Find gifts for the men, women and kids on your shopping list with 100+ gift ideas featuring the best tech of the year. - Your friends at Tom's Guide
500 AND ABOVE
Google Cardboard Knox V2
Sort of like a ViewMaster for your smartphone, Google Cardboard is the inexpensive way to experience virtual reality. Simply hold it up to your face and you could be visiting new places, playing fully immersive games and flying through space. If you're so inclined, you can build your own using directions on Google.com/cardboard, or you can pick up the Knox V2.
High-tech home cooks that like to sous vide need the Anova Precision Cooker. Attach this puppy to a pot, put your food in a sealable bag, fill pot with water and set the time and temperature. This cooker does the rest of the work, circulating the water to ensure a consistent temperature. It connects to a smartphone so you'll know when it's time to chow down.
The Zip is a super-simple photo printer. Turn it on, connect it to your iPhone or Android via Bluetooth, and hit the print button on a free app. The result: 2 x 3-inch instant prints. Don't worry about expensive ink cartridges, either. The Zip uses special photo paper (a 30-pack costs $14.99) that's ink-free and comes out dry-to-touch. You won't even need to shake them.
A computer doesn't have to be big to be powerful. In fact, the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop would fit in your pocket, but can do everything you need a PC to do. It comes with a 1.44-GHz Intel Atom X5-Z8500 CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD. It's even got a fingerprint reader, for an extra level of protection.
You'll never need to look too hard to find your keys if they're attached to a Tile, an aptly named square that pairs to your smartphone over Bluetooth and sounds a very audible alarm to help find misplaced items. The second generation of the Tile has improved range and a two-way find feature that triggers an alert on your phone in case that's gone missing.
Bend it, shape it, anyway they want it. Une Bobine is a unique flexible metal cable that stays in whatever odd position it's twisted into — or object it's twisted around. At one end is a USB jack, and at the other end is a Lightning port. Your giftee will be able to position his or her device more easily for FaceTime calls, or for hands-free shooting of photos and videos.
Wireless streaming sticks don't get any cheaper or easier to use than the Google Chromecast. This little HDMI dongle attaches to a TV, and using it is a snap. Simply open a supported app — such as Netflix or Pandora — on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, and hit the Cast button. Your content will show up instantly on your TV in full 1080p resolution, without any lag. You can even broadcast from a Google Chrome browser.
The masculine, yet classic look of this canvas and leather messenger bag can hold plenty, including a 17-inch laptop. The two front compartments make accessing keys and phones simple. Choose from among the black, khaki or army green options.
Portability, great quality and ease of use — these are all great reasons to pick up the Olloclip 4-in-1 lens system. Olloclip's $70 kit for the iPhone 6 delivered the best-looking images during our testing. Your budding smartphone photographer will get a fisheye, wide-angle and two macro lenses. The system takes just a second to attach to your phone and stows away neatly in a pocket or bag using the included cloth pouch.
GoPro offers the best value for an action camera with built-in Wi-Fi that shoots at 60 frames per second. Adrenaline junkies can shoot HD video and 8-megapixel stills, controlling the shots via the GoPro smartphone app for Android and iOS. The Hero is also waterproof straight out of the box, so you can turn it on and dive right in.
Apple's iPad Air 2 is one tablet well worth its premium price tag. This $500 slate somehow make's Apple's superslim flagship even thinner, while adding a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a new A8X processor that helps games and apps run better than ever. With a seamless user interface via iOS 8 and access to more than 675,000 tablet-optimized apps, the iPad Air 2 is a gorgeous tablet that will keep you entertained.
For the iPhone devotee, all-day battery life can mean something very different. To get the endurance your loved one deserves, pick up the Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case. It adds a rechargeable 3,200mAh battery to an iPhone in a slide-on case. It also automatically stops charging as soon as the phone hits 100 percent.
Those flirting with smart home products but are unsure of where to start will love the Philips Hue Lux Starter Kit. For $99, you get two 750-lumen, white Lux bulbs and a bridge so you can connect them to your smartphone. Once they're connected, you can control the brightness, as well as set timers and alarms. The Lux bulbs also support geofencing, so they can turn on or off when you enter or leave a room.
This 4-in-1 lens kit includes brushed-aluminum fisheye, macro and wide-angle lenses, along with a plastic 8x telephoto lens. But that's not all; for just $37, your iPhone shutterbug will enjoy a hard mounting case, a threaded lens mount, a clip for threaded tripod mounting, a mini tripod and two cleaning cloths. Plus, all of these odds and ends, along with your iPhone 5/5s, can be toted inside the included felt bag.
Designed for kids ages 7 to 12, Town Master puts real-world Lego bricks into a virtual world. It comes with 256 pieces for building things, which can then be scanned with an iOS or Android device into the Lego Fusion Town Master app. The software will prompt kids to put together specific buildings, such as a fire station or a pizzeria, which will then appear in a virtual town.
The Amazon Echo is so much more than a Bluetooth speaker. The Echo can access Wi-Fi, buy products through Amazon and get traffic and weather reports. The Echo relies on Alexa, your own virtual assistant. With voice-recognition tech, Alexa hears and understands your voice commands, even when you’re 15 feet away from the speaker. You can ask to check your calendar, add to-do lists, set alarms, check the news, play audio books or music, and more. Amazon also programmed Echo to connect to other smart-home devices such as Philips Hue lightbulbs, so you can turn on a light with your voice.
