If you’re not a tech person, it can be hard to keep up with the hottest new gadgets. (It’s tough to even when you’re a tech person, but I do my best.) Luckily, people like Leslie Rohrbaugh, director of research at the Consumer Technology Association, are more than willing to help. For the past 27 years, the CTA has produced an annual report on consumer-technology holiday-buying patterns. I spoke with her for the second year in a row, and she says this year’s report provided insight into a new batch of urgent recommendations. There’s been some repetition from last years, like the new iPhones and various laptops as well as new ones like streaming services and smart-home devices. And while popular options like Spotify gift cards are never going to sell out, the other items they mentioned — especially when you consider the current supply-chain issues that are driving people to purchase even earlier this year. are motivating. (According to Rohrbaugh, 68 percent of shoppers are making a jump on their holiday shopping more than ever before.) To take advantage of this initial push, retailers will likely offer even earlier sales, leading to more people will buy. Quick, which will make finding the right tech gift even more competitive. So we have gathered the following list of gifts that according to Roharbagh will be hot this year. It’s probably best not to delay.
Rohrbaugh says that screens of all types will once again be one of the most desired holiday gifts. Apple, Google, Samsung, and others all released new phones this year that operate on a faster 5G spectrum, prompting wireless carrier customers to move. Rohrbaugh says the CTA has also increased interest in foldable phones, which have improved in quality and are (slowly) becoming more affordable. If buying a new phone for someone is not in your budget, you can also buy them accessories like headphones, phone cases, and chargers.
Apple iPhone 13 $799
The latest iteration of the iPhone doesn’t include any flashy changes, but everything under the hood has been improved. There’s a better dual-camera system and a faster chip, and Apple says the new iPhone 13’s battery should last two and a half hours longer than before. It also has 5G capabilities, wireless charging, and Apple’s MagSafe technology that uses the phone’s built-in magnets to attach accessories. The camera has large sensors for better day and night photos as well as better image stabilization while recording videos.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro $999
Stepping up to the iPhone 13 Pro gives you even better battery life, a third lens, and better picture quality. Like the 13, the 13 Pro offers “Cinematic Mode,” allowing the camera to focus on objects in the background and foreground and add a smooth bokeh-like effect. The 13 Pro has an improved screen with a new and more adaptive and responsive refresh rate. Instead of a constant 60Hz, the new phone can vary the screen’s refresh rates from 10Hz all the way up to 120Hz.
Rohrbaugh says that laptops, once again, top people’s wish lists, with a range of options from Apple and Google, and some excellent gaming laptops.
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch Laptop $929
Four experts we talked to in our laptop guide recommended the MacBook Air 13-inch as one of the top laptops. A word of warning: Apple is expected to announce new laptops in the coming months, so if you want the best available, you’ll want to wait. Those new laptops should also mean last year’s MacBook Air and Pro are on the stock as retailers make room for the latest models. In last year’s Computers, Monica **** our colleague at The Verge says, “The new processor is the star of the show here; it’s fast. In our testing, it handled intense photo- and video-editing workloads better than almost any Intel-powered laptop we’ve tried this year. 256GB of storage is also plenty in the base model. PC expert Miguel Melendez of B&H Photo Video also recommends the latest MacBook Air. He says the 8GB of RAM in the Air is “great for people who like to have a lot of tabs open at the same time” or who need to edit photos or videos.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch M1 $1,299
The MacBook Pro is a step above the air thanks to its cooling fans. The built-in fans mean it can handle heavy workloads for long periods of time without the need to degrade its performance. They’re able to handle lots of open windows and Internet tabs and run multiple programs at once – perfect for anyone who wants to do any kind of audio, video, and photo editing.
Dell XPS 13 Laptop 2-in-1 Laptop $1,320
The XPS 13 is well-built with a powerful processor and a vibrant 13-inch screen with almost no bezels – meaning you’ll have your 4K power to move around windows, browse the web, and play games There will be extra space on the screen. In its testing, The Verge recorded seven hours of battery life and three hours of light gaming. The keyboard and touchpad feel comfortable and responsive, and it only weighs 2.8 pounds.