Laptop Mag Holiday Wish List: The top 6 tech gifts we really, really want

Christmas wish list dear santa
(Image credit: Getty)

At Laptop Mag, we pride ourselves on keeping you up to speed on the mobile tech and gaming news. We curate our buying guides and deals to help you make informed buying decisions, save money, and time. Right now, the latter is of the essence as Christmas Day nears.

If the anxiety of last-minute holiday shopping is creeping in, take a deep breath and exhale. There are plenty of last-minute gifts you can get before Christmas Day. And if you're really in a pinch, you can always go the holiday gift card route. Be it a shiny laptop or an Amazon eGift card, the gift of tech will put a smile on any recipient's face.

Looking for last-minute gift inspiration or just curious about what we want Santa to bring us? Check out this year's Laptop Mag Christmas Wish List.

 GameSir G8 Galileo Mobile Gaming Controller 

GameSir G8 Galileo in hand

(Image credit: GameSir)

I hate Christmas (Boo!), and I hate presents too (Booo!). I’m a real blast to be around I assure you. However, if I had to outsource one of my own purchases over the ‘festive’ season, then it would be the GameSir G8 Galileo Mobile Gaming Controller. GameSir makes some impressive peripherals, so I’m confident in the G8’s performance – especially as it adopts the same hall-effect triggers and anti-drift sticks of its more traditional G7 SE controller.

Handheld PC gaming has become a big thing over the last year, and that’s great if you want to play 35 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077 while out and about, only to then carry around 640 grams of battery-drained lifeless tech for the rest of your day. That sounds like a real hassle to me. Instead, I’d enjoy just being able to snap my phone into the GameSir G8, push away from my desk, and laze around my apartment with full access to my Steam library while I recline and wait out all of that festive joy. Bah humbug!

— Rael Hornby 

Panasonic Lumix S Pro 16-35mm F4 Wide Zoom Lens

Panasonic Lumix S Pro lens

(Image credit: Panasonic)

I sadly have a camera addiction, which means I have an expensive hobby that my friends, family and children don’t care about and can’t afford to supplement. I understand this whole heartedly, but if Santa were real I would ask the bearded, plump Red adorned, gift giver of the North Pole for a Panasonic Lumix S Pro 16 - 35mm F4 full frame L mount wide lens. 

It is the cheapest of the lenses I want at $997.99 at Amazon, but again, I have negative zero expectations. I want this lens to shoot some neat indoor footage and maybe some awesome outdoor wide shots. I would also like the Panasonic Lumix 24-70mm F 2.8 Lumix S Pro Full Frame, L Mount Lens, and the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm F 1.4 Lens. 

I can hear my imaginary Santa laughing at me, saying No! No! No! Then sitting back in his elfin-made Lazy Boy and laughing while sipping bourbon. I could also use some Levi's, which are more affordable, but that ain’t happening either. 

Happy Holidays folks, I will be working through it and dreaming about camera lenses, and new pants. 

— Mark Ramirez

 Insta360 GO 3 Action Camera 

Insta360 GO 3 against blue gradient background

(Image credit: Insta360)

I used to carry a big DSLR camera with me everywhere and while I still do so on occasion to my family’s dismay, I have mostly fallen in with the rest of humanity in relying on my phone as my camera. So I can ditch the DSLR, but there are still some situations where I’m not thrilled about using my phone as a camera, namely for action photos and video. This is where Insta360 steps into my life.

I carry an Insta360 One X3 around anytime I am traveling or doing anything vaguely active. Whether that’s mountain biking, skiing, Onewheeling, boating, you name it the One X3 is by my side. It’s a pocket-sized 360 camera that can screw onto any number of attachments or tripods to then easily capture everything going on around you without having to worry about framing the perfect shot while you are busy enjoying yourself. If I didn’t already own one, this would be my top pick, but given that I have a One X3, my wish list item this year is the Insta360 Go 3.

The diminutive sibling of the One X3, the Go 3 fills a slightly different gap while still being an action camera. When encased in its housing the Go 3 looks and acts a lot like a standard GoPro, but you can pop it out of the housing and it is an absolutely tiny 1.25-ounce 1 x 2.1 x 0.9-inch action camera that you can take literally anywhere and barely even notice it. It’s a perfect secondary camera for travel to get action shots, timelapse, or any quick footage that either you don’t want to monopolize your phone on or that involves putting your camera in a position where you can’t or don’t want to place your phone. If you love capturing video then you would be as happy as me to find the Insta360 Go 3 under the tree this year.

