TechRadar’s best tech 2017

Choosing the right gift for your special someone (or yourself) is hard. We've sifted through many excellent products to bring you only the best gift ideas.

Whether it's a new laptop, smartphone, wearable, smart home accessory or a set of headphones you're after, you'll find our take on what's the very best below.

Google Pixel 2

An all-around fantastic phone with an all-star camera
The cool factor of your phone ultimately comes down to one question: does it take good photos? In the case of the Google Pixel 2, the results speak for the phone. This is a phone that, beyond just being an excellent all-around option for enthusiasts and newbies alike, is basically a DSLR replacement.

Oculus Rift

The first VR headset remains the best
Now at an all-time-low price, Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset remains the best of bunch both when it comes to value and support, with a now sizable library of games of all genres. It’s not the most technologically advanced VR headset around, but it has all of the basic ingredients for a fun time immersed in another world, thanks to built-in headphones and optional Oculus Touch controllers. Though, just make sure you or your loved one has a PC that supports the device before picking one up – luckily, the hardware requirements aren’t even that extreme.

iPhone X

The iPhone you’ve been wanting for over 10 years
The new iPhone is one of the best, and maybe also the hardest gifts, to find in 2017. But it’s well worth the effort and the $ 99 starting price if you want Apple’s redesigned 10th anniversary smartphone. It has an all-screen design, wireless charging, and bigger screen yet smaller body than the iPhone 8 Plus. Oh, and it does Animojis.

Nokia Body+ Scale

You need a smart scale more than you think
A smart scale might seem like it’s outside of your needs, but it’s more helpful than it seems. For instance, the Nokia+ Body Scale knows who’s stepping on it based on their weight, body fat percentage and blood pressure reading. Additionally, this smart Wi-Fi enabled scale can integrate with IFTTT, and with some tweaks, can do things like map out trends around your weight loss (or gain) progress automatically in a Google Sheet.

Nintendo Switch Holiday Bundle

Bring Mario, Link and with you anywhere
Nintendo’s latest system is a gorgeous mobile-console hybrid that’s just as comfortable hanging out with you at a park playing a game like Super Mario Odyssey, as it is sitting on your shelf at home hooked up to your TV. With a plethora of great games already available for the system (including TWO Game of the Year contenders, including Super Mario Odyssey that comes with this bundle) the Switch is too good of a system to pass up.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Hey Android fans, this is the best tablet that isn’t an iPad
If you prefer Android, this is the best tablet for you. It has a beautiful HDR screen and has four powerful speakers, so it’s fit for multimedia. Productivity? It does that, too. The S Pen is its big headline feature and there’s an option keyboard cover for a clutch 2-in-1 form factor. Yes, the keyboard is extra, but this tablet is now cheaper than the iPad Pro.

Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The best Mac that money can buy
Meet the best Mac you can buy to date, now with faster processors – not to mention its headline feature: the Touch Bar. This is a thin OLED touchscreen at the top of the keyboard, replacing the function row for a slew of new tasks, like auto-suggesting words as you type, or allowing you to log in with just your fingerprint via Touch ID. While there are Windows laptops out there that offer more hardware for less, steadfast Apple diehards will be well-pleased by this gorgeous and versatile machine.

URB-E Sport

The foldable electric scooter of your dreams
Mashing together a moped and scooter, the URB-E Sport is the ultimate portable electric vehicle. It reaches a top speed of 14mph and goes a fair distance of 16 miles thanks to its electric motor and yet it’s just as maneuverable and portable as an actual scooter thanks to its tight frame.

D.Va Peripheral Suite

Dress up as the undisputed best Overwatch character
As D.Va would say “alright, gameface on.” And you’ll be able to do quite literally that with Razer’s new D.Va Peripheral Suite. While most of this set includes reskinned gaming peripherals, D.Va’s iconic MEKA headset has been lovingly brought to life as a functional analog on-ear headset with integrated mic. It’s a must have item for fans of Overwatch, D.Va lovers, cosplayers and everyone who just wants a cool set of headphones.

Apple Watch Series 3

Apple’s smartest smartwatch can ditch the iPhone
The new Apple Watch 3 comes in two flavors, one with that has a faster processor, battery life and enables Siri to speak from the watch, and one that does all of that and has the bonus of connecting to LTE. This means you don’t need you smartwatch to receive calls and data if you include the Apple Watch 3 LTE as part of your phone plan (for an extra $ 10). Workouts become 100% easier without a Plus-sized phone jiggling in your pocket.

Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

A VR-capable desktop PC for the everyman
The Dell XPS Tower might look as boring as any old office computer, but beneath it simple, silver veneer is the heart of a gaming PC. Even with the starting model you’re going to get a hexa-core processor with a GPU good enough to get you started on the road to becoming an eSports legend. Thanks to an internal design that folds into itself, this gaming PC is uniquely bigger on the inside a lot like the Doctor’s Tardis.

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller

No time (or money) for a chiropractor? No problem
File this in the “hurts so good” category. If you’ve ever used a roller you know how well they work at kneading out sore muscles. Throw three-setting vibrations in the mix, like the Hypervice Vyper 2.0 does, and you’re looking at maximum muscle relief. Get this $ 199 roller for the fitness fanatic in your life. Trust us – they’ll thank you.

SNES Classic Mini

Re-live your gaming glory days with this excellent retro console
If you’re anything like us, you probably have some fond memories of the Super Nintendo. Whether you were A Link to the Past lover, Final Fantasy III fanatic or Super Mario World maniac, the Super Nintendo offered some of the greatest experiences (and memories) we’ve ever known. If you want a one-way ticket back to the land of nostalgia, SNES Classic Mini is a holiday season must-have.

GorillaPod Magnetic 325

The perfect go anywhere mini tripod
Between its bendy arms and magnetic feet, there’s practically nowhere you can’t mount the GorillaPod Magnetic 325. Carrying around a traditional tripod can be a major pain and ridiculous if you just have a tiny point-and-shoot camera or an action camera. That’s where this pocketable and extremely versatile camera tripod comes to save the day.

Samsung Gear 360

A sleek, affordable 360-degree camera perfect for total immersion
Recording a video is a great way to cement a memory in motion. But as nice as it is, you can do better. The Samsung Gear 360 records footage in a full 360-degrees – perfect for viewing in a virtual reality headset – and best of all, it does it on the cheap. This way, every little detail (even you holding the camera) is captured, letting you look around the frame at things you hadn’t noticed that passed you by when you were in the moment.

Super Mario Odyssey

Mario’s latest adventure is probably his greatest of all-time
Until this year, the award for the best Super Mario game ever made was a tie between Super Mario World on Super Nintendo and Mario Galaxy on the Wii. Why? Both games leveraged the technological advantages of their new platforms to do something fresh, bold and different than anything before it. Super Mario Odyssey does all that and somehow even more. In our opinion, it’s the greatest Mario game ever made.

Destiny 2

Loot your way through space with this frenetic first-person shooter
When Bungie announced that it would leave the Halo franchise behind, we had our concerns. Halo had to be the pinnacle of what space-themed first-person shooters could be, right? Wrong. Destiny 2 takes the fast-paced gameplay from Halo, sure, but adds in fun RPG-lite mechanics that help make each guardian feel like your own unique avatar on the ever-evolving battlefield.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Fight your way through the cinematic Star Wars universe
Who would win in a fight between Yoda and Darth Maul? Could Rey ever have escaped from Boba Fett? If Chewbacca had to square up with Emperor Palpatine … well, you get the idea. Star Wars Battlefront II lets you live out your fantasy match-ups in epic 8-on-8, 12-on-12 and even 20-on-20 multiplayer matches.

Call of Duty WWII

COD returns to its roots with authentic battles, weapons and locals
If you like your video games with a little more, uh, historical accuracy, check out the latest Call of Duty game from Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software. After steering the franchise away from the far-flung future, Call of Duty returns to its roots: historically accurate battles set within the greatest conflicts of our time. Add in some addicting multiplayer modes – and the not-totally-accurate Zombies Mode – and you have all the makings of a war hero.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

A homicidal history lesson with the latest Assassin’s Creed game
History isn’t the most peaceful subject – in fact, study it for a few minutes and you’re bound to run into some bloodshed. That being said, Assassin’s Creed takes the idea of sanguine history to a whole new level. The latest installment of the franchise takes us way back to one of the first recorded civilizations – Ancient Egypt. Here you’ll guide Bayek and his wife Aya as they forge the beginnings of the titular Assassin Order.