In the world of online streaming media, content is king, and no set-top box delivers more than the Roku 4. It features more than 1,000 channels and a motion-sensitive remote control with a headphone jack (for private listening). The device is small and hosts just about any TV show, movie, online radio station or Web video you can imagine. With both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections, the Roku 4 fits almost any living-room setup.
Pour your flat light beer into this quirky gadget and turn it into a brew any beer lover will appreciate. Fizzics foams up your favorite (or least favorite) beer using sound waves. The final effect is a wet head of tasty foamy bubbles at the top of your drink. The best part: No nitrogen or carbonation added.
It's tough to argue with the $50 price tag on the Amazon Fire tablet. It features a 7-inch display and a 1.3-GHz quad-core processor. Plus, it offers deep integration with Amazon's own content. For Amazon Prime members, in particular, owners enjoy access to Amazon Instant Video, e-books, Amazon Music and the Amazon Underground app store, where $10,000 worth of Android apps are free.
Since successfully launching as a Kickstarter, the U-Turn brand of turntables have become known as quality devices for vinyl lovers. The black Orbit Basic is just $179, but this no-frills device offers up the quality audiophiles need. Its base is made of medium-density fiberboard with a styrene-butadiene rubber feet to prevent vibrations. And it features a uni-pivot arm.
Earning five stars and our Editors' Choice award, Mixbook is the tool for photographers who want to make their own book. It syncs well with Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Photobucket, Picasa and SmugMug. Plus, it comes with a large library of highly appealing clip art. We particularly like the intelligent and intuitive interface that was easy to master. Our finished product looked beautiful.
Is it like pulling teeth to get your kids to brush theirs? The Grush Gaming Toothbrush is a new product aimed at getting kids to enjoy brushing, putting a stop to the bathroom struggle. With games like Monster Chase, Toothy Orchestra and Brush-a-Pet, this smart toothbrush functions as a motion-sensing gaming controller when connected to the Grush app on a smartphone. Parents can also use the app to track their kids’ brushing habits. The $59 toothbrush comes bundled with a bathroom mirror hanger for your smartphone.
The Sony PlayStation 4 Star Wars Battlefront Console is just the sort of limited edition gear your Padawan really wants. It comes with a 500GB console that ominously displays Darth Vader's visage. The customized DualShock 4 Wireless Controller also gets the Vader treatment. But the real treats in this package are the physical copy of Star Wars Battlefront and the digital voucher for four Star Wars Classics.
The retro Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 70 was designed with modern selfies in mind. The instant camera features a small mirror next to its lens, a timer, an automatic exposure control and a Selfie Smart mode, which automatically adjusts settings for optimal shots.
The DxO One will turn your iPhone or iPad into a DSLR-quality camera for less than a DSLR price. It shoots 20.1-MP photos and 1080p video, and you can toggle between the two modes with a tiny 1-inch touch screen on the side of the device. It even gives you DSLR-like modes like Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Program and Manual, and DxO said it's committed to updating the app with more features and modes in the future.
A smoke detector is a must-have in any home, but apart from beeping loudly, it doesn't provide any information about the danger. The Nest Protect tells you — literally — if there's smoke or carbon monoxide, and which room it's in, giving you vital information that can help you get out of the house. And, because it's connected to the Web, Nest Protect can also send you alerts when you're not at home, providing an extra layer of security.
The Solo Executive Ultrabook Tote Bag transitions seamlessly from day to night and boardroom to restaurant. And that's all while carrying a 15-inch laptop and a 10-inch tablet. It also has an organizer section for all the items you'll need, but it maintains a thin profile.
The Alienware X51 gaming desktop provides impressive performance for the price. Dell wraps the tower in a stylish, living-room-friendly package. Inside, gamers will appreciate the Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 graphics card. In the Alienware Command Center, you can tweak the PC's aesthetics and performance to your heart's content, including front- and side-facing lights that change based on what's happening in a game.
For simultaneous connections to a smartphone or tablet, the Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 features a nob on the top left that switches among up to three devices. The cradle is designed to fit more than one gadget as well. It features a familiar layout with shortcut keys for both Windows or Mac. Plus, the black-and-yellow design stands out in a crowd.
There are tablets that can play games, and then there's the Shield. Packing a full-HD 8-inch display and a beefy Tegra K1 processor, the Shield Tablet supports rich games like Half-Life 2, Portal, and Trine 2, and becomes a full-on mini console when you add in the $60 Shield Controller and connect it to your TV. PC gamers can stream top titles like Titanfall right to the tablet, and you can broadcast select titles to the world with Twitch.
A bathroom scale is one of the rare holiday gifts that can be both practical and passive-aggressive at the same time. No matter what your intention, the Withings Smart Body Analyzer bathroom scale is your best bet. The device measures not only weight but also heart rate, body fat and even air quality. The scale can communicate via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to a smartphone, where your giftee can use the companion app to log and track measurements.
The Nano QX RTF may be tiny and weigh little more than a half an ounce, but don't be fooled. It's built for durability and speed. It uses the company's SAFE (sensor assisted flight envelope) technology system that keeps it stable. If you let go of the controller, the system will automatically go into hover mode to help newbies avoid collisions. Once proficient, switch this system off for more maneuverability.
The Silicon Power A60 2TB drive packs a whole lot of storage into a very small, very rugged 8-ounce package. In addition to being water-resistant and shockproof, this drive works straight out of the box with both Windows and Mac. The A60 can go with you to back up more than 400,000 photos at your best friend's wedding or sit on your desk, holding a quarter million songs — or every season of Game of Thrones in HD.
