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Best tech gift 2021: Gifts every remote worker wants

Working from home doesn't have to be a series of compromises. Here are 12 gifts that will make your loved one's job easier.

Holiday Gift Guide

ZDNet Recommends: Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Here's a great lineup of gift ideas and resources to get you started.

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It's clear working from home and remote teaching is going to be around for a while, so it's time to help friends and loved ones get settled into their home offices. Even though we've had a few months to prepare, there's sure to be something that a new remote worker needs. 

From upgrades to their computer's sound system, to interactive wall decorations that can be used for work and play, or an inexpensive home security camera, there are plenty of holiday gifts that they're sure to love. Below you'll find a wide range of gift ideas for any remote worker.

Dell 27-inch Monitor

An external monitor is a must-have

Image: Dell

This Dell 27-inch monitor has a 2560 x 1440 resolution, with a refresh rate of 155Hz. It can act as a second display for an iMac or desktop, or ease eye and neck strain for laptop-bound workers by providing a larger viewing area. 

Logitech Z407 Bluetooth computer speakers

Laptop speakers just don't cut it

Image: Logitech

Logitech's new Z407 computer speakers can be used to improve your laptop or desktop's overall sound quality, or connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can stream your favorite tunes while you work. In fact, you can use a USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable, or Bluetooth to connect to the speakers that also include a subwoofer and a remote dial to control volume and playback. 

Nanoleaf Shapes

A fun way to decorate a home office

Image: Nanoleaf

Instead of boring wall decorations, Nanoleaf's Shapes line can add some color and interaction to a home office. You can even have the light-up panels react to music or mirror the colors of whatever is on your computer screen, a fun setting for those who like to take afternoon breaks to get a quick gaming session in. 

Logitech MX Anywhere 3

A small but comfortable mouse can make all the difference

Image: Logitech

The MX Anywhere 3 is designed to work on nearly any surface, including glass. Using Bluetooth, you can pair it up to three different devices and switch between them with the press of a button. And when you combine it with Logitech's Options software, you can assign specific tasks to any of its buttons.

HyperJuice GaN 100W charger

There's nothing wrong with having more power

Image: Hyper

Instead of having multiple devices plugged into a power strip, the HyperJuice GaN charger is capable of putting out a total of 100W of power to four devices, and only taking up a single plug. That's enough to charge a MacBook Pro or Surface laptop and still have enough power to charge a phone or tablet. There are two USB-C ports and two full USB ports. 

Linksys Velop AX4200

There's nothing more frustrating than unreliable Wi-Fi

Image: Linksys

The brand new Linksys Velop AX4200 is a mesh network system that can blanket an apartment or home in a reliable Wi-Fi signal. It's compatible with Wi-Fi 6, offering faster speeds for compatible devices, and comes in a single pack or three-pack, depending on how big of an area you need to cover. 

10-inch Ring Light

Nobody wants to look bad on a Zoom call with their boss.

Image: Amazon

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get better lighting for the litany of video calls we all find ourselves on now. The 10-inch Ring Light is an affordable gift with a Bluetooth remote, and adjustable color temperature to make sure the lighting is just right. 

Logitech C930E webcam

Because laptop webcams aren't good

Image: Logitech

In addition to better lighting, a dedicated webcam will definitely improve how you look on your video calls. This camera can digitally zoom and offers 1080p video quality and includes a built-in mic for improved audio. 

Anker 4-port USB hub

You can never have too many ports

Image: Anker

Trying to recreate an office setup with multiple devices and accessories plugged into a laptop can get messy when you run out of ports. This Anker 4-port USB hub does exactly what its name implies: Adds four ports to a computer. You'll need one USB port to connect it to, so really you're gaining three ports. Still, at $12, it's an easy stock stuffer.

Otterbox charging cables

A longer, sturdy charging cable should come with every gadget

Image: Otterbox

Instead of being tethered to an outlet, or replacing a charging cable every few months due to wear and tear. Otterbox used the same approach as it does for its cases, and applied it to charging cables that are available as long as 3 meters. Just make sure you look for one of the Premium cables.

Nest Hello Video Doorbell

Keep an eye on deliveries, strangers at your door

Image: Google

With a video doorbell, you can receive alerts as someone approaches your door, leaves a package, or when someone you know is waiting to get in. The Nest Hello doorbell will even let you know when a package has been picked removed from within its view, which hopefully will keep any would-be thieves away. 

Wyze Cam V3

A cheap smart home security camera

Image: Wyze

If you don't want to spend a lot on a video doorbell, the $20 Wyze Cam V3 makes for an inexpensive alternative, and it doesn't require any sort of monthly subscription. It's designed for use inside or out, so it can be used to monitor a driveway or a playroom. 

Nomad MacBook Pro sleeve

A leather sleeve that protects while looking good

Image: Nomad

Nomad makes all sorts of accessories for various products. The latest of which is a leather sleeve for Apple's 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The sleeves launched in mid-December, and are made of brown Horween leather. There's a magnetic latch at the top the keep your MacBook Pro closed in, but you can still access the USB-C ports on one side to keep it charged or connected to a display. The inside is covered with a soft microfiber to prevent scratches. 

HomePod Mini

Small but powerful

Image: Apple

Apple's HomePod Mini is the perfect gift for someone working from home who also happens to be an avid Apple user. The small speaker pumps out high-quality sound, can read or send messages, provide calendar updates and control HomeKit-enabled smart home devices. 

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro

For someone who needs more ports and connections

Image: Belkin

For someone who needs more than a few extra standard USB ports, the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro is a good, if not expensive, fit. It has a total of five standard USB ports, an Ethernet port, a DisplayPort, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an SD card reader, a standard USB-C port, and the ability to provide up to 85W of power to keep a laptop powered while connected to an external monitor and several accessories. 

Need more gift ideas?

Check out our ZDNet Recommends directory or Holiday Gifts hub for some more inspiration. 

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