NOVO Magazine: 2019 Holiday Gift Guide. From Audio Gifts to Tech Gifts!

2019-12-09T14:02:51+00:00December 9th, 2019|Features, Holiday Gift Ideas|9 Comments

Holiday gift giving can be difficult if you don’t quite know what to get for your loved ones. This is especially true for those unfamiliar with the latest technology gadgets. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the techie, nerd, or music lover in your life, we’ve got you covered with our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Trust us, any one of these picks is guaranteed to make a stellar impression.

We’ve separated this guide into two sections: one for technology and one for audio. Our Technology Gift Guide is below, while the Audio Gift Guide is linked HERE.

Happy Holidays!

Best Technology Gifts Of The 2019 Holiday Season

Best Console: Nintendo Switch Lite ($259.96CAD)

The Nintendo Switch was last year’s best-selling console and one we highly recommended to friends and family for the holiday season. This year, Nintendo released a more compact version, called the Nintendo Switch Lite. As we mentioned in our previous article about the Nintendo Switch Lite, this rendition of the console features a smaller, slimmer build, and a solid frame – as opposed to the removable joysticks of the original Nintendo Switch. While the majority of the internal components are the same, the Nintendo Switch Lite boasts an increase in processing power, as well as a longer battery life by roughly 20-30%. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a travel-friendly console that’s able to play any Nintendo Switch game. This console comes in four color options, one of which matches the new Pokemon Sword and Shield game. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great gift for gamers of all ages, and is one we recommend above all else! 

Best Game: Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for Nintendo Switch ($78.99)

Another year, another Pokemon game – but we’re not complaining! As Pokemon fans, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the latest copy of Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield. After playing the game, we strongly recommend it as a gift for gamers of all ages. For those who don’t know: this game is often referred to Pokemon Sword and Shield, but they are actually two separate games called Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. The only difference between the two games is the end-game Legendary Pokemon. For those who insist on playing both versions, there is a double-pack available, which includes codes for bonus Pokemon! Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are available for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite in stores, online, and in the Nintendo eShop. 

Best Smart Mug: Ember Mug 10oz ($98.95CAD)

The Ember Mug is the perfect gift for coffee lovers. Whether they’re a casual coffee drinker or full-blown tea connoisseur, the Ember Mug will make a lasting impression this holiday season. The Ember Mug is the leading smart mug on the market, and is a new favorite that we couldn’t imagine ourselves living without. For those who don’t know what the Ember Mug is: this smart mug is used to heat and maintain beverage temperatures throughout the day, so that you never have to worry about taking a big sip of cold coffee again. The Ember Mug features rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that last a full hour of heating without the need for a recharge, making this a practical gift for anyone who hates having to reheat their coffee. The Ember Mug comes with a stylish saucer-shaped charging dock that can be used regardless of whether the mug is full or empty, maintaining a strong battery life and temperature throughout the day. The settings are controlled using the nifty Ember smartphone app, which allows you to set temperatures, timers, or even read up on best practices for your choice of beverage. The Ember Mug makes an incredible gift, but also an awesome treat yourself gift! We highly recommend picking one of these up to get you through the winter. The Ember Mug comes in 10oz, 14oz, or Travel Mug size.

Best Bluetooth Coffee Maker: Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) ($260.00CAD)

In addition to the smart Ember Mug, we’d like to recommend a smart coffee maker. The Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) is a Bluetooth-enabled, app-controlled coffee maker that might just be the coolest kitchen appliance ever. The Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) allows you to customize your coffee experience by setting different modes, remote brewing through the app, and selecting between pre-ground or fresh-ground beans. That’s right; the Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) has a built-in bean grinder! The Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, meaning you don’t even have to lift a finger to brew the perfect pot. Features include setting strength, brew type, grind coarseness, and amount of cups. The Smarter Coffee (2nd Gen) is the ultimate gift for those who work from home or have hectic mornings and would rather use voice commands to make their life-juice.

