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
DJI Phantom 3
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.
Pebble has elevated the smartwatch to fashion-forward status with the Pebble Steel. The sleek device relays all your smartphone notifications to your wrist, and has a plethora of apps you can download and store in the Pebble Locker to use as you please. With the world on your wrist, you can do things like view sports scores, look up restaurants near you, and even control your smartphone's music via the Pebble's LED, e-paper screen.
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.
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.
The Olympus Tough TG-3 is perfect for the adventure seeker on your list who needs a great device for underwater exploration. This 16-MP camera is waterproof in depths of up to 50 feet, shockproof for drops from up to 7 feet high and freeze-proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to that a tough body that can withstand pressure up to 220 pounds, and you have a camera that can take a beating and keep on snapping. It can also take 1080p HD video.
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.
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.
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 latest action cam from GoPro will let your favorite daredevil capture all of his or her feats in crystal-clear 4K resolution at up to 30 frames per second. Want to get it all in slow-mo? They can switch it to 120 fps, too. And now, they'll be able to control and share videos instantly through GoPro's smartphone app, so you can see just how much they're enjoying your gift.
Safeguard that precious and expensive new Galaxy S6 with Speck's MightyShell, which offers military-grade protection. It has three layers that compress on impact to absorb shock from falls, and a raised bumper to protect your screen. Available in black, white, orange and pink, the MightyShell will stylishly keep that phone safe.
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 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.
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 popular gaming PC monitors is also one of the best. The ASUS VG248QE 24-inch monitor features a gorgeous LED display with full 1080p resolution and incredible color depth. Multiple viewing modes can be set for gaming, watching movies or just browsing the Web. Gamers will love special tools for first-person shooters and real-time strategies. The lightning-fast 144-Hz refresh rate is nothing to sneeze at, either.
The Digital Storm Bolt II is sleek enough to deserve a spot in an entertainment center or to plow through any mainstream game. This compact gaming tower starts at an attainable $1,725 but can be tricked out with improvements like an Intel Core i7 4790K processor and an Nvidia Titan GPU for gargantuan graphics performance. The Bolt II's easy-to-open design makes it a breeze to upgrade parts, and its attractive LED lights can be customized to tell you when the machine is getting too hot.
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.
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.
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.
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 less than $80. 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.
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.
Available for about $60, the Braven 570 Bluetooth speaker offers handy features like speakerphone and the ability to charge other mobile devices. The audio sounds pretty good, too. It lasts for 10 hours on a charge.
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.
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 Corsair Gaming K70 RGB is one of the best gaming keyboards around, meaning the fragger in your life will thank you. It offers excellent responsiveness and a plethora of lighting options. Plus, it's simply gorgeous. We particularly love the option to choose from various Cherry switches, which offer varying degrees of noise and resistance combinations.
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.
Do-it-yourself home automation is becoming easy for almost anyone, thanks to systems such as the Quirky Wink hub. This $49 device will let you control a wide range of "smart" devices — from Philips Hue LED lightbulbs, to Kwikset door locks, to in-window air conditioners, right from a smartphone. You can even use it to turn your Christmas lights on, even when you've gone over the river and through the woods.
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.
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.
Few gaming headsets make you look better than the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism, which comes in white or black and sports earpieces that cycle through a rainbow of LED lights. More important, the Siberia Elite Prism delivers stellar sound, which can be optimized for games, movies or music. The large, comfortable ear pads help block outside noise, and a retractable microphone ensures that your teammates can always hear you loud and clear.
The morning scramble to find your misplaced keys will be a thing of the past with Protag's Duet, a small sensor that attaches to a keychain and alerts forgetful folks when it's in danger of going missing. Tap a button in the Protag mobile app, and the sensor sounds an alarm to help locate keys; users can also receive alerts when a person (and phone) walk out of range. When you press the sensor, the phone will start beeping, so you never lose track of that, either.
A computer doesn't have to be big to be powerful. In fact, the Intel NUC 5i5YRK is downright tiny. It comes in an attractive, compact design that outputs 4K video or connects to up to three monitors. Tinkerers will love it because it requires them to install RAM and SSDs separately, but both are easy to do. Once those were installed, we saw much better performance than the average ultraportable laptop.
