Best Tech Gifts 2017
These are the tech gifts for men and women who already have everything they need, but just don’t know that these trending gifts are what they want. From our archives and across the web, we have tech gifts under $10, $25, $50, $100 and for every budget. This top tech review list includes Connected Home, Cameras, Pet Gadgets, Smartphones, Virtual Reality, Gaming, Fitness and more. Jump in and find what you are looking for! All prices are from Amazon or direct from the manufacturers, and we’ve provided links for easy shopping.
Everything you need to get started with your connected / smart home, and accessories to expand the capabilities.
One of the coolest tech gifts in its price range, the all-new Amazon Echo has a sleek new design and much better sound quality than its predecessor. The device’s Dolby-tuned pair of audio drivers deliver a more robust bass, while seven built-in microphones ensure that Alexa will hear you better than ever. The available finishes for the speaker include great-looking fabric, metal and wood choices. The echo not only looks great (and will enable it to seamlessly blend into the decor of any room), it packs a lot of fantastic features.
Amazon Echo Dot – $50
Add Alexa in a smaller form factor with the Echo Dot, and get two Dots for the price of one Echo. The Included built-in speaker is good enough that it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer. To really take advantage of it’s capabilities to play music, you can get excellent audio by pairing your Dot with your Bluetooth speakers or with a wired connection to your existing audio system. The Dot does pretty much everything the Echo does -controls lights, fans, TVs, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and others. The Dot will also hands-free call or text message anyone as well.
Google Home Mini – $49
A great gift for every home, the stylish Google Home Mini is a stylish and more adorable-looking rival to the Amazon Echo Dot. It features the tech giant’s AI-powered Google Assistant, which responds to voice prompts by tapping into an ultra-advanced neural network. It can play music, answer questions, set timers, and control connected appliances, among many other things. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Something that makes everything else easy?
Ring Video Doorbell 2 – $198
I just installed a Ring Video Doorbell 2 at my home yesterday and it was quick and easy. I had mistakenly loaded the wrong app and the customer support was great at figuring out what I did wrong, and got everything working right in just a few minutes. Here’s why you should get one too: Who’s at the door? You don’t have to get up and see if you have the Ring, which lets you see and speak to anyone on your doorstep using your smartphone. Motion alerts and infrared night vision provide an extra layer of home security, and four finishes mean the weatherproof Ring can blend seamlessly with your existing door hardware. If it ever gets stolen, Ring will send you a new one at no charge – wow!
If you have Alexa or are considering it – consider upgrading to the $249 Ring Video Doorbell Pro which works with Alexa.
A great gift for every home, the Netgear Arlo Pro 2 is an easy-to-install wireless security system that consists of a base station with a built-in siren and two Full HD camera modules. They have sturdy magnetic mounts, and they can last for weeks without recharging. Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Samsung SmartThings, the Arlo Pro can alert users when its cameras automatically detect activity, as well as activate the powerful siren if necessary.
For inside your home or office, the Corprit camera is easy to set up and command. It features controls for Pan and Tilt (355 degrees Horizontal and 120 degrees Vertical), so you can focus on the action.This wireless security camera also has built in Microphone and Speaker for two way talks. It has 720p resolution and
excellent night vision, so you can monitor even in dark surroundings. When motion is detected then alarm will be triggered, instant message or email notification will be sent automatically. With loop recording function, one memory card can always works, no need to change when it is full. All the data is also stored to the cloud for later viewing or sharing.
A smart connected home is only as useful as its ability to move data around. High-quality wireless internet is one of the best gifts you can give this holiday season, and the latest eero home Wi-Fi system will help you with the task. Sleek and easy to install (it takes less than 10 minutes and has an intuitive mobile app to get it up and running). The starter kit includes 1base station and 2 beacon, all with Advanced Tri-Band Mesh WiFi Technology. Use eero to replace your current WLAN routers and WiFi range extenders to get excellent coverage for up to a 4-bedroom home. If you need more coverage, you can purchase additional beacons individually for about $100 each.
NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System with Tri-band $280 (set of 2) or $350 (set of 3)
For the homeowner that is all-in with Alexa, the Orbi is the answer to weak Wi-Fi woes. This plug-and-play router comes with an extender unit (or two extenders with the 3-pack) that provides coverage for up to 5,000 square feet — no more pesky dead spots. Connect more extenders if you need more coverage, and don’t worry about overloading your network with devices, since Orbi keeps things speedy. The Orbi is especially good for multi-story homes, or those with a lot of walls between rooms. One great feature is “GUEST NETWORK”: Easily set up a separate and secure WiFi network for visitors and guests to use, making this the perfect web gear combo for movie streaming and gaming sessions with friends and family
Pet Gadget Tech
Your dog, cat, bird or other pet shouldn’t be left out of the tech revolution! Here are some great ideas to make everyone happier. Remember, when buying for pet lovers, the best electronic gifts always involve their beloved furry friend.