The Nest Cam can help you secure your home from far away, via your computer, iPhone or Android device. This little teardrop-shaped camera offered crystal-clear 1080p video and impressive night vision in our tests, along with powerful zoom options and two-way audio. The Cam also integrates with the Nest Thermostat and the Nest Protect smoke detector. Plus, it's easy to set up.
For less than $200, you can pick up the Lenovo 100s Chromebook, which lasted more than 11 hours on our battery test (continuous Web surfing). Perfect for checking email and Facebook, surfing the Web and watching videos, this Chromebook also offers solid performance in an incredibly portable package.
The movie buff in your life need not throw out his old VHS tapes — that is, if you get him the Diamond VC500 USB 2.0 One-Touch Video Capture Device. This little gadget connects to a VCR via Composite RCA or S-Video plugs on one end. The other end plugs into your computer via a USB 2.0 plug. Running the included and easy-to-use software then allows him to capture the video from a tape and burn it to a DVD. Problem solved.
Parrot doesn't just make flying drones. The Parrot Mini Drone Jumping Sumo is one impressive remote-controlled car. Controlled by your smartphone, this superstable and lightweight car can handle extreme turns, as well as jumps of up to 2.5 feet. It even has predefined buttons for performing acrobatics such as spins. The front end includes a wide-angle camera that streams a live view to your smartphone screen for killer video. Expect 20 minutes of use on a charge.
The ultimate home theater system deserves the ultimate all-purpose remote. The Logitech Harmony Elite is precisely that. It can control all sorts of smart home gadgets, including your TV, game console, lights and thermostat. It works through doors and walls, and if you misplace it you can substitute your smartphone running the Harmony app. Best of all, it's dead-simple to set up.
The Jabra Move Wireless headphones prove that you don’t have to empty out your wallet for quality headphones. The black, on-ear pair offer crystal-clear audio and 8 hours of battery life, on top of Bluetooth connectivity. The headphones have an easy setup process and only weigh 5.6 ounces, making it perfect for travel. Jabra Move Wireless Headphones also come in red and blue.
We’ve named it the smartest watch yet. We love its beautiful display, customizable design and more than 10,000 apps to access on your wrist. With 18 hours of juice, this watch can help you save time all day. The Apple Watch also comes with unique features not found in other smartwatches, such as Force Touch, Apple Pay and the ability to switch your calls from your handset to your watch.
There are plenty of controllers for playing your favorite Android games, but the Moga Pro Power is a standout. Offering a precise, Xbox-style button layout, this $70 accessory turns your smartphone into a portable gaming console with its signature S.M.R.T. Lock Arm that holds a handset in place while charging it. This Bluetooth controller also works with Android tablets, and includes a separate stand for keeping your slate's screen front and center.
Any music lover will tell you that sound quality is the most important feature in a set of headphones. That's why the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear headphones are a great gift for people who want to listen to their favorite songs, but without all the bells and whistles. The stainless-steel frame is lovely, but what's even more gorgeous is the sound quality. Full and balanced with a wide soundstage, the Momentum will be music to any audiophile's ears — and your wallet.
Arguably the world's smallest battery backup and wall charger, the Bolt Portable Battery and Wall Charger puts power in the palm of your hand. It offers a 3000mAh Lithium-Ion in about the same size and shape of a D battery. It comes in black, blue, gray, lime green, pink and red, and features a USB port for charging your phone or tablet on the go.
Movies are great, but gamers know the true Star Wars fans will be glued to the PlayStation game Battlefront. And to do that properly, you need the DualShock 4 Star Wars Controller, decked out in all of Darth Vader's glory. The three LEDs inside can generate a colorful display, while the multitouch and clickable touchpad will keep the action moving.
If you're already committed to getting your gamer an Xbox One for the holidays, you might as well up the ante a little and throw in some games. Microsoft makes that easy with the Holiday Bundle. In this package you'll get a1TB console and wireless controller, as well as copies of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Rare Replay and Ori and the Blind Forest. Plus, they’ll get a 14-day free trial of Xbox Live Gold.
It's rare to find a gift that can save you money over time, but that's exactly what can happen when you replace that cable modem your ISP is charging you $6 to $10 a month to rent with one you own outright. The Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 is your best bet. It's compatible with all major cable providers, and as a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, it's capable of delivering great performance.
The Blue Yeti mic features the same great audio-recording quality you'd expect from the best-in-class USB microphone on the market. It also has settings to record audio from different directions (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo) and zero-latency headphone output. The PreSonus Studio One recording software that comes bundled with it is tailored especially for Blue microphones. This lets podcasters capture and produce with easy-to-use tools and studio-quality audio processing. Just hit Record.
Axis claims the Aerius is the world’s smallest quadcopter, and they may be right. We can say this is an adorable little drone that's easy and fun to fly. A full charge gives you about 5 minutes of flight time, which sounds short, but is pretty standard for the little guys like the Aerius. Its small size is an advantage as well: the drone snaps into a clear plastic dome on the remote control, so it's hard to lose track of and convenient to take when you're on the go.
Can you hear me now? No? Good. That's the point of the Phiaton BT 220NC Earphones: to deliver crystal-clear audio while keeping the outside world at bay. In fact, Phiaton's active noise cancellation blocks up to 95 percent of ambient sound. The Bluetooth buds can connect to two devices simultaneously, which is good if you own two smartphones or a phone and a tablet. Expect up to 17 hours of music listening on a charge.
The Linksys RE6500 can extend your wireless network's range around the house without breaking the bank. This dual-band device was the top overall performer in our Wi-Fi-extender tests, delivering top throughput while also extending the outer range of our network to the dark corners. And it does all this from a compact 6 x 4.2 x 1-inch package that fits unobtrusively just about anywhere.
