The holiday season is here, and many of us are waiting with baited breath to see if we got that perfect “must have” gift this year. Although we get to play with lots of the latest and greatest gear around here, all of us at HotHardware still have wish lists with a wide array of goodies we’re hoping to score – and we suspect some of them may be of interest to you!
If you want to check out what the HH crew is itching for this holiday season, read on. There’s lot of cool stuff to see…
Nathan Wasson: YubiKey 5 & YubiKey 5Ci
Phishing attacks continue to be a significant threat to both privacy and security, and skepticism shouldn’t be one’s only defense against such attacks. Many phishing attacks can now bypass most forms of multi-factor authentication, but hardware security keys have so far proven to be phishing resistant, making Yubico security keys a great gift for the security and privacy conscious. The combination of a standard 45$ USB-A YubiKey 5 and a $70 YubiKey 5Ci will ensure the widest range of device compatibility and prevent account lockouts in the event one key is lost.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S WiFi Router (R7800)
Users looking to hide their online activity and block privacy and security threats can do so with VPN and firewall software installed on each of their devices. However, rather than installing and managing this software on many devices, users can setup a VPN connection and firewall at the network level with open source router firmware. NETGEAR’s Nighthawk X4S WiFi router is compatible with both OpenWrt and DD-WRT and should perform well while routing traffic through a VPN tunnel.
Raspberry Pi 4 (2GB)
One of the ways users can take control of their own data is to push back against the continued centralization of data storage by opting to self-host various services. Self-hosting is easier than ever thanks to purpose-built operating systems like YunoHost and file storage and collaboration software like Nextcloud. Since such software is free to use, all aspiring self-hosters need to get started is compatible hardware, and a $125 Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of RAM is a relatively affordable and future-proof option.
Lane’s also hoping for one of these little puppies…
SanDisk 256GB Ultra microSD Card
Anyone getting started with a Raspbery Pi will also need a microSD card, and this $39 256GB SanDisk microSD card should give users plenty of space to start with, without breaking the bank.
Zak Killian: 8BitDo Ultimate Controller
8BitDo’s been selling high-quality gamepads for over a decade, and the Ultimate is the culmination of everything they’ve learned. It sports a rechargeable battery, 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth wireless, USB operation, XInput emulation, Switch compatibility, rumble, motion controls, USB-C, and even Hall-effect joysticks for drastically longer stick lifetime. It may just be the last gamepad you’ll ever need.
Ever needed a bottle opener and couldn’t find one? How about a cell phone stand, screwdriver, can opener, fruit peeler, hex driver, or ruler? All of those conveniences are available on this little credit-card-sized tool. It’s thick enough to be durable while still being thin enough that it’s not too cumbersome inside your wallet. Never be without a bottle opener again!
Syvio 1450W Blender
You could spend a lot of money on a well-known, powerful blender. Alternatively, you could buy this cheap Syvio blender with a ludicrous 1450-watt motor. It’s loud as heck, no question—but it’ll absolutely annihilate anything you put in the bucket, which makes it perfect for drinkable food experimentation. It’s easy to clean, too.
Newsoul 15.6″ Portable Monitor
Laptop displays sure are nice-looking. In large part, that’s due to their size. Well, if you like the look of laptop displays, grab one for as a secondary monitor, or as an external display for phones, tablets, game consoles, or other portable devices. This monitor takes a single USB-C cable for both power and DisplayPort, and it’s a steal considering the nice IPS LCD panel.
Mark Tyson: SanDisk 4TB Extreme Portable SSD
From changing, upgrading, and salvaging my old storage from desktops and laptops gone by, I have a collection of old 1TB or smaller HDDs, a couple of old 120GB SSDs and more. I’d like to get this easy portable and compact SSD from SanDisk to rationalize all that data and keep it together — but not on my desktop or laptop. Also it could backup most of my photos and documents on my slow, old NAS.
Sea Wave Big Desk Pad
I’ve always admired this Japanese artwork and think a desk pad would spruce-up my tired and worn old desktop. Two birds, one stone, and under $21 — nice!
2022 Apple 10.9-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB)
My trusty old iPad Air 2 is still feeling pretty swift for its age, but the battery life isn’t what it was, and its days of support are numbered (also other family members are always borrowing it). So, it would be great to move to a newer gen iPad with the latest Apple SoCs and bigger screens as standard. I likely wouldn’t bother with the more expensive ‘Air’ version this time, as the value of the new standard iPads is what is inspiring my upgrade thoughts, and that’s why I picked this for my techy Chrissy pressie list.
Paul Lilly: Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition w/o Locksreen Ads
Books are bulky, heavy, and sometimes hard to read in bad lighting. Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition overcomes all of those pitfalls with enough memory (32GB) to hold thousands of books, an auto-adjusting front light for reading in practically any situation, and it supports wireless charging to boot.