Super Mario Odyssey

Mario’s latest adventure is his greatest of all-time
Until this year, the award for the best Super Mario game ever made was a tie between Super Mario World on Super Nintendo and Mario Galaxy on the Wii. Why? Both games leveraged the technological advantages of their new platforms to do something fresh, bold and different than anything before it. Super Mario Odyssey does all that and somehow even more. In our opinion, it’s the greatest Mario game ever made.

Acer Windows Mixed Reality HMD

The top PC VR experience on the cheap
Not looking to spend what’s still a small fortune on an Oculus Rift? Then, look no further than Acer’s first-ever VR headset for Windows 10 PCs. With its very own position tracking system built-in and custom motion controllers – not to mention an easy-as-pie, USB-based connection to your PC – Acer makes it easier than ever to dive into another world. Plus, even games in Steam’s VR library support the headset, making this one to watch for an affordable VR gaming gift.

Microsoft Surface Pro

The best tablet is also a laptop
The Surface Pro is in its fifth iteration this year, and Microsoft’s flagship tablet just keeps getting better. Not only does this version maintain a super sharp and color-rich screen, it also continues to run full Windows 10 natively. Better yet, the latest model sees battery life improve by as much as 32% and improved performance through a new Intel processor. Grab the optional Surface Pen stylus and Touch Cover keyboard, and you have one of the most versatile pieces of computing gear around.

Google Wifi

The future of wireless networking is cheap
The mission to eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots in the home has gotten easier than ever, thanks in part to Google. Its Google Wifi wireless mesh systems is, frankly, future of routers. Google Wifi’s premise is easy: buy a three-pack set of ‘points’ and place them throughout your house where you use Wi-Fi the most. Then, you simply scan a QR code to set them all up and – boom – you’ve got strong Wi-Fi throughout the house!

Tile

Never lose your keys (or your phone) again.
If you’re looking for some affordable tech for the holidays that can make your life measurably better, look no further than Tile. Latch it onto your keychain and you’ll no longer need to worry about lost keys, or for that matter, a lost phone. Just tap Tile to find a misplaced phone or if you lost your keys, you’ll be able to easily find them via the Tile app.

Fitbit Charge 2

A reliable, comfortable wearable that’s easy to recommend
Fitbit’s successor to the classic Charge fitness tracker brings several subtle enhancements, as well as a few major ones to the table – er, wrist. First off, the Charge HR 2 features a display that puts this affordable wearable more in the smartwatch ballpark.

Seagate Game Drive for Xbox – Xbox Game Pass Special Edition 

Download ‘ALL’ the games with this Xbox One upgrade
The Xbox One is a great console no matter what iteration you might have or be interested in getting, but its biggest shortcoming is storage. Luckily, you can run games off an external hard drive just as quickly as if you were playing them off the internal storage. While you can plug in any external drive you have on hand including a dollar store thumb drive, you should get something more reliable and nothing’s going to work more perfectly than the official Xbox Game Drive from Seagate.

GoPro Hero6 Black

The best action camera. Period.
Another year another GoPro is what you might think, but the Hero6 Black is easily the company’s most impressive camera yet. With the ability to shoot at 4K 60fps and Full HD at 120fps, it’s the perfect camera for capture high-speed action at a great resolution.

Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

The perfect iPad to replace your laptop
The “perfect” tablet size debate rages on, but at 10.5 inches, this iteration of Apple’s iPad Pro might just hit the sweet spot. The goods are all here – great audio, awesome video feedback, and, thanks to iOS 11, some serious laptop-rivalling capabilities, at a starting price of $ 649. Giving an iPad as a gift is a guaranteed win. Giving the iPad Pro 10.5 is a slam dunk. 

Canon TS9120 Wireless AIO

Making printers sexy again
Printers are no longer clunky paperweights. The Canon TS9120 Wireless AIO is a sleek yet capable system that wirelessly connects to a smartphone or tablet. Whether printing candid vacation snaps or an important document, you can count on Canon’s creation to deliver quality every time it’s used. At $ 149.99 (on sale on Amazon), it’s a great value, too.

Samsung T5 Portable SSD

One of the fastest external storage drives
If you’re already on the USB-C bandwagon with one of 2017’s fancy new laptops or tablets, then you ought to treat yourself or a loved one to its biggest benefit: crazy fast data transfer speeds. Samsung’s T5 Portable SSD delivers that in spades, with speeds of up to 540 megabytes per second – that’s a gigabyte of data every two seconds! If you’ve been stuck with a lame external hard drive all these years, grab something that’s 4.9 times faster. It’s worth the cost.