The big-screen Apple iPhone 6s Plus is the smartphone of the season. The pressure-sensitive 3D Touch display lets you easily peek at emails, addresses and attachments without leaving the app you're running. The 12-MP back camera and 5-MP front camera are great, as is the Live Photos feature. It brings stills to life, a la Harry Potter.
The thin, pressure sensitive tip of the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 means the artist in your life can draw on her iPad whenever the mood strikes. It's so attentive to your intentions that it offers 2,048 pressure levels. This stylus also offers improved palm rejection, so you won’t leave unwanted marks.
Everything about Apple's new super-tablet is huge. Its enormous 12.9-inch screen boasts a 2732 x 2048-pixel resolution. Apple says its A9X processor makes it faster than 80 percent of all rival mobile computing devices. By all accounts, this is absolutely the next evolution of the iPad. If you're an Apple superfan or a creative type looking for a little more screen real estate, this is absolutely the iPad for you.
The Xbox One Chatpad plugs right into the bottom of your controller and gives you access to all 26 letters of the alphabet, so you can stay in clear communication with all the members of your team. It's backlit so you can type, text and control your headset audio in the dark. The Chatpad is also compatible with Windows 10.
With free lifetime map updates and spoken instructions for street names and turns, you're directionally challenged loved ones will always know where they're going with the Magellan RoadMate 9400-LM. But this 7-inch touch-screen GPS device does more than offer directions. Traffic-camera alerts offer audible and visual warnings. It offers parking-garage locations and hours, plus speed-limit warnings for avoiding traffic tickets.
Levovo's Yoga 900 is the 2-in-1 you've been waiting for. It features a stunning and sleek design with a super-sharp, 13.3-inch display (320 x 1800-pixel resolution). The watchband hinge really ties it all together. But it's not just a pretty face; we recorded fast performance in our labs, along with a solid 8 hours of battery life.
While some kids may not be ready for a $400 gaming console, the LeapFrog's LeapTV ($150) could just be perfect. It's tailor-made for children ages 3 to 8. The games that are either preloaded or available for download on LeapTV are kid-appropriate and educational. The system also comes with a unique controller that flips out to become a wand to simulate baseball bats, tennis rackets or other tools.
For less than $400, the 40-inch Hisense Roku TV is a great value. It offers surprisingly nuanced and pleasing color, and smooth motion rendering on its 1080p LED display with 60-Hz refresh rates. Plus, Roku's well-known and loved interface makes the smart TV functions a cinch to navigate. We could easily flip among Netflix, Hulu Plus, a Blu-ray player and other sources.
Nothing says "It's the future!" like a robot servant to do the vacuuming. The iRobot Roomba 880 is one of the best robot vacuums yet. It features improved scanners that help it navigate and thoroughly vacuum a room, the ability to schedule routine cleanings, and an improved nozzle that decreases carpet and rug snagging. Your giftee can also pick from a number of vacuuming modes to adjust to a room's size, flooring and obstacles.
LG's BP540 Blu-ray player gives your giftee the widest selection by playing both discs and streaming content from such major services as Amazon, Hulu Plus, Netflix and Vudu. The BP540 also preserves domestic tranquility with a private sound mode that sends audio to a smartphone app so you can listen through headphones — so the kids won't hear that Michael Bay explosion. With 3D disc support, they can watch the cinematic destruction of Gravity in all its glory.
The AmazonBasics Executive Stylus is boardroom-ready in slick-looking silver. This 4.6-inch long stocking-stuffer is perfect for note takers and artists who've made the switch to iPad. Its cushy tip glides across any capacitive touchscreen, leaving the display fingerprint-free. And, at 1.6 ounces, it won't strain your arm, even with extended use.
For great in-game performance, make sure your gamer has the best to take play to the next level: the Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex. The colorful lighting and top-notch sensor make this mouse a top pick, but it's the intuitive software controls that make it a no-brainer.
Samsung and Oculus teamed up to make virtual reality less expensive while delivering the immersive, high-end feel. The $99 Gear VR features an easy-to-use touchpad for navigating, and is compatible with the Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge Plus, S6 and S6 Edge phones. In no time, you'll be playing games such as Land's End or Bandit Six: Salvo as if you were right in the middle of the action.
You don't have to be a teenage boy to get a rush from playing with the Joysway Mad Shark 17" F1 remote-controlled boat, and you also don't have to be captain to operate it. This yellow torpedo boat, made of an ABS molded hull, can go faster than 16 mph and is controlled by a 2.4-GHz two-channel transmitter and receiver. Joysway is known for its speedboats, so if the aspiring sailor on your list runs into trouble, you should have access to world-class support and robust forums.
You know that friend who's always uploading embarrassing moments to Facebook and YouTube? Put that videographer on the path to an Oscar with Cyberlink PowerDirector 14 Ultra ($99). This easy-to-use video editing program packs a ton of tools to turn amateur clips into professional-looking footage. Even the beginner will find PowerDirector 14 intuitive, thanks to a step-by-step Magic Movie Wizard tool that automates the editing process.
With the Cobra SPX 7800BT, you can keep the fuzz off your tail. This model offers nearly double the detection range and warning time of previous models, thanks to its built-in military-grade components. It pairs with your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth to provide speed-trap locations and dangerous-intersection alerts in real time. It's also one of the smallest radar detectors on the market.
The BenQ RL2455HM is a 24-inch monitor that's built to deliver maximum clarity and responsiveness. The picture is crisp and features dedicated presets for two of the genre's most popular games (StarCraft II and Dota 2). This panel is bright and colorful enough to make any game shine.
