It’s time to get serious about holiday shopping.
Trying to decide on the perfect laptop, tablet, or tech accessory can be overwhelming.
Manufacturers release tons of gadgets all year, so sifting through all of your options to find the best fit can be overwhelming.
Our holiday gift guide is full of excellent ideas — whether you’re trying to find a new laptop for your son or daughter going away to college, some new cases and accessories to use as stocking stuffers, or the best entertainment devices to spice up your living room.
The M50x headphones are entry-level audiophile headphones that are stylish too. A fan-favourite for their crystal clear sound and accurate bass, these professional-grade studio headphones will make your favourite songs sound even better.
Sennheiser's Momentum 2 headphones blow Beats out of the water with their impressive sound quality and premium design that won't go out of style any time soon. A slight step up from Audio-Technica's M50x headphones, these headphones will ensure you're hearing your music how it's intended to sound, and there's even handy controls for your smartphone too.
If you're looking for the perfect pair of Bluetooth headphones, it doesn't get much better than Sennheiser's Momentum 2 wireless headphones. With the same iconic, high-quality design and incredible sound quality of its wired counterpart, these are the headphones to buy if you're looking to treat yourself. They even have active noise cancelling.
Shure's SE215-K sound isolating earphones may fit a bit differently into your ear (they're over-ear) but they're the best entry-level audiophile earbuds for people on a budget. With an enhanced bass dynamic micro driver that means you'll feel the bass without sacrificing sound quality, these things can pack a punch. The cable is also easily detachable and can be replaced for $35 -- but it's made out of reinforced kevlar so that shouldn't even be an issue.
The Philips Hue starter pack lets you control three LED light bulbs with your smartphone -- and using your voice thanks to Siri -- and the best part is that they plug right into your existing light fixtures. Once installed, you can adjust the colour to your liking and set it up to wake you in the morning or turn off automatically when you leave.
Samsung's Gear VR headset is the perfect way to experience high-quality virtual reality games and experiences, and it's incredibly affordable if you already own a Samsung Note 5, S6, S6 +, S6 Edge, or S6 Edge +. You'll need one of those phones since the headset -- made with the help of team behind the Oculus Rift -- is actually powered by your phone when you slot it into the front of the device.
If you're looking for that one gift to wow everyone you show, this is it.
Price: $99 (also requires a Samsung flagship phone)
NomadKey makes use of something you always have with you -- your keys. The USB charger looks like a key and goes wherever you do, ensuring that you'll be able to charge your phone even if your host has a different type of phone and charger than you do.
The best GoPro out there lets you capture 4K video and 12 megapixel photos at 30 fps, and it's even waterpoof up to 131 feet. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you can control the camera with your smartphone.
The Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard is the best keyboard out there for people with multiple devices. The compact keyboard comes with settings for your Android, Apple, or Windows phones and tablets.
Apple's Magic Mouse 2 is all about multi-touch gesture control, meaning that instead of clicking any buttons, you can tap and swipe your way around. The new model also features fewer moving parts than its predecessor, and a redesigned bottom.
The iPhone 6S is the best phone for most people. It's not drastically different than its predecessor, but it comes with a ton of subtle improvements. These include faster performance, a better camera, and Apple's 3-D Touch technology. And let's not forget that with Apple, you get access to the best marketplace for apps.
Price: Around $649
The iPhone 6S Plus is the best large-screened phone you can buy. Although Samsung's newest Galaxy Note is a worthy competitor, the iPhone offers the best mix of hardware, design, and app selection.
This year's iPhone 6S Plus is faster than the last, has a better camera and an improved fingerprint scanner, and comes with Apple's new pressure-sensitive technology.
Price: Around $749
If you're looking for an Android phone with a big screen, the Galaxy Note 5 is probably your best choice. It has a gorgeous display and a great camera, and Samsung's stylus is optimised to work well with its version of Android. For example, pulling the pen out of its holster launches a special menu for apps that work with the stylus.
