Holiday Gift Guide 2015: 25 Gadgets That Make Great Gifts For Techies

Giving Gadgets As Gifts

With the holidays nearing, a plethora of cool cutting-edge technology products are hitting the market.

New devices -- including wearables such as the upscale 38mm white sport banded Apple Watch, and entertainment devices like Roku 4, a streaming device that offers a massive spectrum of video, music and gaming content -- will be particularly popular during Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season.

Other gadgets, such as the Amazon Kindle Voyage, the Fitbit Charge and the GoPro Hero Action Camera, make good gifts for family and friends.

CRN compiled a list of 25 special gadget gifts that are on the market to wrap up for your family and friends during the holiday season.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

Nvidia recently updated its Shield Tablet K1 with a cheaper price tag, so this season may be just the right time to buy the $199 device for game lovers.

The 16-GB 8-inch tablet is equipped with motion sensors and 4K ultra-HD-ready video features, as well as front-facing stereo speakers and cameras. Gamers, take note: the Shield controller-compatible device enables GeForce NOW, which streams a library of popular PC games at up to 1080p resolution.

The price point is definitely the hook -- its previous 16-GB version cost $299, and the iPad mini starts at $399 -- but it's important to note that Nvidia's new device is a Wi-Fi model, as opposed to LTE, and lacks an in-the-box charger, microUSB cable and built-in stylus.

Apple Watch

Apple's new Apple Watch wearable device has been available on its website and in retail stores for a few months, and includes health and fitness features, a plethora of messaging, calendar and music-based apps, and of course Apple's personal assistant, Siri, all right on the user's wrist.

The smartwatch's cheapest version, a 38 mm white sport-banded watch enclosed in a silver aluminum case, costs $349 from Apple's website, and may be cheaper at other retail stores, like Best Buy. If you feel generous, Apple also offers midrange models in the $500 range, all the way up to special edition high-end models that are in the $10,000 range.

If you know someone who already has an Apple Watch, you may also want to consider Apple's new Apple Watch Dock, a $79 magnetic charging dock station.

Riva Turbo X Bluetooth Speaker

Riva Audio is offering $50 off on its Riva Turbo X premium wireless Bluetooth speaker, so between now and Dec. 31, when the sale ends, is a good time to buy a speaker as a gift.

The Riva Turbo X, which costs $299.99 with the sale, touts more than 26 hours of battery playing time, Trillium technology for surround sound, and a speakerphone with noise and echo cancellation technology. The 9.1-by-3.5 inch-by-4.1-inch Turbo X is on the smaller and more portable side, packs 45 watts RMS of power and includes a USB charge port for charging other devices.

The Riva Turbo X can be purchased on Riva Audio's website and includes free standard shipping on all orders.

Amazon Kindle Voyage

As winter approaches, what could be better than curling up by the fireplace with a book -- or, in this case, a Kindle?

Amazon's Kindle Voyage, a 6-inch device that the company boasts is its "thinnest Kindle ever," might be just right for readers who are constantly on the go. With a high-resolution 300 ppi display, the Kindle Voyage reads just like the printed page, according to Amazon, and new adaptive front lights now allow users to read day or night.

The Kindle Voyage can be purchased on Amazon for $199.99 with free shipping, as well as from Best Buy and eBay.


Do you have a friend or family member who loves golf? If so, the SensoGlove may be the best connected device to give as a holiday present.

The SensoGlove, which comes in both men's and women's versions for right- and left-handed wearers, helps golfers improve their game through digital sensors that continuously read grip pressure, intended to ensure a consistently accurate and smooth golf swing.

The device, made of high-quality leather, provides feedback right on the glove so the user can avoid bad golfing habits and improve their backswing, follow-through and driving. The SensoGlove starts at $89 and can be purchased online.

Fitbit Charge

As a specialized activity- and sleep-tracking device, the Fitbit is a suitable holiday gift for the fitness junkie in your life. The Fitbit Charge tracks steps, distance, calories burned and floors climbed in a day, and allows users to see call notifications on the device's display.

In addition, the Fitbit Charge touts a battery life of up to 10 days, and syncs statistics wirelessly and automatically to users' smartphones and computers. Fitbit Charge is for users who exercise daily, but users who like active daily fitness or performance fitness may prefer the Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surge, respectively.

Fitbit Charge, which is available in black, slate, blue or burgundy, can be purchased for $129.95 on Fitbit's website.

Jackery Leaf Detachable Protection Battery Case

Know someone with Apple's iPhone 6s or iPhone 6 smartphones? The Jackery Leaf battery case, which packs in a potable 3200mAh protective charger, is a great gift for the holidays.

Jackery Leaf, which the company says is certified by Apple MFI (made for iPhone), features a compact travel charger for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models. The phone fits into a case with a snap-on design, which in turn fits snugly into the Jackery charging port and can be easily carried around in a purse or pocket.

