From smart microwaves to mobile VR headsets, plenty of high-tech gadgets hit the market this year that would make for ideal gifts. Check out the list below for eight picks that are practical, stylish, or just plain fun and come in at under $250.

1. Spectacles by Snap

Starts at $149 at Snap

In 2018, Snap scrapped the yellow ring frames for more sophisticated ones. The latest version of Snap's camera glasses, which capture high-definition photos and videos of up to 30 seconds, is also water-resistant and comes with the option of prescription lenses.

2. Nintendo Labo

$69.99 at Nintendo

Kids will have hours of fun with this "DIY video game kit." The all-cardboard kit is an extension for the Nintendo Switch, and it lets you convert the console into a fishing pole, motorcycle, piano, or robot--creating a robust video game experience.

3. AmazonBasics Microwave (with Alexa)

$59.99 at Amazon

Kitchen appliances are getting smarter. In September, Amazon debuted a smart microwave that takes commands via Alexa, so you can tell your microwave how long you want to cook something or what you want cooked. It starts shipping November 14. Bonus: The microwave comes with a Dash button for popcorn.

4. Oculus Go 

Starts at $199 at Oculus

The latest version of Oculus Go, a standalone VR headset with adjustable straps, allows you to enter a virtual world--with no PC or wire attached. The device now connects to over 1,000 VR games, social apps, and experiences.

5. Roku Streaming Stick+

$69.99 at Roku

The Roku Stick+ allows you to stream tv shows, movies, music, games, and now 4K HDR video straight to your TV. Barely larger than a thumb drive, the streaming device will also help de-clutter your living room.

6. Bose Sleep Ear Buds

$249.95 at Bose

These ear buds are designed for sleep--and sleep only. Plug these noise-masking sleep buds into your ears, and let the calming tones of ocean waves or falling rain drift you off to sleep.

7. Fitbit Versa

$199.95 at Fitbit

The latest fitness tracker in the line has gotten a stylish upgrade: a slimmer band and a new pink color option. The device also comes with four days of battery life, a heart rate tracker, on-screen workouts, and even a virtual wallet.

8. Courant Charger

$175 at Courant

These sleek wireless charging pads--that can be used across all smartphone devices--are made of genuine Italian leather. Just set your phone on the pad, and let it charge--one full charge takes about 3 hours. The pads feature an accessories compartment and are available in cream, gray, and black.

9. Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor

$79.95 (+ subscription plan) at Whistle

The Fitbit for pets. Using a cellular network, GPS, and Wi-Fi, the small plastic box--which comes in gray, green, or blue--attaches to your pet's collar and tracks your pet's location and daily activity. Get on-demand location alerts sent directly to your email, app, or phone.

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Published on: Oct 16, 2018