12/20/2016 07:49 EST | Updated 12/20/2016 07:49 EST

How To Give The Gift Of Tech (When You're Not A Techie)

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Tablet computer with luxury gift.

We all strive to give our loved ones the perfect holiday gifts. There's nothing better than seeing the joy on their faces when they truly love what they've received. For the most part I have a pretty good handle on holiday shopping, but some items can be trickier to buy than others. Tech, anyone?

A recent survey by Intel Canada and Microsoft Canada found that 55% of respondents said tech products often top their loves ones' wish lists, with half (50%) saying they're likely to give technology as a gift this year. For someone like me with a décor and lifestyle background, the thought of buying a new computer for someone can be intimidating and often overwhelming. Where to begin?

The following tips will help simplify the process and give you confidence when shopping this year.

Ask an expert

If you go into any of the big electronics stores over the holidays you'll find tons of employees in brightly coloured shirts roaming the computer section. These employees are there for a reason. They're experts when it comes to tech and can answer any questions you have, so use them!

Consider how the computer will be used

When purchasing a new computer you should consider its purpose. Will its main function be for work or for entertainment and gaming? With that in mind, you want to make sure you're choosing the right processor to match you or your loved ones' needs. Intel creates different levels of processing power depending on how you'll use your computer. For example, you'll need a more powerful processor for things like graphic design and video editing compared to activities like surfing the web or checking email.

Know your style

I'm a big believer in showcasing your personal style, and technology is no exception. The options are endless so knowing your style will help narrow down your choice. The latest computers are extremely versatile and can suit a range of lifestyles. Some have 360-degree hinges or removable keyboards so you can switch between modes like laptop, tent, stand or tablet. Personally this is one of my favourite features. My Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has a removable keyboard so I can use it as a laptop for work then switch to a tablet when I want to watch movies. It's also super lightweight and perfect for travelling.

Determine the "must-have" features

New computers have features that not only make you more productive, they're also versatile for work and play and have some of the best performance features available. When giving someone a new computer think about which features will be most useful for them. For example, if you're buying for Grandma consider a laptop with Windows 10. With Windows Hello she'll be able to log in using facial or fingerprint recognition so she'll never have to remember passwords again.

Make it fun

At the end of the day holiday shopping should be fun and not stressful or intimidating. Buying a new computer, whether for yourself or a loved one, offers an exciting opportunity to pull in a little personality. Gone are the days of generic and bulky grey laptops. Many of the latest devices are sleek, modern and come in beautiful metallic finishes. Experiment with different accessories and explore colours and patterns. Some devices even come with their own line of accessories so you can add on and customize as you see fit.

If you're buying tech for a loved one this year be sure to keep these tips in mind and remember, tech doesn't have to be intimidating!

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