Buying Electronics for Teenagers: Tech Features to Look for This Christmas

When buying electronics for a teenager this holiday season, it’s important to know what features are offered with popular devices so you get the best functionality for the right price. It’s also important to keep in mind the teenager’s interests and how well the computer, phone or camera will suit their lifestyle. With so much hype surrounding new products, getting the critical, no-nonsense information can be tough. So, we’re sharing this list of straightforward facts about some popular electronics available this season and the reasons why teenagers want them.

The Smartphone Trend

With Apple’s release of the iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III, smartphones continue to rise in popularity. This season offers a lot of new options and features, including lighter, faster, smaller phones. The question to ask yourself is this: Of the many features Smartphones offer, what’s the most applicable for a teenager? Consider these features when buying for your teenager, because of both popularity and usefulness.

  • Quick access to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
  • High-quality camera capabilities that make photo uploading and sharing easy.
  • Accessibility to fun and engaging apps that your teenager will use to study with and stay organized.
  • Fast connection to wireless networks.

What’s New in Digital Cameras

Here is an excellent example of how your shopping choices ought to relate to the teenager you’re shopping for. A student interested in photography will want a much different digital camera than a young person who just wants to take pictures of their friends and family to upload to social media sites like Flickr. Below are considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a camera.

  • Point-and-shoot cameras should have better zoom optics and high-resolution than the cameras that come with Smartphones. Look for 14-16 megapixels.
  • Consider investing in with interchangeable lens options when shopping for SLR (single lens reflex) cameras.
  • Digital camera accessories like extra memory chips and connector cables might be necessary, or at least ideal.
  • Wi-Fi connection to upload photos directly from the camera to the Internet can make managing photos much easier.

Tablets and E-Readers

Is your teen a book lover? If they’re always on the move, they might benefit from the portability of a tablet such as the iPad or the Kindle. With choices like the iPad, iPad Mini, Kindle Fire and dedicated e-readers like the Nook, it’s important to consider these features when deciding whether to buy a tablet or an e-reader.

  • Lightweight, durable design. Tablets are great because they’re portable; portability means they’ll be exposed to rough handling, especially with a teenager.
  • With thousands of apps available, look for tablets and e-readers that boast app accessibility and utility.
  • Storage space ranges from as little as 8 gigabytes of storage to 64. E-readers with less space can still download thousands of books, but if your teen wants to download songs and movies, more data storage is necessary.

Computer Choices

The biggest question to answer when searching for a computer is this: would my teen benefit more from a laptop or a desktop? Do they need to be able to bring their computer anywhere they go, or can it stay at home? If that’s too general of a question to ask, consider aesthetic, portability, speed, screen size and storage capabilities when purchasing a computer for your teen. What type of computer is best for an artist, web-designer or business student?

  • Laptops are portable and popular, so compare models depending on weight and durability. Many Apple laptops clock in at less than 3.6 lbs. Toughbooks are water resistant but weigh considerably more. Find the right balance depending on the teen your shopping for.
  • Teenagers might be attracted to the sleek, clean design of Macs, but Dell and HP also make fast, affordable and respectable computers. You can save a mint by finding a sleek computer that isn’t an Apple product.
  • Consider storage and speed depending on the gaming, music and video interests of the person you’re shopping for. Some teens are only interested in web browsing and word processing; they don’t need hefty amounts of memory. Tailor your solution to your teen’s interests.

With a host of electronic reviews and communities discussing new releases and features, there’s plenty of additional information about each of these gadgets. Depending on the choices you arrive at, pay close attention to what experts are saying and how they compare one gadget from the next. Your teen will be glad you did.

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