Still need a gift? Consider Amazon devices (some are on sale today)

Still need a gift? Consider Amazon devices (some are on sale today)

The odds are that gift-giving occasions are around the corner for you now.

The situation is certainly different than it used to be, when getting something through the mail routinely took weeks, and prices tended to go up in the few weeks right before.

If you have

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

you can get many items with two-day shipping at no additional cost, and of course, digital delivery can be almost instantaneous.

There will be discounts and sales right up to the last minute…and beyond. The internet means that there is always competition…it’s not like it’s the night before and you are at the only store that’s open in town so they can jack up the prices. 🙂

Still, for physical items, lead time may be running out.

Those two-days with Prime? That’s the shipping time. Some items may not start to ship until some time after you order them…Prime can’t compress that. I’ve had it be a couple of weeks before the shipping started. That’s also business days…Saturday and Sunday don’t count (although you may get Amazon deliveries on those days).

Another issue is that items certainly can sell out…and have this year (have you tried buying a Hatchimal?). It does look like all of the Kindle EBRs (E-book Readers) are currently in stock…that hasn’t always been the case at this point in December.

Let’s say that you do want to get a physical gift…I have a few suggestions.

Echo devices

Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant, and that’s a hot area right now, so it’s a cool gift. 😉 This isn’t a case where if you have one, you couldn’t use another one. One will cover a room well, and may certainly hear you from another room, but you could have one in every room…including the garage.

You are also getting in at an early stage. They will be able to do remarkably more over the next year, and it seems very unlikely to me that the current generation of devices will be made obsolete by later generations. Certainly, later generations may able to do more, but it’s a relatively simple input/output devices with much of the processing down in the cloud. There isn’t really something hardwired that would cease to work with a newer “operating system”, in my best guess.

There is also a range of devices, and most people won’t have all of them.

In terms of the Echo, the

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

is the least expensive member of the Echo family. It’s on sale at time of writing for $39.99, and comes in two colors (the white one is in stock, the black one is expected December 16th). There was a deal where if you bought five, you got the sixth free, but I’m not seeing that right now. We have one, and use it every day…but we would have no problem finding places for more.

On a big sale right now at $89.99 ($40 off) is the

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

This one may be the best gift. It can be used in the house, but you can also take it on the road (it’s the only one which operates when it isn’t plugged into an external power source, like a wall outlet). I take mine to work and love having it there. It does need to connect to Wi-Fi, so taking it to the beach or a park would be problematic, unless you can “tether” it to your phone or perhaps your car. You do have to push a button to talk to it, so that takes away one of the major charms of the Dot or the original Amazon Echo (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). I would guess most people who have an Echo don’t have a Tap…and would enjoy one.

The other category to consider is


There are covers and stands. For example, check out this

Fintie brand leopard print Tap cover (at AmazonSmile*)

Fintie is generally inexpensive, and is our preferred brand for Kindle EBRs. You’d probably get a good laugh from an Empire (TV series) fan with this one!

For something a little more organic looking, here is a wooden stand for the original Echo:

COSMOS Wooden Protection Stand Holder for Amazon Echo Speaker, Original Wooden Color (Light Brown) (at AmazonSmile*)

Either of those are under $20.

Kindle EBRs

These are the book-focused devices, and there is a good lineup this year. My suggestion at time of writing would be the

Kindle Paperwhite

which is $20 off right, making it under $100 at $99.99.

The light(which makes it the most comfortable reading experience I’ve ever had, including paper) makes it easily worth the $20 more than the entry level

All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)


Kindle Voyage (any configuration) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is, in my opinion, incrementally better…but for most people, I wouldn’t call it $100 better (which is the current difference).

The top of the line model, and of Oprah’s “favorite things”, is the Oasis…which is $289.99, so nearly three times as much as the current price for the Paperwhite. Also, it is currently only available with an animal-leather cover, which is an issue for some commenters at Amazon (and for me).

There are also over 1,500

Kindle EBR accessories (at AmazonSmile*)

Be careful about covers, though…they aren’t universal, you have to know which model of Kindle your recipient has (and they might have more than one).

Fire TV family

I’m watching one as I write this! These are great devices…they work well (and there is currently a new interface rolling out), they have Alexa, and are an excellent way to watch Prime Video and (if you subscribe already, as we do), Hulu and Netflix. You can also do mobile-style gaming on them.

The two basic ones are

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*)

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)

neither of which are on sale at time of writing…but the Stick is currently just under $40.

A nice bundle is

Fire TV and HD Antenna (at AmazonSmile*)

Having the HD antenna gets you local channels…something notably missing from most streaming devices.

Fire Tablets

The Fire tablets are almost all on sale, with the

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

going for $39.99 at time of writing.

They have a three pack bundle available (one in blue, one in magenta, one in black) of the $69.99 16 GB version for $179.97…a thirty dollar savings over buying them individually. Great for families!

Fire Tablet Variety Pack, 16GB – Includes Special Offers (Black/Blue/Magenta) (at AmazonSmile*)

These sales may end any time.

Of course, non-device gifts can be great, too. You can do Amazon Gift Cards (at AmazonSmile*), Kindle book gifts, you can give Prime, and

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is still on sale today for 25% for a 1-year subscription.

As you can see, there are many ways to make someone smile at the holidays…and beyond. 🙂

Do you have other recommendations? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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