The TechRadar editorial team spends all year testing and writing about gadgets so that you, the consumer, know about the best tech to buy. And there’s no more important time for us than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s when we see our tech buying advice put to the use most.
Problem: It’s really difficult to know what to buy when everything is on sale. We see millions of dollars worth of transactions go through TechRadar to various retailers this weekend, but this page is dedicated to pointing out the very best gadgets, according to our editors’ recommendations.
To answer that question ‘what’s the best tech?’, we put together this Holiday Gift Guide to properly spotlight the best gifts that you should consider purchasing. This includes all of the usual categories we cover: laptops, phones, home theater, PC components, wearables, and game consoles (including individual video games).
Back by popular demand is the Cool Stuff category aka ‘The Big Gift’ from newer devices: drones, electric scooters, and smart home devices. We also have a toys section if you’re buying for kids (or yourself, a kid at heart). Rest assured, you can’t go wrong with these great presents.
Disclaimer: TechRadar’s Holiday Gift Guide is powered by Razer, so while its laptop, phone and headphones appear within our list, all other picks are completely editorially and independently driven.
Join us as we celebrate our best picks for a tech-savvy audience.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
Rarely, a laptop arrives that completely blows everything out of the water. This year, that’s the Huawei MateBook Pro X. It doesn’t do anything altogether new, but it perfects elements from competitors to produce one of the best laptops ever. It’s a perfect gift for anyone that needs a laptop this season.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
For the Apple fan that wanted a MacBook Pro, but wanted to wait until it was more up to date, this is their year. Packed with 8th-generation Intel Core processors, speedy SSDs and an improved Butterfly keyboard, the 2018 13-inch Macbook Pro is the best MacBook yet.
Asus Chromebook Flip C302
Sure, there are more powerful Chromebooks out there. There are even cheaper ones. But, there is no Chromebook on the market that quite hits the price-to-performance ratio that Asus does with the Chromebook Flip C302. It’s the perfect 2-in-1 Chromebook for any students on your Secret Santa list.
Razer Blade (Base Model)
There are few manufacturers as beloved in the PC gaming space as Razer, and the Razer Blade 2018 (Base Model) is a perfect example of why. With all of the same guts inside as the mainstream model with more storage and Ethernet at a lower price, it’s a gaming laptop to beat.
Microsoft Surface Go
The Microsoft Surface line of tablets has long been the pinnacle of what Windows tablets should be, but we always wanted a cheaper model. Our prayers were answered with the Surface Go. It’s an affordable Windows tablet that’ll be the perfect gift for any students on your list.
iPad Pro 11
Apple released two new iPad Pros this year, but the new iPad Pro 11 hits the sweet spot. It’s more affordable, more portable, but equally as powerful as its bigger sibling. With support for keyboard covers and Apple Pencil, the new iPad Pro 11 is an excellent creative tool and potential on-the-go laptop alternative.
Google Pixel 3
For a phenomenal Android experience, look no further than the phone designed by the Android maker. The Pixel 3 offers not only a powerful phone running a bloatware-free version of Android, but it also see fast updates over its lifespan. All that, and it has one of the best smartphone cameras around, making it an all-around wonderful gift.
Razer Phone 2
The Razer Phone 2 is the ideal phone for RGB-loving gamers who wants to live that overclocked life at 120Hz everywhere they go. With the 120Hz refresh rate, it has the most fluid screen we’ve ever seen on a smartphone, and it’s backed up by plenty of speed and dual front-facing speakers. It’s going to be good for 3D gaming for years to come.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 takes everything to the max. It has a massive, Super AMOLED screen, offering one of the best smartphone displays around. Plus, it’s packs high-performance internals into a stunning design. Then there’s the dual-sensor camera system, which also ranks among the best, especially with Samsung’s dual-aperture technology. The Note 9 would make a truly premium present.
iPhone XS Max
Given the popularity of iPhones, it’s almost a no-brainer that a new iPhone will make a great gift this holiday season. And, the iPhone XS Max is the biggest and best. It offers a massive 6.5-inch OLED display, has incredible cameras, and packs a processor that blows the competition away.
