Christmas 2023 Tech Gift Ideas
Each year, we compile a list of useful and high-quality tech gear which we feel would make excellent Christmas gifts. We've bought most of the items below ourselves and/or have given them as gifts!
No-one pays us to include any of the items below.
Where possible, we try to provide links to where you can buy these items locally.
If we're having to suggest buying them online and you know of a store that carries them or an equally-good item, please let us know, so we can update these notes!
If you can't get an item in time for Christmas, don't get stressed! Order it, then print out a picture of it, and gift wrap that along with a note explaining that it's on its way, together with something heavy to camoflauge it!
And if you know of a better item, or a better price, or want to suggest something we should add, we welcome that, too. Many of the items below were, in fact, recommended by Tech Talk listeners!
Please text your feedback and suggestions to Alan at 250-589-2926 and/or Brian at 250-634-8986.
Wireless charging stand
If you're looking for a gift for someone who has an iPhone and AirPods (and in one case, also an Apple Watch), Logiix has two models of wireless charging stands, and they're both in stock and on sale!
The first is the Logiix Stance 2-in-1 charging stand, which can charge an iPhone and AirPods at the same time…
It's on sale for $37a $48 saving — at London Drugs stores, here.
If the person you're shopping for also has an Apple Watch, check out the Logiix Stance 3-in-1 wireless charging stand, which can simultaneously charge an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods…
It's on sale for $80a $60 saving — at London Drugs stores, here.
Rechargeable Hand-Warmers
If you know someone who gets cold hands a lot, these would be a perfect gift — Suggested by Ryan who listens to Tech Talk in Calgary!
No more snapping packets to activate the heat, and then feeling guilty when you have to discard them afterwards.
We've found three different units at three different price-points. The least-expensive first:
Canadian Bear Company rechargeable electronic hand warmers (they come in a set of two) provide instant heat with the press of a button, and are $20 at London Drugs stores.
Next, Ricky suggests Tough Tested brand rechargeable hand warmers, which can also charge your phone...
These have a more-powerful 3600MaH rechargeable battery which can warm your hands for up to 9 hours at the lowest of the three heat settings. They also have a USB jack so you can plug in a cable and charge your phone. They're $40 each at London Drugs.
And finally, BOIROS rechargeable pocket hand-warmers provide 6 to 13 hours of warmth, depending on which of the four heat levels you choose, and whether you want heat to be emitted from just one side, or both sides…
They come in a set of two, with a USB-C Y-cable, so you can charge them both at once. If they'e completely run-down, a full charge of their 12,000MaH lithium-ion batteries takes 4-5 hours.
I can't find BOIROS rechargeable hand-warmers in any stores, but you can get them on Amazon in your choice of orange or black, for $50 a pair, here, and there's currently an $8 instant savings coupon.
KeySmart compact key carriers
This is Aitan's pick; he loves his: KeySmart compact key carriers are like a Swiss Army Knife for your keys — you stack your keys on the bottom half, pop on the top half, and screw it tight, and voila!
The KeySmart Pro not only carries up to 14 keys, but also has a built-in GPS tracker that's compatible with Apple's "Find My" app, plus an LED flashlight. It's $69, in black or rose gold on Amazon, here.

Amazon.ca

KeySmart iPro - Key Organizer Keychain a Compact Trackable Keyholder with LED Flashlight - Works with Apple Find My App - Attach Car Key Fob and Other Keychain Accessories (up to 14 Keys, Black)

KeySmart iPro - Key Organizer Keychain a Compact Trackable Keyholder with LED Flashlight - Works with Apple Find My App - Attach Car Key Fob and Other Keychain Accessories (up to 14 Keys, Black) : Amazon.ca: Tools & Home Improvement

If you don't have an iPhone, the KeySmart Original, which holds up to 8 keys, is $19 on Amazon, here

Amazon.ca

KeySmart Key Organizer Compact Minimalist Pocket-Sized Key Holder, EDC Key Carrier w Ring Loop Piece for Car Key Fob Keychain Accessories for Men (up to 14 Keys, Black)

KeySmart Key Organizer Compact Minimalist Pocket-Sized Key Holder, EDC Key Carrier w Ring Loop Piece for Car Key Fob Keychain Accessories for Men (up to 14 Keys, Black) : Amazon.ca: Automotive

