The Best Tech Gifts For 2020
Ok, we’re starting things off today with an exceedingly obvious tech gift: Airpods. (Rest-assured, the rest of this list will not be filled with “duh” moments.) But, sometimes we need to be reminded of an obvious winner and since everyone can use and enjoy Airpods, I thought we’d get this one out of the way first. Whether you’re taking a walk around the park, working out, or simply drowning out the sounds of the humans you’re self-isolating with, they’re endlessly useful. You have two options when it comes to in-ear audio a la Apple, the AirPods and the AirPods Pro.
While to some degree their differences are a matter of preference, (the Pro version for example has a silicone tip that sits further inside your ear for a more “custom” fit/feel), there are quality differences to consider: The Pro pods feature active noise cancellation and their battery life is slightly longer than the AirPods. While the original version is ideal for everyday use, if your giftee is always in need of noise cancellation, Pro is the right move. While you’re at it, you might consider throwing in a personalized airpods case to make the gift feel extra special.
Okay just one more relatively obvious gift pick to get out of the way before I start talking about virtual reality and hydroponic gardening… I ADORE THIS KINDLE. (But seriously, this model, specifically.) And, by the looks of your submissions on my instastories for the best gift you’ve ever received, many of you do too. If it seems like Kindles are on gift lists year after year, there’s a reason! They are beloved and so useful, especially this year when we found ourselves with more downtime on our hands than we’d like.
This is the model that I have, and I love (LOVE) it because it effortlessly syncs with Audible, so I can move between reading and listening seamlessly. The Kindle Oasis is also waterproof. So there’s no danger in bathtub reading. And it’s the only model that lets you adjust the light to a warmer setting for night reading. Also it has page-turn buttons, thank yooooou!
2020 was the year we didn’t have access to massages, and our muscles still deserve deep-tissue support! The Theragun is a quiet-motor massage treatment that’s lightweight and has a customizable speed range. It’s designed (and well known for) relieving pain, accelerating recovery, and improving your overall performance. Rich and I can attest, THIS THING IS GLORIOUS.
While I’m not much of a spin person (no Peloton here!) I do enjoy a high-tech workout system, and believe they make incredible gifts, too, if you’ve got the budget (full disclosure: they’re pricey). We’ve recently purchased the Hydrow and Tonal* systems and absolutely love both. The Hydrow is a tech-focused rowing system that comes complete with every smart solution you need to make the best use of your time and the system itself, including a Polar Heart Rate Monitor and Jaybird Tarah Pro Wireless Headphones.
One membership with Hydrow allows you to have access to incredible classes and unlimited profiles for everyone in your home. Tonal is a genius fitness and strength training system that feels like an entire gym in your home. It has a digital weight system (up to 200 pounds!), machine learning, and expert coaching included in a membership. The system actually learns from your workouts, and makes adjustments specific to you. How genius is that??
*Rich and I are investors in Tonal because we are such enormous believers in the system!
Who doesn’t love a classic Moleskine? Okay, but what about a leveled-up version for the 21st century? This Moleskine smart writing system uses a USB rechargeable smartpen (that actually uses ink) and writes on pages coded to record what you write in the Moleskine app in real time! You get the satisfaction of writing in a notebook, with the genius of recording and organizing everything digitally. Genius.
With all of this working from home, my guess is we all know someone who could use a work set-up glow up, asap. Go ahead and gift your loved ones that second screen they’ve had sitting in their cart forever, or better yet this one, the Acer SB220Q 21.5 inch full HD monitor that has over NINETEEN THOUSAND reviews and is under $100. Rich and I each have one in our home offices. They’re amazing.
We’ve all heard of bedside lamps that can mimic the light of the sun to gently wake us from sleep in a way that’s more pleasurable than say a blaring tone from your phone. If you’re going to get one though, get a really, really good one. This Smartsleep light by Phillips does the gentle wakeup vibe incredibly well. But it’s much more than that. It’s also a midnight lamp, FM radio, phone charging dock, power back-up, speaker, auto dimming display and smart snooze. Your giftee is about to have the smartest sleep of their lives AND have the most streamlined bedside table in history.
