chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience Archives

Tech Column: Tech Gift Guide

Jeffrey M Allen and Ashley Hallene


  • Recommendations for various technology-related gifts covering a wide range of items, including smartphones, tablets, cases, power supplies, webcams, microphones, speakers, headphones, AI assistants, fitness trackers, video game consoles, drones, and more.
  • This guide includes product suggestions, features, and pricing details for each category.
  • There are also unique gift ideas such as the Elite Optimus Prime Robot, drones, and the Scott eVest designed for carrying technology while traveling.
Tech Column: Tech Gift Guide Tan

Jump to:

In this article we will share our ideas about technology-related gifts for spouses, friends, family, partners, employees, and others. We believe that we have created a list broad enough to help you find an appropriate gift for everyone on your list. In keeping with requirements of the ABA’s legal department, and common sense, we have a few disclaimers:

  1. TAX ADVICE: Nothing said in this article constitutes tax advice.
  2. CLIENT GIFTS: When it comes to clients, make sure any gifts comply with your state rules.
  3. NO ENDORSEMENT BY THE ABA: Nothing in this article constitutes the endorsement of a product by the American Bar Association or its Senior Lawyers Division.
  4. ONLINE SHOPPING WARNING: Often, products sell online for less than in brick-and-mortar shops. If you shop online, take steps to ensure that you protect your payment information and get what you wanted. Some vendors sell “gray market goods” (goods manufactured for sale in other countries and imported into the United States and then resold).
  5. ADDICTION RISK WARNING: The Surgeon General has not opined on this, but we believe that technology products have proven addictive and, to the extent that you give up physical activity in favor of technology or allow it to distract you when doing anything else involving motion, it can prove dangerous to your health and to the health of others. Accordingly, while we recommend and commend the use of technology to you, we also advise you to use it carefully and in moderation.
  6. NO WARRANTY: The authors make no warranty, express or implied, respecting any items discussed in this guide.


Most smartphones use Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating system. We have a strong partiality to Samsung on the Android side; Apple represents the only option on the iOS platform. Both authors chose iPhones and Apple’s iOS for their primary smartphone device. We consider the iPhone 14 Pro (or Pro Max) to be the best phone on the market today. We think the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra represents the best choice on the Android side.

iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are approximately the same size as the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, respectively, but the standard iPhone 14 phones lack some of the Pro phones’ features. They use a less-sophisticated dual-camera system, giving up the telephoto lens of the three-camera 14 Pro series. Other differences include: (1) the 14/14 Plus have less-powerful graphics engines; (2) the 14 Pro/ Pro Max have maximum memory availability of a terabyte; (3) the 14/14 Plus max out at 512 GB; (4) case color options differ with the 14 and 14 Plus offering midnight purple, starlight, (Product) red, and blue, and the 14 Pro and Pro Max come in space black, gold, deep purple, and silver; and (5) the 14/14 Plus use Apple’s A15 Bionic Chip and the Pro series uses Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip. Otherwise, the phones come with the same technology. All offer biometric security (Face ID), all shoot 4K video. Pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro without trade-in or provider discounts starts at $999. The 14 Pro Max is $100 more. The iPhone 14 without trade-in or provider discounts starts at $799 and the 14 Plus at $899. Apple has a more complete comparison of these four phones and their specifications at

We think that for most people, the iPhone 14 represents the best value, and the 14 Pro comes in second (but we consider it quite superior to the iPhone 14 in terms of technology, specifications, and features).

Samsung Galaxy S22

We prefer Samsung ( on the Android side. We prefer the Galaxy line. The newest models, the Galaxy S22 series, come in three versions: the Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra. All three have 5G compatibility and resist dust and water.

The S22 serves as the base model. It has a smaller screen and fewer features than its bigger and more expensive sibling the S22+. Otherwise, its features are pretty much identical. The S22 Ultra represents the top of this line. It offers 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB memory options, (the others only come in 128GB and 256GB). The S22 has a 6.2” 120 Hz display with a dynamic Super AMOLED shield, 12 MP wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras, a 50 MP wide-angle camera and a 10 MP telephoto camera. It also has a 10 MP front-facing camera.

The S22+ has similar specifications to the S22 but comes in a larger package with a bigger display (6.6”). Starting pricing without a trade-in or provider incentives: S22-$799; S22+ $849.

The S22 Ultra, starts at $1,299.99 without a trade-in or provider incentives. We think it provides an excellent feature package but also that it comes in a slightly larger size than we would prefer. The S22 Ultra has five rear-facing cameras and a 40 MP selfie camera. The rear cameras include a 108MP wide-angle camera, a 12 MP Ultra-wide camera, and two 10MP telephoto cameras. The S22 Ultra has a 6.6” display. The S22 Ultra also offers S Pen compatibility. You can find Samsung’s comparison of the basic specifications of the three phones here.


Apple has dominated the tablet market since it introduced the iPad. We think that Samsung provides Apple’s strongest competition in terms of pure tablets. If you want to get or gift a tablet, we recommend you go with Apple. Both of the authors continue to use iterations of the iPad as their tablet of choice.


Apple has a handful of models in its current lineup, some of which were updated in October 2022, just as we finished this article. We have not seen the 2022 refreshed lines. We have only worked with the 2021 entries. The top of the line remains the iPad Pro. Apple made a few modifications to the Pro tablets, notably changing the M1 processor to an M2 processor, upgrading the cellular capacity from 4G to 5G and introducing a few new features. They also have a 10.9” iPad Air and an 8.3” iPad mini that Apple updated and released in October 2021. In October 2022, Apple announced the new iteration of the iPad (10th generation) which starts at $449, runs the A14 bionic chip, and now comes in a new pallet of blue, silver, yellow, and pink.