Say hello to the ultimate desktop replacement. As one of the first gaming laptops to feature a mechanical keyboard, the GT80 Titan SLI offers precision keystrokes with powerful feedback. The laptop also has an innovative touchpad that changes to a full number pad at the touch of a button. With a Core i7 processor and dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M GPUs in SLI configuration, the Titan is one of the most powerful gaming laptops on the market.
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'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.
While many Bluetooth speakers are intended for indoor use, the summertime demands a more rugged option. The Braven BRV-1 is ready to go camping, swimming or grilling. Not only will it keep pumping out good sound for up to 12 hours, but it also comes packed with features like the ability to charge a phone and act as a speakerphone.
The Dropcam Pro can help you secure your home from far away, via your computer, iPhone or Android device. This little teardrop-shaped camera offered crystal-clear 720p video in our tests, along with powerful zoom options and two-way audio. It even has night vision. The Dropcam also integrates with the Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector. Best of all, it's supereasy to set up.
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 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.
Apple's phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus, grabs your attention with its 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display wrapped by a curvy chassis. But it's the iSight camera that will keep your favorite photographer rapt. The 8-MP camera features an aperture of f/2.2, meaning more light can get in. It also comes with optical image stabilization for better low-light shots. Plus, for budding videographers, the slo-mo mode is hypnotic.
The Corsair Gaming K70 RGB is one of the best gaming keyboards around, meaning the fragger in your life will thank you. It offers excellent responsiveness and a plethora of lighting options. Plus, it's simply gorgeous. We particularly love the option to choose from various Cherry switches, which offer varying degrees of noise and resistance combinations.
The sleek and minimalist Asus EeeBook X205TA proves you can get a good computing experience for less money, without buying a Chromebook. This ultraportable features an 11-inch display and offers an epic 12 hours and 5 minutes of battery life. Best of all, it comes with full Windows 8.1, which offers users a more familiar environment than Chrome OS.
Immersive and set in a fully realized environment, Assassin's Creed Unity is clever and fun, offering top-notch voice acting combined with a riveting storyline. The Xbox One Special Edition Assassin's Creed is the perfect way to get both system and game in one fell swoop. Complete with an Assassin's Creed IV download and a wireless controller, this bundle costs nearly $50 less than buying the Xbox One and Assassin's Creed Unity separately.
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.
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.
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.
Because black goes with everything, and because no man wants to take off his gloves just to use his phone, the Timberland Men's Stretchy Fleece Commuter Touch-screen Gloves make a great gift. These water-resistant and superstretchy fleece gloves will fit most hands.
When it comes to routers, it's always better to spend a little extra to future-proof your network. The dual-band Wi-Fi in the ASUS RT-AC87U is the most bleeding-edge option you can gift. This 802.11ac router sports a 4x4 MIMO antenna design, capable of blanketing 5,000 square feet. With all that power under its attractive hood and an easy-to-use setup guide, it will equip anyone on your list for years to come.
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.
It's the big-screen phone guaranteed to put a big smile on their face. The Galaxy Note 4 has everything a power user could want, including a gorgeous quad-HD screen, beefed-up multitasking and a sharp 16-megapixel camera. But it's the enhanced pen that really sets this phablet apart from the pack. You can easily scrawl notes and dock them to your home screen for easy retrieval. All of this is wrapped in a sturdy metal frame.
Java fiends know there's nothing worse than an old, cold pot of coffee, or a brew that's so bitter you need a pound of sugar in your cup. The WeMo-enabled Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Smart Optimal Brew Coffeemaker can be controlled from afar using a smartphone, so you can schedule and adjust the time that it starts brewing. An insulated 10-cup stainless-steel carafe helps keep your coffee near the ideal 205 degrees for hours.
Confidently snap tripod-supported smartphone pictures in any situation with the Joby JM3-01WW GripTight GorillaPod Stand. The flexible and wrappable legs with rubber foot grips offer smartphone photographers complete control, while rubber pads secure any iPhone or Android phone in place. The durable plastic and steel construction can stand up to quite a bit of abuse as well.
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.
An An HDMI is easy to forget but essential, as it sends video and audio signals from one device to another. For example, the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable, which can send Netflix from their laptop to their TV. This particular cable supports HDMI 1.4 specs, which means it supports 1080p video and better color representations. It also supports 3D gaming and 3D movies. Plus, the cable's built-in Ethernet allows you to share an Internet connection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bluetooth 4.0 technology inside makes the Oral-B Bluetooth 5000 Brush the smartest toothbrush on the market. It connects to an iPhone or Android smartphone and sends data on your brushing habits to the Oral-B app. A dentist can even program a brushing routine in the app. The toothbrush itself features an oscillating, rotating and pulsating head, and the device can decelerate spinning speed when it detects you're brushing too hard.