The Fuhu Nabi headphones can do double-duty, as they have separate modes for parents and kids. An adjustable headband and cushy ear cups help with that, too. In kid-friendly Nabi Mode, the headphones are limited to 80 decibels of output, to protect young ears in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. When the headphones are in adult-friendly mode, parents will appreciate the in-line mic for answering calls on the go.
We named the Acoustic Research Pasadena as one of our favorite outdoor speakers. With rechargeable batteries, dynamic sound and easy setup, the $99.99 speaker can accompany any outdoor party with clear, powerful sound. The lantern-shaped, three-way speaker doesn’t require any wires, lasting for 8 hours on a single charge of its internal battery.
Google's 802.11ac OnHub router is super easy to set up and looks great. It features 13 antennas, and if any of OnHub’s wireless channels are overloaded, the system reapportions the flow to the underutilized channels. That's something no other router does, so you'll always have a good connection. The router, which comes with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of flash memory, helps you future proof your home because the OnHub comes with Bluetooth built in and support for 802.15.4 wireless-data specification to better connect to smart home gadgets.
No more feeling around for a flashlight when the lights go out. This phosphorescent Pelican ProGear LED flashlight glows a ghostly green in the dark, making it a cinch to find. The front LED beams 234-lumen-bright light for around 190 hours (nearly eight full days) on three AA batteries. Take your pick from three modes: high, low and flashing. Unlike most smartphones, the ProGear is IPX7 waterproof.
While the 18-55mm lens that comes with many new Nikon DX DSLRs is fine for most everyday situations, real photogs sometimes want a little more reach. With the crop factor on Nikon's DX cameras, the Nikkor 55-200mm creates more of a 82-350mm camera, so you can capture close-ups of your kids on the field. Combined with the original 18-55mm kits lens, you can have a two-lens solution that can cover almost all of your DSLR needs.
Students and commuters with a 17.3-inch laptop will appreciate the sleek lines and comfortable straps of the Case Logic Prevailer backpack. There’s also a protected space for a 10.1-inch tablet. The main compartment offers plenty of room for books, files, headphones or even gym clothes.
For less than $10, your PS4 gamer can download an old favorite from the PlayStation store, such as Legend of Mana ($5.99) or Final Fantasy Tactics ($9.99). You can even pick up Flower, originally a PlayStation 3 indie best-seller, for only $7.
The Canon camera lover in your group will thank you for the EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens. With a barely-there profile of just 0.9 inches and wide maximum aperture, this prime (nonzooming) lens is a versatile add-on to a Canon APS-C format camera (most DSLRs). Pictures taken with this lens will look sharp and bright, and it's especially great for portraits and close-ups.
One of the most well-rounded fitness trackers for the money, the Fitbit Charge HR gives you all-day and all-night fitness tracking, as well as caller ID and heart-rate monitoring. It uses the same app as the Charge, which tracks steps, calories burned, floors traveled, distance and sleep at a glance. The soft, black rubber band with diagonal pattern is quite fetching as well.
Garmin made a workhorse of a GPS watch in the Forerunner 220. For the hiker in the family, the GPS is quick to locate people. For runners, it tracks distance, speed, pace and number of laps. It'll also map out runs, letting athletes look back via the Garmin Connect app, and track their heart rate if the device is paired with a chest strap. For extra guidance, users can download workouts and training sessions to the Forerunner 220 and let the watch guide them.
The Sony a5100 delivers top-notch mirrorless performance for the shutterbug on your list, for a reasonable price. The palm-size camera measures a compact 4.3 x 1.4 x 2.5 inches (for the body). The a5100 delivers nuanced colors, excellent detail and stunning low-light performance. Autofocus is lightning fast, thanks to a 20-MP sensor with phase-detection autofocus. Combined with a fast 6-fps burst photo mode, the a5100 is ready for action.
This tripod is made for filming action-packed videos. For only $14.99, the Avawo Universal Flexible Tripod perfectly fits any GoPro Hero action camera. The 8-ounce tripod has flexible legs that can bend around fences, trees and poles — so you can place it basically anywhere. An adjustable knob allows 360-degree positioning of the GoPro, and a release tab allows you to easily remove the camera.
What do you get for the music lover who has everything? Headphones that can do anything. From NFC to multipoint connections, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro headphones are the most techie cans ever. The ANC technology blocks outside noise, but with the OpenMic feature, you can control how much you hear. If that weren't enough, the Pros deliver rich and full sound with a Bluetooth range of 150 feet, and last a day on a charge.
Video aficionados who no longer want to be tethered to a cable company can cut the cord with confidence with the Wineguard FlatWave Amped HDTV Antenna. While it pulled in a modest 19 channels in our test location, all stations looked clear. The flat design and extra-long cable make setup a cinch.
Is there someone on your list who feels the force? Then pick up the First Edition Star Wars Headphones from SMS Audio and rapper 50 Cent. Available in four flavors (Galactic Empire, Star Trooper, Rebel Alliance and Boba Fett), these cans are emblazoned with the logos of your chosen faction and come with authentic Star Wars posters and stickers. Best of all, the headphones deliver the same thumptastic audio that the regular Street by 50s are known for.
Now you can give Apple's signature slim all-in-one for just more than $1,000. The iMac's swift Intel Core i5 processor and vivid full-HD display are well-suited for work and play, and included apps such as GarageBand and iMovie give you plenty to tinker with out of the box. Owners will enjoy excellent integration with an iPhone, including the ability to send and receive messages and phone calls.