OnePlus has made a name for itself in large part by offering premium devices at sub-premium prices. The OnePlus 6T has nailed this with a great price paired with specs that challenge the best smartphones out there and a design that even puts some flagships to shame. If know someone who doesn’t want a smartphone notch this holiday season, the OnePlus 6T has a notch that’s easy to ignore.
A bit of a handheld, a bit of a console: the Nintendo Switch is the most unique gaming device on the market. With a host of brilliant family-friendly games, like Super Mario Party and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect gift for the entire family.
Sony has had a great run this year with PS4 exclusives, like Spider-Man and God of War. Plus, games like The Last of Us: Part II or Ghost of Tsushima are down the pipe, and there’s PSVR to consider. All of that is made that much better by powerful hardware inside the PS4 Pro, making it an excellent holiday gift this year.
Nintendo’s retro consoles have made for delightful gifts, offering a host of classic video games that easily play on modern TVs. This year, Sony’s joined the bandwagon with the PlayStation Classic, and it’s sure to make a fine gift for anyone that grew up playing games on the original console.
The best virtual reality experiences sit behind a massive paywall, that being expensive headsets and computers. But, the Oculus Go breaks that wall down with stunning VR at an affordable price – no expensive computer required. For anyone that’s been dying to dive into immersive VR experiences, the Oculus Go will be a perfect gift.
Super Mario Party
If your family loves to have fun together, Super Mario Party for the Nintendo Switch is an ideal holiday gift for your family. A board game filled with fun mini-games and silly jokes, Super Mario Party is a blast for kids (and adults) of all ages.
Over the last decade, Marvel has seen a resurgence, with fans of all ages embracing its heroes. Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 is the closest we’ve been to feeling like a part of the universe. The ideal gift for any Marvel fans in your life — they’ll be able to do anything a spider can.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Epic, realistic and just plain fun, Red Dead Redemption 2 puts its players in the shoes of an outlaw making ends meet in the wild west. It’s one of the most immersive and detailed games ever made, and will make any western fans on your holiday shopping list extremely happy, no matter the age.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
Treyarch may have stripped a proper first-person campaign out of this year’s Call of Duty release, but Black Ops IIII has brilliant Zombies and multiplayer modes, and it tops that off with a Battle Royale mode. Thanks to excellent execution, the game plays beautifully and will offer plenty of fun to anyone who games this season.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The history-loving gamer in your life is going to absolutely fall in love with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As Kassandra or Alexios, you’ll journey across ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War seeking your long-lost parents. It’s a fine holiday gift for anyone looking for adventure.
Destiny 2 is bigger in 2018 with the newest DLC, Forsaken, in addition to past expansions, Curse of Osiris and Warmind. Whether the gamer in your life already has the base game or has yet to dive into the epic universe, Destiny 2 can make a great holiday gift. The Forsaken expansion can be purchased on its own for anyone who already have the base game, or everything can be bought together.
WD Black NVMe SSD
For those building the perfect gaming PC this season, they’re going to need a speedy SSD that won’t break the bank. The WD Black NVMe SSD from Western Digital is the perfect SSD for such a build. Fast, reliable, capacious and – most importantly – affordable.
Google Wifi 3-Pack
It was only a matter of time before Google got into the wireless mesh router game and, after using the Google Wifi for a while, we just wish it did it sooner. You’d be hard pressed to find a mesh router that’s faster, more reliable and easier to use. It’s the perfect gift for any tech lover in your life.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Sure, you’d have to really love someone to buy them one of these, but the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is indeed the best graphics card to date. This card will plow through all of the games released in 2018, 2019 and beyond – no questions asked.
