Entertainment

Best Tech Gifts for Christmas – The Hollywood Reporter


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Nearly everything we use these days has gotten a “smart” upgrade, from fitness gear and beauty tools to crafting and beyond. You’d be hard-pressed to find a category that hasn’t gotten the high-tech treatment, but that doesn’t mean everything is equipped with a touch screen or requires a smartphone app (though many do offer the best of digital and analog worlds).

If you’re looking for the best tech gifts for the holidays, we’ve rounded up ideas for every type of recipient. Whether you’re shopping for a screenwriter, an audiophile, a beauty enthusiast or even someone who wants to unplug more, check out our top picks below — most on sale during Black Friday weekend.

Need more gifting ideas? Check out more from The Hollywood Reporter‘s holiday gift guide.

1. Sonos Roam Speaker

FOR THE AUDIOPHILE

Sonos Roam Bluetooth Speaker

Now music lovers and home theater enthusiasts can experience vibrant sound wherever they go with Sonos’ new Roam portable speaker, which works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. The Bluetooth device is waterproof and resistant to damage from drops, and delivers up to 10 hours of battery life. As far as sound, expect the same audio quality that Sonos is known for: think crisp acoustics and vocals to room-filling music.

Sonos Roam Portable Speaker

$179


Buy now

2. 2021 Apple iPad with Wi-Fi and 256GB, 10.2-Inch

FOR THE MOBILE MOVIE WATCHER

2021 Apple iPad 10.2-Inch Tablet

You can’t go wrong with Apple’s latest iPad, which boasts the brand’s speedy A13 Bionic chip, a vibrant 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone, stereo speakers, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, a secure Touch ID and more.

2021 Apple iPad with Wi-Fi, 10.2-Inch

$479.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

3. Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset

FOR IMMERSIVE ENTERTAINMENT ENTHUSIASTS

Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset

Whether your giftee is a gamer, a fitness lover, or a concertgoer who prefers their front-row seat at home, Facebook-owned Oculus’ newest virtual reality headset will certainly deliver in the entertainment department. The Quest 2 is lighter and more comfortable to wear than its predecessor, and the two haptic feedback-touch controllers, speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, higher-resolution 1832 x 1920 pixel-per-eye screen, and stunning cinematic sound all combine to deliver more realistic graphics that bring games and content to life.

That means users don’t have to leave home in order to work out on an Icelandic glacier (among many other Supernatural workouts); step into the Star Wars universe; or drop their best DJ beats. And Oculus’ platform also offers exclusive events, live shows, films, and more. Recipients will find the unit easy to set up after unboxing (no computer or gaming console needed), but they will need Wi-Fi access, Oculus’ free app, and a Facebook account to get started. Games and content may also require additional purchases; the device is available in 64, 128 or 256 GB storage options, and you’ll also get a $50 credit when you buy it on Amazon during Black Friday.

Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset

$399.00

on Amazon.com


Buy now

4. Instant Pot 6-Quart Pro Plus Multicooker

FOR THE TECHIE CHEF

Instant Pot 6-Quart Pro Plus Multicooker

Instant Pot’s newest Pro Plus Wi-Fi pressure cooker might just be the closest thing to gifting your loved ones a robot chef. Sync the mult-tasking appliance to the brand’s app for access to over 1,000 pre-programmed recipes, plus the option to schedule, adjust and monitor your food when you’re out of the house or in another room. Design updates include a large, easy-to-read LCD screen, NutriBoost technology that helps to release more flavor, a quieter steam release switch and an upgraded stainless steel inner pot featuring thicker metal and an easier-to-grasp handle.

The Instant Pot Pro Plus WiFi allows you to get meals on the table quickly and easily while controlling cooking from your mobile device. An essential for every kitchen, the innovative machine has an upgraded steam release switch with a noise-diffusing cover plus easy-grip handles on the inner pot and a large LCD screen. The versatile pressure cooker also features three programmable steam-release options and NutriBoost™ technology, which stirs ingredients during cooking to release more flavor. The Instant Pot app makes it simple to schedule, adjust and monitor cooking progress while you’re away from home or relaxing in the backyard. The helpful app gives you access to more than 1,000 preprogrammed recipes, too.