You can also order these and other KeySmart products directly from KeySmart, here.
a plasma-powered lighter and light
If you're looking for a gift for a techie who has everything, our friend Ron Fraser found this: a USB-C rechargeable waterproof and windproof plasma-powered lighter with a built-in LED light. This'd be a great gift for someone who goes camping a lot, as the lighter has no fuel and works even in the rain…
Ron bought one and says it works well! I can't find it in any stores, but it's just $22 on Amazon, here.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, Apple AirTags (and holders) are superb for locating keys, purses, backpacks, bikes, pets, and vehicles
Apple AirTags are the gold standard for locating missing items — and offer great peace-of-mind when travelling, as you can use them to ensure your luggage isn't being left behind.
AirTags are listed in the "Items" tab in the "Find My" app ,which is built into every iPhone and iPad. The app includes a Notification option which will put a pop-up on your iPhone if you're leaving an item behind, with a switch to have it not do that at specific locations such as your home or work. More here.
I have them in my backpack, tech bag, carry-on and suitcase, as well as on my keys, on my bike, and in my car. You can now share the location of your AirTags with multiple people, so they can help you find missing items if your iPhone is out of power or not with you.
Apple AirTags are $39 each or $129 for a package of four (you can sell/give them individually) at London Drugs, Best Buy, Staples, The Source, Simply Computing and other stores.
If you buy one/some, you'll want to put them in holders to keep the top from vibrating off, but holders are quite pricey at most stores — up to $30 each! You can buy high-AirTag holders that are just as good for a fraction of the price on Amazon. Here are two which we've bought, which are $12 for a set of four

Amazon.ca

E-TING Air Tag Keychain for Apple Airtags Holder, 4 Pack Protective Leather Airtags Case Tracker Cover with Air Tag Holder, Airtag Key Ring Compatible with Apple New AirTag Dog Collar (Multi-Color)

E-TING Air Tag Keychain for Apple Airtags Holder, 4 Pack Protective Leather Airtags Case Tracker Cover with Air Tag Holder, Airtag Key Ring Compatible with Apple New AirTag Dog Collar (Multi-Color) : Amazon.ca: Electronics

Amazon.ca

E-TING 4 Pcs Multicolor Anti-Scratch Case for AirTag,Holder with Keychain Hanging on Dog Collar Backpacks Wallet, Safety Anti-Lost Airtag Case Cover with Key Ring

E-TING 4 Pcs Multicolor Anti-Scratch Case for AirTag,Holder with Keychain Hanging on Dog Collar Backpacks Wallet, Safety Anti-Lost Airtag Case Cover with Key Ring : Amazon.ca: Electronics

