Best Gifts 2016

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Whether you're buying a high-tech token of affection for that special someone or a birthday gift for Mom, everyone loves gadgets. Finding the right gift, however, can be a challenge with so many compelling products vying for your attention. Fortunately, we've picked the best products to get you started.

From budget-friendly Chromebooks to the fastest tablets and the sleekest-looking bags, these are the hottest gadget gifts available now. For even more ideas, see our full list of 100+ gift recommendations on Tom's Guide.


Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015)

Editor's Choice

As the best Chromebook we've seen, the 2015 edition of Toshiba's Chromebook 2 is a stellar way to experience Chrome OS. The keyboard is top-notch, and the superbright display supports 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution. But even with a screen that sharp, Toshiba's machine has some of the best battery life you'll find on a Chromebook: 10 hours and 5 minutes, according to the Laptop Mag Battery Test.

Toshiba Chromebook 2 Review

  • Case Logic LoDo Backpack

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    The Case Logic LoDo Backpack cradles your tech inside its three zipper compartments, with special pockets for your 14-inch laptop and 10-inch tablet. On the outside, you can choose from among gray, blue or green. It also sports two water bottle holders, magnetic snaps on the flaps over the smaller pockets and leather zipper pulls. Case Logic put pads in the backpack's shoulder straps and back panel to make traveling not only convenient, but also comfy.

  • Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB


    Store your data in style with Western Digital's My Passport Ultra. You can get a full 1TB of space for just $59.99. Plus, you get your choice of colors, including Blue, Black, White and Berry for the unit's color; and Fuchsia, Grape, Sky, Slate and Smoke for the external grip's colors. My Passport Ultra also gives you the option to automatically back up your data locally or straight to the cloud.

  • Anker 3-Port USB Hub with Ethernet


    Anker's 3-Port USB Hub with Ethernet is exactly what it sounds like. Plug it into a USB 3.0 port on your machine to instantly gain three more USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet port. The sturdy aluminum body and short USB cable help Anker's hub survive sloshing around in your backpack. Plus, you'll be able to achieve blazing-fast transfer speeds up to 5GB per second.

  • Budget Tablet

    Lenovo Tab 2 A8

    The Lenovo Tab 2 A8 will keep going as long as you do, with one of the best batteries you'll find on a budget tablet. On a full charge, the Tab 2 lasted 11 hours and 32 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test -- more than 3 hours longer than similar devices. That's particularly impressive, considering the Lenovo has a bright and vibrant 1280 x 800-pixel, 8-inch display. Couple the display with quality speakers and Dolby Atmos audio software preinstalled on the Tab 2, and watching videos and movies is a dream.

  • Budget Laptop

    Asus X205TA

    Proving Chromebooks aren't the only affordable laptops on the market with great battery life, the Asus EeeBook X205TA comes with Windows 8.1 preloaded. Its slim design and excellent endurance (12 hours and 5 minutes) make this model great for an avid traveler who needs more than a tablet, but would rather not carry a 15-inch laptop. And for $199, the bright screen, Intel Atom processor and one year of 1TB cloud storage make this almost impulse-buy worthy.  

  • Ultraportable Laptop

    Dell XPS 13 (2015)

    The edge-to-edge display on the Dell XPS 13 will turn heads. The quad-HD touch screen is gorgeous, and essentially puts a 13-inch screen in an 11-inch carbon-fiber body. Starting at $799, it also includes an Intel Core i5 processor, which makes it more powerful than other machines in its class. 

  • Kensington WordLock Portable Combination Laptop Lock

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    Keep your laptop safe from sticky fingers with Kensington's WordLock Portable Combination Laptop Lock. Like your usual combination lock, this little guy holds your laptop shut unless you line up the correct combination of numbers and press the push button. The best part about WordLock: It comes in a second version that's all letters instead of numerals. You can use any four-letter combination to secure your notebook, with more than 10,000 to choose from.

  • Apple iPhone 6S Plus

    With the same styling as last year's loveable iPhone 6 Plus, the 2015 model features updated durability. Apple's new pressure-sensitive screen fundamentally changes for the better the way you use an iPhone. You merely need to long press on the 3D Touch display to peek, pop and open attachments, websites and much more. Add in the fastest processor (Apple's A9) and the best overall smartphone camera, and the iPhone 6S Plus (which snaps photos that can move) becomes a no-brainer for our pick for best smartphone.