Instant Pot 6-Quart Pro Plus Multicooker

$169.95

on Amazon.com


Buy now

5. Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet

FOR THE MULTI-TASKER

Amazon Fire HD Tablet

Amazon’s Fire HD 10 tablet lets you watch movies, listen to music, take video calls, check email, control your smart home gadgets, and more, so it makes a great affordable tech gift for the plugged-in busy bees on your list.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (reg. $150+)

$74.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

6. Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Arcade Synthesizer

FOR THE BEATMAKER

Teenage Engineering PO-20 Pocket Operator Arcade Synthesizer

Drummers, gamers and professional hitmakers alike will dig Teenage Engineering’s lineup of pocket-sized synths and sequencers, which include this cool gadget that lets users make chiptune arrangements with 16 different video game-inspired sounds. It’s equipped with a built-in Knowles speaker and the 16-step sequencer lets musicmakers create songs using the 128-pattern chaining function.

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Arcade Synthesizer

$69.00

on Amazon.com


Buy now

7. Blue Snowball USB Microphone

FOR ASPIRING PODCASTERS AND STREAMERS

Blue Snowball Microphone

Whether they’re an aspiring podcaster or simply looking to upgrade their video call audio, Blue’s Snowball USB microphone will give users crystal-clear sound when they’re live streaming on Twitch, calling over Zoom or chatting on Discord. The mic’s cardioid pickup pattern ensures focused sound, and design lovers will dig the retro look with modern technology.

Blue Snowball USB Microphone (reg. $50)

$39.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

8. Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller

FOR THE SCREEN-FREE STORY LOVER

Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller

For the parents seeking screen-free entertainment without losing the tech element, Lunii’s My Fabulous storyteller (currently 20% off on Amazon) lets kids choose their own adventures while encouraging their imaginations. Designed for ages 3 to 10, the interactive device includes 48 pre-loaded tales that prompt little ones to select their character, setting and other story elements. Best of all, you don’t need Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to set the device up; you can download new content by connecting the unit directly via USB cable to Mac or Windows computers.

Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller (reg. $80)

$63.90

on Amazon.com


Buy now

9. Halo Bolt Portable Phone and Laptop Charger and Car Jump Starter

FOR THE ON-THE-GO TECHIE

Halo Bolt Charger with Laptop and Devices

This Swiss army knife-like charging station will keep tech-obsessed people powered up no matter where they are — even on the road. Should their car battery die, Halo Bolt’s portable charger doubles as an automobile emergency device that can jump-start batteries and keep areas well-lit with a built-in LED flood light. The charger protects items from short circuiting and over voltaging, and it’s equipped with two USB outputs for charging laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices. A wall charger is included and you can choose from a variety of colors and patterns for techies who don’t want to sacrifice style.

Halo Bolt Portable Charger and Car Jump Starter

$99.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

10. Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker

FOR THE COFFEE CONNOISSEUR

Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker

Design-minded home baristas will always have a freshly-brewed cup with this handsome smart coffee maker (on sale for $279, reg. $349), which comes in matte black and white and stainless steel options. Recipients can customize their java to their personal tastes (such as the temperature and from light to bold), whether it’s an entire pot for guests or just one cup. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home, so users can just say a voice command to ensure that joe is on the way.

Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker (reg. $349)

$279.00

on Amazon.com


Buy now

11. Polaroid Now+ Starter Set

FOR THE SHUTTERBUG

Polaroid Now Plus Instant Camera

Polaroid’s newest Now+ instant film camera gives photography enthusiasts the best of the analog and digital worlds. Shutterbugs can snap on the included lens filters or sync the Bluetooth-enabled device with the accompanying smartphone app to unlock additional creative tools, including double exposure, light painting and more.

Polaroid Now+ Starter Set

$195


Buy now

12. Aura Carver Digital Photo Frame

FOR SENTIMENTALISTS

Aura Carver Luxe digital photo frame

Keep the memories rolling and gift loved ones Aura’s 10.1-inch Carve Luxe digital photo frame (on sale for 11% off on Amazon), which makes it easy to display your favorite pictures in true color. One of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite things, this versatile frame’s design blend seamlessly into homes and offices, and the Amazon Alexa-compatible devices come with unlimited free cloud storage.

