16 great tech gifts for gadget and gear geeks this holiday season
We've found a smart car radio, a robotic grill cleaner and everything in between.
There's a gift here to make every geeky heart sing.NBC News
By Andrea Smith
Our editors have independently selected the items featured in this article because we think they’re worth knowing about. NBC News has affiliate relationships so we may get a small share of the revenue if you buy something through our links.
Looking for a great gift for the tech geek in your life this holiday season? We’ve assembled a big list with entries at every price point, from a fantastic laptop to phone accessories and everything in between.
Whether you’re shopping for a road warrior, fitness nut, clean freak or audiophile, there's a gift here to make every geeky heart sing.
MACH has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. These items, which were chosen by MACH's editorial staff, are sold by the retailer, not by MACH. All prices are subject to change and items could sell out based on the merchant’s inventory.
Nobody wants to sacrifice form for function, and the Lenovo Yoga 920 lets you have both. With its flip-and-fold design, it can be used as a traditional laptop, a tablet or propped up like a tent. The high-def webcam and four microphones make this an ideal computer for those who like to stream themselves to the world. Plus, the touchscreen and included stylus give creatives lots of control. Weighing in at a hair over three pounds, this stylish laptop can be put in a bag and taken everywhere.
MACH pick: Lenovo Smart Display 8-inch, $159 at B&H
Smart home assistants are great to talk to, but sometimes you need them to show you something as well. Enter the Lenovo Smart Display 8”, which combines a Google Assistant with a voice-activated touchscreen. With two microphones, a 10-watt speaker and a front-facing camera, the Lenovo Smart Display lets you make and receive video calls, watch YouTube videos, and, of course, control and view your compatible devices right on the screen. In white with soft-touch gray, this device would look right at home in a kitchen (great for viewing recipes) or bedroom, and is great for multitaskers.
For road warriors who miss their Alexa while on the road, Muse Auto is the solution. This easy-to-install device connects to a car’s stereo system via Bluetooth, USB or an auxiliary cable. You can talk to it just as you would talk to Alexa at home and use it to control Alexa-enabled devices from wherever you are.
MACH pick: Polk Command 2.1-Channel Soundbar System with Amazon Alexa Voice Control, $249 on Amazon
Using a remote to control a TV is so last year. The Polk Command 2.1-Channel Soundbar System is the first Alexa-enabled sound bar, and it also has built-in Dolby and DTS surround sound. It even includes a wireless subwoofer for room-filling bass and has built-in support for Amazon Music, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and more. This is a perfect gift for someone who is renting and doesn’t want to mount speakers on the wall.
If your friend's phone is always running out of juice, it might be worth looking into the Anker PowerCore Lite 10000 portable charger. This device can charge an iPhone 8 Plus or Galaxy S9 two-and-a-half times on a single charge.
When it's time to charge a phone fast — without taking off the case — just slip it on this sleek Anker PowerWave 7.5 stand in either portrait or landscape mode (you can keep watching Netflix while you charge!). It works with the newest Apple and Samsung phones, as well as other phones that support wireless charging. It even charges through cases. This is a great gift for someone who wants an elegant charging solution without ugly wires.
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The FitBit Versa proves that fitness trackers don't have to look chunky. It monitors heart rate 24/7, detects different activities automatically and can store hundreds of songs. And since it's water-resistant, it's just as comfortable in the pool as on the running path. And, of course, it gives notifications from an iPhone or Android device. This is a great gift for someone who wants the latest smart watch tech wwithout being embarrassed by how it looks.
Kate Spade Scallop Touchscreen Smartwatch, $295 on Amazon
For the woman who has Kate Spade purses and scarves, this Kate Spade Scallop in pink is the perfect marriage of tech and quirky style. Compatible with Android, it offers smartphone notifications, customizable faces, music controls, goal tracking and more — all without looking anything like a smartwatch.
