20 amazing gifts for the tech lover in your life
Looking for gadgets, gizmos, drones, or phones? You've come to the right gift guide.
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When it comes to getting gifts during the holidays, is there anything more exciting to unwrap than a shiny piece of tech? For many people, fancy new gadgets are the highlight of the holiday season.
Reviewed lab tests every kind of tech imaginable—laptops, tablets, TVs, headphones, you name it—to find the best everything. With our picks, you know you're getting a high quality product they'll love. Here are our 20 top gift ideas for the people on your gift list who love gadgets and all things tech.
1. For the podcast addict: Apple AirPods
If you've got a giftee on your list who loves listening to podcasts or music all day (and who uses an iPhone), Apple's AirPods are a stellar gift choice. These "true wireless" ear buds stay charged and synced all day in a convenient carrying case, and sync up instantly with your phone when you put them in your ears. They're completely wireless and minimally designed, providing a premium, no-fuss experience that'll delight the podcast addict in your life. You might also want to check out the upgrade pick: the Apple Airpods Pro ($249). They have incredible noise cancellation, and the customizable design means they'll fit your ears even if traditional Apple earbuds don't.
2. For the binge-watcher: Roku Ultra
Roku's fancy "Ultra" media streaming device has been our favorite for a couple years running now, and for good reason. Processing is snappy and the UI is extremely friendly and intuitive, making it easy to settle in for a night of Netflix (or Hulu, or Amazon Prime, or YouTube, or Twitch, or anything else) without a hitch. This box also comes with a very easy-to-use remote and a pair of headphones that plug right into it for private listening, as well an ethernet cable input so you can easily stream 4K/HDR content, if that's your bag.
3. For the techy type: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen.)
If you're shopping for a tech generalist or somebody who just really loves asking Alexa to tell jokes, why not pick up the all-new Echo Dot? This tiny smart speaker integrates with your Amazon account, meaning you can ask it for shopping recommendations, what the weather's going to be, to play music, or to integrate with your existing smart home fixtures (like turning lights on and off). This isn't the ideal music-lover's smart speaker (it's a bit too small for great sound), but as an all-around device it's a great addition for any technophile you're shopping for.
4. For the homeowner: Logitech Circle 2 indoor/outdoor camera
Got a new homeowner on your list, or an old homeowner who wants to feel a little more secure? The Logitech Circle 2 is our top security camera pick. It's easy to set up and program to monitor a room inside, a patio, or your front door, and is weather-proof enough to live outside for long periods of time. It's easy to connect via your phone and monitor things from your office or work place, engendering an easy method of upping your home security without installing a whole system.
5. For the one who loves to watch sports: TCL 6 Series Roku TV
If you're shopping for somebody who loves watching sports, a new TV is a banner gift. This 55-inch Roku TV from TCL has topped TV reviewers' lists of "best value TV" for the last couple years, and for good reason. For what you're paying, you're getting 4K resolution, full-array local dimming, the Roku smart platform, and HDR (High Dynamic Range) compatibility—that's a lot of cheddar. When it comes to TV value picks, this one is king for a reason.
6. For the frequent flyer: Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones
If you're buying a gift for a frequent traveler, we can't recommend the WH-1000XM3 headphones from Sony enough. Not only are they absolutely stellar in the noise canceling department (sayonara, airplane baby!), they sound incredible and are lightweight and comfortable for hours at a time. Multiple Reviewed employees used these over a course of months, and each had nothing but praise (and didn't want to give them back). They're a bit pricy, but the premium experience makes them worthwhile.
7. For the book lover: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon's latest Kindle Paperwhite, technically the 10th generation model, is the best one yet. Not only does it continue to do what Kindles do best—hold hundreds, perhaps thousands of novels, short stories, poems, comics, and PDFs—it's also waterproof, and features multiple colors and storage options with a battery that lasts weeks. It's no wonder the Paperwhite is #1 in our Best Kindles roundup.
8. For the one who loves to game: Nintendo Switch
If you're shopping for a gamer and they don't have a Nintendo Switch yet, now's the time. Nintendo's latest home console delivers fun for kids of all ages, and doubles as both an on-the-TV device and a handheld device, giving it an unsurpassed amount of flexibility where gaming goes. With award-winning titles like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey at hand, the Nintendo Switch is the must-have gaming peripheral for the 2019 holiday season.
9. For the one who always puts off cleaning: Ecovacs Deebot N79S robot vacuum
If you're shopping for someone who SHOULD be cleaning but just won't (or likes to put it off indefinitely), a good robot vacuum is just the ticket. In our tests, the Ecovacs Deebot N79S performed admirably in its room cleaning routine, navigating our in-lab obstacle course like it built it itself. While it's not a replacement for a full standing vacuum cleaner and requires some in-app tinkering to work best, this is a great way to make cleaning a snap, especially if you're more inclined to kick back than clean up.
