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Oculus Go

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Ready to give someone a glimpse of the future? The Oculus Go takes virtual reality on the road with its battery-powered glasses and included controller. No computer, phone or public shame required.

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Nintendo 2DS XL

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The Nintendo Switch is a bit too expensive for this list at $299, but at half that price the smaller, sleeker 2DS XL is a great consolation prize for on-the-go gamers who love Nintendo's library of titles. Plus, two screens are always better than one.

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Moto G6

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Did you expect to see an actual, honest-to-goodness phone on this list? The G6, with ample processing speed, dual rear cameras and near-stock Android Oreo is one of the best budget phones, well, ever.

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Moto G6 Play

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It's not quite as good as the standard G6, but it's even cheaper and has whopping battery life. If your gift recipient is always complaining about a dead phone, it makes the perfect budget choice.

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Sonos One

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If you want to give an Alexa fan the gift of improved sound quality, or a Sonos fan the ability to speak into thin air to ask for tunes, there can be only One.

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Google Home

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Google first smart speaker is still largely unchanged, but the software behind it gets upgraded all the time. Its Google Assistant works with more than 10,000 devices, the list of Hey Google commands just keeps growing, and only Google promises to place calls on your behalf.

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Amazon Echo Plus

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The Plus-sized version of the original Echo is shorter and cloth-covered, and has improved sound quality as well as a Zigbee hub built in. The Sonos One is better overall, but maybe the smart home fan on your list really, really likes Zigbee devices.

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JBL Link 300

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With Google Assistant built-in and excellent sound quality, the Link 300 is the smart speaker with a bit of something extra. And being a JBL, it supports Bluetooth and works with Chromecast systems too.

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Amazon Echo Sub

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Amazon's sub adds more bass to your Echo speakers, making it a great choice for Echo owners who complain about their little cylenders' weak sound. But if you want the most sonic improvement, buy a second Echo to form a stereo pair.

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Amazon Echo Show 2

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Perhaps your gift-ee prefers smart speakers with screens. First up is Amazon's new Echo Show, which packs Alexa behind a screen and improved on the sound, and style, or the original. And yes, it can do YouTube.

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Google Home Hub

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With a smaller screen and no built-in camera, Google's first smart display takes a different tack from the Echo Show. Tight integration with Google Photos and other big-G services, a slick design and most of all a lower price, could make it a more appealing gift.

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JBL Link View

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Your gift recipient likes Google Assistants with screens AND improved sound quality? JBL's answer is the Link View, which throws a screen onto the Link and pumps up the bass.

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Amazon Fire HD 10

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Moving on to screens that don't have speakers -- but still have Alexa -- we have Amazon's largest tablet, the Fire HD 10. Good luck finding an iPad in this price range.

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Kindle Paperwhite (2018)

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The new fully backlit Paperwhite improves on its predecessor with a smoother finish, slimmer design and Bluetooth. But the biggest difference is full waterproofing, which should be music to the ears of book lovers who like to relax with a Kindle in the bath.

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Apple AirPods

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Does your gift recipient love their iPhone yet hate wires? Chances are they're lusting after these little 'phones, so maybe now is the time to satisfy that craving with the fully-wireless 'phones that started it all.

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Jabra Elite Active 65t

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Wait, what? There are fully-wireless headphones on sale that aren't AirPods? Yep, quite a few good ones in fact, and our favorites are these JBLs. They're better for active users and improve the sound quality compared to Apple's versions.

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Bose SoundSport Free Wireless

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Yep, these Bose 'phones sound better than AirPods too. They're a bit bulkier than those JBLs, but still great for both sedentary and active use thanks to Bose's innovative ear tips.

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Bose Soundsport Wireless

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Cheaper than the "Free" versions in the last slide, these Bose 'phones aren't completely wireless. Instead there's a cord that runs between the two earpieces, behind your neck -- but the connection between the 'phones and your phone doesn't require a wire. It's tough to find a better headphone for the exercise nut on your list. 

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Fitbit Versa

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Speaking of activity, and fitness, there's Fitbit. Maybe the person on your list wants a smartwatch, but you don't want to spring for an Apple Watch. The Versa is our pick for an affordable alternative.

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Fitbit Charge 3

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Even less expensive, and more fitness tracker than smart watch, the Charge 3 has a smaller screen and lacks the Versa's app store, but it could be plenty. Battery life and sleep tracking are also better than the Apple Watch.

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Garmin Vivosport

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One of Fitbit's main competitors is Garmin, and as you'd expect its activity band is pretty good at GPS.  It's lightweight, comfortable to wear, and has good battery life.

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Garmin Forerunner 235

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For the serious runner on your list, it's tough to beat the Forerunner 235 in this price range. It has the heart-rate monitor and GPS run tracking of the others, in a big color screen that's easy to see while you work out.

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Motiv Ring

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Does the fitness person on your list hate watches and fitness bands? Maybe you should put a Ring on them. The Moviv only works with iPhones, and it's more limited than a traditional watch or fitness band, but it works surprisingly well.