This year's Note is better than ever, especially since Samsung improved its design so that it matches that of the Galaxy S6. You can also write on the screen even if the display is turned off, which makes it easier to quickly jot down notes.
But if you don't care about the stylus and have an extra $100 to spend, you might want to take a look at Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+. This big-screen phone might be the the best-looking smartphone on the market. But again, for most people, the curved screen doesn't add enough it doesn't add enough benefit to justify the price tag.
Galaxy Note 5 Price: Around $700
If you're looking for an Android phone and are on a tight budget, Google's new Nexus 5X is also a great option. It comes with a 5.2-inch screen, which makes it the same size as Samsung's Galaxy S6, and includes a 12.3-megapixel camera.
But Google claims that the pixels in the Nexus 5X's camera are larger than that of the typical smartphone, which should result in better photos. The real benefit of buying a Nexus phone like the 5X is that it runs on a completely pure version of Android. It's always the first to get Google's big Android updates, too.
And if you want a big-screen phone from Google, The Nexus 6P has a solid 5.7-inch screen, and only costs $500.
Nexus 5X Price: Around $379
Nexus 6P Price: Around $499
For $400, the Moto X Pure gives you a super-sharp QHD screen and a 21-megapixel camera. It also runs on a version of Android that's not crowded with bloatware or unnecessary apps, which makes the experience feel more smooth.
It's significantly cheaper than Samsung's newest Galaxy phones, and you're getting a similar experience, though it doesn't have a fingerprint sensor.
The OnePlus 2 is excellent if you're looking for a large-screened phone that won't cost you too much
The 16GB OnePlus 2 sells for $329, while the 64GB edition sells for $389.
The phone has a powerful 64-bit processor, a 1080p 5.5-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera, and a fingerprint sensor. The specs are almost on par with other flagship phones, and it costs much less.
The BlackBerry Priv is the company's first phone that runs the Android operating system. But BlackBerry has stuck partially to its roots by including a slide-out keyboard. If you are nostalgic for the old days of BlackBerry keyboards but love Google's app ecosystem and operating system, this could be a nice compromise.
The Moto G costs $199 without a carrier contract, which is cheaper than what most phones cost with a carrier contract.
For that price, you're getting a 13-megapixel camera, water resistance, and a 5-inch screen. It's not as powerful or as attractive as most flagship phones, but it's an unbelievable bargain.
Price: Around $179
If you want the gold standard in smartwatches and don't mind paying top dollar, the Apple Watch is for you. The Apple Watch has a good-looking form factor and is great at small use cases: checking a text, an email, or a tweet. It's not going to replace your phone, and if you can let go of that conception, you'll find the Apple Watch can be elegant and useful.
Apple Sport Price: $349-$399
Apple Watch Price: $549-$599
Apple Edition Price: $10,000-$17,000
The Gear S2 is among the best smartwatches you can buy. Not only is it one of the better-looking watches out there, but its rotating bezel also makes it much easier to use. It has an interface that actually makes sense for a watch, and it's clear that Samsung put more effort into optimising its software for the wrist rather than just shrinking down what you'd see on your phone.
The Moov Now isn't really a fitness tracker, but more a robotic personal trainer that lives on your wrist. It tells you when your running form is bad, and guides you through workout routines in running, swimming, cycling, cardio boxing, and more. Cardio boxing is particularly cool, and is an addictive cross between Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.
If you want a straight fitness tracker, Fitbit is the best in the business. The Fitbit Surge can count your steps, your heart rate, and sleep time. But it also gets things like text notifications, and has a GPS tracker.
If you don't care about the added 'smartwatch' elements, like text notifications, then you might want to check out the Fitbit Charge -- which is $100 less and is every bit as serviceable as a health tracker.
Fitbit Surge Price: $249.95
Fitbit Charge Price: $129.95
The Sony PlayStation 4, first released in 2013, has swiftly become the most popular gaming console of this generation of hardware.
In addition to powerful graphics and processing power under the hood, the PlayStation 4 lets players broadcast their gameplay to Twitch or YouTube with the push of a button.