The Petkit Smart Wi-Fi Video Monitor could be a pet owners dream come true, as it allows them to speak, watch, listen and play with their pet from anywhere. It features a 720 HD camera with infrared night vision so you can keep an eye on what your animals are doing in the dark. If you want to keep your cat (or dog) occupied while you are away from home, the PetKit has an app controlled built-in Laser used to interactively play with your pet.
Furbo Dog Camera: Treat Tossing, Wifi Pet Camera / 2-Way Audio – $249
Just for the dogs out there, you can pop out a treat on command from your smartphone app (iOS and Android) to reward your best friend even when you aren’t around. A great feature on this pet communicator is the “BARKING ALERT”. Furbo has a barking sensor built into the audio, and it sends you a notifications to your smartphone when it detects barking. Know what’s going on at home to find out why the barking, and use the 2-way audio or toss a treat to calm them down. An added incentive to get the Furbo – it also works with Amazon Alexa.
PETKIT P2 Smart Activity Monitoring Pet Tracker – $54
You have a Fitbit, so why shouldn’t your pet also have an activity tracker? The PetKit P2 has many of the same features your would find in your own personal fitness tracker, including sleep tracking, calorie counting and amount/levels of exercise/activity. The app (iOS and Android) features a built in calendar which lets owners set reminders for medical, feeding, grooming, deworming, vaccination, Deflea among other pet related events.
The 1 ounce device attaches to your pets collar, and the battery should be good for up to a year before you need to replace it.
Camera / Accessories
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera – Lime Green $58 – Available in Green, Blue, Pink and White
The “Mini 9” is a bundle of fun in bright colors and interesting retro shape that’s easy to hold and carry. The camera is simplicity itself with one-button picture tacking. It has automatic exposure to get just the right light balance, and an LED flash for indoor pictures. A selfie mirror on the front lets you get in the photos.
There is a single special effect feature – “High Key Mode” for a bright picture with a soft look. Also, just one attachment – a macro lens adapter for close up pictures of flowers, babies and food.
Check out this recent article for more recommendations on Instant Film cameras.
The HERO6 Black by GoPro is a great gift for people in your life who love action sports. It’s sleek, compact, easy to operate, and better-connected than any of its competitors. It can capture 4K video at a barely believable 60 frames per second, as well as bursts of 12 MP images, and it can go up to 33 feet underwater without a housing. The HERO6 has 2x the performance compared to previous generation HERO5 – $399 for about $100 more. The HERO6 also has 5GHz Wi-Fi, so you can copy photos and videos over to your phone / cloud 3x faster than with HERO5. With advanced video stabilization and 3 microphones, you can capture your greatest moments in the smallest form factor available, and with “Quikstories” enabled the world can be part of your adventures.
The Canon EOS M100 mirrorless camera is a nice gift for beginner photographers looking to step up from a point-and-shoot snapper and advanced photographers in search of a compact travel companion. Key features of the snapper include a large 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor, a fast image processor, a tilting display, and a good selection of interchangeable lenses to get your collection started. Available in black or white, the EOS M100 also offers Near Field Communications (NFC), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for easy pairing with your favorite mobile device, printing pictures or uploading photos to the cloud.
Prynt Pocket Instant Photo Printer for iPhone – $120 available in gray, graphite, lavender, and mint green
A great gift for avid mobile shutterbugs, the Prynt Pocket will turn an iPhone into an instant camera, capable of 2-by-3-inch prints on zero ink paper. Compatible with any iPhone 6/6 Plus and up, the gadget also comes with handy camera controls, as well as a dedicated app for editing the images before printing them out. By utilizing augmented reality, it also allows you to “embed” video in your prints – the clips will play when you hover your iPhone above them.
The Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand is an excellent gift for avid mobile photographers. Compact and lightweight, it has a redesigned ball head with a durable stainless steel build and a spring-loaded quick-release mechanism.
It is compatible with all makes and models of smartphones. Use it with or with a case, for devices large and small including iPhone 6, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, X and Android smartphones of all dimensions.
Well. that’s about 20 ideas to get you started. Read on in Part 2 for more gift ideas in Audio, Gaming, Television, Virtual Reality and more.