Tech holiday gift guide 2021

There are plenty of great tech gifts out there this holiday season. Here are some of the best we’ve found. 

Budget TV with lots of goodies: TCL 6-Series

The new TCL 6-Series continues to garner rave reviews as a budget 4K TV. It boasts Mini LED technology, which means better picture quality, and full-array local dimming, which improves contrast. It also comes with THX mode that can level-up your gaming experience by boosting user-input response times in fast-action games. And as icing on the cake, it comes with the well-received Roku TV operating system. Prices for the 55-, 65- and 75-inch models are typically priced at $649, $899 and $1,399, respectively.  

The logo of the US company Apple can be seen on the back of a new MacBook Air. The Apple tablet is one of the top gifts for this holiday season. ( Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images / Getty Images)


Best bang-for-the-buck iPad: Apple iPad (9th-gen, 2021)

The baseline iPad has been updated for 2021 and delivers pretty much everything you would expect from an iPad but at a low starting price of $329 direct from Apple. Specs include a 10.2-inch Retina display with Apple’s True Tone technology and an A13 Bionic chip. You also have the option for an Apple Pencil and an Apple Smart Keyboard.  

Solid midrange phone that’s often discounted: Google Pixel 5a with 5G

Google phones are getting better as they get cheaper. That seems counterintuitive but it took Google a while to get the hang of making competitive smartphones. The Pixel 5a boasts 5G, water resistance, good battery life (short battery life had previously been a Pixel shortcoming), and a good camera (a longstanding Pixel strength). While pricing from Google often changes, particularly during the holiday season, the 128GB version is typically priced at $449 though Google has been selling the phone recently for $399.   

This photo shows an Apple iPhone 13 Pro smartphone, taken on October 29, 2021. The iPhone 13 is one of the top gifts for this holiday season.  ( Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Apple’s newest iPhone is the best you can gift this holiday season: iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 hits the sweet spot, offering Apple’s latest tech at an affordable price. You get a better camera, faster chip, longer battery life and 5G. You also get Apple’s newest MagSafe technology, which uses magnets for hooking up accessories – a feature that users loved but Apple killed in 2016. Now it’s back. Prices start at $799 direct from Apple. 

Laptop: HP Pavilion Aero Laptop

One of the best 13-inch laptop deals this holiday season and a great gift for a student. It’s one of the lightest 13-inch laptops, at only 2.2 pounds, and boasts a fast AMD processor, long battery life, and a beautiful, bright display. Priced below $700.   

Ever-popular gaming console: Nintendo Switch

The popular portable gaming console is for gamers of all ages, particularly younger kids. A newer version of the Switch offers a larger 7-inch OLED display. You can connect to a TV for play on the big screen. One downside: It has been chronically out of stock so consider yourself lucky if you can find one. The OLED model has a suggested retail price of $349.99.   


Pet tracker: Fi Series 2 Smart Dog Collar. 

The Fi Series 2 Smart Dog Collar is chew-proof and waterproof. It uses GPS and LTE antennas for precise location tracking and fast escape detection. Priced at $149. 

This photo shows loop accessories for the new AirTags, one of the top gifts this holiday season, on display at the Apple Store on April 30, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.  (James D. Morgan/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Personal item tracker: Apple AirTag 

The AirTag is designed to help find personal items such as keys, bags, clothes and small electronic devices. Starting at $29 direct from Apple


Webcam: Logitech C920S Webcam 

In the age of Zoom, the quality of your webcam is important. Logitech’s C920s webcam delivers a big improvement over standard webcams. Priced at $79.99 direct from Logitech.  

Earbuds: SleepPhones Wireless Sleep Headphones 

The wireless headband on SleepPhones Wireless Sleep Headphones reduces ambient noise and can block out your partner’s snoring. Priced around $100.  

Candice Cearley

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