Find your wallet, keys and other items with Eufy SmartTrack Link item trackers -- they work with both iPhones and Android phones
Apple AirTags are great, but don't fit into a wallet. Enter Eufy, who have made a Find My-compatible SmartTrack Link tracker which is the size of a credit card and just twice the thickness.
It's also twice as loud as an AirTag, and has a QR code on the back that someone who finds it can scan to see contact info for the owner. More on how they work is here.
Android users can also track their wallet by using the MyEufy app.
The Eufy SmartTrack Wallet Link is on sale for $25 (save $15) until Dec. 23 at Best Buy stores.
Eufy also makes an AirTag-style tracker which is twice as loud as an AirTag and doesn't need a holder, as it has a keyring hole in the corner.
The Eufy SmartTrack Tracker Tag is on sale for $20 (save $10) till Dec. 23 at Best Buy stores.
Another option is BoomPod BoomTags, which also work with Apple's "Find My" system…
They're made out of 100% recycled ocean plastic, available in four colours, don't need a tag holder, and are on sale for $20 (save $10) at London Drugs till the 31st.
Handheld LED photo/video fill lights
If you're shopping for someone who likes to shoot photos and videos in low light, a rechargeable portable LED fill light panel would make a great gift. They let you light-up people without using flash, to capture both them and the lights behind them, as in this iPhone shot at Disney World a year ago…
They can also be used to minimize shadows when taking portrait shots or videos in bright light.
Ideally, you want one that lets you adjust both the brightness and the colour temperature, and one that has tripod mount holes in case they're shooting solo. Here are two great units by DigiPower…
Above is the DigiPower 120, which has 120 dimmable LEDs and adjustable colour temperature, and a 3000mAh rechargeable lithium battery which will last for several hours. It's $99 at Best Buy stores, but is on sale for $50 till Dec. 7.
Below is its smaller and less-expensive brother — the DigiPower 50, which has 50 LED's, three light levels, and comes with three snap-on colour diffusers to suit daytime, dusk and night shooting…
The DigiPower 50 has a 500mAh rechargeable battery and is $40 at Best Buy stores.
Space Buddy Star and Nebula Projector
Suggested by Tech Talk listener Jason, the Space Buddy Star and Nebula Projector casts an undulating and mesmerizing space nebula onto a ceiling or walls, in your choice of five colour palettes, and you can overlay it with laser stars which fade in and out…
The Space Buddy Projector is USB-powered, is about 9" (23cm) tall and comes with a remote …
Stores here that carried it are sold out and won't be getting more till the new year, but you can get the Space Buddy Star and Nebula Projector on Amazon for just $34.
Cordless rechargeable mini-chainsaw
This is a new and improved version of the mini-chainsaw which we had on our Tech Gift List last year.
The 2023 rechargeable SeeSii mini-chainsaw now has a more-powerful 880W motor and a 6" / 15cm long cutter that is good for close to 100 cuts per charge. It comes in a carrycase with two batteries, a changer, a spare chain, plus gloves and safety goggles. Gary Beyer bought one and says he loves it! The SeeSii mini-chainsaw kit is on sale for $80 (save $20) on Amazon.
Another option would be the Scotts 40V 14" rechargeable chainsaw, which listener Peter found will be on sale at London Drugs for Boxing Week for $170 — which is a saving of $110! It's here.
If you want to get it as a Christmas gift, buy it now and then go back during Boxing Week (not on the 26th!!) with your receipt and they'll refund you the $110 price difference.
SOLD OUT A folding bike helmet!
If you're looking for a gift for someone who commutes by bike, eBike, scooter, or skateboard, Ricky Winter suggests this great gift to enable them to ride safely without having to lug around a bulky (but important to wear) bike helmet: the high-tech Overade Plixi Fit Foldable Helmet…
This helmet has an ingenious design that allows it to fold up, but when fully opened, the three-piece shell locks into place to provide full CSA/ANSI/Snell-rated crash protection. Koshiar at London Drugs Tillicum showed me how it quickly unfolds and locks in place and then easily folds-up…
The Overade Plixi Fit Foldable Helmet comes in blue and grey and is usually $160, but they're being cleared-out for winter at London Drugs stores for just $50 while stock lasts. Their Tillicum store has them in the Camera department above the tripods and telescopes.
Hidden AirTag bicycle mounts
AirTags are great for locating a bike if it gets stolen, but bike thieves know to look for them.
Here are two ways to keep track of a bike that thieves don't know about…
BlackBrush Hidden AirTag Bicycle Mount
This small, durable mount lets you securely hide an Apple AirTag atop the front stem of a bike.
The BlackBrush Tracker Cap is easily installed; you just use an Allan key to remove your existing headset top cap, and then use the supplied screw to securely tighten the new base. Then, you put an AirTag in between the two pieces, and snap on the cover which has a realistic-looking Allen-key hole. It has a snug fit that doesn't rattle or shake, and the top cap stays firmly in place, even when riding on bumpy off-road trails. It's made of durable plastic and metal and is designed to keep your tracker safe even in the dirtiest conditions. I have one on my bike, and have gifted them to friends, who also love them.
Local bike shops unfortunately don't yet carry this BlackBrush Tracker Cap. There are cheaper versions available online, but they're not as durable; the best place where I can suggest you get one in time for Christmas is on Amazon, where it's $32, here.

