5 tech gift ideas for your valued clients

Buying gifts for your clients or business partners is difficult. Here are 5 ideas for less than $100 that will be hard to hate.

present
Credit: Flickr
Skip the gift basket

Part of maintaining a long term business relationship involves showing your appreciation for that business. At the same time, you want your company to remain on your client's mind in a positive way. Sending gifts around the holidays to your valued customers is a great opportunity to do both, but giving them the same tired gift basket they've likely gotten from others may not be the best approach.

In searching for a solution to the problem this year, we came up with a list of our top 5 gift ideas for the techie client in your life. Each of these gifts is under $100. 

my passport
Portable Hard Drive

It sounds a little lame, but I can't tell you how useful and lasting this gift can be. Everyone needs a little extra storage here and there, and making it portable and convenient will be much appreciated. The client will end up using it as much at home as they will at the office. For a bit of extra marketing power, sign + message the drive with a sharpie or slap a sticker with your logo on the case.

When you pick one of these out, be sure to go for the kind that is USB powered and doesn't require a separate power brick. I'd also recommend USB 3.0, it's crazy how much faster it is.

bluetooth speaker
Bluetooth Speaker

Music, music everywhere! These little speakers have gotten so cheap and so good that they're hard to live without. True, the person may have one of these already, but you can never have too many. I have 3 or 4 and I'd still be pumped to get another one. 

There are thousands to choose from so pay attention to the battery life and the sound quality (of course). When in doubt, check the Amazon reviews before you buy. If your client hates music, they're already the Grinch and probably wouldn't like anything you bought them anyway.

prime
Credit: Amazon
Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is life changing, especially if you have small children. Buying someone a year of prime will make them happy every time they use it (and they'll think of you). Sure you get free two-day shipping on just about everything, but you also get free returns, free streaming video, free streaming music, free kindle books, free online photo backups, and more. 

The only negative to giving this gift is that it comes in the form of a "Gift Email". There is a chance that will get spammed or glossed over so you'll want to send them a heads up first. If the person already has prime, they can redeem your give to add a year onto their subscription anyway so you're all good.

apple tv
Credit: Apple
Apple TV

Or another TV streamer of your choice. The top contenders are the Apple TV, Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Maybe Google Chromecast but I don't think so. With the exception of the Fire TV Stick, they're all roughly the same price which is what makes me say Apple TV. Unfortunately the Fire TV Stick won't be available until mid January at this point so it may be out of contention.

All of these devices do basically the same thing with the big difference being the supported services and the device UI. Amazon Fire TV is currently lacking HBO Go which could be a deal breaker but they expect to add it via an update in 2015. "Wow, company xyz stopped my kid from crying when I put on the Disney Junior app on their gift!"

moleskin
Credit: Moleskine
Moleskine Evernote

We're big fans of Moleskine notebooks at my company, we all have them. They make excellent gifts because their inexpensive, they look great, and they last a long time. One of their newer offerings are Evernote "Smart" notebooks. The notebook pages are specifically formatted to be optimized for the Evernote page capture function. When you snap a picture of a note page in Evernote, it can detect that you've hand checked a "reminder" check box and automatically set a reminder for you. It can also automatically categorize your pages if you use the included smart stickers. 

Will anyone ever do those things? Who knows. But it adds some techie flair to your gift and the green accents look cool anyway. Oh and it comes with 3 free months of Evernote Premium as well. 

quadcopter
Credit: UDI
BONUS: Quadricopter

You won't be able to snag a great one for under $100, but you can get some very fun and serviceable ones for around $50. Anyone would enjoy this gift for the 15 minutes leading up to the inevitable crash.