When it comes to gift giving, there are so many ways to go. Some people love receiving clothes; others just want new experiences. DIY gifts can often go a long way too, as can inexpensive but super-thoughtful souvenirs and mementoes. All of that said, there are certain people for whom only the latest high-tech gadget will do.
The problem is these techies probably know a whole lot more about tech than you do, which makes it pretty hard to find a gift that will actually excite them. To make it easier to narrow things down, we’ve pulled together some of the best tech gifts you can give this year, all of which came out in 2018. Some are new and improved models of an existing gizmo, like the third-generation Echo Dot and the GoPro Hero7. Others are totally new to market, like the Facebook Portal and the Relay screen-free smartphone. They also hit a variety of price points, starting at just $50.
Here are 11 fun, impressive tech gifts that didn’t exist last year for the most tech-savvy people on your holiday gift list.
Mophie Charge Stream Desk Stand
Sick of buying lightning cables that always seem to break within the month? This wireless phone-charging station — which is compatible with Samsung phones and most newer iPhones — means never needing a charging cable again.
Charge Stream desk stand, $49 (was $70) at Mophie
Segway ES4 KickScooter Ninebot
Remember Razor scooters? Two-wheel transport has really come a long way since then. This motorized scooter goes up to 19 mph, and it’s powered by a rechargeable external battery.
Segway ES4 KickScooter Ninebot, $749 at Amazon
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)
This voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker works with Alexa, so you can buy one for each room in your house and stay connected no matter where you are.
Echo Dot (third generation), $24 (was $49) at Amazon
Relay Screen-Free Smartphone
If you’re looking to buy your kid a smartphone but don’t want them constantly Snapchatting or playing Candy Crush (is that still a thing?), this screen-free device is the answer. It’s not exactly a phone but can connect with other Relay devices nationwide — kind of like a next-generation walkie-talkie — and to the smartphones that you connect to it via the Relay app. It also comes in fun colors and easily fits in any pocket.
Relay screen-free smartphone, $50 at Relay
Google Home Hub
“Hey, Google, show me my calendar for the day.”
For anyone who already has a Google Home, this screen add-on makes it possible to see things like your calendar, a traffic report or that YouTube video you’ve been dying to watch.
Google Home Hub, $99 (was $149) at Google
Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 Wireless Speaker
Bluetooth speakers are nothing new, but this waterproof, drop-proof, stereo-quality is the best around.
Megaboom 3 wireless speaker, $199.99 at Ultimate Ears
Google Pixel Slate
Google is finally entering the tablet space with the new Pixel Slate. Use it as is, or buy an add-on keyboard that essentially turns it into a laptop. The Pixel Slate isn’t shipping quite yet, but preorder now, and Google says they’ll send it out by Dec 3.
Google Pixel Slate, starting at $599 at Google
FaceTime is the best way to stay in touch with any friends and family who live far away, but holding your phone in front of your face (or camping out at the computer) doesn’t make for the best experience. The camera on the new Facebook Portal will change that: It follows you as you move around a room so you can video chat and carry on with your day at the same time.
Portal, $149 (was $199) at Facebook
Peloton changed the indoor cycling game with bikes that stream live boutique-style classes right to your living room. Now, they’re expanding to treadmills. The Peloton Tread comes with a screen that’ll deliver workouts from some of the best instructors around. It’s not shipping yet, but put down a $250 deposit for preorder now, and the Tread will arrive sometime this winter.
Tread, $3,995 at Peloton
RocketBook Everlast Notebook
For the friend who loves putting pen to paper but still needs notes uploaded online, this notebook gives you the best of both worlds. Write notes on the digital “page,” and RocketBook will instantly blast them to whatever cloud service you use.
Everlast notebook, $34 at RocketBook
GoPros have been around a while, but the newest voice-controlled model will take the clearest photos and videos you’ve ever seen. Any adventure lover needs one for their next trip.
Hero7, $399.99 at GoPro
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