Top titles for the PlayStation 4 this holiday season include 'Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection' and 'Star Wars: Battlefront,' which is also available for Xbox One and PC.
Better yet, Sony has made available a selection of holiday bundles, packaging in the PlayStation 4 console with some of its best games.
Price: Starts at $349
The Xbox One, also released in 2013, spent most of the past few years as runner-up to Sony. But this year, Microsoft turned things around in a big way.
Not only did Microsoft release a big update making the Xbox One backwards compatible with a large library of select Xbox 360 games, but it also added the ability to stream Xbox One gameplay over the network to a Windows 10 desktop, laptop, or tablet. It makes any Windows computer an Xbox.
Top Xbox One titles this holiday season include 'Rise of the Tomb Raider,' 'Halo 5: Guardians,' 'Star Wars: Battlefront,' and 'Fallout 4,' the latter two of which are also available on Sony PlayStation 4 and PC.
Like Sony, Microsoft is bundling the Xbox One console with some top games to make your shopping a little easier.
Price: Starts at $349.
The Nintendo Wii U, first released in 2012, may have failed to live up to the sales expectations set by its predecessor, the smash-hit Nintendo Wii.
But it's a great gaming console in its own right, with a unique tablet-based controller that offers some nifty gameplay. Plus there are a wide selection of top-tier games, like 'Super Smash Bros. for Wii U' and 'Mario Kart 8,' you can only get on Nintendo's console.
Top Wii U games this holiday season include 'Super Mario Maker' and 'Xenoblade Chronicles X.'
And there are bundles available with the Wii U and smash hits 'Splatoon' and 'Super Smash Bros. for Wii U' for less than $300.
Price: Starts at $299.99
Nintendo's best-selling 3DS handheld console got a big upgrade for 2015 with the confusingly-named New Nintendo 3DS.
Like the original, the New Nintendo 3DS sports two screens -- the bottom one is a touchscreen, and the top one has a unique stereoscopic 3D display that lets games pop out at you. And don't worry, you can turn down or turn off the 3D effect with a built-in switch if you get motion-sick.
The New Nintendo 3DS is compatible with all 3DS games. But it adds a lot of horsepower under the hood, meaning faster load times and support for more graphics-intensive games like 'Xenoblade Chronicles 3D,' only available for the New Nintendo 3DS. There's also a New Nintendo 3DS XL that sports a larger screen.
Top games this holiday season include 'Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer,' 'The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes,' and 'Yo-Kai Watch.'
Price: Starts at $199
The Sony PlayStation Vita mobile gaming system has a few notable features, including a touchscreen on the back. And it's the only mobile console to have games like 'The Walking Dead: Season 1' and 'Borderlands 2,' so you can play on the go.
But the real reason people love the PlayStation Vita is because it's the PlayStation 4 gamer's best friend. With a feature called 'Remote Play,' you can actually use your Vita to access your PlayStation 4 and play your games over the Internet, on your own home WiFi or elsewhere.
Not every game supports Remote Play. But top-tier games like 'Fallout 4,' 'Grand Theft Auto V,' and 'Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain' all let you stream on the go.
Price: Starts at $172.49
If you're worried about what's going on at home while you're away -- or just want to see what your dog gets up to when you're at work -- Canary could be for you.
The Canary All-in-One Home Security Device has a wide-angle camera that lets you see what's going on via an app on your iPhone or Android device. But it also goes a step beyond with an air quality sensor that can tell you humidity and temperature while you're on the go.
Sonos is as good as it gets for the discerning digital music fan, and the Play:5, refreshed for 2015, is top of the heap.
The Sonos Play:5 boasts superior sound quality, room-filling volume and the ability to play music from services like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and Amazon Prime Music -- with Apple Music support coming later this month.
This year, Sonos also introduced TruePlay, a feature of the official app that helps you tune your speakers to better suit your room.