Best Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 5 ($529.00CAD+) or Samsung Galaxy Watch ($459.99CAD+)

Smartwatches created a whole new wave of technology, unlike anything we’d seen before. Before then, the ability to receive notifications, make calls, or communicate in any way through a tiny gadget on your wrist was only possible in sci-fi films and fantasy shows. Since the release of the first smartwatch, we’ve seen dozens launched from manufacturers around the world. Chances are, if you don’t already have a smart watch, you’ll be getting one soon. The most common smartwatches are the Apple Watch (Series 5) and the Samsung Galaxy Watch. These models are both impressive in their own ways, but the main difference is their compatibility. As standard, iPhone users will gravitate towards the Apple Watch, and Android users will choose the Samsung Galaxy Watch. Either watch would make an incredible gift, and is one we highly recommend for people of all ages and skill levels. Both watches reach above the $450 price range depending on which models and features you choose.

Best Portable Charging Pack: Mophie Powerstation XXL ($113.12CAD)

There’s nothing worse than running out of phone battery, especially when you don’t have access to a charger. That’s why we recommend the Mophie Powerstation XXL portable charging pack! Portable charging packs are the most underrated gifts, and we’d love to see them gain popularity this year – we certainly keep at least one on us at all times. The Mophie Powerstation XXL is the most recommended charging pack for a few reasons: it holds over 100 hours of battery life, can connect through three USB ports at once, and comes in a sleek aluminum finish. Unlike other battery packs, the Mophie Powerstation XXL is stylish, lightweight, and can easily slip into a laptop bag or large pocket. We recommend this portable charging pack as a gift for any tech lovers this holiday season.

Best VR Headset: Oculus Quest ($549.99CAD)

Virtual Reality is developing at an exponential rate, and personal VR headsets are almost commonplace in most gaming households. While they’re still quite pricey, they’ve greatly improved over the past couple of years, and we believe they make an excellent gift. The Oculus Quest is an all-in-one VR headset that allows you to play games without the need for a high-powered PC. What most people don’t realize about VR headsets is that they are mostly made to use with gaming computers, which makes them out of reach for most people. With an all-in-one VR headset, like the Oculus Quest, gamers don’t have to worry about external hardware, wires, or costs. This Oculus Quest is the headset-to-beat right now, and the one we recommend for VR lovers this holiday season. Some holiday deals going on right now even include free VR games with the purchase of the Oculus Quest! 

Best Webcam: Razer Kiyo ($118.27CAD)

While a webcam isn’t necessary for streaming, having a face-to-face connection with your community can seriously help your channel grow. That’s why we recommend the Razer Kiyo as a great gift for streamers and content creators. The Razer Kiyo webcam offers high-def 1080P quality, and is compatible with most green screens, making it the easiest solution for content creators. The built-in ring light of the Kiyo is useful for 3-point lighting, or can even be used as a main ring light in a pinch. As far as we’re aware, the Razer Kiyo is the only high-quality webcam with a built-in ring light, which is why we’d recommend it over any others. The Razer Kiyo is also controlled through the Razer Synapse app, which allows you to sync it with your other Razer products. If you know a gamer or content creator in need of a webcam, this will be the ultimate gift! 

Best Streaming Gear: Elgato Stream Deck ($199.95CAD)

We can speak from personal experience that gifting an Elgato Stream Deck to a content creator is possibly the best thing you can do for them. Seriously, they will freak out! The Elgato Stream Deck has become essential in streamers’ arsenals this year, with almost every major content creator using and promoting them. The Elgato Stream Deck allows the user to set hotkeys for recording, live streaming, opening programs, or even just for fun effects – like a bleep button! While there are a few other knock-off versions on the market, the Elgato Stream Deck is the tool for content creators, and we highly suggest investing in the proper model. You can purchase an Elgato Stream Deck in most technology stores or even through Amazon online. Trust us, you’ll love giving this gift. There’s also an XL version available for $329.95, if you’re feeling extra generous.

Best Gaming Keyboard: Razer Huntsman Elite ($279.99CAD)

The Razer Huntsman Elite is our personal choice for gaming keyboards. As avid gamers, content creators, and writers, we use our keyboards for countless hours throughout the day – sometimes a little too much! After testing dozens of models, we can say that the Razer Huntsman Elite is our favorite. This model features patented optical switches that activate key strokes instantly, resulting in absolute precision during gameplay. The Razer Huntsman Elite is trusted by hobby gamers and professionals alike, and even used by our writing team. This version also features a customizable multi-function dial and additional music controls above the number pad. The Razer Huntsman Elite can be synced through the Razer Synapse app for RGB and settings customization, making it the perfect gift for PC lovers of all types. We can guarantee you’ll make any gamer happy with this gift!

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