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Coros Linx Cycling Helmet

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So what about the serious biker on your list? There's a cap for that. The Coros Linx is less about fitness tracking and more about making it easier and safer to listen to music while you ride. A set of headphones shuts out noise, but the Linx lets you listen to the tunes and keep an ear out for danger.

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GoPro Hero5 Session

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All that exercise and activity might make your gift recipient healthy, but does it really mean anything if he or she can't film all that fun stuff and share it with friends? The tiny Session is small enough to go just about anywhere, but packs in big features like voice control and image stabilization.

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GoPro Hero5 Black

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The best GoPro will cost a bit more, but for the tough-to-please action shooter on your list it's worth it. Upgrades over the Session include a removable battery and 4K resolution, for overall video quality that's among the best we've seen in an action cam.

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TCL S305 series Roku TV

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No, you can't get an actual 4K TV for under $250 (yet), but at the small screen sizes necessitated by this price range, you won't see the difference of that extra resolution anyway. The S305 includes the best-in-class Roku Smart TV operating system to please that binge-happy TV addict on your list.

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Apple TV 4K

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If your giftee already has a 4K TV, however, the Apple TV 4K can help them take their streaming game to the next level. With support for the highest-quality audio and video formats along with Apple's trademark slick interface, it's the best conduit yet for all those iTunes movies and TV shows.

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Nvidia Shield

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What's that you say? Your streaming, gaming geek wouldn't be caught dead owning an Apple product? For them there's the Shield, a dyed-in-the-wool super-streamer with all of the nerdy fixing and the Google stamp of approval.

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Amazon Fire TV Recast

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So maybe your geeky TV fan is way beyond the Shield, to the point where they've already cut the cord and use an antenna to watch a lot of live TV. The Recast, an antenna DVR that can stream live and recorded TV all around the house (and even on their phones, on the go), could be the perfect cord cutter gift.

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AirTV

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Cheaper than Amazon's antenna DVR because it doesn't include a hard drive, the AirTV (the little black box below the white antenna in the image above) can still record if you have your own HDD hanging out somewhere. It uses the Sling TV app but your cord cutting gift recipient doesn't need to be a Sling subscriber.

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TiVo Bolt OTA

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Yes, you can get a Tivo DVR for less $250, and this OTA -- designed for over-the-air TV that cord cutters love -- pretty great. Sure there's that monthly fee (or a single lifetime charge) but you'll be giving the gift of TiVo's awesome interface and a box that can stream apps like Netflix, Amazon and everything else too. It can't connect to multiple TVs like the Recast and AirTV, but as a traditional antenna DVR it's way beyond the Stream+.

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Sony UBP-X700

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You think TiVo is old-school, how about an actual Blu-ray player? OK fine, this one plays 4K Blu-rays with HDR and peak audio quality, but if the 4K TV-owning film buff on your list doesn't have one yet, the X7000 is a great choice.

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LG UP870

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This LG costs less than the Sony, or just about any other 4K Blu-ray player, but it gets the job done. Perfect for giving the gift of physical, spinning media without a massive investment.

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Vizio SB3621

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It's safe to say that every other device on this list pales in comparison to the value of this Vizio. Honest-to-goodness good sound quality, complete with a wireless subwoofer, will have your recipient thanking you every time they blast a movie. Your wallet will thank you for the price.

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Polk Command Bar

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So what does spending more for a sound bar give your gift recipient? For starters, improved sound quality over the Vizio. The icing on the cake -- or maybe the main selling point -- is built-in Alexa voice control, which makes the Command Bar the affordable, better-sounding alternative to the Sonos Beam.

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Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

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What's that you say? You want even BETTER sound quality? For less than $250 the conversation begins and ends with a pair of Debut 2.0 bookshelf speakers. If your gift recipient is looking for an upgrade and already owns a receiver or audio system, these speakers will rock their world.

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Logitech Harmony Companion

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For the dude or dudette with a bunch of audio video gear, nothing beats a universal remote. And despite some innovations in this space recently, like the $99 Caavo Control Center or the Amazon Fire TV Cube (see a couple of slides from now), the basic Harmony clicker is still a great choice for most AV systems. 

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Logitech Harmony Elite

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The best Harmony is the Elite thanks to its screen and improved ergonomics, and after a couple years on the market it's finally cheap enough to make this list. It's probably overkill for most people, but if the person on your list is looking for a truly awesome remote, this is it.

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Amazon Fire TV Cube

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A wacky mashup of universal remote, Fire TV streamer and Alexa speaker, the Fire TV Cube does a lot of things right. If your gift recipient likes talking into thin air rather than pressing buttons, it could bring more, er, Harmony to his or her living room.

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HP Tango X

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Let's switch gears a bit and talk about...printers. No, wait, hear me out. Buying one is a necessary evil for some people, but not all of them look like Kinko's refugees. The Tango X is a printer that could blend into a modernist decor and is designed to print from phones as well as PCs. 

