This is a great gift at only $35 that will pack a big punch this holiday season! Just plug the ChromeCast device into your HDMI TV set and you are ready to stream content from pretty much any Android device. My kids love watching their favorite YouTube videos on the big screen with this, but there are so many other uses. At this price it makes a great stocking stuff for anyone in the family including college students and hard to buy for parents.
A few apps you can currently stream are Google Music and Play content, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, Redbox Instant, Vimeo, YouTube.
Nexus 7 - $199
Forget the iPad Air and go for a Nexus 7, which is currently on sale for $199 for the 16GB (or $279 for 32GB) This snappy little Android tablet is a perfect gift for the techie traveller. It is basically a giant Android phone and won't disappoint. My kids love this device and have all their favorite apps installed. Fits in my purse to take to restaurants to entertain the kids. For me, the Nexus 7 is my preferred reader device and where I use my Kindle App the most. This one has great multi-user support, so the whole family can use it as our own device. We have several tablets, and this is hands down our favorite.
I would recommend going for the 16GB if budget isn't an issue.
Chromebook - $244
I'm writing this post from my own Samsung 11.6" Chromebook, and I love it! For $244 (it is currently $5 off at Amazon, plus free shipping) you really can't beat it. The only thing my family can't do on a Chromebook? Play Minecraft, which is major problem for the kids. But it is perfect for me and what I use 100% of the time now. When I have it out and about people always want to check it out and ask what it is. Sure, you will have to use Google Hangouts, instead of Skype, and Google Drive Apps instead Microsoft's suite. However, the future is in "The Cloud" so I'm confident in my choice. The Chromebook also does an excellent job of managing users, so whomever is logged in feels like it their own laptop.
This is what Santa is bringing the Grandparents this year...shhh!
This is a high end splurge, but running pure Google Android 4.4 (KitKat!) the new Nexus 5 will put a smile on anyone's face. Available in White or Black and with 16GB or 32GB, this phone starts at $349 shipped from Google. With a slim 5" display Google claims it "keeps you connected at blazing speeds. Add in the cutting-edge 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 processor and you’ll race through games, zip around the web and switch between apps at the flick of a finger". Personally I hate that cell phones keep getting bigger and bigger, that is what the tablet is for. But if you like the latest and greatest, the Nexus 5 is it!
Google Play Gift Cards - $10, $25, $50
These Gift Cards are also great gift and can be found at numerous stores (including Target, Walmart, Safeway and a dozen other retailers). They can be redeemed for Apps from the Google Play marketplace, along with music, books and movies. My kids will be getting a few of these in their stockings.
A few other ideas are the Nexus 10" tablet which is currently at a great price on Amazon for $90 off), and the high-end ChromeBook Pixel with touch screen for $1649.