20 Cool Last-Minute Tech Gifts For 2020

Wireless earbuds, smartphones and smart speakers are some of the best last-minute tech gifts and gadgets for 2020.

Perfect Tech Gifts For 2020

Maybe the holidays snuck up on you this year while you were focused on other things. And who could blame you, after a year like this? But the fact remains: your holiday shopping needs to get done, and it needs to get done now. Last-minute shopping doesn’t need to add stress, though. Just about everyone is a gadget lover these days--and there are a countless number of cool tech gifts available during the 2020 holiday season. To assist in your last-minute tech gift mission, we’ve compiled some of the best gadgets we’ve come across this year--from smart speakers such as the new Amazon Echo Dot, to smartwatches such as the Apple Watch SE, to wireless earbuds, tablets, laptops and more. Along with Apple and Amazon, our list includes tech gift recommendations from gadget makers such as Samsung, Google, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft.

In the following slides, we offer our picks for 20 last-minute tech gifts worth a look during the holidays 2020.

Belkin Boost Charge 3-in-1 Wireless Charger Special Edition for Apple Devices

For the Apple fan on your list who has all of the latest Apple gear, this 3-in-1 wireless charger from Belkin is a great gift option. The device can simultaneously charge an iPhone, an Apple Watch and AirPods--and do so fast. The Boost Charge 3-in-1 Wireless Charger features a 7.5W charging pad specially made for charging the iPhone, and it can charge through most cases, according to Belkin. The device also has a 5W pad for charging AirPods and a magnetic charging module for powering up an Apple Watch, and features an LED to indicate whether a device is charging properly or not. Importantly, the 3-in-1 charger is made from premium materials including stainless steel, and is available in white or black.

This Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Charger is priced at $129.99.

Oculus Quest 2

After a year like this, who wouldn’t want to escape everyday reality for a bit? Well, it’s actually fairly easy in 2020 because the virtual reality experience just keeps improving--and getting more affordable. With the recently launched Oculus Quest 2, users get an “all-in-one” VR headset that can be used wirelessly. I.e., there’s no longer any need for connecting to a high-powered, expensive PC to access many titles--though the headset does support PC VR gaming, as well. There are also a number of upgrades over the original Oculus Quest headset, including a higher refresh rate and resolution for the display; a redesigned, lighter-weight form factor; new Touch controllers; and, oh yes, a $100 lower price.

The Oculus Quest 2 is priced at $299.

Lenovo Flex 5G

One of the most prominent 5G-capable PCs to be announced this year is Lenovo’s Flex 5G convertible, which includes 5G support as a default capability. With the inclusion of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx platform, which includes a 5G modem, the 2-in-1 laptop is designed around 5G, according to Lenovo. That has included ensuring strong battery life--up to 24 hours on a charge--for the Flex 5G even with the high-speed mobile connectivity. The notebook sports a 14-inch convertible FHD display with 300 nits of brightness, and offers solid portability with a weight of 2.86 pounds and a thickness of 0.58 of an inch.

The Lenovo Flex 5G has a starting price of $1,499.99.

HP Spectre x360 13

With its latest update to the Spectre x360 13, HP has brought improvements to areas including portability (a 13-percent reduction in overall size and 2.8-pound weight) and display (it’s HP’s “first 4K OLED 13-inch diagonal display with True Black HDR” and offers an optional built-in privacy screen). The latest Spectre x360 13, announced in September, also provides up to 22 hours of battery life on a charge and enhanced performance via a quad-core, 10th-gen Intel Core processor.

The HP Spectre x360 13 has a starting price of $829.99 on HP.com.

Apple iPad, 8th Gen

The standard entry-level iPad continues to receive useful updates year after year from Apple. And this year is no different: For its eighth-generation model, the entry-level iPad adds the A12 Bionic chip--best known as the processor in 2018 iPhones such as the iPhone XR. The A12 improves CPU performance by 40 percent and graphics speeds by 2X compared to the seventh-gen iPad. The new iPad retains the 10.2-inch display size and the ability to connect to a keyboard, as well as the option to use the first-gen Apple Pencil with the tablet (both sold separately). On battery life, the latest iPad offers up to 10 hours of usage over Wi-Fi or nine hours over cellular.

Apple’s iPad, eighth-generation, has a starting price of $329 (tablet only, Wi-Fi). The Wi-Fi + Cellular model starts at $459, while Apple’s Smart Keyboard costs $159 and the first-gen Apple Pencil adds another $99.

Microsoft Surface Go 2

Microsoft’s entry-level, compact-sized Surface—the Surface Go 2—got some updates for 2020 including a new form factor. The tablet’s PixelSense display has moved up to 10.5 inches from 10 inches on the first-gen model, and the resolution also has gotten a slight bump to 220 pixels per inch (1,920 x 1,280) from 217 ppi on the original version.