Jackery Leaf is available on Jackery's website for $69, but is also available on Amazon for only $39.99 and free shipping.

Roku 4

Roku 4, a streaming device that offers a massive spectrum of video, music and gaming content, is Roku's newest product to hit the market.

This player, which provides access to more than 2,500 channels on demand, as well as more than 300,000 movies and TV episodes, is a good holiday gift for television lovers. Roku boasts that Roku 4 is its best player ever, with advanced processing for smooth streaming at higher resolutions and new features like a lost remote finder.

Roku 4 works with both 4K ultra-HD TV and 1080p full-HD TVs, and also contains features like voice search. The streaming device can be purchased on Roku's website for $129.99.

Chromecast Audio

Chromecast Audio, a small device that plugs into your speaker for streaming music through Wi-Fi, may be the right gift for music lovers.

The device is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, Mac and Windows laptop or Chromebook to stream tunes to speakers in your house. Chromecast Audio, which costs $35, works by plugging into the aux input of your speakers and power, and then connects to your home Wi-Fi network.

The Chromecast Audio is available at the Google Store, as well as at retail stores like Best Buy, Walmart and Target. The device requires a speaker system with an aux/line input, RCA or optical input, a Wi-Fi network, and a compatible mobile device or computer.

Rebecca Minkoff Notification Bracelet

For the special woman in your life, consider a Rebecca Minkoff notification bracelet as a beautiful holiday gift.

The chic Rebecca Minkoff bracelet is trendy, with gold links surrounding enamel studs, but will also help keep users connected through a subtle vibration when they receive an incoming call or text message. The bracelet contains easy Bluetooth pairing with the iPhone and up to a 30-day battery life per charge.

This bracelet can be purchased on Case-Mate's website for $120, and is compatible with iPhones that have iOS 7.1 or higher installed.

Anova Precision Cooker

Do you have family or friends who love home cooking? If so, consider giving them the Anova Precision Cooker.

Anova Culinary boasts that this connected cooker device is lightweight and easy to use. The cooker attaches to a pot with an adjustable clamp. It then connects to the user's mobile device, and the user can then remotely cook using Anova's Wi-Fi app, available on Google Play or the iOS App Store, and get updates sent to a phone when connected and within range. The Anova Precision Cooker costs $179 and is available online.

SMS Audio Biosport Earbuds

Earphones may seem like a simple gift on the holidays, but these $149.95 specialized wired earbuds serve several important functions for users who love to run long distance.

SMS Audio Biosport Earbuds, which were designed and developed in partnership with Intel, contain a built-in heart rate monitor and remove noise signals caused by the body's motion during the workout. The headphones are sweat- and water-resistant, and contain a 3.5 mm gold-plated audio jack that does not require charging.

As a cheaper option, you may prefer SMS Audio's in-ear wired sport, a $79.95 earbud that lacks the fitness monitoring functions. Both products are available to purchase on SMS Audio's website.


CalypsoTag, a smart personalized travel companion, is a leather device that attaches to the user's bag and notifies his or her smartphone if someone tries to steal the luggage.

The CalypsoTag might be the right gift for family or friends who like to travel often. This device uses technology developed by Chipolo, and contains a smart low-power Bluetooth 4.0 chip that has a range of about 200 feet, as well as a built-in battery that lasts up to 6 months.

Users can connect the CalypsoTag with iOS devices running on versions 6.1.3 or newer with built-in Bluetooth 4.0, as well as Android devices with built-in Bluetooth 4.0. Buy the CalypsoTag, which comes in black leather, brick orange, gray leather or Atlanta mist, starts at $169 on Calypso Crystal's website.


"Jewelry, meet technology." That's the motto for Ringly, a gorgeous ring that notifies wearers when they receive a message on their smartphones. And it's also a great holiday present for fashionable techies.

Ringly connects to users' phones via Bluetooth and lets them receive notifications through vibrations and a subtle light on the side of the ring. The ring contains up to 48 hours of battery life depending on its usage and connects with iPhones and Android (4.3 and higher) mobile devices.

Ringly is available in a variety of versions, including black, pink chalcedony, and tourmalated quartz, and start at $195. This wearable tech can be purchased online at Ringly's website with free shipping.

iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaning Robot

If you are feeling generous, the iRobot Roomba 650 vacuum cleaning robot is a good gift for a family member who loves a clean house.

The iRobot Roomba 650 is a robot that vacuums carpets, tile and hardwood floors using AeroVac Technology to handle hair, pet fur, lint and dust. This device can start working on a preset schedule and can also be programmed to clean some areas and not others. The 13.39-inch-diameter circular robot comes equipped with a battery charger. iRobot Roomba 650 is pricey, at $399.99. This device can be purchased on iRobot's website.

GoPro Hero

GoPro devices are the ticket for friends who love to spend their time pursuing outdoor adventures -- and capturing it all on film. That's why the GoPro Hero, which GoPro calls its entry-level device, has made the list.

