The best tech gifts to give this year

Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored
Fri November 30, 2018

The best thing about tech gifts is that they can range from completely practical to purely whimsical. They can be for anyone of any age and any interest, and can even be for your furry family members.

We've put together a list of some of the best tech gifts you can get your loved ones to amaze them, entertain them, or just make everyday life a little smoother. It's the 21st century, so we might as well indulge in our newest modern tech this holiday season.

1. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer ($119.95; amazon.com)

If you love taking pictures but don't want to wait days to get them printed, this HP Portable Printer can print your pictures on the go, straight from your mobile device. It's available in five colors and the prints are 2 by 3 inches.

2. Divoom Tivoo Bluetooth Speaker ($100; urbanoutfitters.com)

These retro speakers may look classic, but they have modern features like a full-spectrum LED display with HD sound. They can even double as your alarm clock, daily weatherman, planner, voice messenger and more.

3. 360-Degree Spherical Panorama Camera ($100; amazon.com)

Upgrade your videography skills with this portable camera that can take spherical videos up to three minutes in length. With the camera's dedicated app, you can edit each of your videos for that artistic touch. The device is available in four colors.

4. Ember Ceramic Mug ($79.95; amazon.com)

Say goodbye to lukewarm drinks this holiday season. This ceramic mug with Ember technology lets you control the temperature of your drink with an app, so it's not too hot or too cold. It will even notify you when your drink has reached your optimal temperature.

5. Leather Tassel Charging Cable ($60; casetify.com)

This luxe, fashionable tech accessory is perfect for someone on the go. Keep this charging cable connected to your purse as a cute tassel, and you won't have to worry about forgetting your charger ever again. It's available in four colors and compatible with recent models of the iPhone, iPod and iPad.

6. Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor ($59.94; amazon.com)

Tech gifts can be for your furry friends too. Or for your friends who have furry friends. This GPS tracking device is attached to your pet's collar and can alert you by text, email or an app notification if Rover wanders outside your designated "home zone." You're also able to track your dog's daily activity to see if he or she is getting enough exercise based on age, weight and breed.

7. Universal Phone Mount ($16; urbanoutfitters.com)

This handy phone mount is perfect for people who enjoy working with their phones at their sides. It's capable of 360-degree rotation and has a flexible arm mount and clamp anchors that can attach to a desk or bedside. It's available in two colors and can hold any device up to 4.5 inches wide.

8. Dr. J 4-Inch Miniprojector ($89.99; amazon.com)

This miniprojector is portable, but its image quality packs a punch. A great gift option for anyone who enjoys hosting a movie night, it boasts 4.5 stars on Amazon with over 1,550 reviews, and many purchasers say it's the best affordable projector on the market.

9. Nanoleaf Rhythm Modular Lighting System Kit ($230; urbanoutfitters.com)

If you have friends or family who want to upgrade their home décor game, this Nanoleaf lighting system is a fun and eye-catching way to do it. Nine smart LED triangle panels will respond wirelessly to your phone program and can project any color of the rainbow. You can even sync Nanoleaf up with your favorite music for a personalized light show -- perfect for holiday parties.

10. Tile Pro Sport and Style Combo ($44.99; target.com)

The Tile Pro now has an increased range of 200 feet, making it easy for any forgetful friends or family members to keep better track of their phones, keys, bags and other personal possessions. Double tap on the middle button to make your phone ring, or use the app to locate your other belongings. The device can run for a full year, is waterproof and comes in a pack of two.

11. Petcube Bites Camera ($221.99; amazon.com)

This is perfect for friends who have extreme separation anxiety when they're away from their pets. With this device, you can dispense treats to your dog or cat while you're not at home. It even includes a two-way communication channel so pets can hear your voice while you feed them.

12. Nomad Wireless Charging Hub ($85.00; urbanoutfitters.com)

Take advantage of wireless charging technology with this sleek charging hub. Toss your mobile device (or up to five) straight onto this device to get it charging -- no more fumbling in the dark for the charger.

13. Sphero Orbotix Minirobot ($80.88; amazon.com)

This app-controlled minirobot is bound to provide anyone with hours of fun. Connect it through Bluetooth with your iOS or Android device to control its every movement on any surface. Race it with friends -- you can even drive it in the dark, since it has built-in LED lights.

14. Tamagotchi V5 Game ($25; urbanoutfitters.com)

For anyone with a soft spot for the '90s, this Tamagotchi will be a fun throwback for those who used to love these digital pets. This cute piece of nostalgia is available in seven colors.

15. Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock ($46.20; amazon.com)

Waking up, especially in the winter, can be a challenge. But the Philips alarm clock is a therapy lamp, with scientific cred, that claims to wake you up more naturally. The lamp simulates natural sunlight to ease you into every morning.

16. Eufy RoboVac Pet Edition Vacuum ($299.99; urbanoutfitters.com)

This cordless, self-driving vacuum is specially designed for households with pets. It has up to 100 minutes of run time before needing a charge -- ensuring that it can take care of your cleaning needs anywhere in the house. When it's out of power, it'll recharge itself automatically.

17. IK Multimedia iRig Mic ($48.99; amazon.com)

For any karaoke enthusiasts or future pop stars, this microphone is a professional-quality condenser for your mobile device -- which means you can create high definition vocal recordings with only your mobile device. It is also compatible with a range of iOS vocal and audio processing apps, so you can edit your tracks as well.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed prices at the time of publication.