The holidays are stressful because it means traveling and reconnecting with family. It also means it’s time to buy gifts, and half the battle is actually finding what to buy. In this guide, we have some recommendations for the home.
Whether you need a new TV, smart speaker, or security system, this guide has a bit of everything.
Not to be confused with the Sonos PLAY:1, the Sonos One is an advanced voice-controlled smart speaker, allowing users to command Alexa to turn on lights, set timers, and check the weather. The Sonos One’s Alexa integration plays nice with most top streaming services, including Pandora, and features the same sound quality Sonos is known for. And coming in 2018, the Sonos One will support Google Assistant, making it a versatile, powerful speaker. Price: $199
Apple TV 4K
The Apple TV 4K is as exactly as the name implies. Now with support for 4K and HDR, the Apple TV 4K offers the same experience of the original Apple TV. The nice thing is Apple will offer automatic upgrades of HD titles purchased through iTunes to 4K HDR versions. The set-top box also supports 4K HDR content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video (coming soon), and more. Price: $179
Nest Secure attempts to make a complicated problem much more simple, providing home-owners with an easy-to-use system that can be setup in a matter of minutes. With motion sensors, cameras, and a powerful app, Secure is a complete security solution that is simple enough for anyone to use. With the Secure, Nest’s system gives users peace of mind. Price: $499
Google Home Mini
If you don’t need your smart speaker to have powerful sound, the Google Home Mini is a great stop-gap. The diminutive speaker offers all the smarts of the larger Google Home while featuring a discreet design and a price that’s in “impulse buy” territory. This is the easiest way to get Google Assistant in your home, and a great way to start building your smart speaker army. Price: $49
There’s something so satisfying about tuning your smart bulbs exactly how you want them. With LIFX, you can choose between a range of 16 million color, dimming from 1-percent to 100-percent, and output up to 1100 lumens. Not only that, but LIFX bulbs have a life-span of over 20 years and support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. $25 and up
While bringing family together is rewarding, there’s no quicker way to reverse good cheer than with bad Wi-Fi. Suddenly, Netflix doesn’t work, the kids are getting restless, and then turkey has burned—all because of a spotty connection. You don’t need to be an expert to set the system up, and thanks to Eero’s powerful app, you can see what’s happening at all times, whether you want to diagnose an issue or pause Wi-Fi for a much-need internet break. Price: $199 and up
TCL P-Series Roku TV
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a good 4K TV. In fact, you only need about $600 for a good set. (I pad over $800 for a 1080p a few years ago, which tells you how far technology has come.) The TCL P-Series has been lauded by a number of outlets for its excellent picture quality, affordable price, and integrated Roku software. What more could you want? It would sure go nice with that Apple TV 4K.
The Nintendo Switch is hands down this year’s standout gadget. It allows users to take games on the go, with an option to easily play on the TV, too. It’s the best of both worlds—and it features a few of this year’s best titles, including Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. But it also features some great third-part support; who would have thought the best way to play L.A. Noire is on the Switch?
The beauty of the RoboVac is you don’t need to put any effort into cleaning your home or apartment. Just turn on auto-clean scheduling and let it do its thing. It doesn’t get anymore hands-off than that. And with an anti-collision system, Eufy’s RoboVac can easily navigate your space while keeping it spotless. Boy, chores are so easy these days. Price: $249
Nest Thermostat E
See why Nest’s thermostats are so coveted with the Nest Thermostat E, a more affordable, paired down version that offers the same great features, including the thermostat’s energy-saving features. It can turn up and down automatically, be controlled through a smartphone app, and keep help save on your monthly energy bill. Temperatures are dropping across the U.S., so now’s as good a time as any to check one out. Price $169