Best tech gifts: Laptops, gaming, gadgets, and more
Beyond socks, shirts, and chocolates, there is a huge market for tech gifts that are fun to receive and can also be functional for work, entertainment purposes, or study.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a laptop, tablet, or activity tracker for a loved one, or you are looking for interesting gadgets as stocking fillers and smaller presents, there is a huge variety of products on offer for the holiday season.
To see out our top recommendations for tech products, gadgets, and accessories over the holiday season, check out our guide below.
For fans of VR
Now available for $299, the Oculus Quest 2 is one of the most affordable virtual reality headsets on the market. There is now a thriving game ecosystem, ranging from horror titles — such as the Resident Evil series — to explorers and puzzles.
However, you must have — or open — a Facebook account to use this hardware.
- Lightweight & comfortable
- More affordable
- Facebook account required
Also: Best VR and AR headsets of 2021
For mobile photography enthusiasts
The Xenvo Pro Lens kit is a useful accessory for mobile phones that is likely to appeal as a gift to photography enthusiasts. The kit comes with a TruView 0.45x wide-angle lens, Clarus 15x macro lens, clips, an LED light, cleaning cloth, and case.
- Compatible with numerous smartphones and tablets
- Solid material and image quality
- May not support dual/quad smartphone cameras
Also: Best camera phones | Best cameras
Explore mirrorless photography
One of the key features of the Sony Alpha 6600 mirrorless camera is its autofocus capabilities, widely applauded as one of the best in the compact camera market. The camera also sports 24.2MP quality, an APS-C Exmor sensor, ISO capabilities of up to 102,4004, 11fps continuous shooting, and comes with an 18-135mm lens.
If you’re looking for a camera as a gift this holiday season — for someone else, or, perhaps, yourself — then this is an option well worth considering.
- Professional quality
- 4K video capabilities (3840 x 2160)
- Lackadaisical design
Also: Best cameras
Noise cancellation, work in peace
Bose’s QuietComfort 45 is an excellent option this holiday season if you are looking for quality headphones. These Bluetooth-connected headphones come with active noise-cancellation technology, a ‘quiet’ and ‘aware’ mode to both listen to music and allow environmental noise in simultaneously, and synthetic leather ear cups.
- Multiple color options are available
- Quality sound
- Some audio adjustments require in-app tweaks
Also: Best noise-canceling headphones
The GameSir X2 gaming controller, suitable for iOS & Android devices, transforms smartphones into mobile consoles reminiscent of Nintendo handhelds. Once slotted to your phone, the device, sporting an ABXY layout, connects and is powered by a 500mAh battery.
- iOS & Android compatibility
- The battery can drain fast
- Max device length of 173mm device support
A versatile laptop for work and play
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 would be a valued gift for anyone looking to upgrade their tablet or in need of a versatile device for work, travel, or study this year. At Best Buy, you can pick up a Surface Pro 7 with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB SSD storage, and 8GB RAM. The tablet-to-laptop operates on Windows 10 Home.
- Flexible design
- Low storage space unless upgraded
Also: The best Surface PC: Which is right for you?
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 would make any drone hobbyist’s day if received as a holiday gift. This model, one of the Phantom range — which includes cheaper and more expensive options — features a 1-inch CMOS sensor for shooting 4K/60fps videos, a camera capable of taking 20MP photos (f/2.8 wide-angle lens), sensors for detecting obstacles, and a remote controller.
- Advanced flight features
- 32GB microSD card thrown in
- Spare batteries cost $185
Not to miss the gamers out, the ASUS ROG G512 gaming laptop is a premium model that will be future-proof for years yet. This powerful Windows machine is equipped with a 15.6-inch 144Hz FHD display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics, an Intel i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage.
- Powerful graphics
- Stunning display
Also: Best gaming laptop | Best budget gaming laptop
An Android tablet alternative for the holidays
If you’re on the hunt for a solid Android tablet this holiday season, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 is a great option to consider. This tablet is equipped with a 10.4-inch display, an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front camera, Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage.
- Three color options available
- Additional SD storage support
- Video recording capabilities could be improved
- Low RAM
Also: Best Android tablets | Best tablets | Best budget tablets
Stylish office, desk organization
If you’re looking for a stylish but also useful gift over the holiday season, you should consider the Kensington StudioCaddy — especially for those working from home. The StudioCaddy is a space-saving setup for Apple devices that utilizes Qi wireless charging to keep iPhones, AirPods, and MacBooks fully juiced.
- A space saver for home offices
- Wireless charging
Also: Best iPad accessories: Docks, hubs, and more
A must-have for Apple fans, the iPad and iPhone maker has recently revealed its next-generation Apple Airpods. Now available to purchase, these third-generation earbuds have been redesigned for better battery life, bass, and overall sound quality.
- Battery performance improvements
- Adaptive EQ
- The design won’t be to everyone’s taste
Also: Best wireless earbuds
For something extra special this year, you could look at the Unistellar eVscope 2. This telescope brings together Nikon technology, automated field detection, and light pollution reduction systems to give the clearest sky possible to hobbyist astronomers.
- 7.7Mpx image resolution
- Useable in poor conditions
How we chose these products
Every holiday season, the hottest new technology often appeals no matter the age. It is also a time for many to ask for replacements, such as for a new laptop, phone, or gaming console. When we compiled our list, we considered not only the latest mobile device or PC, but also technology that could prove to be entertaining or valued in the recipients’ daily lives.
Alternatives worth considering:
HP Pavilion i5 GTX 1650 8GB/256GB Gaming Laptop
, Walmart, $739
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD Ryzen R5 GTX gaming laptop
, Walmart, $798
- HTC Vive Cosmos Elite Virtual Reality System, Amazon, $899
Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
: THX gaming headset, Walmart, $78
Vantop Snaptain SP510 Drone
, Target, $169.99
Rexing M2 2K Front and Rear Mirror Dash Cam
, Best Buy, $199.99
Philips Hue 2pk A19 LED Starter Kit
, Target, $69.99
Lenovo Yoga 7i 2-in-1 14″ touchscreen laptop
, Best Buy, $749.99