Aura Carver Luxe Digital Photo Frame (reg. $179)

$159.00

on Amazon.com


Buy now

13. Kindle Paperwhite E-Book Reader

FOR BUSY BOOKWORMS

Kindle Paperwhite E-Book Reader

Your beloved bibliophiles will always have plenty of page-turners with the Kindle Paperwhite e-book reader, which is 25% off during Amazon’s Black Friday sale. Measuring 6.8 inches, the lightweight tablet offers up to 10 weeks of battery life and 8 GB of storage, which means readers can store thousands of titles on their device. Bookworms can also enjoy stress-free poolside or bathtime reading on the waterproof device, and night owls can adjust the screen’s warmth from white to amber for easy evening use. The Kindle also pairs with Bluetooth headphones and Audible subscriptions for those who want to go hands-free.

Kindle Paperwhite E-Book Reader (reg. $160)

$124.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

14. Muse Meditation Headband

FOR THE TECH-MINDED MEDITATOR

Muse Meditation Headband

Not everyone needs a fancy equipment for their meditative moments — but for those who want to track their actual brainwaves, heart rate and sleep numbers, Muse’s latest version of its EEG-powered S headband (on sale for $320 for Black Friday) can do all of that and more. Equipped with sensors that monitor the mind and body, the device uses a responsive soundscape program (dubbed a “digital sleeping pill”) that automatically adjusts the music as your brain activity changes so that you can drift back to sleep.

The accompanying app syncs the headband to users’ smartphone, so they can monitor their statistics — such as how long they’re in light, deep and REM sleep — and get insight on their meditation or snoozing progress. The app also features over guided meditations for the mind, heart, breath and body, and a premium subscription unlocks the ability to layer real-time biofeedback over their own music and more, as well as access to content geared towards stress reduction and sleep.

Muse S Meditation Headband (reg. $400)

$320


Buy now

15. HP Citizen Cinema CC2200 Portable Projector

FOR THE MOVIE BUFF

HP Citizen Cinema CC2200 portable projector

On-the-go film fanatics can turn any spot into a movie theater with HP’s new Citizen Cinema CC2200 portable projector, which delivers 1080p HD video  as large as 80 inches on any wall or other flat surface. HSN’s exclusive bundle comes with an 84-inch portable screen, a Roku Express media player, a remote control and other accessories that your giftee needs to create a mobile cinema when they connect their smartphone, tablet or another device via HDMI cable. The device has built-in speakers and USB ports for supporting flash drives for playing video files.

HP Citizen Cinema CC200 Projector Bundle

$260


Buy now

16. iClever TransNova Kids Bluetooth Headphones

FOR LITTLE AUDIOPHILES

iClever TransNova Kids Headphones

Budding music lovers (and caretakers who don’t want to hear their preschooler’s playlist for the zillionth time) can listen to their favorite tunes in style with iClever’s tot-friendly TransNova Bluetooth headphones (on sale for $33 when you clip the extra $7 off coupon on the Amazon product page), which have a built-in microphone and a volume limiter that lets grown-ups set the maximum decibel level. Cool kids can swap out the detachable headphone covers to customize the look of their gear, and wearers will get 45 hours of playtime when the device is fully charged. They boast 40-millimeter Neodymium drivers, so pint-sized audiophiles will enjoy deep bass and clear mid and high ranges. The headphones also come with a portable travel case.

iClever TransNova Bluetooth Headphones (reg. $50)

$39.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

17. Nook Smart Light Blubs

FOR THE AMBIANCE EXPERT

Nook Casa Smart Light Bulbs

Giftees can always set the right scene with Nook’s smart light bulbs, which don’t require a separate hub and offer a spectrum of 16 million colors. Available in packs of two, four or eight, the bulbs are dimmable and connect directly to Wi-Fi, so users can control them directly through the phone app. They can be customized by room, set on a specific schedule or timer and controlled via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Plus, these energy-saving light blubs reduce consumption by up to 80 percent.

