The holidays are a great time to buy your family - or yourself - exciting new gadgets. Smartphones, tablets, TVs, headphones, computers, streaming media players, soundbars, gaming consoles, robots, cameras - the list seems endless.
Unfortunately, you should avoid some items on that list. These tech no-nos are either on the way out, or not quite ready for prime time. Here are gifts to avoid this holiday.
Looking for a bargain laptop to surf the Web, watch movies, listen to music, read books, play casual games and perform other light computing tasks? You'll find plenty.
More people are finding that for the same money - or less - they can do just as much - or more - with a tablet. A tablet is ultraportable, has better battery life, is more versatile and less susceptible to malware than a laptop.
Start by looking at the Nexus 7 ($230), Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch ($229) or iPad mini with Retina display ($399). Click here to see how they stack up in my handy comparison chart.
Surface RT Tablets
Speaking of tablets, I don't recommend spending your money on Microsoft's Surface RT or Surface 2 RT tablets. The hardware is good, but these tablets come loaded with Windows RT, which only has 100,000 apps and doesn't run regular Windows programs.
If you must have a tablet that can run Windows, consider the Surface 2 Pro. It starts at $899, which is much more expensive than most tablets. However, it works using the complete version of Windows 8.1 so you can use your favorite Microsoft programs.