You don't need audio cables or a pile of cash to get quality sound out of your PC. Available for less than $50, the Bluetooth-powered Rosewill R-Studio SP-4310BT speakers provide 9 watts of immersive gaming and entertainment audio from up to 33 feet away. Dual speakers are angled upward to project sound toward you, while a down-firing subwoofer is all about that bass. Simple dials and buttons make it easy to control.
Whether you're shopping for a student or a parent, the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is an inexpensive yet elegant option. Running Google's Web-centric Chrome OS, this laptop lets you check emails, stream music, watch videos and browse the Internet on a stunning 1080p, IPS screen that makes it look like you should have paid much more. The Chromebook 2 also packs strong Skullcandy-tuned speakers and offers nearly 8 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Simply put, the JBL Cinema SB100 delivers good sound for a good price. Its 3-inch midrange drivers pump out 30 watts of sound, and greatly improve TV shows and dialogue-heavy movies. With Surround Sound and Bass Boost activated, the unit adds depth and width to the overall sound, helping it better fill a room. On its own, the SB100 lacks some low-end boom, but it can easily be paired with a subwoofer.
Halo addicts will thank you for the Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Controller. The exterior features a combat design that looks like it belongs in the United Nations Space Command, right down to the metallic blue accents and military insignias. Of course, it features a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and a comfortable and familiar D-pad design.
With the SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds, 50 Cent owns your fitness enthusiast's workout playlist in a whole new way. These earbuds from the rapper's headphone company have a built-in heart-rate monitor that tracks their pulse without a chest strap or even a wrist-worn wearable. These buds also provide decent audio quality, so music will come in loud and clear — and with powerful bass.
The Logitech G502 Proteus Core comes as close to perfect as any gaming mouse. In addition to two grooved face buttons and a ridged scroll wheel, this laser mouse sports two thumb buttons and a "sniper" button that slows things down for precise aiming. With a dots-per-inch sensitivity range of 200 to a staggering 12,000 and the top-notch Logitech Gaming Software, the Proteus Core is a great gift.
For good-sounding gaming effects and clear chats, the Kingston HyperX Cloud II delivers for less than $100. It's one of the most comfortable, stylish options you can buy. The virtual 7.1 surround-sound capabilities also highlight subtle sounds your gamer needs to stay in the competition. Plus, the lightweight design means marathon sessions won't be uncomfortable.
For the audiophile with limited space, the Sonos Playbar packs six midrange drivers and three tweeters into a sleek 35 x 5.5 x 3.5-inch package. You can also add more Sonos speakers to create a true 5.1 surround-sound system. In addition to Sonos' own music service, the Playbar can play tunes from Spotify, Beats Music, Pandora and most other popular streaming services. It's not cheap, but it sounds amazing.
Some photographers just want a simple but capable point-and-shoot camera. The Sony W800 fits that bill exactly, complete with an in-camera guide. It snaps sharp 20-MP pictures, features a 5x optical zoom (better than what you'll find on most smartphones) and SteadyShot image stabilization, all for $100. The tiny 4.5-ounce camera slips into a pocket with ease. The W800 is smart enough to detect smiles, and captures HD movies at 720p.
Among the many antivirus offerings on the PC market, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2016 stands out. Aside from its consistently high malware-detection scores (obviously a must for any good antivirus program), we like Bitdefender Antivirus Plus' secure browser, bootable "rescue disk" tool and its Profiles feature, which automatically optimizes your computer's performance.
Don't know what kind of tablet your giftee is getting? Prepare for any tablet contingency with the PureGear universal tablet folio, which will accommodate any 7- to-8-inch tablet. Elastic bands securely strap their slate in place, which can be propped for hands-free landscape viewing or typing. A magnet secures the fold-back top, and it includes document/ID/credit-card pockets as well as a stylus/pen holder.
A new iPad Air 2 is pretty when naked, but it needs to be supported and protected from inevitable accidents. iLuv's Layup is a rugged, dual-layer polycarbonate/silicon shock-absorbing case with a built-in adjustable kickstand for landscape viewing and typing. This accessory also comes with a detachable four-position hand strap to help your giftee keep his or her grip steady on the Air.
Walkie-talkies are more than just toys; they can save lives when you're in the wild. The weather-resistant Cobra CXT 545 arrives as a pair that offers a range of up to 28 miles across 22 channels for 8 hours of battery life. You'll get a 10-channel NOAA radio, an LCD read-out and a built-in LED flashlight.
The Amazon Fire Kids tablet comes with all the Amazon Prime-related goodness that comes with the regular Fire. But, in addition you get one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which brings kids a ton of curated content. It's also kid-proofed, thanks to the rugged case and 2-year worry-free guarantee that says Amazon will replace the slate if Junior does manage to break it.
For the aspiring photographer on your list, the Nikon D3300 makes the perfect gift. It delivers a solid feature set, such as a retracting, 24.3-MP lens and full-HD video capture at 60 frames per second. We like the compact design and the camera's colorful, plastic body. More importantly, this Nikon took sharp, clear images with accurate colors. Best of all, it comes at a good price at just under $500.
Kidz Gear Deluxe Stereo Headset with Boom Microphone
These headphones look and sound adult, but the Kidz Gear Deluxe Headset with Boom Microphone are all about being kid-friendly. The company adds its KidzControl Volume Limit Technology and a built-in volume-control knob to help keep your youngster from developing tinnitus or other hearing ailments while listening to music or playing games. Get 'em in gray, pink or blue.
