The 30 Hottest Tech Gifts This Holiday Season
If you're not sure what to put under the tree, electronics are always a crowd-pleaser. There's something for everyone, from smart-home technology to the latest in gaming. And if you're worried that tech gifts are always outrageously expensive, don't be: We have recommendations to fit every budget. (Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.)
Price: $99 | Buy it on Amazon
Ditching cable is easier than ever with the Roku Ultra and its easy access to thousands of streaming channels, from Netflix and Hulu to YouTube and PBS Kids. It works with regular high-definition TVs and newer 4K Ultra HD, and a search feature lets you find specific programs across channels. The streaming box even has a lost-remote finder.
Price: $299 | Buy it on Amazon
Fitbit's latest wearable adds a ton of high-value features including built-in GPS for walkers, hikers, and runners; onboard music storage, improved battery life; mobile payments; and dynamic personal coaching. It's also waterproof for swimmers. If this item sounds a little pricey, you might consider some of these cheap but well-rated fitness trackers.
Price: $350 | Buy it on Amazon
If you love the simplicity of a tablet but just can't get by without a full keyboard, this 13.3-inch Chromebook offers the best of both worlds. A 360-degree hinge allows the keyboard to fold away if you only want to use the HD touchscreen in tablet mode, or it can act as a stand for easy media viewing. A robust 12-hour battery means you won't run out of juice all day. This Chromebook has also earned a place on our list of best cheap laptops.
Price: $500 | Buy it from Best Buy
The Xbox One X is Microsoft's most powerful gaming console yet, topping Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro when it comes to delivering native ultra-high-definition 4K effects. So if you're looking for something to show off on that new TV, the smooth gameplay of this suped up game system and it's 6 teraflops of graphical processing power is unmatched.
Price: $100 | Buy it on Amazon
The voice-controlled Amazon Echo has never looked better: Now, it comes in six finishes including heather gray fabric, walnut, and silver. Echo uses Amazon's Alexa voice assistant to play music, control smart-home devices, call or message friends, read you the news, tell you the weather -- the sky's the limit.
Price: $548 | Buy it on Amazon
Mirrorless cameras are a great bridge between point-and-shoot ease and DSLR quality. The 24-megapixel Sony Alpha a6000 is ideal for the beginning shutterbug, with features like automatic focus, face detection, high-def video, a tilting LCD screen, and much more. It also weighs in at under a pound, making it portable and vacation-ready. Though, several good digital cameras are available for less than half the price of the Alpha a6000.
Price: $35 | Buy it on Amazon
Tired of tearing up your house in search of your keys, purse, or other important items? Slap a Tile Sport on them. These Bluetooth trackers have a range of 200 feet -- double other Tiles -- and they're waterproof. Use the Tile app to ring any lost item with a tracker. Lost your phone? Pressing a button on any Tile forces it to ring, even when it's on silent.
Price: Starting at $359 | Buy it from Best Buy
The Apple Watch has matured considerably since its debut, and the newest version comes with an optional cellular data connection that means users no longer need to bring their phone along to make calls, send texts, receive email, or stream music -- an especially great feature for runners or other fitness enthusiasts. Waterproof casing, built-in GPS, Siri, and automatic activity tracking are just a few of its other features.
Price: $300 | Buy it on Amazon
The latest must-have gaming system lets you play at home with a TV-connected dock, or on the go with a handheld touch-screen display that can stand on its own and accommodate multiple players with detachable controls. A compatible smartphone app lets parents put limits on kids' gaming times and restrict the kinds of games they can play.
Price: $199 | Buy it on Amazon
These compact plug-and-play speakers use your Wi-Fi network to stream music in any room of your home. Different units can be paired for bigger sound, too. But the One's biggest claim to fame is that it has Amazon Alexa built right in, letting you control the speaker and any Alexa-enabled smart-home devices with simple voice commands.
Price: $85 | Buy it on Amazon
Drop it, toss it in the pool, take it on a hike -- the waterproof, shock-proof Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker can go anywhere and provide great sound the whole time. It's about the size of a soda can, and two can be paired for even bigger sound. The 10-hour battery life means you have enough juice for any party.
Price: $198 | Buy it on Amazon
Who's at the door? You don't have to get up and see if you have the Ring, which lets you see and speak to anyone on your doorstep using your smartphone. Motion alerts and infrared night vision provide an extra layer of home security, and four finishes mean the weatherproof Ring can blend seamlessly with your existing door hardware.
Price: $120 | Buy it on Amazon
The simulated sunrise on the Philips Wake-Up Light gradually wakes you up over the course of 30 minutes, helping relieve the grumpiness that comes from being jolted out of bed. The light on this alarm clock doubles as a reading lamp and can be set to 20 different intensities. And don't worry -- it always stays cool to the touch.
Price: $499 | Buy it on Amazon
If you can't wait to share your adventures with friends and family, the GoPro Hero 6 can seamlessly transfer footage to your smartphone and edit a shareable video -- automatically. Other features include advanced video stabilization, touch zoom, and ultra-high-definition video. It's still waterproof and works with several mounts and poles for effortless shooting.