If someone on your list wants to build a media center PC, you’ll have a tough time finding a better mini-ITX PC case than the NZXT H200i. It’s small enough to blend into your living room, but capacious enough to store all the latest PC components. It’s the best of both worlds.
This inventive magnetic headset stand sticks to any metallic surface (i.e. the side of your PC case) with enough force to hold up the heaviest pair of headphones or a VR headset. It comes also apart into two halves giving you two headset stands and it even has an open seam in the middle to wrap cables around.
For gamers that refuse to compromise to save a few bucks, the Audeze Mobius is one of the most premium gaming headsets we’ve ever seen. Full virtual surround sound, Bluetooth connectivity and a ton of style to top it off, we can’t think of a better gift this season.
Razer Nari Ultimate
You’ve used headsets to listen to your surroundings in games. But, what if you could feel them? The Razer Nari Ultimate is an amazing PC gaming headset that features haptic feedback – for more immersion than ever before. It’s a must gift for the PC gamer on your Secret Santa list.
Canon EOS R
Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera is the perfect gift for the photography pro’s in your life. It captures incredibly sharp and colorful photos with its 30.3MP sensor. Thanks to its dual-pixel autofocus system, this camera is also fantastic at shooting 4K videos.
Canon EOS M50
Know someone who wants to get deeper into photography? The Canon EOS M50 is an affordable but capable mirrorless camera that’s easy to use with excellent image quality. 4K video is also an option, and you can quickly transfer photos to a phone for social sharing.
Shopping for an adventurous person can be difficult. What do you even buy for someone that just exudes excitement? Well, the GoPro Hero7 might just be the thing. A rugged, portable video camera that can go anywhere, delivering beautiful 4K video. The GoPro Hero7 is the perfect camera for any crazy adventures.
Zhiyun Crane 2
Anyone filming outdoors knows that keeping everything in focus and stable is tough, especially moving subjects. No longer with the Zhiyun Crane 2, an affordable camera gimbal that can adjust focus without dismantling or setting up crazy hardware.
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6
The days of film and instant cameras aren’t over. Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ6 is a testament to that, offering a well-built, easy-to-use camera for tons of fun instant photos. This is a great camera gift for nostalgic Millennials and those who love taking party photos. A mirror on the front even makes it easy to snap an instant selfie.
Polaroid Mint 2-in-1 Instant Camera
No matter how far technology goes, there’s still charm in the old ways. The Polaroid Mint 2-in-1 Instant Camera takes the classic design and modernizes it to work with digital images. It’s a digital camera with an instant photo printer built right in, so you get the instant gratification while keeping the modern convenience. And face it, with all of your other camera, including your phone, you’re probably not going to ever print out the photos. This is a convenient and time-saving solution for everyone.
The Mevo Plus is a fantastic portable live stream-camera camera that can pass as a professional camcorder. Mevo Plus can interface with your mobile device, so that you can easily live stream in 4K on the go. There are also a bunch of accessories to improve your production. The Mevo Plus is a fantastic holiday gift for any aspiring journalist or vlogger.
Apple Watch 4
The new Apple Watch 4 makes a great gift for so many different people. It’s performance and features make it a solid pick for any techies looking for the best smartwatch around. And, it’s advanced health features make it a good choice for anyone trying to monitor their health and habits. Then the stunning screen and design just make it a perfect pick for iPhone owners.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch shows how good a smartwatch can be. It has a sophisticated design, a long 4-day battery in the larger model, and capable software. While it doesn’t have the same app support as Wear OS, it will make a great gift for anyone using a Samsung phone.
New Tile Pro and Mate
We all have lost our keys before. But, you don’t have to anymore. The new Tile Pro and Mate trackers will ensure you never leave home without keys, or never leave your keys on your desk at work. Now that they have replaceable batteries, you don’t have to worry about replacing the Tile down the line.
