It is the holiday season, and that means
CGMagazine has hand-selected the best tech gifts for you or that special person
in your life.
With countless gadgets released every year, it
is hard to know what to buy and which devices are really worth the money. That
is why we have consulted the editors at CGMagazine and conducted countless
hours of testing to ensure every gift idea on this list works as expected and will
make a great addition to your household.
Note: All gifts on this list have been hand tested by
the editors and writers of CGMagazine. If we ever feel something failed to live
up to expectations or has caused an issue due to a recent update, we reserve
the right to remove items at our discretion.
Virtual assistants are in every part of our
lives in today’s world, from your phone to the new Bluetooth speaker you picked
up for your mother. Of course, it’s pretty nice to see that assistant come in
the form of a little robot full of attitude.
The successor to Cozmo (a selection on last year’s
buyers guide) Anki has released the follow-up robot, Vector, and since setting
him up, he has made himself a staple of the CGM offices. Whether finding the
weather or just being an enjoyable companion, Vector is a fun and rewarding
gift for anyone on your gift list.
While perhaps not as much fun as many of the
other choices on this list, home security is something everyone needs to think
about. Whether you are living in a condo or a house, the ability to keep your
family safe is something we all have in the back of our minds. This is why Safe
by Hub6 made our list for 2018.
The simple yet exciting concept of Safe by
Hub6 is that it taps into the pre-existing system you may already have in your
home. A few simple wire hookups and you can have the peace of mind of knowing
your phone is protected while ensuring you are not paying exorbitant fees to a
security company. The simple app makes checking in on your house a snap, and
with the integration with other smart devices, Hub6 has managed to build quite
a well-rounded device. It should be noted that while you can step away from
your current provider, you do need to have a system already installed that Safe
can tap into.
No longer is gaming a hobby reserved for children,
it has become a pastime for everyone—provided you are physically able to use
the controller that is. For a while now, that has been the biggest barrier to
entry for many who suffer from the lack of ability to use standard input
devices. Microsoft has recently made my list of most innovative companies for
2018 thanks to their efforts with the Adaptive Controller.
Looking like a modern DJ Hero controller, the
device allows for countless styles of inputs, from foot pedals to any other accessibility
input you can think of, and with the Xbox, it is all just plug and play.
Configure how you want the different control methods to work in the game, and
you are ready to play. Costing under $130, the Adaptive Controller is a
fantastic gift for anyone struggling with conventional control methods.
The Stream Deck was one of our top choices for
streamers. It offers a professional-level control deck that pairs perfectly
with software such as XSplit or OBS. While it managed to offer a lot, it also
came at a higher price tag. Elgato listened and has released the Stream Deck
This little deck features all the bells and
whistles of its bigger brother, just with a smaller footprint and lacking some
of the buttons. Our reviewer found this made for a perfect compromise, giving
all the power you need at a price you can’t beat. With six of your favourite
tasks at your fingertips, the Stream Deck Mini is a great gift for the streamer
in your life.
Sonos is known for great sound, and the Sonos
Beam is no exception. This small soundbar is a fantastic balance of quality and
size. It fits well under most modern television sets and far exceeds what you
can expect from most offerings in the world of TV audio.
Being a Sonos device, it also connects in with
all the audio services you know and love. From Play Music to Spotify, the Beam
will play it all with flair. If that were not enough, continuing the trend seen
from the Sonos One, the Beam also features Alexa, making it a great addition to
your smart home. The $499 price tag will set you back much less than the
Playbar, while still providing a level of audio that your new 4K set deserves.
Roku has long stood as the king of streaming,
and in 2018 the company managed to hold that crown despite growing competition.
With devices like the Streaming Stick+ it is no wonder. This small streaming
stick managed to address all of our concerns with the previous generation. From
a stronger Wi-Fi signal to 4K streaming, the Streaming Stick+ remains one of
our favourite choices for streaming in 2018.
With more services launching, and the market
so fragmented, it is good to see Roku managing to maintain the lead with a slew
of apps. While not everything is currently available on the platform, in our
testing it maintained the lead with the most options above all other platforms.
At a price of well under $100, the streaming Stick+ makes a great gift for the
media watcher on your gift list.
I am a sucker for good audio, and the V-Moda
Crossfade 2 managed that feat with ease. The stylish modern headphones offer
both 3.5mm connections as well as Bluetooth for all the modern phones out
there. If that were not enough, they also have plenty of accessories to ensure
you can use them even when gaming.
While not cheap, the Crossfade 2 is a
fantastic set of headphones, and while they will not beat out the studio-level
headphones from high-end brands, they will blow your Beats by Dre out of the
water. If you or anyone on your wishlist are looking for an audio upgrade, the
V-Moda Crossfade 2 will make a great choice.
Every year there are countless wearable gadgets
that pair with your phone and 2018 is no different. Through the slew of
devices, the Muse 2 stands out as a truly innovative concept that actually
While it may not be for everyone, if you want
a gift that promotes mindfulness, the Muse 2 has you covered. With a range of
meditation exercises that help bring our stressful holiday mind to rest, it has
managed to not only impress the editors of CGM, but also help with the
stressful job of working at a magazine during the holidays. Costing $299, the
Muse 2 makes a great last minute gift for anyone looking to unwind this holiday
Routers, although important, are often the
last thing purchased for a new setup. With the need for fast, consistent
internet all the more important in the connected world, a good router is even
more important, especially if you want to gain as much advantage as possible in
your latest Fortnite match. This is where the Razer Sila comes into
This stylish black box will fit in with most gamer
gear. But above all, the Razer Sila is a genuinely good router. We’ve been using
it at the CGM offices for testing over the past few weeks, and it has proven itself
time and time again with low latency and the ability to prioritize traffic when
needed. If that were not enough, it also works as a mesh router system for when
wired is simply not an option. Currently selling for $349.99, the Razer Sila is
a perfect gift for the gamer that thinks they have everything.
With the latest iteration on the console
lineups, the Xbox One X, and the PlayStation 4 Pro, 1080p capture simply is not
enough for today’s modern streamer. This is where the AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K
comes into play. Costing less and offering more than the competition, the Live
Gamer 4K has quickly become the CGM office’s card of choice for 2018.
As Cole Watson explains in his review, “While
Elgato was focusing on their lineup of broadcasting gear and Stream Decks,
AVerMedia took the chance to innovate further on 4K gaming capture cards and
deliver them at a cheaper price than the leading competition. The AVerMedia
Live Gamer 4K is simply the best 4K capture card currently on the market, both
for its amazing set of features and the ease of use it offers to professional
and amateur content creators alike.”
Everyone remembers the classic Atari logo. It
was for a generation synonymous with gaming. Sadly, that age of the company has
come to an end and no longer does Atari reign supreme in the living room, but
for the price of $129.99, it can still have a place in your heart and on your
The Atari Speaker hat is exactly what it
sounds like: an iconic Atari image on a hat that also has speakers. While it
may not be for everyone, there is something oddly enjoyable about playing music
from your hat. Despite how odd it may seem, it also works surprisingly well. It
is a neat piece of nostalgia and is just plain fun to wear. For the nostalgia
loving music fan on your list, you can’t go wrong with the Atari Speaker Hat.