If your friend or family member is looking for a laptop and a tablet, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 serves as both for a budget price. This $300 Windows 8.1 hybrid is comfortably lightweight as a slate, and becomes a portable productivity machine when you attach its included magnetic keyboard. No matter how you use it, you'll be able to enjoy games, apps and music on the Switch's crisp and colorful 10-inch display.
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.
Even home users who never do office work will appreciate the HP M476nw LaserJet Pro's strong build quality and performance. This $349 color laser printer offers equal parts speed and reliability, with a 250-sheet sliding input drawer and rated speeds of 21 ppm for color or black-and-white documents. The HP M476nw also features a plethora of perks, including wireless printing, the ability to scan a document directly into an email and a touch-screen control panel.
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.
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.
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 ultimate home theater system deserves the ultimate all-purpose remote. Logitech's Harmony Ultimate Remote is precisely that. It can control up to 15 devices (including game consoles). It even works through walls and cabinet doors. And now, it can even control smart home devices, such as the Nest thermostat and Philips Hue LED lights. Can't find the remote? Use the Harmony App on your smartphone to track it down.
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.
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.
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.
There's a lot more iPhone to protect now that Apple has made the iPhone 6 taller and wider than its predecessors. Speck's form-fitting CandyShell Grip slips right over your device to offer a solid level of protection from life's bumps and bruises. The rubber ridges on the back make it less likely for the handset to slip. Throw in a choice of six color options, and the CandyShell Grip has plenty of personality.
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.
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.
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 lens system for the iPhone 4/4s and 5/5s delivered the best-looking images in our testing. They 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.
Give a gift with personality, by letting that person on your list customize his or her own phone online. The Moto Maker website lets you choose from all sorts of funky back covers, including wood and leather finishes, as well as multiple trim hues. The Android phone itself is pretty stellar, too, boasting a vibrant 5.2-inch full-HD screen, fast performance and superconvenient voice controls.
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.
In the world of online streaming media, content is king, and no set-top box delivers more than the Roku 3. 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 3 fits almost any living-room setup.
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.
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.
Look ma, no hands! Give the gift of convenience with the Jabra Stealth Wireless Headset. The Bluetooth headset has NFC for quick, easy pairing, and features a button for accessing Siri or Google Now. The device supports HD Voice and offers 6 hours of talk time. The Stealth can also stream music, podcasts and GPS directions. In case the headset is lost, the Jabra Assist App has a Find My Jabra feature to track it down.
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.
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.
The iHome iBN180 has a host of features on top of being able to wake you up via radio, Bluetooth audio or buzzer. Using NFC technology, it can instantly connect to your Bluetooth device so you can stream all your favorite tunes from its speakers. This affordable alarm clock also has a USB port for charging, so you'll never be stuck with a dead device when you're trying to jam out.
Among the many antivirus offerings on the PC market, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2015 stands out this year. Aside from its consistently high malware-detection scores (obviously a must for any good antivirus program), we like Bitdefender Antivirus Plus' secure browser, its bootable "rescue disk" tool and its Profiles feature, which automatically optimizes your computer's performance.
Sometimes, you need to lean in — and with 27x optical zoom, the Sony HDR-PJ275 lets you do just that. Aided by an additional 54x digital zoom and Sony's trademark SteadyShot stabilization, you can see and record video in the distance without compromising the quality. The Sony also comes with a 29.8mm Carl Zeiss lens, a movable 2.7-inch LCD display and 8GB of built-in flash memory. That means you can record up to 2 hours of HD footage without needing to buy an extra microSD card, although the HDR-PJ275 can handle that, too.
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 13 Ultra ($150). The 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 13 easy to use, thanks to an intuitive interface and a step-by-step Magic Movie Wizard tool that automates the editing process.
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.
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.
