by Jerry Jackson
If you’re the typical computer geek waiting until the last minute to pick out your Mother’s Day gift you can relax. The team at NotebookReview.com has you covered with a special "Mother’s Day Gift Guide" featuring a variety of gift ideas to fit any budget.
Believe it or not, we’re aware that most people can’t afford to buy notebook computers for their mothers on Mother’s Day. Fear not. Most of the items on this list aren’t even laptops. If you’re lucky enough to have the disposable income needed to buy a brand new notebook for your mom, be sure to seek out buying advice in our "What Notebook Should I Buy?" forum, and our forum members, moderators, and staff will graciously offer their insight in helping you pick the best laptop for your mom.
Since most people don’t have unlimited funds to spend on a Mother’s Day gift we’ve broken our picks down by price. Within each price range we’ve provided a few suggestions so you can find the perfect gift regardless of whether mom is serious about computers, serious about style, or just wants to "get with the times."
Less Than $100
USB Flash Drives – These diminutive storage devices are good for everything from storing family photos to saving your music and movie files. Even better, you can find USB flash drives (thumb drives for you old school folks) at most electronic stores for less than $20. There are a wide variety of styles, sizes, and capacities available but it’s a good idea to stick to flash drives with a minimum capacity of 2GB. You can even personalize the gift by putting some family photos and some of your Mom’s favorite songs on the flash drive before you give it to her. In fact, that’s probably a good idea.
Web cameras – What mom doesn’t want to see her child (or grandchildren) when she’s talking to them on the phone? Whether your mom lives a few miles away or across the globe, a web camera can become a favorite tool for staying connected with the family. The one caveat we have to mention is that you’ll need to help mom setup the web camera for at least the first time. Don’t just give your mom a webcam and expect her to figure it out.
Travel surge protectors – If you’ve never had a power surge fry your precious electronics, count yourself lucky. Sometimes it’s the thoughtful gifts that mean the most to mom, so show her you care about her valuable laptop by giving her a travel surge protector so she always has protection with her. Of course, if you go the travel surge protector route we highly recommend supplementing your gift with some nice flowers.
$100 to $300
High Quality Laptop Bags – Sure, you can find some nice notebook bags for less than $50, but many of the nicer looking laptop totes designed for women cost $100 or more. The benefit of these more expensive bags is that they usually are made with better materials and superior build quality. There are many varieties of bags to choose from so you’re sure to be able to find a bag that fits your mom’s style.
External USB Hard Drive and Music/TV/Movie Download Service – Looking for a way to get mom to throw away those old VHS tapes and DVDs? Bring her into the 21st century with a subscription to an online content download service. Most women who aren’t already using these services admit they’re concerned about how to keep their downloaded purchases after they buy a new computer. Help your mom make the transition with an external USB hard drive. The external drive will give her a place to store all her music, TV shows, and movies and provide an easy way to transfer her media library when she eventually replaces her computer.
The only other thing to consider is which online service you want your mom to use. We all know that iTunes is a popular choice and Apple has one of the most extensive media libraries currently available. However, Netflix, Amazon.com Unbox, and Hulu.com are quickly becoming equally impressive in terms of downloadable content.
More Than $300
Asus Eee PC – The Eee PC is the perfect gift for the mom who has everything. This tiny subnotebook is user friendly, has a solid design and a price tag that won’t break the pocket book. It uses a Linux based OS that Asus has customized themselves, has a 7" screen and only weighs 2lbs. The Eee can even be tethered to your cell phone for Internet access on the go. If your mom isn’t quite ready for Linux, don’t worry. Asus also sells the Eee PC with Windows XP for the exact same price. Buy the Eee PC from Asus.
|HP 2133 Mini-Note – The 2133 Mini-Note is a sleek subnotebook, similar to the Eee PC. It has more keyboard space though and would be great for the mom who travels a lot for work or maybe takes night classes and needs it for college. The Mini-Note has a VIA C7-M ULV processor, 8.9-inch diagonal WXGA screen and weighs under 3lbs. Buy the 2133 Mini-Note from HP.|
Your Old Laptop – Though we’re still putting this gift idea in the "more than $300" category, the truth is this gift will cost you almost nothing. If you’ve upgraded to a new laptop within the last year then chances are good that your old notebook is still alive and kicking … just unused. If you haven’t already sold your old laptop on eBay, it might make the perfect gift for your mom.
Most of us own an old laptop that was worth more than $300 when we originally purchased it, and even a five-year-old notebook may be able to provide sufficient performance for web browsing and Microsoft Office work.
If you decide to go this route, be sure to erase all your "potentially embarrassing files" from the laptop (a completely fresh install of the operating system is a good idea). Also, take a few minutes to physically clean the notebook. Check out our comprehensive cleaning guide for more information on how to make your old notebook look like new again.