18. Canon Ivy Mini Photo Printer for Smartphones

FOR THE PRINT-LOVING SHUTTERBUG

Canon Ivy Mini Photo Printer for Smartphones

For your favorite shutterbug who wants the option to print their own digital photos, Canon’s portable Ivy photo printer easily syncs to smartphones and produces pocket-sized images. It’s on sale for just $99 (reg. $144).

Canon Ivy Mini Photo Printer for Smartphones (reg. $144)

$99.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

19. WeMo Smart Plug 3-Pack

FOR EVERYDAY UPGRADES

Best Tech Gifts

The best tech gifts don’t need to be the priciest gadgets. Everything from floor lamps to toasters can get a smart upgrade when they’re plugged into these Wi-Fi-enabled WeMo outlets, which can be paired with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant for controlling nearly any device via voice or smartphone.

WeMo Smart Plugs, 3-Pack (reg. $50)

$45.50

on Amazon.com


Buy now

20. AeroGarden Harvest Elite Hydroponic Garden

FOR PLANT PARENTS

AeroGarden Harvest Elite Indoor Hydroponic Garden

AeroGarden’s foolproof Harvest Elite garden makes a great gift for tech-savvy green or gray thumbs who live in small spaces. The modern stainless steel design fits with most interior decor styles, and the soil-free and non-GMO seed pods and energy-efficient LED lighting system make it easy to grow herbs, veggies and flowers five times faster than via sunlight. This particular model has room for six pods and up to 12 inches of grow height, and users don’t need an app to start gardening. A digital display reminders users when to add water and plant food, and there’s also a vacation mode to ensure that the garden isn’t neglected when its plant parents are away.

AeroGarden Harvest Elite Garden

$199.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now

21. Ghd Unplugged Cordless Styler

FOR THE BEAUTY BUFF

Ghd Unplugged Cordless Styler

Starry hairstylist Justine Marjan is among the Hollywood-beloved pros who keep Ghd’s new Unplugged cordless styler in their tress maintenance kits. The portable hair device gives up to 20 minutes of on-the-go styling and is safe for all hair types and textures. The flight-friendly styler comes with a heat-resistant case and USB-C cable for charging.

Ghd Unplugged Cordless Styler

$299


Buy now

22. Courant Catch 3 Wireless Charging Station

FOR DESIGN ENTHUSIASTS

Courant Catch 3 Essentials Wireless Charging Station

Now available in sleek linen, Courant’s popular Catch 3 wireless charging station is for recipients who prefer to keep their devices powered up on something that looks right at home with their fashionable abode. This Qi-certified pad delivers fast charging to most smartphones (including iPhones), while the tray lets users keep their keys, wallet, jewelry and other items in one place after a long day. Get an extra $20 when you clip the Amazon page coupon, which brings the price down to $80.

Courant Catch 3 Wireless Charging Station (reg. $100)

on Amazon.com


Buy now

23. Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Bundle

FOR CRAFTY TYPES

Cricut Explore Air 2 with Everything Bundle

If your loved one wants to take their arts and crafts to the next level, Cricut’s Air 2 machine (on sale for about 50% off) can help them whip up professional-looking cards, shirts, home decor, gifts, and much more. The device can cut over 100 materials, including cardstock, paper, vinyl, cork, fabric, glitter paper, vinyl, iron-on transfers, and much more, and users can connect tools for cutting, writing, foiling, and more to expand their DIY capabilities.

The Bluetooth-enabled machine allows crafters to download designs and more, and the Everything Bundle includes a variety of supplies, machine tools, accessories, and mats so that recipients can create right out of the box.

Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Bundle (reg. $498)

$200


Buy now

24. Ember Mug²

FOR COFFEE AND TEA LOVERS

Why settle for a basic mug when you can treat your giftee to coffee or tea that stays at their preferred drinking temperature? Ember recently upgraded its 10-ounce smart mug with better battery life so it stays warm for 1.5 hours or all day when it’s on the charging coaster. Drinkers can use the app to set their desired temperature from 120 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and create personalized presets for their favorite beverages, while a smart LED light indicates when the mug has reached the right temp. The chic vessel (now available in four metallic scratch-free finishes) also has an auto-sleep feature that turns the device off when it’s empty or senses inactivity for two hours.