Soundcore Flare Portable Bluetooth 360° speaker, $50 on Amazon
Sometimes music needs to get wet. The Soundcore Flare Portable Bluetooth 360° speaker has a waterproof rating of IPX7, meaning it can be completely submerged. It delivers sound in all directions, making this a great gift for people who like to be in the middle of the action. With robust bass and a ring of LED lights around the bottom, this wireless speaker will be the life of the party.
The JBL Endurance Sprint Waterproof Wireless In-Ear Sport Headphones are for people who don’t want to stop listening to their music no matter what they’re doing. The ear hook design gives a secure fit during workouts, while the touch controls make it possible to handle calls and music while on the go. They can even be worn while swimming.
We’re one step closer to The Jetsons with the Neato Robotics D7 Connected Robot Vacuum. With smart mapping and real-time object detection, this bot thinks about what it’s going to clean before it gets to work. You can control it via the Neato app or Alexa and even set boundaries for it right in the app. It's the perfect gift for the neat-freak geek.
Robots are already cutting our grass and vacuuming our rugs, and now they'll clean our grills too. The Grillbot is fully automated and can be set to clean for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. The brushes pop off easily and can go into the dishwasher. A great gift for someone who welcomes the robot revolution, as long as the bots do all the cleaning.
myCharge myFlipShade iPhone Holder and Privacy Screen & Shield Protector, $5 (normally $10) on Amazon
Here's a great way to prevent washed-out cell phone screens even on the brightest days. The myCharge myFlipShade iPhone Holder blocks light, heat — and prying eyes. Flip it underneath the phone, and it works as a stand. The adhesive sticks to most iPhone cases and is easy to remove.
For the friend who is constantly dropping their phone, behold the LoveHandle Grip. This thin, pocket-friendly design makes it possible to hold a phone securely with one hand. The adhesive can be removed with no residue, so your friend won't have to worry about leaving sticky gunk on the phone or case.
The CandyShell case provides hard-core drop protection in a pretty, candy-colored package. The raised bezel protects the screen from direct drops, and the rubberized covers make it easy to use the volume and power buttons. The perfect phone case for a fashionable klutz.
Belkin Mixit Lightning-to-USB Leather Tassel ChargeSync Cable, $18 on Amazon
Here's a way to keep a charging cable handy while staying stylish. Belkin has hidden a lightning cable inside its Mixit Lightning-to-USB Leather Tassel, which hooks securely to a keychain or purse. It works with iPhones, iPads and iPods that use the Lightning cable.
Belkin 3-inch-Lightning-to-3.5mm Audio Cable, $30 on Amazon
It's great to connect gear wirelessly, but what if you have a friend or relative whose car or stereo hasn’t quite kept up with technology? The Belkin Lightning-to-3.5mm audio cable can connect a phone to a car's speakers.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Works with Alexa and Google Assistant, $25 (normally $35) on Amazon
It doesn't take a fancy setup and new wiring to have a smart home. The Wemo Mini Smart Plug is a wifi-enabled plug that can be controlled from anywhere via the Wemo app, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit. It doesn’t need a hub or a subscription, just a home’s WiFi — making it possible to turn off and on devices that aren’t normally “smart.” This is the perfect gift for tech lovers who can’t afford to rewire their homes or buy expensive smart home systems.
The problem with digital cameras is that the photos often live inside the camera forever. Not so with the Kodak Mini Shot. This 10MP camera can take a great picture and print it on credit-card sized photo paper. Compatible with both iOS and Android, the camera can be used to crop and edit the pictures before printing. It has a 1.7-inch LCD viewfinder and uses dye-sublimation technology for vivid colors. This would be an amazing gift for that friend who just can’t wait to share.
Withings Nokia Body Cardio Wi-Fi Smart Scale with Body Composition & Heart Rate, $100on Amazon
Weighing yourself is so old-school. With the Withings Nokia Body Cardio Wi-Fi Smart Scale, it's possible to track weight, body fat, bone mass and even heart rate. It looks great on a bare bathroom floor but is even smart enough to work on thick carpet.
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