Last-minute gift guide

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Nothing screams the holiday season like gift-giving, but it’s hard to pick out what to buy (or ask for). Here’s my compiled list of recommendations for last- minute gifts to buy.

By Justin Huang, Co-Editor-in-Chief


Stocking Stuffers

Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-K

Courtesy Amazon

The name doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but these Panasonic headphones are great value. For just $9, they bring decent sound quality to your ears for listening to music or binging YouTube videos. Unfortunately, their build quality is cheap—which is expected, given the price—and you need a headphone jack in your phone to be able to use these. Still, it’s a great bang for your buck.

Buy them for $9.

Gift Cards

Courtesy Amazon

Some believe that gift cards are too impersonal, but I think money is money, and gifts are gifts—the word “gift” is in the name! Nobody’s going to say no to a nice Starbucks gift card, even if it only buys two overpriced frappuccinos. Even better for you, they’re easy to buy.

 Buy them from Amazon or retail stores

Gifts for larger budgets

Anker PowerCore 10000

I own lots of things that have to be charged—my phone, my headphones, my Nintendo Switch, my graphing calculator. If I’m out in Philly away from a power source, I turn to my Anker for charging my would-be-depleted devices. Personally, I own a beast of a 26,800 mAh battery, which can charge roughly 7 dead smartphones. As an added bonus, it can also charge my Nintendo Switch, a feat that not many portable batteries brag about. Something less excessive (and less pricey) would be a 10,000 mAh battery that can fit into your pocket.

Buy them for $32.

Anker Soundbuds Slim

Before I found a pair of AirPods, these were my portable headphones, and I liked them for a lot of reasons. For $20, you’re not going to break your bank, and they’re light and comfortable—easy to forget that they’re there. The silicone eartips fit well enough, and their wireless capabilities throw out the need for a headphone jack. The sound quality is more than enough for most people. The one downside is the use of microUSB instead of USB-C, which means an additional charger for most people.

 Buy them for $26

Smart Assistants

Alexa and Google Assistant make life easier. By themselves, they can wake you up, play music, tell you the latest news and even tell you your Schoology calendars, if you configure the calendar correctly. Then there’s all the smart home capabilities, although that’ll cost you more money. Before getting these, consider if you’re giving them to somebody that’ll use one or leave it collecting dust on the corner of their desk. If they’ll use it, you’ll find both baseline versions for $30.

 Buy the Echo Dot for $30  Buy the Home Mini for $30

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Conceptually, a fighting game between all Nintendo characters sounds like a money grab, but the designer of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai, continues to make it work. This is probably the most anticipated video game of 2019 because of its smooth fighting mechanics and multiplayer potential. The latter especially shines—I’ve gone to parties where we spend hours playing the game’s predecessor, and this version brings in more characters to plays as and rebalancing. Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, you can find this game for $60.

 Buy it for $60

Plead with parents for…

Apple AirPods

I hate Apple, but even I can admit how good these are. The AirPods include everything that’s good about Apple. For one, the build quality is superb. The case feels solid and unbreakable, and the AirPods are the same. However, it’s the functionality of the AirPods that sells the product to me. For iPhones, if you flip open the case it connects immediately. Taking out one AirPod pauses music quickly, saving you the extra hassle. They also don’t fall out too easily, which surprised me, so it’s fine to bring to a workout. Although the audiophiles won’t be pleased by the sound quality, it’s enough for most people. Priced at $160, you can get the AirPods here.

Buy them for $160.

Nintendo Switch

I have friends that bought this gaming console only to play Smash, but it stands on its own merits. True to its name, this gaming console is unique since it can “switch” between a docked (attached to a TV) and portable (handheld gaming) mode, making it ideal for those who like to bring their games with them. The controllers are small, but ideal for portable use, and they make multiplayer on-the-go simple and easy. There’s a variety of Nintendo and third-party games—I own both “Bayonetta” titles, “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Hollow Knight,” “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” a couple smaller titles and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” as my favorite. The portability also works for seniors going to college as a nice console to leave in their dorm or throw into their backpacks. My only complaint is the short battery life—the most intensive games only survive for three hours—although my portable battery remedies that problem. At $300 by itself, it’s expensive, but worth the purchase.

 Buy it from Amazon for $300

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