The Moon UltraLight is a lighting accessory for your phone that has intuitive touch controls that let you customize the brightness and tone every time you take a photo, setting you up for far better moment-capturing and selfie shooting than ever before. This item made Time’s “100 Best Inventions of 2020” list. So you know this is going to be a must-gift item this holiday season!
Frozen toes? Not with Warmies waiting for you at home. Ever heard of microwavable boots? Now you have! These plush, lavender scented heatable boots can be reheated thousands of times, and are the perfect solution for frosty toes coming in from the cold. Pro tip: Call someone at home and ask them to pop these in the microwave when you’re getting close!
Clearly one of the greatest gifts of all time, you’ve heard me sing the praises of the Ember Mug many times. This makes a great gift for anyone, but especially parents and those likely to get distracted in the morning, thus letting their coffee grow cold. This temperature controlled smart mug with a charging coaster that gives you 80-minutes of battery life will make mornings much more streamlined and uninterrupted by the crime I mean time that coffee is cold.
If you know someone who loves their pour over coffee, but is very particular about the temperature of the water they use, this is the gift for them. The Stagg Electric Kettle is all about accuracy—from the variable temperature control settings to the precision pour spout. Personally, I am loving all of the stunning color options available (ahem, that copper version is a work of art.) I When you give someone a kitchen appliance that’s gorgeous enough to live on the counter, you’ve done well.
I don’t know what else to say except 30,000 works of art at your disposal! I feel like really tacky digital art frames were the holiday gift du jour in like… 2004? And I’ve disregarded them ever since. HOWEVER, it’s high time we take a closer look at the dramatically-improved versions of today which are (a) the literal opposite of tacky and (b) crazy advanced in terms of picture quality. The Meural Canvas II is a super high quality smart art frame that lets you display your own photos and renderings of real art through its genius design and functionality. It comes in two sizes and four colors to ensure it works with any space, and with an annual Meural Membership you have access to a virtually endless library of art that you can change effortlessly, whenever you want. We are living in the future.
Okay, I am not even remotely a gamer, but I recently tried an Oculus VR set and I GET IT NOW. I had so much fun with this that I literally never wanted to stop. This all-in-one system is everything your favorite gamer (or non-gamer) needs for immersive virtual reality gaming experiences. It’s super easy to set up, and you don’t need a console! It works via the Oculus app.
This device has saved my sanity, and it’s too genius to keep to myself. Everyone should absolutely gift it to the busy people in their lives this year. The Logitech keyboard allows you to seamlessly transition across your devices. And what I love is that it makes typing on your phone (texts, social media, etc.) so much faster and easier. I tend to sit with it connected to both my computer and my phone, with my phone perched on it’s stand. While typing on my computer, it’s effortless for me to quickly respond to something on my phone with the click of a button, switching the keyboard to start typing on my phone. This saves me SO much time. The world must know its genius.
Self-sufficiency became a running theme in 2020. And avid cooks will know how difficult it can be to always keep yourself stocked with fresh herbs. The AeroGarden, in addition to having an almost perfect rating on Amazon, is a hydroponic garden that’s a smart way to grow your own herbs whenever you want—outdoor space not required! Using this space-saving garden, your giftee can grow up to six different herbs at a time. And the kit itself includes pods for growing Genovese basil, curly parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil and mint!
A smart control panel ensures anyone using this garden will know precisely when to water and care for their plants. (In case you’re worried your giftee doesn’t have a degree in botany.) Also, the plants grow in water, not dirt. So there’s zero mess. If you know someone who loves to cook or someone with zero outdoor space but a love of fresh herbs, this is one of the most forward-thinking gifts you can give this yea. Even those with a super green thumb will appreciate this gift if they live in a northern climate where their outdoor growing opportunities are limited throughout the winter months.
Smart TVs are a must these days. We’re all about Apple TVs throughout our house. But you do have choices. So many of us love Apple TV for it’s beloved ease, endless app options, sleek design and high quality picture. However, if you’re looking to gift a more affordable option, Roku is also excellent. You can also add countless channels to your Roku. So that each time you turn it on you’re essentially looking at a customized list of options tailored to the kinds of entertainment you love to watch.