— Sean Riley

Vizio M-Series All-in-One 2.1 sound bar

Vizio M-Series All-in-One 2.1 sound bar with blue gradient backgound

(Image credit: Vizio, Laptop Mag)

After securing my gorgeous 65-inch TCL Q7 QLED TV at a stellar price, a TV soundbar is next on the agenda. Don’t get me wrong, the TV’s built-in speakers are decent, it’s just that the bass is a little too light for my liking. For now, I’ve been using a 12W Soundcore Flare Bluetooth speaker as a soundbar. It makes a huge difference in bass levels, yet it lacks Dolby Atmos and DTS:X which are the secret sauce to immersive sound. 

That’s why the VIZIO M-Series AiO 2.1 Sound Bar is on my Christmas wish list this year. Priced at just under $180, the VIZIO M-Series AiO falls is one of the more affordable soundbars out there. When you check out the specs, nothing about it exactly screams budget. This 6-speaker 2.1 channel soundbar packs the premium sound technology I’m looking for and HDMI eARC (enhanced audio return channel) supported by the TCL Q7. I need this VIZIO soundbar in my life to take full advantage of my new TV’s capabilities and enjoy life-like sound — with bass.

So why am I not wishing for TCL's recommended Q Class Premium 3.1 Ch. Sound Bar? The short answer is use case. My living room is not enormous, so a 2.1 Ch. sound bar should be more than adequate. Plus, when you live in an apartment, the rumble of a 350 watt speaker is not a neighborly thing to do. Which brings me to another attribute I love about this soundbar, it has dual-subwoofers built-in. During my research of scrolling through all the soundbar options on the market, I see that most are paired with a standalone subwoofer. I personally prefer the low profile look of a single soundbar minus a bulky speaker box hogging up space in my living room. 

With its minimalist design, robust audio features, and reasonable price point, all I want for Christmas is the VIZIO M-Series AiO sound bar.

— Hilda Scott

 77" Sony Bravia XR A95L QD-OLED 4K TV

Sony Bravia XR A95L QD-OLED 4K TV in living space

(Image credit: Sony)

I finally did it! After months of researching, squirreling away money and pining, I purchased my first Sony Bravia OLED TV and it was absolutely worth the hype. I still love my LG 43UH6100 43-inch, 4K OLED television, but let’s face it, 43-inches is kinda small in the grand scheme of things, especially as my main screen for gaming. So I was through the moon when I hit the purchase button on my new 65-inch Sony Bravia XR A80L OLED 4K TV. It looks and sounds amazing and it’s serving up plenty of goodies for a gamer like me, including a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports, Dolby Vision support that allows for gaming at 120Hz at 4K which is a first for Sony TVs. And I tell you, Spider-Man 2 and God of War Raganork: Valhalla look stunning as does Starfield and Forza Motorsport

So you’d think my TV lust would be satiated at this point. I mean, I’ve got a bigger, technologically better TV than my LG, which now lives in my bedroom. But there’s always bigger and better tech to be had. And now that I’ve had a taste of a Bravia OLED TV with its sumptuous colors, deep blacks and great refresh rate, I want more. Enter the Sony Bravia XR A95L QD-OLED 4K TV. It combines the best of both worlds with Quantum-Dot technology and OLED promises eye-catching vividness and rich blacks all while getting nice and bright. The TV also boasts better image processing which should translate into even smoother image rendering while still retaining the things I love about my A80L. 

So what’s stopping me from doubling down on Sony and putting my A80L in the downstairs game lounge and making the A95L my new main screen? The price. At $5,000, it’s something I just can’t afford right now as it’s just a little more expensive than one month’s rent. But if Santa or some other no-strings-attached-gift-giving entity can read this, all I want for Christmas is this dope-ass TV. 

— Sherri L. Smith

Asus ROG Ally

Asus ROG Ally review

(Image credit: Future)

Christmas is the time of year when everyone thinks about what makes them happiest. The holidays only add fuel to our obsession with those two or three things that cause us to erupt with excitement. And there’s only one piece of technology that has had this impact on me all year: The Asus ROG Ally.

That obsession is especially evident when people learn I’ve been using the device since September, yet still cannot shake my adoration for it. Most Christmas presents amount to nothing more than an ephemeral infatuation, but even though I’ve been using it daily for many months, I’d love to have my own Asus ROG Ally. Sure, I’ve beaten over a dozen games on our review model by now, but having your own is a whole different feeling.

— Momo Tabari