Netflix isn't just a place to watch movies and old shows anymore. It is increasingly becoming a powerhouse of producing its own original content. And with the basic subscription starting at just $8.99 a month, it is an essential for anyone taking part in the cord-cutting trend.
Price: $8.99-$9.99 a month
Amazon Prime gives you a host of services that will make your life easier and more fun. You get free two-day shipping on many Amazon purchases, unlimited Amazon Prime videos and music for free, cloud storage for all your photos, and free access to some ebooks to boot. The video streaming portion, in particular, has ramped up in recent months with the addition of many quality original shows like 'Transparent' and 'The Man in the High Castle.'
Price: $99 per year
HBO Now is a cord-cutter's dream, letting you stream HBO content directly without the need for a cable subscription. This app gives you access to all of HBO's content, past and present, as well as a rotating roster of films.
Price: $14.99 per month
Spotify is most popular streaming service in the world and there's a reason. The selection and ease of use of the platform is second to none. And Spotify's secret weapon is its excellent suggestions for what music you'd like, built around powerful artificial intelligence.
Price: $10 per month
First released in 2014, the Apple iPad Air 2 is still the best bang for your buck.
Thin, fast, and light, the iPad Air 2 is a versatile little machine with a TouchID fingerprint sensor. Under the hood, the iPad Air 2 is up to the challenge of handling Apple iOS 9's new multitasking features, including a split-screen app view and picture-in-picture.
Price: Starts at $470
This year, Apple gave the iPad Mini line a much-needed major update with the iPad Mini 4.
The iPad Mini 4 packs just as much computing punch as the iPad Air 2, including the TouchID sensor, in a smaller 7.9-inch screen. If you're ok with the fact that you get less screen real estate, the iPad Mini 4 is around $100 cheaper than the iPad Air 2, as well.
Price: Starts at $377.99
Amazon's newest Fire tablet is most notable for its price -- a measly $50.
So while its screen isn't the best, and its processor not the fastest, nor its build quality the best, it's so cheap that you won't care. In fact, if you buy five, Amazon is throwing in the sixth for free.
If you (or your giftee) already watch a lot of Amazon Prime movies or read a lot of Amazon Kindle books, this is a great, affordable option.
Price: Starts at $49.99
NVidia's updated Shield K1 tablet is an Android tablet with a twist: It connects to the GeForce Now streaming service, letting you play recent-release PC games at full resolution on the go.
As an added bonus, NVidia just dropped the price of the Shield K1 by $100, so it's also one of the more affordable options around.
Price: Starts at $199.99
The current incarnation of the Nexus 7, which Google launched at the end of 2013, is super slim, has a sharp screen, and also gets the latest Android updates much quicker than other devices. It's an incredible value for the price.
Price: Starts at $199
The Nexus 9 has a vibrant screen and great battery life. It comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop, but the Nexus 9 is easily upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which gets you all of Google's sweet new features and a snappier, better-looking interface.
Price: Starts at $298.92
Samsung's new flagship tablet, the Galaxy Tab S2, has a super sharp and colourful screen, with fingerprint sensors on both sides.
The tablet itself is also razor thin and super light, making it a great alternative to the iPad for those who prefer Android. The Galaxy Tab S comes in two sizes: 8 inches and 9.7 inches.
Price: Starts at $349
Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 tablet is closer than ever to the promise of a tablet that can replace your laptop, especially with the optional-but-not-really $129 keyboard Type Cover.
It has a full version of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, meaning that it can run any Windows software. So while it may not have the graphical horsepower to play the latest and greatest PC games, the Surface Pro 4 is a lean, mean, web-browsing and productivity machine.
Price: Starts at $899
Apple CEO Tim Cook claims that this is the iPad that can replace a tablet.
It's not quite there, mainly because it can still only run Apple iOS apps. But the iPad Pro has got a big, 12.9-inch screen, and plenty of horsepower under the hood that lets it run two apps, plus picture-in-picture video, without missing a beat.
Add the $169 optional Smart Keyboard and $99 Apple Pencil stylus and you have an gigantic, productivity-focused tablet.