GoPro Hero features high-quality, 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and is integrated into a rugged waterproof housing. The lightweight (3.9-ounce) GoPro Hero also features QuickCapture, allowing users to power and start recording with a single button, and Burst Photo, which captures fast-action sequences at up to 5 frames per second.

At $129.99, GoPro Hero is available with free two-day shipping on GoPro's website.

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung's new virtual reality device, which was made in collaboration with Oculus, fits like a ski mask to open up the user's eyes to new experiences in gaming and mobile entertainment. If you know a teen who already loves video games, this holiday gift is a good extension of their experiences.

Samsung Gear VR contains an optical lens as well as sensors and connects to select Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy s6 edge+, with a microUSB.

The Samsung Gear VR is available for preorder on Samsung's website and certain retail store websites, and costs $99. According to Samsung, the product will ship in two or three weeks.

Brooklyn Tablet Purse

Do you know someone who owns a tablet? The Brooklyn Tablet Purse is a fashionable accessory that looks good and provides a safe and comfortable sleeve for tablet devices.

This purse from Ogio, which comes in black, cobalt or raspberry, includes a fully padded iPad or tablet pocket, as well as two large main compartments. This bag also contains a padded base for extra cushioning, and can be worn as a crossover messenger bag or sling over one shoulder.

The Brooklyn Tablet Purse is available on Ogio's website for $44.99.

Logitech Keys To Go

Logitech's Keys-To-Go is a slender, portable keyboard that could serve as a cool gift for a friend with a tablet who constantly travels.

Keys-To-Go works with all iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone and Apple TV, as well as devices with Android 4.1 and higher or Windows 7 and higher. This 5.39-by-9.53-by-0.24-inch keyboard also comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty and comes in a variety of colors.

The Logitech Keys-To-Go keyboard costs $69.99 and is available for purchase on Logitech's website.

Galaxy Note 5

If you have a family member in need of a cool new smartphone, check out the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung's cutting-edge new mobile device.

The Galaxy Note 5 has a 5.7-inch Quad HD screen and is made of high-end aluminum and Gorilla Glass. The smartphone contains a stylus S Pen for anything from jotting down notes to editing emails, so this phone may be best for someone who likes to stay organized and on top of things. The Galaxy Note 5's camera is its other great feature, with a 16-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera.

The Galaxy Note 5 is available on Samsung's website, through retailers like Best Buy, or through carriers such as Verizon Wireless.

iDevices iGrill Mini

Although summer is far off, the holiday season is still a good time to remind your friends that grilling season is on the horizon (or is all year out west) with the iGrill Mini.

This popular connected grilling device has a probe you place in the meat that connects to an app on the user's smartphone, enabling users to check cooking progress without lifting the lid or having to cut into the meat. The iDevices Connected app also monitors all the food and temperatures through graphs on a convenient dashboard.

The iGrill Mini is available for purchase on the iDevices website for $39.95. For orders of more than $48, iDevices offers free shipping.

OtterBox Symmetry Series Case

Popular phone case company Otterbox isoffering 10 percent off and free express shipping in the U.S. only, so if you are looking to buy a protective phone case as a holiday gift for a friend, this is a good time to buy.

OtterBox's case comes in a variety of fashionable decorations and contains a synthetic rubber interior with coring to absorb the shock if the phone is dropped, as well as a hard polycarbonate exterior to help avoid scratches.

OtterBox's Symmetry Series case for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s costs $39.95 on the OtterBox website, and comes in a variety of colors, such as black, blue, white and pink.

Newisland Selfie Stick

Everyone surely has that one friend who totes around a selfie stick while traveling. That friend may want a spare: the Newisland Pro 3-in-1 Bluetooth monopod selfie stick as a holiday gift.

The Newisland Selfie Stick can hold the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or certain Android phones. The stick is extendable and contains a built-in remote shutter with the adjustable holder at the end.

This selfie stick is available on Amazon for $11.88.

Style Cordz

Style Cordz are simple gifts for those who appreciate fashionable tech trends. These cables are Apple-certified and allow users to charge up their devices in style.

The USB and Lightning pin cords are compatible with iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6 and iPhone 5 series phones, as well as iPad, iPad Air and iPad minis, and the iPod. They come in an array of styles, including denim, mesh, braided leather, gold and snakeskin designs.

Each of these cords costs $29.99 and is available on Triple C's website.

Brother Laser Printer

The Brother HL-L2360DW is touted as a reliable, affordable monochrome laser printer for family members who may want to boost their home or small office space.

This desk-friendly, compact printer has a 250-sheet capacity tray and connects via wireless networking, Ethernet or USB 2.0 interface, and prints in black and white.

The printer goes for an estimated price of $149.99 and can be bought at local retail stores such as Staples and Best Buy.