For the drone enthusiasts that must have the latest and greatest, the DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter comes with a 4K UHD video camera. It features a fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal and films at 4K or streams video at 720p resolution. It's controlled by the DJI Pilot app for iOS and Android.
Photographers with a mirrorless camera need a bag to protect their equipment. Not only does the Urban Approach 15 have space for a tripod on the side, there's also compartments for a 15-inch laptop and a full-size tablet. This black backpack is rugged enough to keep all that and more safe, and easily transportable.
Apple's history of rock-solid laptops and superb customer support mean that the 13-inch MacBook Air will be ready when students need it. Weighing just 2.9 pounds and measuring just 0.68 inches at its thickest point, the MacBook Air 13-inch slips easily into a backpack or messenger bag. Starting at $999, it's cheaper, lasts longer (12-plus hours of battery life) and has more ports than its newly announced 12-inch sibling.
The Olympus Tough TG-4 is perfect for the adventure seeker on your list who needs a great device for underwater exploration. This 16-MP camera is waterproof to depths of up to 50 feet, shockproof for drops from up to 7 feet and freeze-proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to that RAW footage capture, support for Wi-Fi and GPS, as well as the ability capture 1080p video, and you've got a winner.
Whether you need to back up lots of data or just burn family movies to disc, Samsung's Blu-ray drive is your best choice. Available in black or white, this 10-ounce device is portable enough to stick in a bag and versatile enough to write to two dozen disc types. The SE-506CB draws its power from a USB port, no AC adapter required. The best part, Blu-ray Recordable (BD-R) discs hold 25GB of data and cost less than $1 each.
The Dell XPS 13 for 2015 has it all: a thin-and-light carbon-fiber body, potent performance and a gorgeous Infinity display that's nearly borderless. There's also a nontouch version with a matte screen that lasts almost 12 hours on a charge, starting at just $799. You can choose from a wide range of CPUs, as well as pick the amount of RAM and storage, so you don't pay for more machine than your loved one really needs.
The 32-inch Samsung UN32H5500 delivers the best picture quality of any 32-inch set. It posted nearly perfect numbers for color accuracy, contrast and brightness on our tests. More important, it looks great in real life. Skin tones were dead-on, and we saw excellent black levels and sharp details in movies and games. This smart TV offers easy access to online entertainment, too.
The all-new Kindle Paperwhite retains the great features of its predecessor, but it now sports the higher-resolution screen found on the more expensive Kindle Voyage e-reader. Plus, Amazon has developed a unique font and offers advanced typesetting that makes reading easier than it ever has been. For the bookworm on your list, this is the one to get.
With innovative keys, a compact design and a low price, we have awarded the Turtle Beach Impact 100 the Best Budget Gaming Keyboard. The keys mimic mechanical switches and are both quiet and responsive. At $49.95, it’s easily $100 less than a real mechanical keyboard, while providing comparable functionality.
Give the gift of personalization with a Skinit Skin for your loved one's Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 tablet. Skinit Skins are available in more than 2,000 logo, character and art designs — or custom versions made from personal art or photos. This form-fitting vinyl skin perfectly fits the Fire HDX 8.9's every corner, cutout and curve. Skinit Skins are easy to apply and remove with no sticky residue, which means they can be swapped out to match any fickle fashion sense.
The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 is a whole lot of unlocked phone for just $249. That includes a bright 5.5-inch, full-HD display, an 8-megapixel front camera and a sharp 13-MP rear camera. We love the high-quality JBL audio. Plus, it lasts more than 9 hours on a charge.
That new Fire HDX 8.9 deserves to be swaddled in simple elegance, and that's exactly what you get with the Standing Leather Origami Case. In addition to folding into a stand with clever magnets, it redirects audio from the speakers for maximum effect. Plus, if you slide up the tablet inside the case, it stays securely in place as the tablet automatically opens the rear-camera app. Pick blue, black or red.
The ultimate entertainment monitor, Acer's XB280HK is the first display to combine an eye-popping 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160-pixel) resolution with Nvidia's G-Sync technology for smooth gameplay. When paired with a G-Sync-capable video card, the monitor syncs its refresh rate with the GPU to minimize stutter and eliminate screen tearing — two bosses most gamers can't defeat. With five USB 3.0 ports built in, the XB280HK also doubles as a hub.
Designed with photographers and videographers in mind, the SanDisk Extreme Plus microSD card is a perfect gift for those keen on capturing fast action. It's waterproof, X-ray proof, temperature shift protected and shockproof, so it's ready to go everywhere. The fast speeds will ensure they never miss a shot.
For your friend or loved one that is a globetrotting jetsetter or just wants to carve out a few moments of peace and quiet, we highly recommend the Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones. Meeting at the intersection of style and functionality, the QC 25 offers a sleek, lightweight design along with Bose's award-winning active noise-cancellation technology. The audio quality is stellar, too, with rich and balanced sound. Expect up to 35 hours of battery life.
Your Xbox gamer with thank you. For $25, he can pick up the $20 Destiny DLC pack and $5 worth of downloadable games such as Sonic CD. Or he can pick up any number of apps, movies or TV shows from the Windows store for PC, Windows tablet or phone.
Perfectly sized for the iPad 2, the Logi Blok case features a frame and a detachable keyboard that can be placed at any angle. Most impressively, the squared-off design of the corners of this case can protect against drops of up to 6 feet onto hard surfaces.