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 iPhone 6 lasts more than an hour longer on a charge than the iPhone 5s, but that doesn't mean it can't benefit from more endurance. The i-Blason case is designed to perfectly fit the iPhone 6. But more important, it adds a rechargeable 3200-mAh battery that should keep your handset juiced up when there's no outlet nearby. With a two-piece case that includes a shock-absorbing polycarbonate cover, i-Blason offers a nice balance of protection and power.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. And with OS X Yosemite, the iMac offers better integration with an iPhone. Wanna splurge? You can pick up the new 27-inch iMac with a stunning Retina 5K display for $2,500.
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.
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 Fire HD 6 is one of the best small tablets you can give as a gift without breaking the bank. This $100 tiny slate is an ideal content-consumption machine for kids and adults alike, boasting a bright display and a 30-day Amazon Prime trial that will let your loved one sift through troves of e-books, movies and songs. Add in excellent parental controls and long battery life, and you have a heck of a bargain.
The gramophile in your life will appreciate the gift of an Audio Technica AT. It can play vinyl records in all of their analog glory. Even better, this is one of the least-expensive systems to feature a direct-drive motor for supersmooth playback, without breaking your holiday shopping budget. The turntable also comes with a USB cord and Audacity software, so you can output music to your PC or Mac, digitize it and save it forever.
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.
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.
Chances are, the iPad mini's slim profile is what attracted your loved one to Apple's miniature tablet, so pick a case that complements that slender style. Twelve South's SurfacePad accentuates the mini's look with a leather wrap that covers both sides of the tablet. Opening the SurfacePad cover wakes up the mini, while a small kickstand flips down to make it easier to type with both hands. Choose between camel, red, white and black.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When has a remote-controlled helicopter not been the best gift at a holiday party? The Gyro Raptor-X 3.5CH RTR RC Helicopter is a lightweight but sturdy toy helicopter measuring 16 x 15 x 8 inches. The gadget can move in six directions and hover in midair. The helicopter is powered by a rechargeable battery pack, and the remote control uses AA batteries.
HP's Spectre x360 offers the best of both worlds (laptop and tablet) with a superthin case that transforms in a jiffy. With this 2-in-1, which starts at $900, you can save money and headaches with a single device that offers 9.5 hours of battery life while handling almost any program you can throw at it. The beautiful all-aluminum case and superbright (338-nit) touch screen are other pluses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This slate is made just for Junior, and he can grow into it. The Fire HD 6 Kids' Edition offers a rich display and strong battery life, and adds a kid-safe rubber bumper and a year of unlimited books, learning apps, movies and games via Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited service. Thanks to the HD 6's robust parental controls, you'll be able to set specific time and usage limits for each of your kids while ensuring that they enjoy age-appropriate content.
Stop the destruction that's sure to result from allowing your loved one's adorable prodigy to fiddle with the Amazon Fire HD while it's in Amazon's FreeTime mode. The Incipio Firetruck Kids Case is ready to come to the rescue. Its playful and colorful high-density silicon is great for shock absorption, which can originate from the floor, couch or coffee table. Plus, the $12.50 price tag is great for your holiday shopping budget.
With the 360-degree swiveling design of the Mobile Edge Trip Case, the Amazon Fire HD 7 can be easily switched from landscape to portrait mode. The exterior — which comes in gray, blue or purple — is treated with Scotchgard to repel liquids and dirt. Inside, a microfiber flap keeps the screen smudge-free and protected. Of course, all of the ports, buttons and cameras are still accessible through cut-outs.
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.
The 20.3-MP NX30 mirrorless camera offers at least comparable performance to similarly priced DSLRs and a broader palette of features. Among them are a blistering shooting rate of 9 fps and 1080p video at up to 60 fps. An external mic input ensures equally good audio when recording. The ability to tap the touch screen to select a precise focal point as the action unfolds gives a leg up on virtually any DSLR.
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.
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 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.
What's better than owning Sony's latest superb home console? Getting a game that features Peter Dinklage as your own personal robot sidekick along with it. The PlayStation 4 Destiny bundle features an attractive white PS4, a matching controller, a 30-day trial of the PlayStation Plus premium service and a copy of the hit online shooter Destiny. The bundle saves you $10, and there's no other way to get a white PS4.
As the first headphones to offer a built-in amplifier, the over-ear Blue Mo-Fi cans deliver audiophile-grade quality. We also like that they can play music without a battery, which some cans can't do. As a bonus, the Mo-Fi's futuristic-looking frame is adjustable, ensuring a comfortable fit.