Price: $60 | Buy it on Amazon
The newest version of Fujifilm's colorful Instax Mini instant camera adds a selfie mirror -- no more accidental photos of your neck -- and a macro lens attachment that makes close-up shots easier than ever. It also automatically recommends the best brightness setting so you don't waste film on dim or washed-out photos.
Price: $234 | Buy it on Amazon
Orbi is the answer to weak Wi-Fi woes. This plug-and-play router comes with a satellite extender that provides coverage in up to 5,000 square feet -- no more pesky dead spots. Connect more satellites if you need more coverage, and don't worry about overloading your network with devices, since Orbi keeps things speedy. It's also compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Price: $350 | Buy it on Amazon
Amazon's latest Kindle is the ultimate treat for book lovers. With a 7-inch screen and a glare-free, high-resolution display, it's as close to paper as it gets. Unlike previous Kindles, it's also waterproof, so you don't have to worry at the pool or the beach. An adaptive front light adjusts the display brightness automatically, and up to 32 GB of storage makes it ideal for literary packrats.
Price: $44 | Buy it on Amazon
You'll never forget the milk again with Hiku, a little gadget that lives in your kitchen. Press the button and tell it what you need on your next grocery run -- it will keep a running list and send it to your smartphone. Hiku can also scan barcodes and add items automatically. It also integrates with Walmart and Peapod online shopping services.
Price: $500 | Buy it from Target
This colorful little drone has a body that almost fits in the palm of your hand, but it's much more than a toy. Features include intelligent flight modes, a 12-megapixel camera, GPS, obstacle sensing, face recognition, and a 16-minute flight time. Control it with your phone, a remote controller, or even hand gestures.
Price: $189 | Buy it on Amazon
If you're over that pesky wire tickling your neck on so-called "wireless" headphones, wireless earbuds are a must. Jabra's Elite Sport earbuds are aimed at those who want a rugged pair that can stand up to sweat -- they're waterproof -- and a customized fit. Bonus: They even have a built-in heart-rate monitor and activity tracker.
Price: $27 | Buy it on Amazon
The Jackery Bolt makes a great stocking stuffer for that friend who never gets your texts because their phone died. Built-in Apple MiFi and Micro USB cables charge iOS and Android devices, Kindles, GoPros and others; there's also a full-size USB port and emergency flashlight. A sleek design keeps cords stashed away until you need them.
Price: $325 | Buy it on Amazon
It's only natural that you can now control your Roomba robot vacuum with your smartphone and even your voice using Amazon Alexa-compatible devices like the Echo. Roomba automatically adjusts to clean hard floors and carpet, recognizes and focuses on high-traffic areas, and senses obstacles, stairs, and other barriers while cleaning.
Price: $29.63 | Buy it on Amazon
Even pen-and-paper holdouts can go high-tech with the Rocketbook Everlast, which has pages that can be erased with a moist cloth and written on over and over again using a special kind of marker, pen, or highlighter. Easily send your notes or sketches to a number of productivity apps including Dropbox, Slack, and Evernote to share them or keep them for posterity.
Price: $80 | Buy it on Amazon
The 1-inch Revolar Instinct offers an elegant, unobtrusive solution for anyone who wants to let loved ones know they're safe -- or not -- with the press of a button. Customizable messages make it clear whether you're safe, in a potentially risky situation, or facing an emergency. It can even locate your keys and track your steps.
Price: $399 | Buy it on Amazon
Virtual reality offers new thrills for even the hard-to-impress gamer, and the Oculus Rift + Touch hand controllers makes it easy to interact with a virtual world. Six games are included with the system, which requires a newer Windows PC with an updated operating system to run.
Price: $40 | Buy it on Amazon
Cutting the cord, but still want local channels? The Mohu Leaf makes it possible, without ugly, unreliable rabbit ears. This slim panel can grab over-the-air channels within a 30-mile range and deliver them in high definition. Mount it black or white side up, hide it behind a picture, or paint it the same color of your wall so that it's practically invisible.
Price: $80 | Buy it on Amazon
Maybe the kids have broken one too many iPads, or you're looking for a cheaper way to play games and watch shows on the go. The Amazon Fire HD 8 delivers for under $100. It features Alexa voice controls, up to 12 hours of battery life, front- and rear-facing cameras, and access to Amazon FreeTime, which personalizes the Fire for pint-size users and allows easy parental controls.
Price: $144 | Buy it on Amazon
This universal remote control is smart-home ready. You can control your TV, of course, but it also integrates with Amazon Alexa, Sonos, Nest, Philips Hue and several other smart devices so that you can control your whole home without leaving the couch. You can even control streaming devices, game consoles and other units that are behind closed cabinet doors.
Price: $599 | Buy it from Bed Bath & Beyond
This all-in-one heater, fan, and air purifier will be useful year round, and its sleek, blade-free design means it can keep a place of honor in your living room even if you have small kids or pets. Control it with your smartphone using the Dyson Link app, or put your phone down and use voice commands via Amazon Alexa.
Price: $109 | Buy it on Amazon
Big sound can come in a very small package: The Bose SoundLink Micro Speaker is under 4 inches square. Strap it on with the attached silicone strap and pair it with your phone, tablet or other Bluetooth-enabled device for music wherever you go. It's waterproof and works with Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon's Echo Dot.