Samsung T5 Portable SSD

One of the fastest external storage drives
If you’re already on the USB-C bandwagon with one of 2017’s fancy new laptops or tablets, then you ought to treat yourself or a loved one to its biggest benefit: crazy fast data transfer speeds. Samsung’s T5 Portable SSD delivers that in spades, with speeds of up to 540 megabytes per second – that’s a gigabyte of data every two seconds! If you’ve been stuck with a lame external hard drive all these years, grab something that’s 4.9 times faster. It’s worth the cost.

Logitech G903

The ultimate wireless gaming mouse
You won’t find a finer wireless gaming mouse than the Logitech G903. It features a Lightspeed Wireless system that’s faster and more reliable than even some wired peripherals. Then it only gets even better if you also purchase the Logitech Powerplay wireless charging mouse pad, which makes it so you can run this wireless gaming mouse indefinitely.

Samsung Chromebook Pro

A premium Chromebook for less
One of the first Chromebooks to release with Google’s vision for a laptop with Android apps, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is a primo laptop for a decent price. With a 12.3-inch, beyond-HD touchscreen with a 360-degree hinge, this laptop-meets-tablet is lauded for its built-in stylus – a first for a Chromebook. For these reasons, this device ousts not only a majority of laptops in its category, but it’s better than most Android tablets to boot.

Xbox One X

Meet the world’s most powerful console
If you’re after a console powerful enough to process 4K HDR signals like they’re nothing, the Xbox One X needs to be on your radar this holiday season. With 6Tflops of raw power, a 1TB hard drive and a built-in 4K Blu-ray player, the Xbox One X stands second to none in terms of sheer unabashed power. Oh, and yeah, it’s pretty fun to play, too.

Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream 2

The best mobile virtual reality headsets available
Own a Samsung Galaxy smartphone or a Google Pixel? There’s an excellent virtual reality headset that’s just waiting for you to jump into. Depending on which phone you have, the offering, both in terms of software and hardware, are a bit different. However, each come recommended given their relatively low asking prices and steadily-increasing catalogs of virtual reality experiences.

MSI Trident 3

The gaming PC that was made for your livingroom
The MSI Trident 3 is basically the little gaming PC that could. Although it’s about as compact as the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, it’s substantially more powerful thanks to its quad-core CPU and Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card. It’s a tantalizing package that comes at a reasonable price, which makes it the perfect gaming PC to have in your living room.

Moto G5S Plus

A fully-featured mid-range phone that doesn’t compromise on style
There’s no shame in wanting to save a buck (or hundreds) when buying a smartphone. Thankfully, there’s also zero shame in donning the Moto G5s Plus, Motorola’s affordable mid-range phone that has all of the style and most of the performance of a flagship, but for less.

Google Pixel Buds

Who knew that earbuds could be so smart?
Google’s new wireless headphones are the perfect complement to the Pixel 2 and other new Android smartphones. They come equipped with Google Assistant, which can handle everything from telling you tomorrow’s weather to texting back your loved ones – all with just your voice. They can even translate foreign languages without blowing up your spot, which is seriously a game-changer.

Dell XPS 13

TechRadar’s best laptop two years running
Thin, feathery, fast and gorgeous, the Dell XPS 13 is the best laptop in the world for 2017 – its second year on top of TechRadar’s buying guides. Come for the ‘Infinity Edge’ display, cramming a 13.3-inch screen into an 11-inch frame with wafer-thin bezels, stay for new quad-core Intel Kaby Lake processors inside. Not only that, but the port selection is equally on point, with USB-C 3.1 as well as USB 3.0 along with the elusive SD card slot. Topping it all off is your choice between an FHD display or a super-sharp touchscreen.

The new iPad

The already-great iPad gets even better
We’re picky reviewers at TechRadar, so when a product earns a perfect score of five stars, it means we really liked the product. That’s the case with the iPad 2017. Not only is it the cheapest of the full-size iPads at $ 329, it’s simply a fantastic device with a gorgeous screen and great design. 

Manfrotto Befree Advanced

A serious tripod for both novice and pro photographers
So you need a serious tripod for your serious camera, but at the same time you don’t need a massive support system project to just support it. This is why the Manfrotto Befree Advanced is the perfect choice for photographers who need a stable, flexible and ultimately portable system. From hunching down to the ground to giving you a slightly overhead perspective, this tripod does it all and it’s folds up into an incredible compact package too.

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