Win a Sonos PLAY:1 speaker in the ultimate tech gift guide

      (This article is sponsored by .)

      We all know a techie in our lives. Invariably, they’ll make themselves known when we’re struggling with something. Then they’ll explain to us how they have a special gadget, gizmo, or app designed specifically to help in this exact situation.

      Most of the time, these people are coming up with solutions. But the real problem arises when we have to buy them a Christmas gift.

      While we know we can’t ask them, we’re already having palpitations at the thought of entering the hustle and bustle of the typical tech store. There are so many machines and things we don’t know.

      Can the employees who work at these places tell that we’re from a different world? We still use our trusty, old DVD player—and not in a hipster, ironic way.

      We worry whether someone is going to confuse us with tech lingo. And whatever we do, we daren’t bring out our three-year-old phone.

      But fret not, because thankfully, we have found a solution, in the form of the friendly and knowledgeable staff at .

      As the largest independent Apple retailer in Canada, with more than 60 staff in seven locations, you’d be forgiven for assuming that it will be just as big and intimidating as other computer stores. But Simply Computing has managed to maintain the small, local business mentality.

      The company was founded in 1983, but the Simply Computing name was adopted in 1990 to reflect the philosophy of making computers simple to use. And some of the employees have been there since the beginning.

      Despite having the technical know-how, the staff also receives regular coaching and training on customer service and communications. So no more awkward and confusing conversations.

      These folks specialize in offering the full range of Apple products. In fact, they pride themselves on being your friendly Mac and iPad experts.

      But unlike the Apple store, Simply Computing also has a wide range of accompanying products and services—home entertainment, audio and computer accessories, training and seminars, as well as Mac-based business solutions. The store also offers competitive leasing rates, so there's never been a cheaper way to own a Mac or iPad.

      With brands such as Beats, G-Technology, Wacom, LaCie, and Moshi, along with local Vancouver-based favourites like Herschel and Kanto, there is something for everyone on your list.

      Even better? The friendly staff at Simply Computing has stepped up to give us the rundown on the very best tech gifts on offer this year—no app or gadget required.

      Sonos PLAY:1

      ($199 in store or )

      PLAY:1 is the smallest Sonos speaker, so it’s a perfect fit for bookshelves, counters, and other snug places. It delivers great sound that streams from your WiFi instead of your phone, without interruptions from calls, texts, or push notifications. There are no wires or complicated programming, which makes set-up a breeze. Just tap the Sonos app and it does the rest. We’re actually thinking we could pull this off without the help of our techie friend.

      AirPods

      ($219.99 in store or )

      AirPods are breakthrough headphones that reinvent the wireless experience, finally making it effortless and magical. After a simple one-tap setup, AirPods are always connected, meaning they are ready to go when you are. We are particularly impressed with the automatic functionality—they have built in sensors that will pause as soon as you take them out your ears. Whether your techie is a talker or a listener, AirPods are going to sound fantastic.

      GTech Hard Drive

      ($124.99 in store or )

      Consider this the socks of the tech world, but this gift is far from boring. If you’ve ever been in the unfortunate position of losing everything on your computer, including all the photos from your wedding day, you’ll understand the importance of this gift. And your techie mate will definitely appreciate the forward-thinking. With 1TB of storage, the GTech Hard Drive will allow you to store approximately 200,000 photos, 250,000 songs, or 76 movies.

      Apple TV

      (from $199 in store or )

      This handy device provides an incredible selection of movies and TV shows, from iTunes, Netflix, Crave TV, Sportsnet, CBC TV, and more. With Siri and the Apple TV app, it’s easy to find, watch, and discover great movies and shows across popular video apps. Enjoy photos, videos, and memories on the big screen; listen to music and playlists; and share just about anything to the TV with AirPlay.

      Tile Mate

      ($29.99 in store or )

      We’re adding this nifty little gadget to our gift-to-self list. In the category of “things we didn’t know we needed but now can’t imagine our life without it”, comes Tile Mate, the Bluetooth tracker. Say goodbye to the pre-exit frantic search for your keys. Attach a Tile to an item and locate it by sound when it’s close but out of sight. If you still can’t find your Tiled item, use the Tile app to see its last known location on a map, or leverage the Tile community to find it for you. We can’t guarantee that you still won’t put your keys in the fridge, but Tile Mate will ensure you’ll find them.

       

      PRIZING

      One Sonos PLAY:1 speaker valued at $199

      This contest has ended.

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      Contest Deadline: Wednesday, December 20, 12:00 pm
      Winner(s) will be contacted either by phone or email.

      See full contest details & rules

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