The 30 best tech gifts for everyone on your list | CNN Underscored

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There’s never any shortage of fancy new tech gifts to get a loved one for the holidays — but with so much new stuff coming out every year, where do you even start? That’s where we come in. We spend all year testing everything from the latest smartphones and laptops to everyday accessories like chargers and cases so that you can be confident you’re getting something great for the people on your list.

From affordable stocking stuffers to splurge ideas for that special someone, here are the best tech gifts to get this holiday season. And if you need more gift ideas, we’ve got you covered with great gift ideas for men, gift ideas for women and some of the best Amazon gifts.

If you’re team Android (or want an item tracker that works with any device), the Tile Mate is a great AirTag alternative and one of the most popular trackers out there. It can help you find your stuff from up to 250 feet away, and unlike the AirTag, has a useful hole for easily attaching to your keys.

You can never have too many USB-C cables for charging your laptop, tablet, Android phone or just about any other tech gadget, and this variation of our best USB-C cable pick gets you a fast, long and durable wire for a great price.

Know someone with an iPhone 12 or newer? The MagSafe Charger is an excellent gift, along with a Nano II wall plug, to make wireless charging a snap. It magnetically attaches to the back of the phone and can fast charge at 15 watts. It’s a great accessory that can go on a nightstand, desk or even be brought along for travel.

If you need a more platform-agnostic wireless charger, the Logitech Powered Wireless Charging pad is the best overall wireless charger we’ve tested. It’ll juice up iPhones, Android phones, AirPods and just about anything else that supports Qi charging, and does so while taking up minimal space with its sleek design.

The latest Amazon Echo Dot adds better sound, new sensors and Wi-Fi extension capabilities to what’s long been our favorite budget smart speaker. If you want to give your loved one the gift of Alexa for the first time, here’s where you should start.

The Echo Show 8 is a great gift for anyone who wants an easy way to hop on video calls or summon Alexa from any room in the home. Our best smart display pick, this device can be used to control all of your Alexa-compatible gadgets, and works with popular streaming services for when you want to binge Netflix over dinner.

The Fire TV Stick 4K is a great way to supercharge your old TV with streaming capabilities, offering access to essentials like Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max and Hulu and support for beautiful 4K playback in Dolby Vision and HDR.

Our favorite budget tablet, the newest Fire 7 is a great stocking stuffer for anyone getting their first tablet. It’s got access to all the key apps you need, offers long battery life within an attractive design and is loaded with perks for Amazon Prime members.

The 2021 iPad is still our favorite tablet, offering fast performance, access to tons of great apps and seamless connectivity to all of your other Apple products. Better yet, it’s almost always on sale these days.

Having a great keyboard is key to staying productive, whether you’re at home or finding your way back to the office. If the person on your list needs a new one, the Logitech K380 is one of the best we’ve tested for the price. This attractive, compact wireless keyboard feels great to use, and while it’s built to pair effortlessly with Apple devices, it’ll also work with your Chromebook or Windows PC. Better yet, you can switch between your Mac, iPad and iPhone on the fly, making it a perfect companion both during and after the workday.

You can’t go wrong with the classic AirPods, especially now that they’re cheaper than they’ve ever been. A perfect gift for those yet to jump on the wireless earbuds train, the AirPods 2nd Gen pair effortlessly with iPhones and offer fantastic sound as well as easy access to hands-free Siri controls.

If you’re willing to splurge on someone who wants the best of the best, the new AirPods Pro 2 are the way to go. These earbuds have some of the best active noise cancellation we’ve ever tested, along with superb sound and a more durable case that you can even attach to your lanyard.

A splurge gift for the audio lover in your life, the Sony WH-1000XM5 are our pick for the best over-ear headphones you can buy. Their noise cancellation and sound are second to none, and it’s all wrapped up in a sleek, comfortable design with all-day battery life.

Our pick for the best travel-friendly portable speaker, the Sony XB13 pumps out surprisingly big sound for its small size and packs a handy strap for attaching to your backpack or bike.

An updated version of our best fitness tracker pick, the Fitbit Inspire 3 offers comprehensive tracking and a vivid color screen for a great price. It’s a great gift for anyone on your list looking to keep better tabs on their health and activity.

The Apple Watch SE is the most affordable member of the Apple Watch family, but still retains much of the great activity tracking and seamless iPhone interactivity we love about the more premium Series 8. It’s a great gift for someone who wants their first smartwatch.

It might not be the sexiest gift, but an external hard drive is a lifesaver for anyone who wants a secure and easy way to back up and transfer lots of big files (we’re looking at you, video editors and gamers). The WD My Passport is the best model we’ve tested, and is frequently on sale these days.

Not sure what to get the gamer in your life? You really can’t go wrong with an Xbox Game Pass subscription. With various plans that start at $9.99 a month, Game Pass gives players access to hundreds of titles that include big blockbusters like Halo, Forza and Star Wars as well as smaller gems like Tetris Effect Connected, Vampire Survivors and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. These games can be played on Xbox consoles, PCs and even smartphones, tablets and select Samsung TVs via the cloud, meaning even folks without dedicated gaming hardware can still get a lot out of the service. Best of all? New subscribers can try it out for just $1 right now.

Perfect for the gamer in your life, the Backbone One is by far the best mobile gaming controller we’ve tested. This handy attachment turns your smartphone into a Switch-like gaming machine, with console quality controls and a handy companion app that lets you access your favorite mobile games (and cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass and Amazon Luna) all in one place. With consoles hard to come by these days, the Backbone One makes an accessible and affordable alternative.

If you have a friend or family member that was obsessed with Wii Sports back in the day, this is the game for them. Nintendo Switch Sports updates the beloved mini-game collection for the modern era, offering seven different, pick-up-and-play sports (including volleyball, soccer, bowling and tennis) that you can enjoy while gathering at home for the holidays or online with faraway friends.

Of all of the new gaming consoles out there right now, the Xbox Series S is the cheapest — and the easiest to actually find in stock. And while it’s not quite as powerful as the Xbox Series X (which is designed for 4K gaming), this adorably tiny machine has most of the same great features, including zippy load times and a handy Quick Resume option for jumping between multiple titles at once. When you combine it with an Xbox Game Pass subscription that will let you play hot titles such as Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 right out of the box, you’ve got the best overall value in console gaming.

One of our favorite budget laptops, the Acer Aspire 5 is a great gift for students, younger users, or anyone who just needs a great computer for basic web surfing and productivity.

If you’re looking to get your loved one the best laptop possible for less than $1,000, the MacBook Air M1 is the way to go. While it’s a few years old now, it still runs circles around the competition in terms of performance, all within an attractive, lightweight design that will last you all day.

The Google Pixel 6a is our favorite budget smartphone, and a great option for anyone buying their loved one their first phone. Despite its low price, it offers great performance, a clean Android experience and some of the best cameras in the game.

Samsung’s mega-popular portable projector lets you turn any wall into the ultimate entertainment screen, with a flexible 180-degree design, access to the top streaming apps and loud built-in speakers.

If you’re looking for a gift that can truly turn heads, Samsung’s The Frame TV is one of our favorites that we’ve tested. This unique television has the ability to double as a gorgeous digital art display when you’re not watching your favorite shows, making it much nicer to look at in your living room than a blank screen. Oh, and it’s a pretty good QLED TV for when you’re actually watching stuff.

If you’re shopping for an entertainment lover who wants to see all the details of a TV show or movie, we’d splurge on Sony’s A90J. Yes, it’s an expensive OLED TV but it offers the best picture quality we’ve ever tested and packages it in a jaw-droppingly sleek design. The visuals literally go to the very edge of the screen.

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