Top 5 Gadget Gifts Of 2017

With the onset of the holiday season, many of us face the anxiety of what to get those special tech aficionados in our lives, and how to whittle down the confusing array of choices before us. In no particular order, the following five tech gadgets have earned their spots among the popular and buzz-inducing throughout 2017.

1. Nintendo Switch, $299

Priced at $299 and created by the people behind the beloved Mario and Zelda, this idiosyncratic TV-or-hand-held-device has earned so much cachet among loyalists that Nintendo has now opted to begin the expensive business of flying these systems straight to stores by air. Its allure is instantly recognizable to those who have become familiar with the forms it takes: dropping the Switch in its cradle allows for its games to appear on your TV; withdrawing it enables on-the-go gaming; snapping the side motion controllers off and popping its kickstand makes for easy play at the table.

2. Microsoft Surface Laptop, $999

Aimed at the more educational set and offered for $999, the new Surface Laptop is Microsoft’s interpretation of a conventional laptop that runs a more bare-bones, but therefore more battery-efficient, operating system dubbed Windows 10 S. The special combo of Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop and its new version of Windows is a testament to its desire to provide consumers with more notebook options.

3. Logitech Craft Keyboard, $200

With its hit MX series of mice having achieved sustained popularity among creatives, Logitech’s new, stylish Craft keyboard — priced at $200 — is enjoying similar acclaim within the same group. The star of the Craft is its “creative input dial,” a silver knob located on the board’s top left corner. Tweaking images is intuitive in applications like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and InDesign with a simple click or tap of the wheel. Creating charts in Excel spreadsheets, alternating between multiple tabs and scrolling through playlists feels smooth and seamless. Sensitive to the lighting of a given room, the Craft’s backlit keys adjusts its own brightness accordingly and perks up when fingers approach. The reinforced stability, enhanced responsiveness and quiet strokes of the keys support a continuous, uninterrupted workflow for optimal performance during those crucial moments.

4. Fitbit Ionic, $300

Priced at $300 and released in early October, the Fitbit Ionic marks Fitbit’s debut in true smartwatches with a clean, minimalist design reminiscent of Apple. Different from Fitbit’s previous offerings, the Ionic offers support for (a limited number of) popular third-party applications and a new software platform called Fitbit OS, modeled after the way Pebble smartwatches run a simple, web standards-based SDK. What the Ionic lacks in its app capacity, it redeems in an impressive 4-day battery life. Smart features like run-detect and auto pause also distinguish this new endeavor, in addition to the usual Fitbit standards: personal coaching, heart-rate tracking, and built-in GPS.

5. iPhone X, $1149.00

Listed by Apple for $1,149.00, the iPhone X was hotly anticipated for its early November release this year amid scores of pre-orders. The defining, now well-publicized look for this device is that it’s “all screen” — a 5.8-inch Super Retina screen, to be exact. Its elegant borders discreetly frames the OLED screen designed specifically for iPhone X, offering “high brightness” and a 1,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio. Within its compact frame is the TrueDepth camera and series of sensors that make Face ID possible, also supplemented by machine learning that allows for Face ID to adapt to physical tweaks in appearance over time.

In true Apple fashion, intuitive gestures help users navigate, only now a single swipe — as opposed to just a button — can bring users back home. The A11 Bionic chip employs a “neural engine” that can execute 600 billion operations/second. An all-new design promises the most enduring glass ever used in smartphone history, as well as stainless steel, wireless charging, not to mention water and dust resistance.

Whether you are shopping for a gamer, academic, creative, the fitness-forward, the sleek professional, or everyone in between, this list offers a healthy cross-section of well-corroborated products at varying price points.