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Google Nexus 7 (Price: $199-$299)
Here at DashHacks, we talk quite a bit about the tablet market in terms of Apple, but sometimes you just can’t forget about the competitor. While a Cupertino fan can feel free to substitute in an iPad Mini here should they choose to do so, my personal pick has to fall within the Android realm this time around.
Just like plenty of other options, this is a seven inch tablet that works as a pretty strong companion to your laptop, but Google has quite a bit more working for it too. After all, we are talking about hackers on this site, and hackers want an operating system that let’s them customize their device the way they want. Android in particular tends to offer you at least a little bit more freedom in this regard. You don’t need to jailbreak (and break the law) to install your favorite emulators, because there’s no added handholding here. The scene might not be quite as big, but that’s only because there’s a lot less of a battle to be had, which should make your life easier.
In terms of specs, both processor and graphics offer a pretty comprable experience to the iPad Mini at a much cheaper price. Think about it: the least expensive iPad Mini with no 3G at all, clocks in at $330. Should you go Google’s way, you can get four times the storage capacity and HSPA+ for still $30 cheaper. As far as money goes, I don’t have to tell you where the better value lies. I know people are going to have their opinions on this, (and I encourage you to express them) but if you’re looking for an awesome hackable gift that isn’t going to shatter the bank account, the Nexus 7 paired with the growing Android ecosystem is a strong holiday pick.
This was a safe gift idea to start with but now its time to look at something a little darker….in fact black.