Price: Starts at $799
If you're looking for a really portable high-end, super-thin laptop that isn't a MacBook Air, the updated Dell XPS 13 is one of your best bets.
It has a sleek design, a high-resolution that almost seems to float over the keyboard, and great performance. Higher-end models sport a touchscreen, to boot.
Price: Starts at $799
Apple's newest MacBook is a departure for the company. It only has one port, for USB-C, meaning you'll need adapters and USB hubs to use most of your existing accessories. And its performance can't stack up against beefier laptops.
But it's also thin, light, fast, and gets amazing battery life. The new MacBook's trackpad also supports Apple's new 'Force Touch' feature that detects how hard you're pushing down and reacts accordingly.
Most of all, it's gorgeous, and actually thinner than a MacBook Air. It's a great, stylish choice for those who need it for basic everyday tasks like reading email, browsing the web, and watching video.
Price: Starts at $1,269
The MacBook Pro is as good as Apple laptops get, with high performance and good battery life in a svelte, attractive, 13- or 15-inch package.
This year, the MacBook Pro didn't get a huge change, with a little more power under the hood and a new 'Force Touch' trackpad that can detect how hard you're pushing. But if you dig Apple, this is the premium stuff.
Price: Starts at $1299
Microsoft turned plenty of heads this year with the announcement of the Microsoft Surface Book, its first-ever laptop.
What makes it so special? The screen actually detaches to become a powerful, lightweight tablet on its own. And some models of Microsoft Surface Book go so far as to include a dedicated graphics unit right in the keyboard base, making it a gaming and video-editing powerhouse. In fact, Microsoft says it's twice as powerful as an Apple MacBook Pro.
Price: Starts at $1,499
If you're looking for a more affordable, but still high-performance, Windows 10 laptop, look no further than the Asus Zenbook UX305.
It's good-looking and carries three USB ports, making it a great in-betweener choice for those who don't use their laptops for anything too intensive, but also want something a little bit above the budget models.
Price: Starts at $599
The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro is the newest entry in a series of reliable laptops that actually fold back over on themselves to become perfectly functional tablets.
Last year's Yoga 2 Pro was held back by the Windows 8 operating system. The new Windows 10 is much better-suited to both laptops and tablets, owing to a streamlined look and a better touch interface.
Price: Starts at $938
The Acer Aspire One Cloudbook is one of the best deals around: For less than $200 for the 11-inch model, you get a full Windows 10 laptop that's perfect for web browsing and running software like Microsoft Office.
And speaking of Microsoft Office, it comes with a one-year subscription to Microsoft's Office 365 productivity cloud service.
You won't blow the doors off, performance-wise, with the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook. But it's a great value.
Price: Starts at $182.99
If you're a web addict, it's worth considering a Chromebook -- a line of laptops running Google's Chrome OS, which is literally just a web browser.
If that sounds good to you, the Asus C201 is a well-reviewed, sub-$200 Chromebook that makes browsing the web and checking email a total breeze.
Price: Starts at $149
While most Chromebooks run on a processor that's meant for handling light tasks such as checking email and and creating documents on the web, this Acer model comes with a full desktop processor and a 13-inch screen.
Chromebooks don't need that type of processor -- they can get buy just fine with a simple Intel Celeron chip -- but the upgrade to a quad-core ARM chip makes the Acer Chromebook 13 much beefier.
Price: Starts at $329
If you're on a budget but love the Mac ecosystem, the Mac Mini is a great place to start. You'll need to provide your own keyboard and display, but this small computer is still plenty powerful for everyday tasks.
Apple's newest iMacs have stunning Retina displays that are so sharp you'll notice any pixels again, making them a great work station for those in photography or film. The 27-inch version features an incredible 5K display, and the 21.5-inch features a 4K display. They're both incredibly powerful, and come with the latest version of Mac OS X, El Capitan, installed.
Price for 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display: $1,499 +
Price for 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display: $1,799 +
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