DLNEP Bicycle AirTag Water Bottle Bracket Mount
Another less-expensive option is an AirTag enclosure that mounts under a water-bottle holder…
This polycarbonate DLNEP AirTag water-bottle mount holder is held in place with two screws that require a special screwdriver to unscrew, to deter thieves. It's regularly $14, but on sale currently for just $9 on Amazon, here. There are also a raft of other styles available here.
Rechargeable KIDECCE LED-Strip Headband Lights
This is a new version of a hugely-popular item from last year's Christmas Tech Gift Ideas list.
Instead of the hiking lights which we've had for many years, these rechargeable headband lights have a super-bright strip of LEDs which provide a wide and uniform beam of light that's ideal for walking, hiking, and biking at night, and provides several hours of illumination.
The button on the side lets you choose bright or less-bright, and also alternates with a focussed beam of light for working on something up close. The second button lets you activate wireless control, so you can just wave your hand in front of the switch to turn the light on and off, ideal if you're wearing gloves.
They are water-resistant so you can wear one in the rain, and come with clips to attach to a bike or ski helmet, and a USB-C charge cable.
You'll find all sorts of different brands of these being sold online, but shop carefully — many of them are poor quality and/or have batteries that don't last very long.
The brand which we've found to be the best is the same as from last year: KIDECCE. This year, you can get a pack of two Kidecce headband lights for just $20 on Amazon, here. Dec. 16 update: Gary has three single headband lights left in stock at Tesseract Computers on Broughton near Douglas.
Petzl self-dimming 900 lumens rechargeable headlamp
Petzl, which for decades has been making high-quality headlamps for hikers and mountain-climbers and other outdoors enthusiasts, has found a great way to use technology to "make a better mousetrap"!
Meet the Petzl Swift RL 900 lumens (that's super-bright!) rechargeable headlamp which has an optional Reactive Dimming mode.
Turn it on, as as you move your head, the light-sensor will continuously adjust the intensity of the light to kep the level of illumination constant as you look off in the distance, or at something close to you. Not only is this really easy on your eyes (and on others with you), but it also dramatically extends the run-time of the headlamp before it needs recharging.
The Petzl Swift RL 900 headlamp is available locally at Robinson's Outdoors Store and at MEC, for $180, and comes in a variety of colours. More on how it works, here.
Charmast Portable Power Pack with built-in cables & AC plug
There are a myriad of portable power packs available to recharge your smartphone, tablet, and other portable electrincs, but very few have lots of power as well as built-in charging cables, and a flip-out AC plug so you can quickly recharge the power pack without needing to find a charge cable.
This is our current favourite — the Charmast 10,000 MaH Portable All-In-One Power Bank, which packs enough power for three full smartphone recharges, and has an LED readout of how much power is left, plus built-in cables for charging phones, tablets (Lightning and USB-C), and also USB-mini for older Android phones and other small electronics devices...
It also has a USB-A jack on the side, where you can plug in a USB cable to a device that has a non-standard plug. You can use it to charge two devices at once, and you can also use it while you're recharging the powerbank, by flipping-out the AC plug and plugging it into an outlet.
I have yet to find any brand of power bank in stores that has both a flip-out AC plug and built-in charging cables, so your best option is to get it online…
The Charmast 10,000 MaH Portable All-In-One Power Bank is usually $33, but is currently on sale on Amazon for just $28, here. It's available in black, white, and several pastel shades.
Universal Power Adaptor with USB A & C jacks
If you know someone who's going travelling overseas, especially someone who'll be going to various different parts of the world, we recommend Logiix World Traveler Universal Travel Adapters...
They're light, have pop-up prongs for all the different AC power jacks used in 150 countries around the world, and also have rectangular USB-A ports plus newer USB-C ports.
The Logiix World Traveler basic model has 2x USB-A and 1x USB-C and is $40 at London Drugs.
The World Traveler + model is smaller and lighter, has one fast-charge USB-C port and 3 fast-charging USB-A ports, and lets you charge up to three devices at the same time. It's $50 at London Drugs.
Solar-powered inflatable lights
Luci has a line of solar-powered, durable waterproof and lightweight inflatable camping lights, which collapse down to less than an inch (2cm) thick, and can be clipped to a backpack or a tent so they'll recharge while you're enjoying the outdoors. Also great for an emergency kit…
The Luci inflatable solar lights come in three sizes — the $40 Lux model above, and both a larger and smaller version being held below by a very friendly and helpful young woman at Robinson's…
The yellow one is the $70 Pro Outdoor, which includes a USB jack for charging a phone, and there d mini Emerg model is $30. All three are available at Robinson's Outdoor Store in downtown Victoria.
