PC, Mac & Computer-Related Gift Guide – Holiday 2016 Edition

Purchasing a new PC, Mac or various computer-related accessory as a gift this season can be an intimidating task. In the following article, I listed out the best computer-related gifts this holiday season including the hottest PC and Mac models currently on the market. Whether your intended recipient has a PC or Mac (or needs a new computer altogether), there is bound to be something on this list that can cater to your needs or budget.

The list is in descending order by price, and I’ve included the current sales price (as of the time this guide was written) of each item next to the product name. For those interested in purchasing, I would recommend clicking through to the product page to see the current pricing as it may fluctuate over time and doing this will ensure the most accurate pricing. Note: New computer-related products may be added or removed as the holidays approach so check back often for more gift ideas.

1477607892000_1293726Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro With TouchBar – $2,399 (B&H Photo)

The newest and most powerful laptop from Apple is their 15.4″ Macbook Pro with TouchBar. Offering a bigger display and better specs than the 13.3″ model, the 15.4″ version is geared more for professionals who want to edit multimedia while on the go or with a portable workstation. This base configuration sports a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor, 16GB or RAM, a 256GB SSD, 15.4″ 2880 x 1800 Retina display and an AMD Radeon Pro 450 GPU (2GB of dedicated video memory).

81q5wc-1rl-_sl1500_-2-1Razer Blade (VR Ready) – $1,969.99 (Amazon)

The Razer Blade is designed for gamers with desktop grade performance (including VR support) in a compact 14-inch laptop. Besides the sleek design, this configuration of the Razer Blade packs a 2.6GHz 6th Gen Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor, 512GB SSD, 16GB of RAM and a GTX 1060 graphics card. If you want a PC ready to handle intense gaming or multimedia editing without all the bulk, this is the laptop to get.

1477607043000_1293725-1Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro With TouchBar – $1,799 (B&H Photo)

The newest 13-inch MacBook Pro from Apple sports a redesigned body that is smaller and lighter than previous generations and a sleek Space Gray finish. A new TouchBar with TouchID is found on this configuration which makes it significantly more expensive than last year's 13.3 version. There is a cheaper 13.3″ version without the TouchBar/TouchID as well that's base model sells for $1,499.

1447970775000_1190385-1Apple 27″ iMac Retina 5K (Late 2015) – $1,699 (B&H Photo)

The base model of Apple's current 27″ iMac with a Retina 5K display. This particular configuration offers a 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 (Skylake) processor, 8GB of memory, a 1TB 7200 RPM hard disk and a dedicated Radeon R9 M380 GPU. This setup is best for a light to medium user who isn't going to be needing to push their machine too far regarding intensive multimedia editing or 3D graphics. Hardcore users will want to buy a higher-end model with more memory, a faster processor, a faster hard disk or more powerful video card.

1461092823000_1248022-1Apple 12″ MacBook (Early 2016)  – $1,199 (B&H Photo)

The thinnest and lightest Apple computer ever made, the 12″ MacBook is one of the top picks for Holiday 2016 as it offers a great deal of bang for your buck. With enough power to handle the necessary tasks of most consumers while staying ultra-portable this is the optimal Mac for frequent travelers or college students for web browsing, word processing, and basic educational use.

1447693241000_img_554680-1Dell XPS 13 – $1,299 (B&H Photo)

A portable laptop from Dell, the XPS 13 is well-designed and packed with features. The 13.3″ display packs a staggering resolution of 3200 x 1800, and this base model packs a 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 Dual-Core processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. There isn't a dedicated graphics card, but the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 should be suitable enough for light to moderate graphics work.

61u-px2x8rl-1ASUS 15-inch Laptop (F55UA-AB31) – $364.99 (Amazon) 

A good entry-level laptop for someone on a serious budget, this 15-inch ASUS model packs some decent value o the dollar. Its specs aren't so bad for most consumer uses, but someone looking to game or edit multimedia will have a tough time handling either task with this amount of resources. Nonetheless, if you need a good laptop for basic use without breaking the bank, this model should suit your needs well.