TCL 6-Series 4K Roku TV
Hoping to gift someone a great new TV? TCL’s 6-series of 4K Roku TVs are as good as it gets for under $1,000. It’s our favorite HDR-equipped television at its price at the moment. It offers excellent HDR profiles with Dolby Vision, a full-array panel for great local dimming. Plus, with Roku built in, it offers quick access to all the best streaming content. It’s both easy to set up and brilliant to watch. You can’t go wrong with this television, especially at its low price.
LG C8 OLED
LG’s C8 OLED TVs are in a class of their own. With the brilliant contrast of OLED panels offering truly rich blacks for all that HDR goodness, the picture quality on these 4K TVs is incredible. And, with LG’s unrivaled smart platform, using the LG C8 TVs is as easy as it gets. The top-notch quality here makes these TVs a top-notch gift.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick offered an easy way to add smart functionality to a TV, and now the Fire TV Stick 4K delivers even more smarts and adds in support for 4K HDR content in HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision formats. That’s killer support for HDR content, and it gets even better with Dolby Atmos surround sound support. All that makes it a great gift, and when you factor in the price, it’s an affordable one as well.
BenQ HT2550 4K HDR Projector
There aren’t many projectors yet offering what the BenQ HT2550 does: 4K HDR, a quality design, and a price well under $2,000. The BenQ HT2550 hits a bright 2,200 lumens, making it usable in most environments, and its color accuracy will look that much better in ideal lighting. If you want to gift someone the foundation of a new home theater, this is it.
Sony WH-1000XM3 ANC Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones are awesome when traveling, or even when lounging at home. The Sony WH-1000XM3 ANC Headphones make an amazing holiday gift for aspiring audiophiles. Music, movies and even games will sound fantastic without any of the disturbances of the outside world.
DJI Mavic Air
The DJI Mavic Air is simply a powerhouse drone for a foldable drone. It packs a great camera system and nice suite of sensors for safe flying. The camera sits on a gimbal for steady shooting of 12MP HDR photos, sweeping panoramas, and 4K video at 30fps. And, all of that is squeezed into a totable design, with a palatable sticker price. As far as drones go, there’s none better suited for gifting this holiday season.
Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L
The camera enthusiasts at Peak Design made their latest bag, the Travel Backpack 45L, capable of storing both camera gear and leaving space for vacation luggage. It’s all smartly designed. The bag has pouches and pockets galore, side and rear access, hideaway backpack and hip straps, and a weatherproof 400D nylon shell with weatherproof zippers to boot. If you know someone who’s always adventuring but needs new luggage, this would be a great gift.
iRobot Roomba i7+
For the gift of hassle-free cleaning this holiday season, then the Roomba i7+ is the best pick. It not only improves basic vacuuming with automatic mapping and voice control, but this model can even automatically empty its dust bin. That makes cleaning just somehow even easier.
Boosted Board Mini and Mini X
There are more an more electric-powered gadgets making it easier to get from A to B, and the Boosted Board Mini is a great addition to the options out there. It comes in two flavors with the Mini S offering a 7-mile range and 18mph top speed while the Mini X offers 14 miles of range and a 20mph top speed. Both are more compact than their longboard brethren, making them an excellent pick this holiday season for an inner-city commuting upgrade.
If someone you know is constantly forgetting lock combinations or losing keys, take a look at the Tapplock. Rather than conventional means of security, this padlock is unlocked via fingerprint, which means it’s not only easier to use but more secure, too. Is there a better stocking stuffer?
Gotrax GXL electric scooter
Electric scooters are great for anyone that doesn’t like to get in their car just to run out and get some lunch. The Gotrax GXL electric scooter isn’t just a great deal, but it is also amazing for convenience – it folds up for easy storage, making it a perfect commuting scooter.
Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Star Wars is one of those franchises that kids (and adults) of all ages can get into. This Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper robot is a fantastic gift for any Star Wars fans on your list. It even comes with a companion app, so you can control it from your smartphone or tablet. Who doesn’t love Star Wars? Who doesn’t love robots? Who doesn’t love Storm Troopers (okay, besides Luke and the Rebellion)?