tracking Device, H96Pro TV Stick (available thru various online retailers), and the Raspberry Pi.

Not yet Released Geek Award

Last but not least, the geek pick award goes to the PIC18F57K42. David Rice has this on the top of his list! Purchase this one only for the true computer aficionado.

We hope this gives you some great gift ideas and makes someone’s day!!