If you're looking for a sleek and efficient family PC, the $680 Lenovo C560 Touch does the trick while leaving you cash to spare for stocking stuffers. This affordable all-in-one packs a solid Core i3 processor, booming speakers and a vibrant full-HD touch screen, making it ideal for surfing the Web, watching movies and enjoying some light gaming. And if you need to upgrade, the C560 Touch sports an easy-open back panel.
The SDHC/SDXC in the Kingston Digital 64GB SDHC/SDXC Class 10 SD card stands for "secure digital high capacity and secure digital extended capacity." That means you get faster data transfers and more compact storage than on a basic SD card, which makes this a perfect gift for someone who needs to store HD videos. The write-protect switch prevents accidental overwriting of precious moments. Plus, the card comes with a lifetime warranty.
Made to support DSLRs up to 6.6 pounds, the Manfrotto Compact Advanced tripod is made of sturdy aluminum. It can grow up to 65 inches when fully extended, and collapses to just 17.3 inches for easy storage. With two levers to control pan (horizontal) and tilt (vertical) movements, it's easy to frame precise shots while keeping your camera steady. The legs' latch locking mechanism makes the tripod easy to set up, too.
Connect your Apple TV, Roku, XBox One or any other HDMI device to a HDTV, display or projector with this 10-foot-long cable. It is triple-shielded with solid copper conductors and gold-plated solid metal connectors to ensure premium power transfer; it can even handle 4K, UHD and 3D functions. Right now, the Mediabridge Ultra HDMI Cable is only $9.99 on Amazon, down from $25.99. It is also available in other lengths from 3 feet to 50 feet.
The camera end of the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor includes interchangeable lenses so you can get the wide angle or zoomed-in shot you want of your baby's room. On the monitor end, new parents will love the 3.5-inch, color LCD that's activated by sound (when in power-saving mode). Users can remotely pan, tilt and zoom from the display, or Mom and Dad can even speak directly to Junior to calm him.
It lacks the high price tag of other 4-in-1 laser printers, but the ImageClass MF217w doesn't skimp on either performance or print quality. It produced some of the fastest print, copy and scan times of the laser printers we've tested, and the finished prints featured sharp text and detailed graphics.
With a 10.8-inch and 1920 x 1280-pixel display, 8 hours of battery life, and an optional detachable keyboard and stylus, the Surface 3 is a 2-in-1 that be can be all things to all people. That means it's perfect for students looking to take notes in class or the frequent flier hoping to get some work done on the plane, and anyone in between. The $499 starting price isn't too shabby either.
The attractive design and solid performance of the Lenovo IdeaPad 100S are available for the low price of $200. This Windows 10 laptop offers more than 9 hours of battery life to power you through plenty of Web surfing, text editing and movie watching. We particularly like the large keys on the keyboard and the solid feedback they offer.
The JBL Clip proves that affordable, superportable Bluetooth speakers don't have to sacrifice good sound. The Clip offers deceptively meaty bass despite the device's pocket-sized design, and the speaker's water resistance allows you to enjoy some tunes poolside without fear of damage.
The sexy and futuristic-looking chassis of the Alienware 17 is just the first of many reasons why any true gamer will love this laptop. It's got a lovely 1080p display and good performance. It's also got superb battery life for a gaming laptop, lasting 6 hours and 25 minutes on a charge. If you opt for the $174 graphics amp, which sports Nvidia graphics, you've got one drool-worthy rig.
For just $500, the Nexus 6P delivers a brilliant quad-HD display, convenient fingerprint sensor and superior cameras in a premium metal body. The device runs the new Android Marshmallow, which offers a cleaner, more intuitive interface and handy new features such as Google Now on Tap, which provides contextual search results without leaving an app. Plus, the Nexus 6P's blazing performance and long battery life make it a dependable daily companion.
Thanks to a translucent exterior, the iHome iBT29BC alarm clock changes colors from red to yellow to green to blue to purple at the touch of a button. It features dual alarms and six FM radio presets. A USB port can charge your iPhone. This orb can also function as a speakerphone.
The thumb and first finger of these stripped Vera Bradley Cozy Tech Gloves are perfectly suited for typing on your touch screen. The extra-long cuffs fold over for style, or tuck under your sleeves for extra warmth. These one-size-fits-all women's gloves are machine-washable, too.
With a price tag of just $12.99, the Syma RC Helicopter S107G might just tempt you to buy two. That's not a terrible idea, because two selectable frequencies mean you also can fly two of the toys at once. The company claims a battery life of 25 to 30 minutes, and that anyone 14 or older can start zooming around right out of the box.
For vivid colors, deep blacks and overall picture quality, nothing beats an OLED screen. LG's 65EF9500 features a 65-inch 4K OLED display with a flat screen. The TV also features webOS smart features, which lets you access such apps as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video without the need for an additional streaming device.
Budget shoppers in the market for a new TV should check out the Vizio E-Series E55-C1. This 55-inch 1080p LED TV features solid picture quality and robust smart-TV features. Access Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and a whole host of other content without having to install a separate streaming apparatus. However, should you want to connect a set-top box, streaming stick or game console, you can take advantage of three HDMI ports to do so.
Starting at under $500, this 21.5-inch all-in-one has everything you need in a family PC. The bright 1080p display offers rich colors that exceed the sRGB gamut, while your choice of Intel or AMD processors offers solid mainstream performance. The latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi provides fast connections to your home network.
It's sort of like a Segway with no handlebars. The Swagway X1 is the fastest and lightest of its kind. It can climb at an angle of up to 15 degrees and go up to 10 miles per hour. It should last about 20 miles on a charge. Now you just have to avoid falling off of it. Note: Check the legal status in your area of these rolling people-movers before you hit the streets.