The iPad Pro comes in two versions, the 11” and the 12.9”. For our money, they are the best tablets on the market with no close second. Memory availability goes up to 2 TB. For most, we recommend at least 512 GB memory. Remember that you cannot add memory to the iPad after you get it, so go with at least the highest amount you anticipate needing. Both use Apple’s M2 chip. They share the same advanced camera system and include a LiDAR scanner. Both work with Apple’s second-generation pencil and have keyboard folios available. Both use facial recognition for security.

Whichever size you prefer, we think you will love this device. You can learn more about the features and technical specs here. Pricing starts at $799 for the 11” WiFi only and $999 for the WiFi/5G cellular version. The 12.9” is $300 more. Pricing is the same for the new iteration as it was for last year’s versions running the M1 chip. We think the M2 chip makes the iPad Pro tablets better and faster than they were with the M1 chip, and we like 5G better than 4G. That said, we have the 2021 versions and do not see enough change to justify spending the money for a new iPad Pro to get the M2 chip and the 5G capabilities just yet.

Samsung’s newest tablet offering is the S8 family. It consists of the S8, the S8+, and the S8 Ultra. The S8 comes with an 11” display, the S8+ comes with a 12.6” display, and the S8 Ultra comes with a 14.6” display. Prices start at $349.99 for the S8, $499.99 for the S8+, and $749.99 for the S8 Ultra. You can get more information here


We like the case to have protective padding around the back and edges and a ridge rising above the display to reduce the likelihood of a shattered display if the device falls face down. Lots of choices here.


We keep chargers and/or power banks available for use in our offices, homes, and cars (and hotel rooms when we travel). We also carry a charger in our briefcase and we almost always carry a portable external power source (sometimes called a power bank) as insurance against running out of power at an inopportune time. The power supplies from RAVPower ( represent some of the best values we have found. We also like the power supplies put out by Anker (


Most cameras built into computers leave something to be desired. If you want to upgrade, we have a strong partiality to Logitech’s offerings; both of us use Logitech cameras in the C900 series; one author uses the C920s ($59.99, and the other used the C922 Pro ($99.99) until he upgraded to the Logitech BRIO ultra-HD webcam camera ($199). It offers more than the C922 Pro, including HD, 4K speed, and zoom capabilities.

Lighting represents a critical, often overlooked, part of setting up for video conferencing. LumeCube ( makes our favorite lighting components.

For everyday use, we chose two of LumeCube’s Edge Desk Lights. One Edge Desk Light costs $130, but if you get two you get an $18 discount. The Edge Desk Lights come with a clamp and adjustable arms to let you attach the light to a table and position it for optimal lighting. The controls are set in the arm. You can make the light brighter or dimmer and give you the ability to change the color temperature to make it more like daylight or warmer indoor lighting.

LumeCube also makes a Broadcast Lighting Kit ($119.99) including an LED panel light and tripod. The panel lights give about the same results as the Edge Desk Lights,but work better for travel.


In our opinion, most of the microphones built into computers do not work well enough for formal presentations, creating media, or for trials or other hearings. We think that anyone using videoconferencing professionally and anyone who wants the best possible sound for videoconferences should upgrade their microphone.

Many camera upgrades come with a microphone. The microphones built into the cameras range from fair to excellent. We are partial to Blue (; particularly its Yeti microphones ($99.99 to $249.99). We have used the standard Yeti for several years ($129.99). The $99.99 Yeti Nano provides a smaller package. The Yeti Pro costs $249.99. Blue also makes the $49.99 Snowball Ice and $69.99 Snowball. We have tried and liked the Snowball.


Some of our favorite Bluetooth speakers come from Bose. Bose does an excellent job with engineered sound. You can explore the Bose Bluetooth speaker line at On the smaller side: The SoundLink Micro ($119), the SoundLink Flex ($149), or the SoundLink Revolve+ II ($329). On the larger side: The Bose Smart Speaker 500 ($379).

Sonos offers a full line of portable speakers of increasing size, power, and price. We like the Sonos Roam ($179,

Headphones and Earphones

We distinguish between earphones as devices that go into your ear and headphones as devices that fit over the ears.

When it comes to earphones, we like the second generation of the Apple AirPods Pro ($249) and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II ($299). We also like the Jabra Elite Active 85t ($229.99, and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro ($199.99). These all have noise cancellation features and produce excellent sound quality. They also work with Zoom and your telephone. If you have an iPhone, we think the AirPod Pro represents your best option; it works beautifully and produces excellent sound. We like the sound of the Bose QuietComfort II a lot but think that the Jabra Elite Active 85t represents a better buy.

Our favorite headphones include Apple’s AirPods Max ($549), Shure AONIC 50 ($299,, Bose QuietComfort 45 ($329), Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 ($379), and Sony WH-1000XM5 ($399.99). Each has excellent noise cancellation. All produce excellent to superior sound.

AI Assistants

If you like Alexa, check out Amazon’s Echo Speakers (starting at $49.90). If you are buying it for a little one, look at the echo dot kids ($59.99, Current styles include an owl, dragon, tiger, and panda.

How about a smart display? There is one to fit every budget; here is a quick chart for reference: