You may not know it from looking outside, but Christmas is coming.
Retailers are gearing up for their annual Black Friday sales, and shoppers are beginning the yearly panic over what to buy their tech-loving family and friends.
We can’t anticipate what everyone will have on their wish list, but there are definitely some trends this year. For example, media streamers are expected to be in high demand, while music lovers are looking for something better than their smartphone’s built-in speaker to play their Spotify or Apple Music (AAPL) tunes.
To help you knock off that shopping list so you can sit back and enjoy the season, we’ve put together a list of 10 gadgets that are sure to please friends and family during the holidays.
Holiday Gift Guide: Apple TV
Media streamers are expected to be hot this holiday shopping season and the Apple TV may just be the hottest ticket in town.
Apple has been making these things since 2007 and has the experience down pretty pat. Plus, with its first new Apple TV hardware in three years, the ability to run apps and play games, plus Siri voice control, the fourth-generation Apple TV is a pretty compelling buy.
Holiday Gift Guide: Google Chromecast Audio
At just $35, the new Chromecast Audio would make a great stocking stuffer for a music lover.
Plug the colorful new Chromecast Audio into any stereo system and you can stream tunes to it over Wi-Fi using your favorite music service and mobile device.
Holiday Gift Guide: Microsoft Surface 3
If someone on your list is interested in a new tablet, the Surface 3 is worth considering.
The Surface 3 is pretty slick, has a nice high resolution display, runs Windows 10 and can be upgraded with an add-on keyboard cover to become a laptop hybrid.
Holiday Gift Guide: HP Envy 34c Curved Media Display
Curved may not be the best idea for TVs (viewing angles get dicey for large groups), but Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) HP Envy 34c Curved Media Display would be a great gift for gamers and heavy computer users.
You get a 34-inch, WQHD widescreen display, with a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, picture-in-picture and a curve.
These features make the HP Envy 34c Curved Media Display ideal for gaming or use with a computer — besides being big, sharp and responsive, the curved screen makes for a much more immersive experience.
Holiday Gift Guide: Asus C300 Chromebook
Chromebooks are increasingly popular in schools and for home use, and the Asus C300 is one of the best.
The Asus C300 is also available in a selection of bright colors, aimed at appealing to kids (plain old black is also offered for the more conservative crowd).
Holiday Gift Guide: Apple Watch
Smartwatches are also a big thing this year, and there’s no smartwatch as popular as the Apple Watch.
It’s not for everyone — especially those using Android smartphones — but the Apple Watch quickly vaulted to the top, outselling everything else in the market.
With watchOS 2 released alongside an increasing number of third party accessories, the Apple Watch has also improved considerably since its release. And it’s tough to beat the Apple Watch for selection in price range, size, finish and bands.
Holiday Gift Guide: Pebble Time
Have a smartwatch fan on your list, but $349-plus for an Apple Watch is too steep? It’s Pebble Time.
Pebble has long been a favorite among the tech crowd, and the new Pebble Time adds a color display to a smartwatch that offers an unbeatable seven-day battery life.
Better yet, the Pebble Time supports both Android and iOS, and at $199, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than Apple’s offering.
Holiday Gift Guide: Google OnHub Router
Got someone on your list complaining about Wi-Fi woes? Get them a Google OnHub router.
Most home Wi-Fi routers are at least a few years old, and they’re overwhelmed by all the smartphones, tablets, online gaming and smart devices fighting for bandwidth. Throw 4K video in the mix, and things get ugly fast.
OnHub was designed to tame this mess.
The best part is, Google’s OnHub simplifies setup — traditionally the worst part about a new router — and updates are automated. Those features make OnHub a gift that keep giving.
Holiday Gift Guide: Riva Turbo X Bluetooth Speaker
The Riva Turbo X has the audio chops to keep up with other premium portable speakers, with 45-Watts of power, three full-range drivers and four dual-piston bass radiators.
But where most Bluetooth speakers last 10 or fewer hours, the Riva Turbo X goes for 26 hours. It even has a USB port that will charge your mobile device using its own battery.
And the Turbo X also offers a Phono Mode, for plugging in a turntable and using vinyl instead of streaming music.
Holiday Gift Guide: Amazon Kindle Voyage
A tablet is fine for occasional reading, but an e-reader is far better for extended use. Devices like the Kindle Voyage use an E Ink display and side lighting to reduce eye strain and offer the ability to read in darkness or bright sunlight.
The battery goes for weeks (if not months) without recharging, and an e-reader is small and light enough to slip in a coat pocket.
The Kindle Voyage is Amazon’s premium e-reader, with a slick magnesium back and an incredibly sharp 300 ppi display. It’s ideal for reading fanatics, especially those who are Amazon Prime members.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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