2017 Electronics Holiday Gift Guide
By David Weedmark
Updated December 01, 2017
Holiday shopping couldn't be easier this year. Not only have prices gone down tremendously on many electronics and accessories, but the sales you'll find from Black Friday through Boxing Day also mean you can probably save even more.
Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for a family member, friend, or co-worker – or even if you're just looking for some great deals for yourself – we've scoured the internet this year to find you the best gifts for a variety of price ranges. To make it easier to find the right gift for the right person, we've included several choice items for a variety of budgets.
Best Gifts Under $25
It’s distressing to see someone you care about roaming from room to room looking for an iPhone or iPad charger. This MFi certified charging and syncing cable connects to any recently-made iPhone, iPad, or iPod requiring a Lightning connector. Plug it into any USB port or wall charger. Don’t worry about fraying. These cables have been tested to bend at 95-degrees 4,000 times. (3 feet – $6.49; Amazon)
If more charging cables aren't what your friends and family may want, they will certainly love the freedom of going wireless. With a Qi Wireless charging pad, they can simply put their compatible iPhone, Galaxy or other Qi-compatible smartphone down and it will charge automatically. There's absolutely nothing to plug in.
The inductive charging technology inside the pad creates a magnetic field that resonates with the Qi-compatible receiver in the smartphone, producing an electrical current that charges the battery. The result: easy wireless charging for unlimited texting and selfies. ($19.99; Amazon)
Even the most discriminating audiophile will appreciate the quality of these detachable earphones. For under $25, the amazing sound quality of these KZ ZS5 Detachable HiFi Earphones will have your friends or love ones believing you paid much more. From the low bass to the mid-tone vocals to the highest guitar pitches, each note is emitted with extreme detail and crystal-clear clarity. These earphones come with a detachable cable, which will ensure they will be enjoying their music for years to come. ($17.99; GearBest)
Best Gifts Under $50
Amazon’s newest Fire TV Stick will give anyone on your list access to unlimited entertainment, in a USB device that fits in a pocket. It offers tens of thousands of channels and all streaming apps you would ever want, including Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now.
Using the Alexa Voice Remote, you can say goodbye to tedious toggling. Just tell Alexa what you want to watch and it will start the show right where you left off. If you want something to chill with while watching your favorite show, you can even use it to order a pizza. ($39.99, Amazon)
When you need a charge fast, nothing beats a portable ultra-high capacity power bank. Anker's PowerCore 20100 can charge most smartphones and tablets four or five times faster than using a typical AC adapter. If you have an iPhone 7, the charge is almost seven times as fast. It also offers surge protection to protect your device while its getting the juice they need. At less than seven inches long and three inches wide, this charger is highly portable. It weighs about the same as a 12-oz can of soup. ($31.69, Amazon)
Who would have ever thought you could get a a high-quality tablet for under $50? Amazon’s 7-inch Fire Tablet features a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, eight hours of battery light and up to 16 GB of storage. Slide in a microSD card and you can have an additional 256 GB. This rugged little beauty is powerful enough to play your favorite games, stream Netflix, or browse Facebook without a hiccup. With a Netflix, Showtime or Amazon Prime account, you can even download your favorite shows and take them with you. Built-in parental controls make this a great gift for kids. ($49.99; Amazon)
Best Gifts Under $100
If someone you know loves tinkering, nothing beats a home-made Raspberry Pi computer. The CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit can be used to create any number electronic devices, including a streaming media player or a home security system. It contains a Quad-Core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of memory, on-board WiFi and Bluetooth, and 32GB of storage. It connects to any TV or monitor using an HDMI cable. If you're not sure what to build with it first, it comes with a complete instruction guide. If you order it before the holidays, it even comes gift-wrapped. ($69.99; Amazon)
If you want to share the gift of music during a holiday party, headphones are less than ideal. With the JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, everyone can groove to the same tune for up to 12 hours before its lithium-ion battery needs to be recharged. With a waterproof case, this speaker can sit in the rain or even get submerged in water without damaging it. And, if you want to share the party with friends and family who can’t make it, this rugged little device also doubles as a high-quality speakerphone. ($87.99; Amazon)
If you have a book-lover on your Christmas list, she will adore the new Amazon Kindle PaperWhite. With its 300 PPI display, it has the highest resolution of any e-reader today. That's twice the number of pixels as previous Kindles. The screen brightness adjusts between daytime and night-time reading and can be customized for any level of light.
Unlike reading from a tablet, there is no glare from the screen, so it’s just like reading a paper book, without the bulk and without the dogeared pages. A single charge lasts for up to six weeks. ($89.99; Amazon)
Best Gifts Under $200
For years now, GoPro cameras have been the standard for capturing video and photos while on the move. For the adventurer on your holiday list, this entry level edition GoPro Hero+ can record HD 1080p video and 8MP photos from anywhere you happen to be, from climbing a mountain to wind surfing over an ocean. Like all GoPros, it’s extremely rugged and is waterproof to 131 feet underwater. Using its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, you can stream the video directly to your smartphone or tablet, or share your footage directly to Facebook or Twitter within moments of recording. ($138.95; Amazon)
At only 14mm thick – that's about 0.55 inches – the Pebble Time Round is one of the lightest, most comfortable smartwatches on the market today. Compatible with both Android and Apple iPhones, it features a round display, a steel body and buttons that are well-spaced and easy to access when you're short on time. Unlike other smartwatches, the Pebble Time Round has a great battery life. It can last up to two days on a single charge. ($109-$145; Amazon)
When it comes to exceptional sound quality, there is probably no better name than Bose. The SoundSport headphones use a floating-fit open design that make them perfect when you need to hear your surrounding, like a shout from a team-mate or an approaching car while you're on a bike. Designed with sports in mind, these headphones are sweat and water resistant. They also come with an inline microphone and a remote that allows you to take a call or adjust the volume in a snap. ($129.99; Amazon)
- Amazon: Qi Wireless Charging Pad
- Computerworld: Wireless Charging Explained: What Is It and How Does It Work?
- Amazon: All-New Fire 7 Tablet With Alexa
- Amazon: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit
- Amazon: Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader
- Amazon: GoPro Hero+ LCD, E-Commerce Entry Level Edition
- Amazon: Pebble Time Round 14mm Smartwatch
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful technology businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and online publications on computers and other technology topics.