Ember Mug² in Copper

$129.95

on Amazon.com


Buy now

22. Loftie Clock

FOR TECH-OVERLOADED SNOOZERS

Best Tech Gifts

If your tech-obsessed pal could use a little (or a lot) less screen time, Loftie’s smart clock (use code BLACKFRIDAY for 25% off) helps snoozers unplug from their smartphones at night to get better sleep. The device’s nightlight lets users know when it’s time for light’s out, and phone-free content such as guided meditations, sound baths, sleep-inducing stories, and breathwork will help people drift off to dreamland. Those who prefer to listen to their own tunes can connect to the clock via Bluetooth and use it as a speaker.

When it’s time to rise and shine, Loftie’s two-phase alarm gently awakens (instead of jolts) users so they can start the day on a relaxing note. The company also updates its clock content regularly, so your giftee can expect new features, alarms, and more.

Loftie Clock (reg. $149

$112


Buy now

25. Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set Pen & Ruled Smart Notebook

FOR AVID NOTE-TAKERS

Moleskine M+ Pen and Notebook

Moleskine is already a trusted name among writers and stationery enthusiasts who prefer to sketch or jot their ideas onto paper. The iconic company’s Pen+ smart pen and notebook tablet set lets your giftee digitize their hand-written notes and share, search, edit, and organize their ideas using the app (compatible with both Android and iOS). Users can also record audio to accompany their notes, save files as PDFs, and upload to Evernote or Google Workspace apps. The digital-meets-analog writing set includes a charging cable and extra ink refill for the pen.

Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Pen & Notebook Set

$149.00

on Amazon.com


Buy now

26. StrapQuest Leather Apple Watch Band

FOR STYLISH SMART WATCH WEARERS

StrapQuest Leather Apple Watch Band

For the fashionable pal who’s seeking a stylish swap for their Apple watch’s basic band, StrapQuest’s handmade leather bands (on sale for 30% off during Black Friday) offer a chic alternative. They’re made of hand-sanded Italian leather and finished with 316L stainless steel buckles, and available in a range of colorways and patterns.

StrapQuest Apple Watch Band in Oat (reg. $110)

$77


Buy now

27. Shani Darden Skin Care Facial Sculpting Wand

FOR SKINCARE AFICIONADOS

Shani Darden Facial Sculpting Wand

Your beloved beauty buff can experience Hollywood-loved facialist Shani Darden’s skin-smoothing treatments (favored by clients like Jessica Alba, January Jones, and Emmy Rossum) at home with her facial sculpting tool, which uses sound waves in combination with the aesthetician’s hyaluronic-infused Hydra Prep Gel to sculpt the visage. Regular users say they’ve noticed more relaxed facial muscles as well as fewer fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead, crow’s feet, and nasolabial area. The device has three intensity levels and includes flat disc and precision ball attachments so that users can customize their facials.

Shani Darden Skin Care Facial Sculpting Wand

$399


Buy now

28. Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

FOR HIGH-TECH CHEFS

Breville Smart Air Fryer

Breville’s Smart Oven Air Fryer is one of the best tech gifts you can give to your favorite plugged-in chef. This kitchen must-have’s Element iQ system automatically adjusts the cooking temperature and time, whether it’s baking pizza or cookies, toasting up to six slices of bread, slow cooking, air frying, and other techniques.

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer

$350


Buy now

29. Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Vibrating Foam Roller

FOR THE ATHLETE

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Roller

This grooved foam roller by Hyperice (currently 20% off) offers three vibration settings that are designed to boost circulation and flexibility pre-workout and soothe sore muscles afterward. It’s small enough to fit into a gym bag and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to two hours.

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Vibrating Foam Roller Ireg. $149)

$119.00

on Amazon.com


Buy now

30. Snapino Learn to Code Kit

FOR CODERS OF ALL AGES

Snapino Learn to Code Kit

No matter their age, DIY techies will appreciate this cool coding set that lets them learn how to program an Arduino, the open-source micro-controller that’s a favorite among budding makers and professional programmers alike. The Snapino kit includes an Arduino Uno board and 14 snap-on circuit sets that giftees can make into 20 projects.

Snapino Learn to Code Kit (reg. $50)

$40.99

on Amazon.com


Buy now





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