Yesterday, we covered three suggested “pragmatic” gifts — the sort that will help advance your dear law graduate’s professional life. A laptop could help with cover letters and hopefully, paid legal work. Tablets are great for bar review apps (and bar review breaks!). Smartphones help her answer emails and take calls from potential employers.
They are all good gift ideas, but sometimes, fun trumps function. After all, your grad has been working hard for years to get her degree, and now little Jane will be taking a bar review course and searching desperately for an entry-level legal position. Maybe now is the time for something a little less pragmatic.
Rokus aren't much of a secret anymore, as they've been around for a couple of years. Over that time, they've matured from devices with only a few video partners and low quality resolution to dozens of quality channels (HBO, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and most importantly, the sports packages), and the capability of streaming in full 1080p high definition. Of course, each channel has its own subscription price, which can add up quickly. It's cheaper than cable, however.
Spring for the newest version, the Roku 3, and you'll have a headphone jack on the remote. That means Jane can watch baseball games, with headphones hooked to the remote, and not disturb you. (Note: in this economy, she'll probably be around for a while.)
Of course, after spending all day digging through outlines and memorizing trusts and estates, Jane might not be in the mood for more devices that feed in to a sedentary lifestyle. Maybe she's still got the freshman fifteen, or the law school thirty, and wants to knock off a few pounds.
Fitbit has a number of fitness-related devices that log your physical activities, sleep, and calories consumed. Think of it as a pedometer on steroids. When paired with fitness-related apps (MyFitnessPal and Endomodo are both personal favorites and work with the device), fitness becomes more of a game than a chore.
It seems we are only a year or two away from reaching the dream of a real-life Inspector Gadget. Sure, you can't (yet) talk through your watch, but the Pebble will display your text messages, emails, handle caller ID duties, control your music, and monitor your exercise activities. It's an open platform, so many more developers are coming up with other great ideas to expand the watch's functionality.
The device itself is pretty simple technology. It uses a low-power e-paper screen, much like an Amazon Kindle. It's the same size as a normal watch, but it does far more. And, as one might expect, the battery life is pretty good - up to seven days.
Oh yeah ... and it tells time.
- Chromebooks: Cheap or Not, Mostly Useless for Lawyers (FindLaw's Technologist)
- The Nexus 4: Your Next Smartphone (If You Can Find One) (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Thinking About Upgrading Your Laptop? Wait! (FindLaw's Technologist)