10. For the marathon runner: Garmin Forerunner 245 running watch
If you're buying a gift for a serious runner—the kind of person who seems to always be training for a 5K or even a marathon—Garmin's line of Forerunner GPS/music running watches should be on your gift list. While they're definitely pricy, they're stuffed with useful tech for long-haul runners, like training features, advanced running dynamics, and safety features.
11. For the one trying to stay fit: Fitbit Charge 3 fitness tracker
Fitness trackers are a great way to stick to your fitness goals and have a little personal fitness coach on your wrist, and the Fitbit Charge 3 has been our favorite fitness tracker for quite some time. Count steps, measure calorie burn, or simply measure the quality of your sleep with a minimally designed watch that won't get in the way of the rest of your life. This is a great gift for anyone starting (or trying to maintain) fitness goals this year.
12. For the master chef: Anova Precision immersion circulator
If you're shopping for someone who is serious about cooking, an immersion circulator is a high-tech way to achieve culinary perfection. Our top-rated immersion circulator, the Anova Culinary sous vide precision cooker helps make it possible to achieve restaurant-quality sous vide perfection at home thanks to some fairly fancy technology. And hey, it's a great gift for whoever is cooking for you this holiday season.
13. For the beach bum: JBL Flip 4 portable bluetooth speaker
If you're buying for someone who loves to spend time at the beach or by the pool, what they really need (once it warms up a bit) is a waterproof, high-quality Bluetooth speaker. We tested tons of Bluetooth speakers for our roundups, and found the JBL Flip 4 to be the best-designed and best-sounding waterproof speaker of the bunch. As a bonus, it's available in a heck-ton of fun colors, making it easy to personalize it for your giftee.
14. For the serious gamer: Acer Nitro 7
If you're looking to buy a laptop for someone who is serious about PC gaming, we highly recommend the Acer Nitro 7. It's the best all-around value among gaming laptops today, with an Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics card that can play the latest games at high quality settings. It competes with gaming laptops that cost well over $1,000 but is less than $900 on sale. If you've got a gamer on your list, the Acer Nitro 7 is an awesome pick.
15. For the one who's always running: Mpow Flame Wireless Earbuds
If you're shopping for somebody who already loves running and participates enthusiastically, a solid pair of exercise-focused headphones like the Mpow Flames. They're cheap at less than $30, but they're built to last. We tested them in our labs and they were able to play music for a full 30 minutes while submerged under water. If you've got a runner or gym freak in your life, these are a great, affordable gift.
16. For the music lover: Sonos One SL
Sonos has been a leading name in home audio solutions for years, and the Sonos One SL is a testament to that legacy. We loved the One for its clean audio presentation, including crispy trebles and booming bass, as well as how easy it is to set up and interface with existing Sonos speakers in the home. While it's not a take-it-to-the-park speaker, as a home solution it offered better audio than anything we tested, and will definitely impress any music lover you might be shopping for.
17. For the hip technophile: Apple Watch (Series 4)
Our top-rated smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 4 is a great choice for iPhone users looking to up their productivity and technical grasp with a gadget that's also pretty stylish. During testing, we found that the Apple Watch outperformed the other smartwatches, doing double duty as both a minimalist smartphone stand-in and as a potential smartphone replacement (assuming you don't need LTE services). If you're shopping for someone who lives in their iPhone, this watch could be the perfect addition.
18. For the media enthusiast: Microsoft Xbox One X
Microsoft's so-called "Most Powerful Console Ever" does a lot more than play video games. Yes, you can game on it, but its true purpose is to stand in as the center of a home theater setup. The X in particular is equipped to play DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, and almost any media from a USB; is Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos compatible; and outputs native 4K and HDR content, making it one of the fanciest gaming machines around that isn't a tower PC. If you've got an AV nerd on your gift list, this could be the perfect centerpiece to their tech-filled living room.
19. For the adventurous techy: Potensic G25 GPS Drone
Not only are some drones very safe for younger flyers, but they're pretty affordable these days. The Potensic G25 GPS-equipped drone took our #1 spot when we tested drones under $200, and for good reason. Its intuitive control scheme and robust flying patterns make it a great drone for anyone curious about the art of robotic flyers, and it won't break the bank in the process.
20. For the one who needs more space: SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB
Our top-rated SD card, it may not be the most exciting product on the list, but for photographers, handheld gamers, and media mavens, it may just be the most practical. For less than $25 you can get a whopping 128GB of extra storage on a micro SD card that will fit just about any gadget that takes memory cards, including a GoPro, Nintendo Switch, most laptops, chromebooks, cameras, and more.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.