Holiday Gifts for Tech Addicts

goTenna CellMan on phone with backpack
Courtesy goTenna

All the gear you need for a fully charged holiday.

Thanks to constant innovation and development, the tech world moves fast, but we've captured the gifts that'll make your favorite gadget-lover's day, from fun and frivolous to strictly business—all for the cost of two Benjamins or less.

1. Encourage Their Professional Development


(Courtesy GoPro)

Ringing in right under our $200 cap, the entry-level Hero7 White is a great way to dip a toe in the GoPro waters with minimal investment. This tough little camera is waterproof to 33 feet, and it shoots steady, non-jittery video in full HD (1080 pixels at 60 frames per second, albeit with a minor fish-eye effect), thanks to a stabilization feature that eliminates the shakes, even during the bumpiest activities. Outdoor enthusiasts will want to attach it to a helmet and activate the voice controls for hands-free photography and videography, or use it with a tripod or selfie stick for an everyday point of view. For optimal social-media sharing, we like to use the time-lapse or slow-mo options in 30-second bursts, then add music, effects, and more via the connected app.

GoPro Hero7 White, $199;

2. Make It Pop


Who says tech accessories have to be straitlaced? Encourage them to show some personality with a PopSocket, a sticker-backed button that attaches to a phone case and expands or collapses as needed. It serves as both a handle and a stand, so they can pop it out and prop up their phone to watch videos, or use it to ease that death grip while texting, emailing, or scrolling the timelines. And with plenty of opportunities for personalization and customization, not to mention hundreds of designs, from sports-team logos to cartoon characters to holiday themes to planetary patterns (we particularly love the mini breakfast set seen above), there's one to suit even the fussiest person on your list.

PopSockets, from $10;

3. Keep Tabs on Their Bags

Baggage-Tag-Tracker.jpg?mtime=20181115225324#asset:103756(Courtesy Away)

Know someone who hates letting their checked bags out of their sight? This mashup, courtesy of the chic luggage line Away and the Bluetooth tracking gurus at Tile, will soothe their separation anxiety. The sleek black leather tag conceals a 2.4-millimeter-thick device that, when paired with the Tile app, can locate their belongings within a hundred-foot range. And if their suitcase has wandered further afield, they can tap into the Tile's user network to crowd-source its last-known location. Yes, the odds of losing luggage are getting slimmer every day, but this is an excellent way to cover their bases, just in case.

Away x Tile luggage tag, $30;

4. Increase Their Security Detail

BASUCOM-eAlarm.jpg?mtime=20181115225325#asset:103757(Courtesy BASU.COM)

For that fearless traveler who boldly ventures through dark alleys and dodgy neighborhoods—or bear-infested woods—in search of the next adventure, give the gift of added security with an itty-bitty personal alarm. Barely three inches long and under an ounce, Basu’s battery-operated eAlarm+ comes with a carabiner and clips to a daypack or keychain so they'll always have it close at hand. It’s easy to use too: Pulling out the black pin at the end unleashes a 130-decibel siren that will sound for half an hour, or until the pin goes back in. A reliable companion for late-night city strolls, they can also use it with cords to set a tripwire perimeter around a campsite, or string it up on a hotel-room door for extra protection against intruders.

Basu eAlarm+, $19;

5. Help Them Keep in Touch


(courtesy goTenna)

When they’re wandering off the grid but still want to keep in contact, hook them up with the tools they need to create their own signal. These handy goTenna Mesh devices pair with their phones to allow users to communicate with each other sans cell service or WiFi, relaying text messages and GPS locations through their own personal network. The nodes transmit on UHF frequencies within a four-mile radius in open areas and half a mile in dense ones, but they'll link up with fellow Mesh users as well, tapping into a worldwide peer-to-peer network to extend that reach even further. They're the perfect thing for crowded events, backcountry hiking, or overseas travel without the roaming charges.

goTenna Mesh, $179;

6. Light Their Way

Kikkerland-Astronaut-Light-white.jpg?mtime=20181115225330#asset:103761(Courtesy Kikkerland Design)

Bring a note of whimsy to their most mundane tasks with this fun little USB-powered lamp from Kikkerland Design. With a spaceman reminiscent of a classic LEGO astronaut and a flexible, nearly foot-long neck that lets them shine its 12 lumens in any direction they choose, they’ll be reaching new heights in no time. Simply plug it in and flip back the visor to shed some light on the situation.