912w-yevrrl-1Samsung T3 Portable SSD (500GB) USB 3.1 – $171.54 (Amazon)

A blazing fast, portable SSD that is designed with multimedia editors in mind, the T3 by Samsung utilizes the newest USB 3.1 technology to offer read and write speeds of up to 450 MB/s. Couple this performance with the small, shock resistant design with secure encryption technology and you've got yourself a killer SSD for use on the go. Note: this model is offered in other size variants ranging from 250GB or 2TB.

61qwfb1yfgl-_sl1024_Seagate 5TB External Hard Drive USB 3.0 – $127.27 (Amazon)

A stationary external hard drive that transfers via USB 3.0 and requires external power, this 5TB model by Seagate offers decent storage and performance capabilities without breaking the bank. Featuring a sleek design and matte black finish, the hard drive looks nice on a desktop and has plenty of room to store massive libraries of documents, songs, photos or video.

81gnwxwdnkl-_sl1500_-1WD 1TB My Passport Ultra USB 3.0 – $49.99 (Amazon)

A standard external hard drive with a 1TB capacity from a reputable brand like Western Digital. This is a great gift for anyone especially a traveler or college student who wants to be able to transport a large amount of data on the go or periodically back up their computer on a frequent basis. Supports Windows right out of the box, but can be reformated to work with Mac OS.

816stjangul-1Razer DeathAdder Chroma – $49.96 (Amazon)

An ergonomic mouse designed originally for right-handed gamers, this model, suits well for a multitude of uses. The 10,000 dpi optical sensor is precise, and the two side buttons allow you to utilize your thumb for more button variety. Using the Razer software, you can experience high customization from key bindings, sensitivity settings and even change the mouse's chrome lighting from over 16.8M color options.

cleanmymac3-screenshot-4-of-16-1CleanMyMac 3 Maintenance Software  – $39.95 (MacPaw)

The best software for cleanup and optimization of Macintosh computers, the CleanMyMac line has been around for quite awhile with over 3M downloads to date. The appealing UI is easy to use and can take your slow, cluttered Mac computer and make it faster by freeing up old or unnecessary files and cached data as well as freeing up more available RAM. I run this on all my Mac computers and have found to be the most effective optimization software for Mac OS.

81iyq-yrwkl-_sl1500_Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse – $19.99 (Amazon)

A cheap mouse that remains useful especially for travelers or students, the M510 by Logitech offers a contoured design and two integrated side-buttons. Battery life is advertised to last two years, so replacing batteries isn't a frequent issue with this mouse. Supports use with Windows XP (XP or later) and Mac OS X (10.4 or later) right out of the box.

5112ldmbtrl-_sl1000_SteelSeries QcK Mouse Pad – $9.88 (Amazon)

A good mouse pad is something that is often overlooked especially when gaming or doing multimedia that requires large mouse strokes. The QcK mouse pad by SteelSeries is affordable and of a high quality with a thick rubber base and smooth cloth surface on top.

71hnwutoikl-_sl1500_-1Gift Cards (Price Varies)

If you've made it this far into the guide and haven't found the right product for someone who likes PC or Mac computers then maybe a gift card is a suitable alternative. In this case, the intended recipient can buy exactly what they have wanted from one of the following retailers:

  • Amazon (one of the largest online retailers)
  • Netflix (the most popular premium video streaming platform)
  • Spotify (the most popular premium music streaming platform)
  • iTunes (Apple-owned marketplace for downloading digital content)
  • Best Buy (popular retailer of smart home/entertainment products)

At this point, you have finished our gift recommendations when shopping for someone interested in PC or Mac computers and their accessories. I hope this gift guide has helped you find the right product for your needs or simply gave you a better idea of what to buy for your friend or loved one. If you found this helpful, we'd appreciate it if you shared it with friends and family who may also benefit!