The most purchased tech gear and gadgets we covered this holiday season

From Macbook Air laptops to $35 earbuds, these were the top tech items that readers purchased for themselves or others this year.
Image: Apple Macbook Air, 13-Inch; Cleer Ally Wireless Earbuds With Extended Battery Life; Honbay Ladybug Shaped Portable Corner Desk Vacuum; MEATER+165ft Long Range and Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer.
Apple Macbook Air, 13-Inch; Cleer Ally Wireless Earbuds With Extended Battery Life; Honbay Ladybug Shaped Portable Corner Desk Vacuum; MEATER+165ft Long Range and Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer.
By Gideon Grudo

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NBC News readers are interested in the emerging world of wireless technology, from the sleek and minimal to the powerful ones all-day workhorses. In 2019, we shared guides on some of the best tech products to free yourself from the constraints of wires: What's the best way to find your next laptop, which wireless earbuds are best for you, the best wireless chargers and best portable chargers and more.

As you peruse the lists above and the many others we’ve shared, we also wanted to be sure to share which of the tech products we shared were most popular among readers. Below are the top 12 most popular tech products.

1. Apple Macbook Air, 13-Inch

If you're in the market for an affordable Mac, consider this 2017 version. (Readers couldn't get enough of this deal on Cyber Monday.) The MacBook Air is Apple’s entry-level laptop for mainstream consumers. It offers the same power, battery life and smooth keyboard as the newer models. Want the newest model? You can get the latest Macbook Air on Amazon for $900.

2. Cleer Ally Wireless Earbuds With Extended Battery Life

These are the favorite headphones of one BETTER contributor — and a bunch of BETTER readers, apparently. "Whether I’m running, working out, or working on the computer, I’ve found that these wireless headphones offer a fantastic audio experience," they wrote. "When I remove them from my ears, the music will stop, and when I place them back in, it starts again seamlessly. The silicone tips are easy to clean, while ear wings tuck into the ear to help keep them in place during workouts."

3. Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector With Rotating Plug

These days, most big airports have a plentiful bounty of outlets around. But if you’re traveling somewhere that isn’t quite as updated, you might have trouble finding a place to charge your laptop. Even if there are a few outlets along the wall, they may be taken up by earlier birds. That's why one Shopping writer always travel with a small power strip like this three-outlet model from Belkin. Every time you unpack it in front of people crowded around an outlet, you'll become the hero of the airport.

4. TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 Waterproof Wireless Earbuds

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TaoTronics’s SoundLiberty 53 earbuds are low-priced Airpods alternatives that add touch controls with a more AirPods-esque “stick” shape. They're a favorite of readers in our round-up of the best wireless earbuds and headphones for 2019.

5. Anker Soundcore Liberty Neo True Wireless Earbuds

Similarly, Anker’s Soundcore Liberty Neo come in at less than $50 and sport a lightweight build that is IPX7-rated water resistant (sweating while wearing them is okay). They won’t sound quite as good as the premium options listed in our best headphone round-up but they’ll certainly do the job.

6. Apple AirPods with Charging Case

These earbuds were the hero gift of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Apple didn’t just bring true wireless technology into the mainstream — they made their own AirPods very easy to use. Bluetooth has always had some quirks, for example, and Apple’s H1 chip smoothed out the pairing process and stabilized its connection. You can even activate Siri with your voice (as long as you’re pairing your earbuds to an iPhone, iPad, or Mac).

7. Belkin Wireless Charger With 7.5W Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad

This was another Black Friday bestseller. From the new Airpods to the latest iPhone, Google Pixel, and other wireless charging-capable devices, this pad from Belkin is highly-rated and less than $35 right now. It's Qi-enabled, meaning it uses a fast-charging wireless standard that plays well with devices from top brands like LG and Sony.

8. Instant Pot Duo 60 6-Quart 321 Electric Pressure Cooker

As BETTER reported, "it seems that just about everything can be cooked more quickly and easily in an Instant Pot." And users bough thousands of them over the holiday season. If you don't have one yet, here's how they work:

  • Instant Pots are a brand of electric pressure cookers or multicookers.
  • Pressure cookers work by creating heat under a tight seal, so the temperature is much higher than the boiling point of water and the steam can’t escape.
  • The steam cooks food much more quickly than traditional stovetop or oven cooking.

When an Instant Pot is on sale like it is right now, it's worth considering.

9. Samsung 11.6-Inch Chromebook 3

This laptop was highlighted in our Cyber Monday laptop deals article. Chromebooks are essentially more affordable PCs that run on Google’s Chrome OS — essentially a web browser that has the ability to install Android apps like Photoshop Express and VLC, not to mention games like Minecraft. Samsung's highly-rated take on the Chromebook at this price is worth considering for anyone looking for an everyday laptop considering its price and features.

10. New Meater+165ft Long Range and Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer

This was a top gift for men over the holiday season. The Meater+ wireless meat thermometer takes all the guesswork out of cooking the perfect slab of meat — whether you're roasting chicken, cooking steaks or grilling salmon. All you have to do is insert the thermometer into the meat and select the type of item you''re cooking. The app will estimate the cook time. The convenient countdown clock shows how much time is remaining so you can crack open a cold one and enjoy the BBQ — instead of having to “man” the grill all afternoon.

11. Philips Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

This was yet another top seller from Cyber Monday. With an electric toothbrush, you can largely improve your brush technique since speed and force are no longer a concern — the device's engine ensures you're getting speedy and high-pulse vibration to your teeth with gentle pressure.

12. Honbay Ladybug Shaped Portable Corner Desk Vacuum

No, it’s not just a desktop decoration — this little ladybug is a vacuum cleaner, dust buster, and crumb cleaner-upper, all in one. And it was a top gift for coworkers this year. It’s a solid choice for yourself — or anyone in your life who always manages to spill something when they eat lunch at their desk.

More tech guides from NBC News Shopping

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