Some suggestions for special gift ideas across the spectrum.
The latest Apple Watch, Series 9 (starting at $549), has a bright display and the new double tap gestural control. No other smartwatch works so seamlessly with other products in its ecosystem as the Apple Watch.
Sennheiser still has, to my mind, the best sound of any earbud in the Momentum True Wireless 3 ($170) design. With adaptive noise cancellation that changes based on your environment, they deliver the best sound no matter where you are.
Canadian company Ecobee has home automation devices that are top notch. The Smart Thermostat Premium ($290) is fully programable and with the addition of a few sensors you’re able to monitor areas of your home that may be hotter or colder, and adjust temperatures accordingly. The premium model includes sensors that can monitor particulate matter so you can be notified when the air quality in your home drops. Pair it with the Smart Doorbell Camera ($200) and you can see who’s at your door from the thermostat screen.
TP-Link’s got a line of Kasa smart plugs that will enable any device you plug into them accessible by the various home automation services: Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Assistant. There’s even outdoor models you can use for your holiday lighting. Amazon has them in two- and four-packs on sale right now.
If your office is at home, you want Kensington’s Thunderbolt 4 dual 4K docking station ($390), so you can connect your computer – whether it’s a desktop or a laptop – to as many screens and peripherals as you want.
If you work at the coffee shop, you want one of Kensington’s privacy screens (starting at $80) which attach to your laptop chassis with magnets and prevents people from snooping at your screen. As a bonus, the screens also reduce glare and blue light emissions.
If you work in an office building, you want Kensington’s portable mobile dock with Qi charging ($140), which plugs into any USB-C port, your laptop or the company’s hardware, and gives you ports for your devices as well as a wireless charging pad for your smartphone.
On the go
Depending on how it’ll be used, there are two models of iPad that are worth considering: the latest iPad Pro (starting at $1,499) and the latest iPad Air (starting at $799). The Pro is for people who are using the iPad for professional-level creative work. It can be used as a portable recording studio, it can be configured with up to 2 TB of storage, and it’s got the M2 chip. The Air is for the more modest creatives. It has a similar display and supports the second generation Apple Pencil, but is lighter and less expensive. The Apple Pencil is worth every penny of its $169. The pressure sensitivity alone makes drawing and sketching a dream.
Apple’s AirTags ($39 for one, $129 for four) enable you to keep track of things like your keys and your luggage. If you order them directly from Apple you can get them engraved for free.