Looking for gift ideas for that special techie in your life (even if said "special techie" is you)? With today being Black Friday, the gift giving season is officially here. However, to save you some time and aisle wandering, we’ve rounded up some of the most fun and useful tech products out there.
Keep reading to discover ten gadget gifts to put on your list this holiday season.
1. Amazon Echo, Second-Gen
For any techies on your list who somehow don't already own a smart speaker, this is a good time to rectify the issue. Amazon recently came out with this second-generation model of the Echo—the speaker powered by the Alexa virtual assistant—and it's now both less expensive and more compact in design. Alexa can answer questions, manage calendars, play music/radio/podcasts and accomplish a wide variety of other tasks. The Echo also connects over Bluetooth to mobile devices, and with this latest generation, the Echo can connect to a more-powerful speaker over 3.5mm cable or Bluetooth, as well.
2. Google Home Mini
This Google Assistant is terrific at executing searches and other tasks. And the new Google Home Mini is the least expensive way to get the Google Assistant as a smart speaker. It's also ultra-compact: the Home Mini has a diameter of just 3.86 inches and a height of 1.65 inches. In addition, the Home Mini is enclosed entirely in fabric, and works with Chromecast.
3. Chromecast Ultra
Chromecast enables users to easily stream Netflix and other media to a TV—a must-have for many households these days. Google's newest version of the device, Chromecast Ultra, is faster than the original and can also provide 4K Ultra HD and HDR picture quality. Chromecast Ultra works with Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac) as well as Android devices, Windows devices, and Chromebooks.
4. Samsung Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand
It's not often you find a cool gadget that works across the Apple and Samsung ecosystems, but Samsung's Fast Charge Wireless Charging Stand does just that—which ought to make it a popular gift this holiday. The device will charge up any Qi-enabled smartphone, which includes this year's iPhones (X, 8 and 8 Plus) and Galaxy phones (S8, S8+ and Note8). While it's specially tuned for the Samsung devices—it charges Galaxy phones up to 1.4X faster than other wireless chargers, according to Samsung—and works perfectly fine with iPhones, too. The charger can also switch between two modes, allowing users to lay their phone flat on the charger or prop up their phone in stand mode.
5. TP-LINK Wireless N Nano Router
For the traveling techie, this nano router acts as a quick Wi-Fi access point anywhere there's an Ethernet cable with a live Internet connection coursing through it. Gone are the days of carting around a 20 ft. Ethernet cable to compensate for shoddy Wi-Fi!
6. Touchfire Screen-Top iPad Keyboard
For iPad users who hate trying to type on the software-based keyboard, the Touchfire provides a quick tactile feel to give you some semblance of having a keyboard beneath your fingers. Plus, it's ultra-thin and it even works with smart covers, so it's not a component you have to carry around separately.
7. Anker Astro3 10000mAh External Battery
For those techies who are always on-the-go and have tons of gadgets and doohickeys, battery life can sometimes bring the party to a halt. As such, this external battery charger may be just the thing that certain techie in your life needs to keep their gadget party going! And for the price, you really can't beat it.
8. Fitbit One
This wondrous little device tells you all kinds of things about your daily routine, such as how many steps you've taken in a day, how many calories you've burned, how many times you wake up during a night's sleep, and far more. That data is all synced and formulated into graphs for you to take and use to enhance your health.
9. Ring Video Doorbell 2
To show how deeply you care about your family members this season, giving a gift of added security is one option to consider. The Ring Video Doorbell 2 features a camera that is connected to the web, and its 1080HD video feed is viewable on a smartphone. The device also includes two-way audio so users can speak to the person at the door. What's more, the two-way audio works even if the user isn't home— meaning they can "answer the doorbell" from wherever they are, which can help discourage break-ins. For the second generation of the device, the Ring Video Doorbell includes improvements to night visibility and overall video quality.
10. Nest Learning Thermostat
How would you like to have a thermostat that learns what temperature you like it to be when you sit down to read the Continuum blog every morning? Whatever the case may be, the Nest learning thermostat is there to learn your temperature habits and make it such that, in theory, you never have to adjust the thermostat ever again.