It’s always fun to give tech products this time of year. These items are less thrilling than some others, but they provide good solutions to some common problems.
Owning gadgets in today's day and age isn't easy to manage. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to keep track of which devices need to be charged, which ones require their own smartphone apps, or how to keep them all working properly together.
The good news: The best gadgets out there are built to make your life easier, and many do a great job at simplifying the tasks that eat up too much of your time.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for the techie in your life, or you’re in the market for gear to streamline your day-to-day life, we’ve hand-picked the best gadgets to get.
If you need a few more gift ideas for this holiday season, be sure to check out these gift guides:
Amazon’s Echo Dot is our favorite Alexa-based device. It's the most popular smart speaker with Alexa. The sleek, compact design delivers crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound. Perfect for your nightstand - See the time, alarms, and timers on the LED display. Tap the top to snooze the alarm.
You may be familiar with Ring’s video doorbells, which are quickly becoming a standard in home security, but Ring also has a full suite of security products. Our favorite in the catalog is the Ring Indoor Cam. It’s a tiny camera that plugs into any standard outlet and gives you a real-time video feed on your device. You can set up motion-activated alerts or even use it as a baby monitor with a two-way-talk built-in intercom.
Smart thermostats are great for making sure the temperature in your home is always perfect, and they’re useful for saving money on heating and cooling bills, too. Whether you’re looking for the best thermostat on the market or you just need a simple way to set temperature schedules, our favorite is the ecobee Lite. Pick one up ASAP—your heating bill will thank you.
If you are like me and have a lot of tech in your house, chances are you’ve got at least one power strip with a spaghetti of wires overlapping one another and some plugs that are so bulky they cover other outlets. That’s where outlet extenders come in handy: one-foot extension cords make it easy to keep track of what’s plugged in where and ensures that any bulky plugs won’t block any ports.
If you’ve got a laptop with a USB-C port and few others, you’ll need a hub or a port replicator — and it’s important to get a good one, because there are a lot of cheap, barely usable models out there. Belkin’s USB-C hubs are reliable and worry-free, plus they’re as plug-and-play as they come. It takes one USB-C port and adds traditional USB ports, an SD card reader, a K-capable HDMI port, and a gigabit ethernet port for getting an ultra-fast data connection.
Having a lot of technology in your house means having a lot of remote controls, and keeping track of them can be troublesome, so consider a Remote Control Organizer. This one from Joywell comes in multiple colors and includes a non-slip lining to keep your remotes clean and free from scratches. Never dig through your couch cushions again — keep your controllers all in one place!
What’s better than getting a bunch of smart plugs? An entire smart power strip. TP-Link’s Kasa brand is one of the most popular around, and you can add any device you want and control its power individually from the super-simple Kasa app. Whether you want to plug-in lamps, Christmas lights, or your coffee maker, you can do it all simultaneously with the Kasa smart power strip.