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tech gifts for it
November 24, 2015
By Lisa Dare


Earn love—and avoid embarrassing yourself—with the right tech gift

IT managers have a tough job. You’re always worried your best developers will get better offers, or the sysadmins who understand your systems’ quirks will take that knowledge elsewhere.

To earn some loyalty, you want to get your tech staff a nice holiday gift. Luckily you know what they want—or do you?

We asked our favorite IT pros what they *really* want you to get them this year.

Winner: The gift IT workers most covet

Apple must’ve done something right in 2015. While the Microsoft Surface Book was last year’s top choice—by far—the iPad Pro won IT workers’ hearts in 2015. Although not cheap, the iPad costs about half as much as the Surface Book. Price: $800 and up.

Splurge gift

The Surface Book came in a very close second in our poll. Price: $1,499 and up.

Mid-range gift

So now we take tech advice from Oprah. (Let’s be honest, we probably take all kinds of advice from Oprah). Everyone from the talk-show maven to ZDNet writers to IT staffers are pretty excited about the Amazon Echo, a speaker / virtual assistant for your home. Price: $180 (but look for Cyber Monday deals).

Budget gift

A big favorite last year, the portable GoPro camera only came up once in our polling this year … maybe because everyone already has it. If your budget borders on bupkus, you’re going to need a little creativity to please your staff. Why not try this sweet GoPro camera stand, with an even sweeter pricetag: $21. But there’s a catch: you may have to give your staffers IOUs if doesn’t ship in time. 

 “For the kids”

A few folks opted for the Xbox One, with one claiming it was for his children. Uh-huh. Price: $349 and up.

Do IT pros want a smartwatch?

Yes, they do! Apple Watch was the most popular choice, but with a price tag that starts at $549, you should probably just spring for the iPad.

Most unusual gifts

Looking for something for the IT pro with all the tech gadgets? They probably don’t have these:

If you’re looking for longer-term solutions for retaining your best IT staff, read our new research: IT Retention and Engagement.

And if you need more ideas for IT worker gifts, check out last year’s holiday gift guide for the IT pro.

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