Our top choices for tech gifts

Here are ZDNet's top choices for technology gifts, gadgets, and accessories over the holiday season.
By Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
1 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET


SeniTurn is a simple $31 accessory that could increase safety while cycling or running. The device is worn around the wrist and middle finger and automatically lights up when your hand is raised, such as when turning left or right on a road.

See it now: Firebox

2 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

HTC Vive

Virtual and augmented reality applications are now becoming part of the home, and with increased popularity, consumer VR headsets have become the next big thing.

The $550 HTC Vive is one of the flagship devices in this arena. The kit includes a 360-degree controller and headset as well as two bases to set up a room for virtual reality applications.

Over 2,800 SteamVR games are currently available.

See it now: Amazon

3 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Microsoft Surface Pro

If you are in the market for a new tablet that is lightweight and operates on the Windows 10 operating system, the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet could be an option over the shopping season.

The $799 tablet comes with Windows 10 Pro and sports a 12.3-inch PixelSense Display, up to 1TB storage, up to an Intel i7 processor, and up to 16GB RAM.

    Pre-order now: Microsoft Store

    Also: Microsoft's refreshed Surface Pro, Laptop and Studio: New specs, pricing, availability

    4 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET


    The $102 BB-8 droid is an entertaining robot that hangs out in your home. BB-8 owners are able to control their bot via an Android app in order to issue commands including movement and capturing photos and video. The device is touted as a companion rather than as a toy as BB-8 contains voice recognition technology and has a range of expressions.

    See it now: Iwantoneofthose

    5 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Razor Blade Stealth

    If you're happy to splash out on a high-end gaming laptop this year, the $1,400 Razor Blade Stealth is a great choice. The 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800-display laptop operates on Windows 10 Home and sports up to a quad-core 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Hyper-Threading (1.8 GHz / 4.0 GHz), up to 1TB storage, 16GB RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 620.

    See it now: Razer

    6 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Star Trek communicator

    A gift likely enjoyed by Star Trek fans, the $157 Star Trek replica communicator is a working mobile device that can be paid with modern smartphones, allowing users to make calls. The replica, built based on the few props from the television show still in existence, also contains authentic sounds and clips.

    See it now: Firebox

    7 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Mavic 2 Pro drone

    DJI's $1,500 Mavic 2 Pro drone is one of the most high-spec drones on the market, with a price tag to boot. The drone includes a 20-megapixel 1-inch CMOS sensor, Hasselblad camera, an adjustable aperture, HDR video recording, and hyperlapse functionality.

    See it now: DJI

    8 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Google Home

    Google Home, a rival to the Amazon Echo, is a $129 smart home assistant that can act as a controller for your IoT and connected devices, as well as a voice assistant for scheduling, tasks, playing music, and accessing subscription services.

    See it now: Google

    9 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET
    10 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Huawei P20 Pro

    A smartphone likely to prove a hit with photography fans, the $730 Huawei P20 Pro is a dual-SIM smartphone that comes with two main cameras -- a primary 40MP RGB sensor with a f/1.8 lens and a secondary 20MP monochrome sensor with a f/1.6 lens -- as well as a third 8MP sensor-based camera with a f/2.4 lens.

    We found the PhotoGenius AI system to be effective at improving efforts at photography, and so if mobile snapping is your thing, consider investing in the device over the holiday season.

    See it now: Huawei

    Also: ZDNet review

    11 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Apple iPhone X

    If you're in the market for Apple's latest flagship devices over the holiday season, the $999 iPhone X range -- made up of the iPhone XS or iPhone X Max -- sport a 5.8-inch or 6.5-inch display, up to 512GB storage, Apple's A12 chip, dual 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, and up to 4GB RAM.

    See it now: Apple

    12 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Samsung S9 smartphones

    The $620 Samsung S9 and S9+ are Samsung's flagship Android devices that could make a great gift this year. The devices come with either 5.8-inch or 6.2-inch displays, dual cameras, up to a 2.7GHz octa-core processor, up to 6GB RAM, 64GB storage, and run Android 8.0 Oreo.

    See it now: Samsung

    13 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Oculus Go

    For a more affordable gift which allows users to dip their toe into the world of virtual reality, the $200 Oculus Go could be a great option. The wireless VR headset can be used to access roughly 1000 games and apps in 360-degrees and an accompanying controller translates your movements into VR actions.

    See it now: Amazon

    14 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Apple Watch 4

    Apple's new flagship wearable, the $399 Apple Watch 4, not only contains the capabilities of older members of the product family, but also comes with Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) detection and built-in ECG (electrocardiogram) support which has been approved by the FDA.

    See it now: Apple

    15 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Netgear Orbi Home Mesh

    The $329 Netgear Orbi Home Mesh could be a sound investment for those who experience Wi-Fi dark spots or wish to extend blanket coverage across their home.

    The mesh Wi-Fi system is somewhat expensive but does offer high connectivity speeds.

    See it now: Amazon

    Also: CNET review

    16 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    iPad Pro

    Apple's $630 iPad Pro could make a great gift this year for fans of the macOS operating system and in the market for a new tablet.

    The tablet comes in 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch Retina Display variations, as well as up to 512GB storage, an A10X Fusion chip, 12-megapixel camera, and 4GB RAM.

    See it now: Apple

    17 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Dell XPS 13

    The $850 Dell XPS 13 is a strong contender for those looking for a business-ready, portable laptop. Operating on Windows 10 Home or Pro, the laptop comes with up to an Intel i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and a 13.3-inch FHD 1920 x 1080 InfinityEdge display.

    See it now: Dell

    18 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Ring doorbell

    The $100 Ring doorbell is a modern answer to the standard chime -- packing in a home security system, cameras, motion detectors, and a way to keep track of visitors while on the move.

    The doorbell connects to your smartphone via an app and alerts you to presence outside of your door. An inbuilt microphone allows you to speak to your visitors, whilst the Ring also includes a real-time camera feed and is able to store footage.

    If you want to combine modern alerts with a standard ring, however, you may also want to pair it with the Ring Chime.

    See it now: Amazon

    19 of 19 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

    Pocket Spinner multi-tool

    Fans of fidget spinners may enjoy this $25 multi-tool variant over the shopping season as the zinc alloy product also contains useful magnetic screwdriver bits.

    See it now: Firebox

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