  • STM Grace Deluxe Laptop Sleeve

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    The Grace Deluxe Laptop Sleeve from STM looks stylish and does its job well. It has a foam- and plush-lined pocket for your 13-inch laptop, with a second pocket for tablets, books or your phone. All of that is secured safely with a magnetic flap. And for you small stuff, the Grace has a zipper pocket up front, so you'll always have room for your cards, pens and other odds and ends.

  • Crucial BX100


    Starting at 120GB ($69.99), Crucial's BX10 solid-state drive offers the bang for your buck that a DIY laptop hacker on your gift list deserves. Not only will it increase your speeds over the standard hard drive that came with your machine, it also packs power loss protection in case you face a sudden power outage, just like the higher-end Crucial SSDs. For fast, reliable data transfer and storage at a low price, this is the one to get.

  • Gaming Laptop

    Alienware 17 (2015)

    The new Alienware 17 offers everything you need from a gaming laptop. Its 17-inch 1080p screen looks gorgeous, whether it's displaying Goat Simulator or Game of Thrones. The battery (6 hours and 25 minutes) lasts twice as long as that of the competition. It packs an unreal amount of power, thanks to the Alienware Graphic Amplifier, which comes with an extra GPU and more. Plus, the customizable lighting is just plain cool.

  • Veyem Ergonomic Stand for Laptops and Tablets

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    Veyem's stand alleviates desk clutter by helping you stack a monitor on top of your laptop. The stand sports cable-management holes to keep cords from spilling onto your table space, and folds down to be just less than 4 inches tall. Ergonomics are important to Veyem too: the stand has knobs to adjust your monitor to the perfect viewing angle.

  • External Keyboard


    The 3.5-inch, multitouch touchpad to the right of the keys will be the first thing you notice about the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400. That touchpad also features two buttons. It's wireless, is powered by two AA batteries and weighs just 1.1 pounds, so it's also easy to use anywhere. The company claims that the keyboard has a wireless range of 33 feet. 

  • Wireless Mouse


    Microsoft's Designer Bluetooth Mouse pairs wirelessly with your laptop or tablet via Bluetooth 4.0. The ambidextrous, black-matte design is sleek and simple. It runs on two AAA batteries, meaning it should last up to 6 months on a charge. 

  • Dell Docking Station

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    The new Dell Docking Station supports everything you could want in 2015. It'll hook your machine up to as many as three external monitors, including ultra HD 4K displays. Dell's dock also features three USB 3.0 ports, but it also has two more USB 2.0 ports in the back to maximize compatibility with all your devices. All this comes from a unit less than half the size of your keyboard.

  • AOC 16-inch HD Pro

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    AOC's 16-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display gives you bright colors and a sharp picture on the go. It's slim and lightweight, so it travels well. And a unique, c-shaped stand in the back of this monitor makes it simple to set up in either portrait or landscape orientation. AOC's monitor is USB-powered, so there are no extra power cables.

  • Apple iPad Pro

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    Apple says its new iPad Pro will be faster than 80 percent of all portable PCs released this year, thanks to the superfast A9X processor inside. The 12.9-inch screen features a stunning, 2732 x 2048-pixel resolution. Apple also gave it four speakers -- a first for the iPad -- that apparently triple its loudness. If you're looking to get creative or if you just want to stream videos in the most stylish way possible, the iPad Pro is the big-screen slate for you.

  • Amazon Fire Kids Edition

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    An improvement on last year's Fire Kids Edition at a better price, Amazon's new family-minded tablet boasts an enormous library of content for kids. The tablet comes with a complimentary one-year subscription to Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited service, which gives you access to 10,000 books, videos, apps and games curated for kids. The device also provides access to more than 20,000 websites and YouTube videos preapproved for kids, which you can add to or subtract from yourself. And not only does Amazon ship every tablet with a blue or pink kid-proof case, but it also promises to replace any broken Amazon Fire Kids Edition, no questions asked.