Skoutag Bluetooth keychain smartphone camera trigger
If you know someone who uses their smartphone self-timer to pics of themselves with others, this will save them from racing to trigger the countdown and running to get into position!
These are small (1.5"/5cm) handheld Bluetooth camera triggers, which let you take pictures are start/stop recording a video on iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets. They're powered by a CR2032 watch battery.
London Drugs and Kerrisdale Cameras both used to sell them, but no longer do.
I found them on Amazon, from the Skoutag brand; you can currently get a pack of two for $13, here.
Wireless Digital Photo Frames
Digital photo frames have come a long way in the past few years! They now have much sharper screens, are much larger, are wireless, which means they can be linked to an online album so new photos added to that album are automatically displayed on the frame.
Digital photo frames are a great gift for parents or grandparents, as it'll let them stay connected with what you and your family are doing, without them having to do anything…
Theone which Ricky recommends is the Carver by Aura Digital Photo Frame. It has a full-HD 10.1" 1280×800 screen, and is really easy to set-up for either photos on a camera card, or WiFi-connected to an online album. It's on sale for $200 (save $30) at London Drugs stores.
A less-expensive option is the Aluratek 9.1" digital photo frame, which can operate in either portrait or landscape mode. It's not wireless, but is on sale for $100 (save $45) till Dec. 22 at London Drugs.
If you're buying one for someone who's vision is going, Aluratek also makes a 13.5" model, which has a 2000×2000 pixel 3K screen, works in portrait or landscape mode, and lets you add pictures wirelessly via a cloud album. It's on sale for $230 (save $100) till Dec. 22, also at London Drugs.
Rechargeable heated socks with Bluetooth remote control
Heated socks are great, but adjusting the amount of warmth is usually tricky once you're wearing them, especially if you're wearing gloves or jeans. Here's the solution…
Rechargeable FieldSheer mobile warming Bluetooth-enabled socks let you control the amount of warming via an app on your phone!
Each sock has a bult-in rechargeable 3.7v Lithium-ion battery (which you can remove before washing them) which provides hours of warmth per charge.
Warming aside, these are high-quality socks made out of premium Merino wool. Rechargeable FieldSheer mobile warming Bluetooth-enabled socks are $110 for a pair, and available at Robinson's Outdoor Store on Broad Street in downtown Victoria. I was going to put here that they only have them in women's, but if you know a guy who'd be okay with pink socks, go for it!
You can also order them online (including in men's gray/orange colour) direct from FieldSheer Canada, here.
Monitor Stand Riser with USB ports and LED lighting
This would be a great gift for someone who has their computer monitor sitting on a box or a stack of books to get it to the right height…
This is a TenYua Monitor Stand Riser, which has built-in LED lighting and four USB ports, plus a small pull-out drawer for holding pens and paper clips, and pull-out-and-down tray for holding a smartphone while charging it or watching it, or connecting it to the monitor.
You can push a button on the front to adjust the colours of the light stripes, or set it to slowly or quickly fade between colours. I have one, which my nephew gave me last Christmas, and I love it!
Once again, I couldn't find it in any stores, only on good ol' Amazon, for $60, here. Update: they're out of stock here in Canada, so your order would be shipped from the USA and likely wouldn't arrive in time for Christmas. You could always print out a picture of it, though, and gift-wrap that in the meantime.
Another brand, Moojay, has several other monitor stand risers which you can buy (in US dollars), here.
SOLD OUT Glow LED Sketchpad for young kids
If you're shopping for a creative young boy or girl, Ricky Winter suggests a great and inexpensive light-up drawing pad — the Emerge GLOW LED Sketchpad…
It comes with three dual-colour dry-erase pens, and built-in LED's illuminate their drawings on the 10" screen with a simple press of a button. They smply wipe the screen clean to create all over again. It has eight different light effects, and suction cups on the back so you can display what they've created on your fridge or wall.
The Emerge GLOW LED Sketchpad is on sale for just $15 (save $10) at London Drugs stores.
Portable Heated Foot Warmer
If someone on your gifty list gets cold feet, you could give them the Emerge Portable Heated Foot-Warmer…
The Emerge Portable Heated Foot-Warmer is USB-powered, so it can be plugged into an USB power outlet, or plugged into a pocket power-bank. It's on sale for $25 (that's half price!) at London Drugs stores through Dec. 31.
Magnetic Levitating Globe with LED Lights
This is a 3.5"/9cm MOKOQI Magnetic Levitating Globe, which will rotate for 20-30 minutes after you give it a spin. Magnets in the top and bottom of the frame keep the globe suspended in the air. It has a USB power cable which illuminates the globe with purple, pink, and cyan (blue) LED lights.
These were available in a few stores locally, but they're now all sold out, so you're best bet is to get it on Amazon, for $47, here.
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