On performance, the Surface Go 2 adds an upgraded Intel Pentium chip for the base model--Pentium Gold 4425Y--compared to the 4415Y on the original model. There’s also an option to equip the tablet with a processor that is a level up from the Pentium, with the Surface Go 2 configurable with an eighth-gen Intel Core m3 chip. The Core m3 provides a 64-percent boost on performance from the first-gen Surface Go, Microsoft said. Additional updates include new Dolby Audio speakers and improved dual far-field mics.

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 has a starting price of $399.99 (Wi-Fi only), while a Core m3 model supporting LTE starts at $729.99. The Surface Go Type Cover is priced at $130.

Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor

A great gift idea for the gamer in your life is a large-screen monitor optimized for gaming--such as the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor. The 31.5-inch HDR monitor provides gamers with improved field of vision and immersion with an 1800R curvature, QHD resolution and color enhancements such as an expanded contrast ratio. Gamers will also appreciate the monitor’s refresh rates of up to 165hz. Meanwhile, low-latency high-dynamic range gaming is enabled on the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor by the inclusion of AMD Radeon FreeSync 2 HDR technology.

The Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor (S3220DGF) is currently priced at $459.99 on Dell.com.

HP USB-C Dock G5

When using an external monitor setup, a dock can help too. Preferably, a USB-C dock such as HP’s USB-C Dock G5--because that allows users to run everything off the dock (monitor, keyboard, mouse) by plugging a single USB-C cable into their laptop. The dock works with both HP and non-HP notebooks (including those from Apple, Lenovo and Dell) and offers connectivity to both DisplayPort and HDMI monitors.

The HP USB-C Dock G5 is currently priced at $179.

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

While the Echo Dot was already the top-selling speaker ever, according to Amazon, the compact-sized version of the Alexa-powered speaker has gotten a major redesign for 2020. With the fourth-gen Amazon Echo Dot, the smart speaker now has a spherical design as well as a fabric exterior. The new Echo Dot features a 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker and adds the ability to snooze the device by tapping on it—while also including the full voice control functionality of the Alexa assistant, of course.

The Amazon Echo Dot, 4th Gen, is currently priced at $29.99 (normally $49.99).

Google Nest Mini (2nd Gen)

With the second-gen Google Nest Mini--the successor to the Google Home Mini--the compact speaker gets some notable upgrades that someone on your gift list is sure to appreciate. One is an improvement on audio quality, with the Google Nest Mini offering bass that is 2X as strong as on the previous Google Home Mini. The smart speaker also offers the ability to reach volumes that are impressive for such a small device, while maintaining sound quality. Of course, the Google Nest Mini offers voice control using the Google Assistant to play music, podcasts, news and much more. But in addition, there’s a handy new option with the second-gen model -- the ability to mount the speaker on the wall.

The Google Nest Mini is currently priced at $29 in the Google Store.

Apple Watch SE

For the first time, Apple has introduced a more affordably priced SE model for its Apple Watch lineup (leveraging the iPhone SE concept). The Apple Watch SE offers 2X faster performance and a 30 percent larger display than the Apple Watch 3, according to Apple. The wearable also includes many of the same health and fitness features of the more-expensive Apple Watch models, including fall detection and sleep tracking.

The Apple Watch SE has a starting price of $279.

Wyze Band

Wyze Band is an affordable fitness band from the maker of the Wyze Cam and other inexpensive smart home devices. The Wyze Band comes with an AMOLED color screen, a dual microphone array, 24/7 heart rate tracking and built-in Amazon Alexa voice communication. The Band can also control other Wyze devices, like Wyze Plug or Wyze Bulb, through its touch interface or Alexa voice command. In addition, it can connect with a smartphone to push app notifications and alerts. The layout, background and color of the Band’s screen can also be customized. Lastly, it is 5ATM water resistant and has a battery that can last 10-14 days on a single charge.

The Wyze Band is priced at $24.99.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

Key features for Samsung’s latest update to its Galaxy Tab series of tablets include a variant that supports 5G—making it the first tablet to support 5G in the U.S.—and improvements to the S Pen stylus such as reduced latency. The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus includes a 12.4-inch OLED display with resolution of 2,800 x 1,752 and a 120hz refresh rate for smoother usage of the tablet. The Tab S7 Plus also offers the ability to connect to a keyboard (sold separately), which features improvements such as the addition of function keys (including an escape and delete key). Other updates include the addition of the eight-core Qualcomm SDM865+ processor, with a clock speed of up to 3.09GHz.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 Plus has a starting price of $849.99 (Wi-Fi only).

