There are a lot of lists of the best deals you can get on just about everything as Black Friday and the holiday season approach. This isn't one of those lists. Instead, this list is all about the very best gadget gift ideas for that tech-loving friend or family member.
Here are the ten best tech gift ideas for 2019:
1. iPhone 11
The iPhone 11 isn't the most powerful smartphone you can buy. It also doesn't have the most features or the largest screen. Instead, it's simply the best you can buy if what you're looking for is an affordable smartphone that makes a few compromises in the interest of saving a few dollars. To be clear, those compromises are pretty easy to live with when you consider that it shares much of its insides with its big brother, the iPhone Pro. It only lacks the ultra-wide camera and OLED display.
2. AirPods Pro
I've written about how much I love the AirPods, and how the Pro version is a worthwhile upgrade. In fact, the AirPods Pro is probably the best overall wireless earbuds you can buy. They give up a little in terms of battery life, but if you're looking for great sound quality, world-class noise cancellation, and ease of use that is the signature of Apple's wireless earbuds, these are the best you can buy.
3. Amazon Echo Studio
The newest home studio-quality smart speaker joins the Apple HomePod and Sonos One as a worthy competitor. The Amazon Echo Studio has great sound quality along with the convenience of Alexa. Amazon Music HD recently launched with high-res audio streaming, meaning that for $199, you'll have plenty of great-sounding music to stream on your Echo Studio. You can even pair two of them for a stereo sound experience.
4. Fujifilm XT-30
Most of us take our photos on our iPhone or Pixel, or whatever smartphone we carry in our pocket. And for good reason -- those smartphone cameras keep getting smarter and far more powerful.
Of course, there are times when you want something a little more capable. In that case, the mirrorless 24MP Fujifilm XT-30 is hard to beat in terms of performance, size, and price. It's an especially great gift for the traveler who wants something that'll take great photos but is easy to stash in their carry-on. As a bonus, the retro look and feel make it a camera you'll actually want to pull out and shoot with.
5. GoPro Hero 8 Black
If you're looking for the perfect gift for your gadget-loving adventurer, it's hard to imagine anything that fits that bill better than a GoPro. The new Hero 8 Black is a redesign, and a direct response to the fact GoPro's competition is starting to catch up. Among the changes is the fact that the Hero 8 Black has mounting hardware built-in, instead of requiring a separate housing. It still shoots 4K video and both the auto white balance and color are refined for a more adventure-worthy vibrant video quality.
6. Nomad Base Station Apple Watch Edition
If you're looking for a gift for a true gadget lover, a wireless charging base station is a must. This one from Nomad is one of the best, accommodating two devices, plus an Apple Watch. Also, it just looks beautiful, which isn't something that can be said of most of the plastic wireless chargers on the market.
7. Google Pixel 4
If you are looking for a phone that isn't an iPhone, this is the best overall value you can get. That doesn't mean it's the best overall phone, but rather the best combination of price, performance, and features. One of the highlights of those features is the camera system. In fact, the iPhone 11 had to copy a few of the Pixel's computational photography features just to catch up. The Pixel is also the purest Android experience, meaning if Android is your thing, this is your smartphone.
8. Bose Noise Cancelling 700
These aren't the most affordable headphones, but you really wouldn't expect that from Bose, especially in a flagship product packing some serious audio and noise-cancellation tech. The QC35 II's are already one of the most popular wireless headphone sets you can get, and the Noise Cancelling 700 series adds noise cancellation, a more comfortable fit, and better performance while making calls. Also, the sound quality is exactly what you expect from Bose: top-notch.
9. Samsung Galaxy Book S
In fairness, Samsung's newest ultraportable laptop isn't technically available yet, though the company says it will be this fall. That said, it purportedly combines 23 hours of battery life with LTE wireless capabilities and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx chip, along with two USB-C ports and a headphone jack. While it's probably not the workhorse you want to use for editing your next feature film, for a lightweight but powerful Windows option on the go, it's hard to beat the $999 starting price for the Galaxy Book S.
10. Google Nest Wi-Fi
If you're considering a Wi-Fi mesh system to cover your home, or if you've thought about adding a smart speaker but can't decide which is the best system, now you can have the best of both in one system. The Google Nest Wi-Fi combines a whole-home router, with Wi-Fi extenders that double as Google Home speakers.
It's not the drop-dead fastest system you can buy, but for most people, it's more than fast enough. It's also easy to set up, and as much as it pains me to admit, compared to Siri, the built-in Google Assistant is actually pretty helpful. A three-pack with the router and two access points is $349.99 right now.