Santa’s list for the IT Pro-ho-ho

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Wondering what’s on IT pros’ Christmas lists? I asked several readers for suggestions, and here’s what they’d love to bring for Santa. I’ve handpicked the most popular items from their lists.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

No surprise, there were tons of suggestions for everything Apple – Air Tags, Air Pods, Apple Watches. It’s hard to be wrong. Even the most dedicated Android, or even PC, user may have a Mac or an iPad. So you probably can’t go wrong with Apple.

But if you want to put some more creative effort into gifting your major, here are some gifts that are bound to please any tech pro.

metaquest pro


metaquest pro Presents itself as the best in virtual reality headset. It also comes at a pretty steep price (starts at C$2,299.99) so you better be this year. The website notes that “Meta Quest Pro comes with all the accessories and then some, so you can start working, creating and collaborating – Meta Quest Touch Pro Controller, Charging Dock with Rapid USB-C Power Adapter, 10 advanced VR/MR sensor, 256GB storage, 12GB RAM and a Snapdragon XR2+ Qualcomm processor.” For twenty three hundred bucks, we are sure it comes with everything!

sonos wireless speaker

sonos speakers

sonos wireless speaker There exist “to die for” audio/technophiles. Sonos made its name for wireless speakers by using a wireless connection to connect speakers to a network, versus the classic “Bluetooth” connection. Wireless makes for better coverage and connection, even when your speakers are some distance from your wireless router.

Sonos has a wide range of speakers available. Some are battery powered, and some use plug-in power. Some have WiFi only, and some have Bluetooth as well as WiFi, so you can take them out into the yard or wherever. You can get them as speakers only or they can include a “smart speaker” package that makes them Alexa or Google-compatible.

But as a basic gift, you can get anything from a simple pair of stereo speakers (pictured above) or up to a full package for a home theater setup. No matter what you buy, you’re getting an amazing speaker that will satisfy even a true audiophile. As a musician, I have these speakers all over my house.

The above package retails for C$499.00 for a pair on They’re not exactly cheap, but they are top-rated speakers, and compared to the Metaquest headset, they’re a bargain.

oura ring

oura ring

oura ring – For the person who wants a comprehensive health and fitness tracker but hates wearing a watch, the Aura Ring is a beautiful alternative. This includes a sleep tracker, a fitness tracker and even what they call a “holistic picture of health,” delivered from Ring in an app on your phone.

Unlike the clunkier Fitbit, this is all delivered through a very stylish piece of jewelry, and everything about this one screams elegance – from the design of the ring to the phone app. There are two styles available, listing for US$299 and US$349.

Not only is it a pretty option, but if you believe the website, the ring is more accurate than the wrist-mounted option as it reads its data from your finger.

sandisk portable ssd


sandisk 1tb extreme portable ssd – What do you buy the person who has everything? How about somewhere to store it all? Whether you buy the SanDisk or another brand recommended by our team of readers, this is a thoughtful gift, whether for home backup or as part of a home network.

The solid-state drive makes it a great replacement for that aging magnetic drive that some of us still have that holds photos, videos, music or backups of our data. What’s more, it is portable and durable. You can put it in your pocket and take it anywhere. It costs C$134.99 on

wacom smartpad


Wacom SmartPad Digital Notebook – When it comes to IT professionals, you may find that they have many talents and interests that go beyond technology. One of our team suggested that they like to depict and express ideas in visual form. For that, he felt a Wacom notebook was a great option. Unfortunately, the notebook they liked the most was either discontinued or out of stock. Wacom has several options on their site – but unless you have a lot of patience I would only recommend this site to anyone on the naughty list.

Instead, you may want to support a great Canadian Business – Henry’s, I found the Wacom One 13” Tablet for C$399.99 and there are several models on the site. I haven’t been to Henry’s in a while, but they used to be famous for having very helpful staff. I learned about SLR photography by talking to him at his downtown Toronto location. Just to see if they still had that special touch, I called them, and got a call from a very friendly staff person who could either answer all of my questions or assured me that they You can get answers from any of your experts.

If Wacom isn’t available, or isn’t what you’d consider, there are alternatives. Huion is another popular brand, and has several models in the same price range. The iPad and Remarkable tablets are alternatives, but significantly more expensive. Notable, while it has many exceptional qualities, works only in black and white, but is great for compulsive doodlers or for simple black and white sketches, and has a “paper-like” feel.

Brow Box – The Best of Surprise Gifts?


brow box , The reader who suggested this called it “a mystery box full of tech stuff”. It really is like that. Breo Box sends a package of 4 – 8 cool tech items or gadgets to that special someone on your list. What’s in the box? That’s part of the fun. They don’t tell you. You can see what they’ve sent in the past, and there’s even a “spoiler alert” showing two items from this month’s box. But overall, it’s just a big surprise.

You can pick up one box for US$159.00, or prepay for 4 boxes and pay at US$144.75 per box and receive a new gift every quarter. There is also a smaller “stocking stuffer” version for less than US$100.00

There are mixed messages about whether it’s available for Canadian delivery. One site announces a special fee for Canada, and another says that delivery is not available in Canada. We are talking to the company to get a clear answer.

kobo e-reader


kobo e-reader Tired of trying to figure out which book to give? Have they read it already? If so, the Kobo e-reader is another great recommendation from our panel. There’s a whole range of devices you can give, from a simple e-reader to a powerful unit that will play audiobooks over a Bluetooth connection, and even one with a pen that allows the reader to make notes while reading. And — bonus — all Kobo users can borrow e-books from their public library directly on the device.

Kobo e-readers range from just over $100 and end up with C$500 devices. So you can give someone a starter kit, or surprise them with a major upgrade to their current reader.

And if you want to add something extra to that, you can pick up some great e-books, like, something on digital transformation? ok this is a shameless plug fawn and my bookAnd it would be mixed to just say “It’s available for Kobo, and so forth Kindle as well as a printed book From” Hey, you can’t blame the elf for trying 🙂

digital transformation in the first person
digital transformation in the first person

final thoughts

These are the most popular tips from the group of IT pros we consulted. But as one of our panelists said, “My parents taught me to say thank you for any gift, because the thought is what really counts.” Another sent a note saying that a great gift is a donation to charity. We couldn’t agree more.

So with these thoughts and in the spirit of the season. While it’s fun to make a list like this, many of your IT pros already have a lot going on. If they’re like me and if they’re being completely honest, they don’t make full use of it.

So why not give the gift of clearing away some old stuff? is in dire need of Donate Recycled Electronics, and by those who could benefit from technology but are not as blessed. check it out IT World Canada article Joe talks about the issue and introduces a company, ERA, that recycles technology for use by charities.

If someone asks what do I want for Christmas? Here’s what I’d say: Take the money for that gift and give it to your local gift program for kids. Or donate a few dollars to a local food bank. There are a lot of people who don’t have a lot of kids, or are struggling with the cost of food and the cost of gas and just trying to keep a roof over their heads. I don’t know about you, but technology has given me the ability to live a good life and I don’t need much. The idea that someone else can have some fun, as the MasterCard ad used to say, is priceless.

With that, thanks and Merry Christmas from me and the team of IT pros who put this together – Greg Kaufman, Ion Drumia, Bruce Tuncerten, Michael Morris, Raiman Dilg, Tal Wilensky, and more.

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