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple’s AirPods Pro are hugely popular for good reason. The wireless earbuds not only sound great, but they feature terrific Active Noise Cancellation—something not available in standard AirPods. The AirPods Pro also pair and unpair from your iPhone automatically; recharge in their case; include mics that are excellent for calls; and come with three different silicone ear tips to choose from. The result is a superb listening experience from wireless earbuds that have a strong likelihood of being able to stay in your ears. The AirPods Pro also include Siri voice control and “transparency mode” for being able to listen to music while also hearing the sounds in the environment.

Apple’s AirPods Pro are priced at $249.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Samsung has its own wireless earbuds that offer voice control using smart assistants. Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds+ this year as a follow-up to the original Galaxy Buds from last year. One of the biggest improvements with the Galaxy Buds+ is the extended battery life, which Samsung has pegged at up to 11 hours on a charge—compared to six hours for the original Galaxy Buds. Charging up the Galaxy Buds+ in their case expands the potential battery life even further, to 22 hours. As for audio quality, while the Galaxy Buds+ don’t feature Active Noise Cancellation, they do boast top-notch sound from AKG along with a two-way speaker system that includes an added tweeter. The Galaxy Buds+ also come with three mics and improved “ambient sound” that allows users to remain aware of the environment while still experiencing great audio. And in terms of support for smart assistants, the Galaxy Buds+ work with Samsung’s Bixby as well as Amazon’s Alexa.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are priced at $149.99.

Apple iPhone SE

4.7 inches; LCD; 326 pixels per inch (ppi)

Apple got back into the budget smartphone game this year with the launch of a new iPhone SE. The device is a successor to the original iPhone SE model, which launched in 2016--and has a similar display to the iPhone 8, with its 4.7-inch LCD screen. Along with bringing back a smaller display size and sizable top and bottom bezels, the second-gen iPhone SE revives Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint recognition and home button. One of the most notable updates to the new iPhone SE is the inclusion of Apple’s A13 Bionic processor--since that is the same chip used in all of Apple’s latest iPhones, including the higher-end iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Meanwhile, Apple is calling the iPhone SE’s rear camera the “best single-camera system ever in an iPhone” with 12 megapixels and an f/1.8 aperture on the wide-angle camera.

The Apple iPhone SE has a starting price of $399.

Google Pixel 4a

Google’s Pixel 4a features a 5.8-inch OLED display that, for the first time, includes a “hole-punch” design featuring the front-facing camera in the upper left-hand corner. That means avoiding both big bezels or a notch cutout for the camera. The Pixel 4a also brings over many of the key camera features from the Pixel 4, Google said. Those include Night Sight with “astrophotography” capabilities, Portrait Mode and Top Shot, which captures numerous photos and recommends the best ones. Google is also offering a version of the Pixel 4a that supports high-speed 5G connectivity, while also including a 6.2-inch display and an ultra-wide camera.

The Google Pixel 4a is priced at $349, while the 5G model is priced at $499.

Lenovo Smart Clock

If someone on your gift list could use some help with getting up, the Lenovo Smart Clock might be an excellent gift. The voice-controlled alarm clock (which uses the Google Assistant) offers hundreds of “soothing” alarm sounds, and the 4-inch screen automatically dims at night and brightens in the morning. Users can also set up “Good Morning” and “Good Night” routines and use the Smart Clock to listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks.

The Lenovo Smart Clock is currently priced at $39.99 on Lenovo.com.

Dell XPS 13 (2020)

For the 2020 model, the XPS 13 display is now slightly larger in size at 13.4 inches and is 25-percent brighter. Options for the XPS 13 display include UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) resolution, along with FHD+ resolution (1,920 x 1,200), available with either a touch or non-touch screen. The latest XPS 13 has also gotten a keyboard redesign, with 9-percent larger keycaps and key travel of 1 mm, while the notebook continues to offer an “alpine white” woven-glass fiber material on the palm rest and around the keyboard. On performance, Dell’s latest XPS 13 features 10th-gen Core processors and speedy 3733MHz RAM, with up to 32 GB of RAM available.

The XPS 13 also continues to rate well on portability, with a starting weight of 2.64 pounds and a volume of just 52.8 cubic inches--making it 13-percent smaller all-around than Apple’s latest MacBook Pro, for instance.

The Dell XPS 13 (2020) has a starting price of $999.99.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3

With the recently launched Galaxy Watch3, Samsung brings together luxury-caliber design with advanced features in health and wellness. The wearable is made from materials such as stainless steel and leather, and is being offered as a new titanium model (pictured), as well. The smartwatch is also thinner and lighter than the prior model. For health and wellness features, the Galaxy Watch3 introduces blood oxygen measurement to track oxygen saturation over time, along with blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram readings and fall detection--which can send a notification to chosen contacts in the event of a potential fall. And for fitness features, the smartwatch includes running analysis--which provides real-time feedback during runs--along with six-factor post-workout reports and a new sleep score and insights feature for improving sleep.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 has a starting price of $339.99.