Kikkerland Design USB Light + Astronaut, $20;

7. Get Them Ready for Their Close-up

Lens-set-phone.jpg?mtime=20181115225332#asset:103762(Courtesy SIRUI USA)

For casual photographers looking to improve their Instagram feed and make those smartphone shots really pop, we highly recommend Sirui’s 60mm lens, a quality clip-on attachment that sharpens the details on close-up shots and portraits alike. Available on its own, it also comes as part of this gift-ready set, along with an 18mm wide-angle—ideal for capturing those sweeping vistas—and a 170-degree fisheye lens, plus a clip and a hard-shell case that’ll keep it protected in their kit.

3 Lens Mobile Phone Kit, $190;

8. Boom or Bust

polk-boom-bit-blue-wearable-bluetooth-speaker.jpg?mtime=20181115225339#asset:103763(Courtesy Polk Audio)

A run or a bike ride through unfamiliar territory can be a good way to get the lay of the land, but exercising on the road can also be a nervy proposition, especially if they're relying on noise-canceling headphones to provide the soundtrack. A light, wearable alternative, Polk’s Boom Bit is a Bluetooth speaker that clips to their clothes, supplying tunes without sacrificing an awareness of your surroundings. For such a tiny device, the sound quality is remarkable, and it even has an integrated microphone for hands-free calling. With mid-range volume levels, it should get about three hours of battery life, but when they do need to recharge, the whole unit plugs directly into a USB port—no extra cables necessary. (Note, though, that the on/off function requires a bit of dexterity, so it might not be optimal for someone with hand-mobility issues.)

Polk Boom Bit, $20;

9. Tie Up Loose Ends

tech-Case.jpg?mtime=20181115225345#asset:103764(Courtesy Nomad Lane)

With great gear comes a great amount of paraphernalia, and a professional-level organizer will help them get it all together. This well-constructed vegan-leather version from Nomad Lane has a place for pretty much everything: Small elastic loops for things like cords, cables, and earbuds, big elastic loops for larger items like power banks, a removable pouch for adapters and reading glasses, and slim plastic pockets for flash drives and the like, plus room for a tablet like an iPad Mini, a Galaxy Tab, or a Kindle to fit snugly inside. They’ll never lose a charger to the depths of their bag again.

Tech organization case, $88;

10. Give Them a Boost

Anker-plugs-charger.jpg?mtime=20181116122236#asset:103768(Courtesy Anker)

When they're traveling with multiple USB-powered devices, bringing a plug for each one is a waste of precious carry-on space. Anker's universally compatible wall chargers help multitask with speed and ease, thanks to an assortment of ports that’ll get those gadgets to full capacity in a hurry. At two inches square, the PowerPort II 2 is the most compact of the bunch, but with two ports boasting 24 watts, it packs a solid punch. Need more juice? The 43.5-watt PowerPort Speed 4 offers a petite but powerful footprint, with one port for Qualcomm QuickCharge-compatible devices and three with Anker’s proprietary fast-charging technology, all in a tidy package less than three inches square and an inch thick. And if they're looking to leave those bulky MacBook or Nintendo Switch adapters at home, the PowerPort II with Power Delivery is the best bet. With 30 watts of USB-C output, it’ll charge a MacBook in two-and-a-half hours, and it has a regular USB port as well. All three feature foldable plugs and surge protection, for peak portability and peace of mind.

PowerPort II 2, $15; PowerPort Speed 4, $28; PowerPort II with Power Delivery, $30;

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