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Brother HL-L2395DW

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Then again, maybe your gift recipient just wants a basic, affordable laser printer / scanner that gets the job done. They'll thank you for this Brother, and you'll appreciate not having to play tech support all the time.

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Brother HL-3170CDW

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It's very similar to the last Brother, but lacks a scanner and adds color. Nuff' said.

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Asus RT-AC86U

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And maybe you're sick of troubleshooting your gift recipient's wi-fi connection too. The solution could be a new, really good router, and our current favorite is this Asus. 

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V-Moda Crossfade Wireless

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Maybe your headphone fanatic marches to a different drum (n bass). These V-Moda's look and sound so sweet, they basically beat Beats at its own game. The newer Crossfade 2 is $280 so it's just out of this price range, but the original Crossfade is still a great headphone at $200.

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Sennheiser HD 4.50BTNC Wireless

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A storied name among headphone 'heads, Sennheiser's full-sized wireless headphones exude " street audiophile" yet still manage to clip the wires. If you just can't hack the sticker price of Bose, these are an excellent noise-cancelling alternative.

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Sennheiser Momentum 2.0

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If your gift recipient is willing to put up with wires, the sound quality goes up...a lot. These Sennheisers sound as good as anything you'll get in this price range, and are comfortable enough for those hours-long home listening sessions.

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Ecobee 4

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Old-school in-home headphones are cool and all, but maybe you'd like to give something a bit more modern, something that can keep your recipient warm this winter yet still save on those heating bills. The Ecobee 4 is our favorite smart thermostat, beating out Nest, and includes an actual Alexa speaker built-in.

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Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)

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OK, not everyone wants Alexa in everything. Google-owned Nest wrote the book on stylish smart thermostats, and the latest version adds a temperature sensor to its winning mix. And yes, it too works with Alexa and Google Assistant.

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Honeywell Lyric T5

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This alternative to Ecobee and Nest might not have the same awesome-gift appeal, but costs a lot less and still delivers all the smart features you expect, including geofencing and Alexa and Siri integration.

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Ring Security Kit

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Maybe the gift recipient on your list is looking for a bit more security. Here's our favorite all-in-one kit in this price range. It's affordable and simple to use, and really, what more do you want in a security system?

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Abode Starter Kit

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With more features than Ring for a higher price, maybe Abode demonstrates what more you can actually want. The system can easily expand to add more modules and cameras, including third-party Zigbee and Z-wave devices, and unlike Ring it works with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.

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Amazon Cloud Cam

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Maybe your gift recipient wants to monitor stuff inside their home. With free cloud storage and an affordable price, Amazon's cam leaps to the front of our recommendations.

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Ring Stick Up Cam

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A great companion to the Ring security system, the Stick Up Cam is designed to go both indoors and out, and the battery and wired versions cost the same.

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Ring Spotlight Cam

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Keeping an eye out for Santa? Combining an outdoor security cam and spotlight, this camera is sure to satisfy the security nut on your list.

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Netgear Arlo Pro 2

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So maybe that security nut has Panopticon ambitions but doesn't have a power wire handy. Enter the Arlo Pro 2, designed to observe anything in their yard or elsewhere, anytime. Santa, you've been warned.

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Nest Hello

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Here's one gift you might consider letting them upwrap before the holidays, if only to keep track of all those other gifts (Amazon packages) arriving on their doorstep this season. 

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Ring Video Doorbell Pro

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A bit cheaper and more space-saving than the Nest Hello, Ring's own doorbell-with-a-camera is designed to better blend into your front step decor.

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August Smart Lock, HomeKit-enabled

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Another bit of security for your recipient's smart home, this version of the August lock is our favorite overall because it works with Apple's Homekit system. But if you want additional systems to work with it, get the Pro.

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August Smart Lock Pro

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The Pro is actually a bundle that includes an accessory that connects the lock to other smart home systems, including Amazon Alexa, the Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Nest. It's expensive, but could be the perfect gift for that security-obsessed person on your list.

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Nest Protect (second generation)

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Yes, it's a $100+ smoke and carbon monoxide detector. But maybe that person on your list already has a Nest system and is looking for the next nest thing to add. 

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Lutron Caseta In-Wall Wireless Smart Lighting Kit

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Smart bulbs are a dime a dozen, and cheaper than the scope of this list, but if your giftee wants to do smart lighting right, he or she needs smart wall switches. This Lutron is the best way to get them started.

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Nanoleaf Aurora

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So your gift recipient's smart lighting tastes run toward the less...conventional. These crazy panels can be configured into different shapes and programmed six ways from Sunday, and yes, they even work with Alexa and Siri.

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Snapchat Spectacles 2

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If you've made it this far and still haven't seen a good tech gift between $100 and $250, I don't know what to tell you. Maybe you should just get them this pair of Snapchat sunglasses and call it a day.

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