Logitech G502 X Plus Lightspeed Wireless RGB Gaming Mouse
Logitech hit a homerun with its long-running G502 series of gaming mice, and the recently-launched G502 X Plus Lightspeed knocks it out of the park once again (see our review). It’s comfortable, the Hero 25K sensor is fantastic, and you never have to worry about getting the wires tangled because it doesn’t have one. Oh, and that free-spinning scroll wheel is gravy for grooving through long websites.
CyberPower 1500VA/1000W Sinewave UPS
Do you know what’s sexy about a UPS battery backup? Absolutely nothing. But you or your gift recipient will want to give it a loving embrace the first time the power goes out in the middle of a game or work project. It won’t increase your frame rates or make your PC run faster, but it’s an essential piece of hardware that anyone with a PC and/or console should own.
Tim Sweezy: Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flightstick
Take to the skies with the Turtle Beach VelocityOne Flightstick with customizable, multi-function throttle and flap levers. This high-precision, universal simulation controller can be used on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows 10/11 PCs. Give your favorite digital aviator (Like me!) one this holiday season for $129.99.
Zagg Pro Keys iPad Pro Case
Be sure to protect that new iPad Pro with a Zagg Pro Keys detachable case and wireless keyboard and pro stylus combo. With over 6 feet of drop protection and a backlit RGB keyboard that can connect to multiple devices at the same time, you will have no trouble turning your iPad Pro into a powerful mobile workstation. This combo can be purchased for $131.99 at the moment.
Nathan Ord: Logitech MX Master
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for this mouse. The Logitech MX Master line is of utmost quality and comfort, and the 3S should only continue the tradition. It has been called one of the best mice for general use and sits at 4.5 stars on Amazon, where you can pick it up for $99.99.
IMALENT MS03 Flashlight
Rudolph might not need to lead Santa’s sleigh if the big jolly man gets his hands on the IMALENT MS03 flashlight. This little handheld flashlight is powered by Li-Ion 21700 batteries and spits out god rays at an impressive 13,000 lumens. That said, this death ray will only last about 45 seconds, so don’t expect to be blinding people or signaling the ISS for a very long time. In any event, you can grab this crazy flashlight for just $103 on Amazon.
34″ Odyssey OLED G8 175Hz Ultra WQHD Curved Gaming Monitor
Since we just covered it, I decided to add this to my list as it is simply ridiculous. The Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 is a beast of a monitor that takes after Alienware’s 34″ curved QD-OLED gaming monitor, which uses the same panel. The colors and blacks are crisp, the refresh rate high at 175Hz, and the resolution solid at 1440p. Right now, you can only get this monitor through the Samsung store for $2,488, though.
Chris Goetting: Razer Deathadder v2 Mini Gaming Mouse
My first gaming mouse was the original Deathadder, and I still have a soft spot for the design and feel of the mouse to this day. This is a miniaturized, but still fully functional version of the Deathadder. Beyond the novelty, it has practical usage on the go with laptops or for folks with smaller hands. It is tough to beat for its sale pricing, which is often under $20.
Neewer Desk Mount Round LED Video Light
These lights from Neewer are incredibly handy for game streaming, video calls, general photography, and more. The remote control means I can adjust them more easily as I set up a scene. I really appreciate being able to pack them down compactly with the included cases and using them on the go with any Sony F-Type batteries.
K KNODEL Desk Mat
Desk mats that extend under the keyboard are a game changer. This KNODEL desk mat has served me well with responsive tracking for gaming and it looks very clean with seamless edges. It is available in a variety of colors to match your aesthetic, making them suitable for professional offices or gamer setups alike. There is also a good variety of sizes to suit your layout.
Lane Babuder: XFX MERC 310 Radeon RX 7900 XT
AMD recently launched it Radeon RX 7900 series graphics cards, at prices that are significantly low than rival NVIDIA’s competitive offerings. The Radeon 7900 XT is a beast of a graphics card with plenty of horsepower for today’s latest games. With 20GB of GDDR6, a boost clock speed of 2535MHz, an excellent cooler and standard PCIe power connectors, the XFX MERC 310 Radeon RX 7900 XT would be my pick.
Nintendo Switch OLED
Nintendo has been killing it since the launch of the Nintendo Switch. Marked as the most successful console the company has ever made, it’s no surprise it’s at the top of today’s console wish-list for many folks. A budget-friendly price tag (relatively speaking) compared to the competitors, a broad range of games — including M-Rated titles — and portability makes the Nintendo Switch one of the funnest items on my holiday wish list. The OLED model has even dropped in price recently making it more affordable for many.
Dave Altavilla: Eufy RobotVac X8 Laser-Guided Robot Vacuum
When it comes to home hygiene, I’m a little OCD about my floors and countertops. And while the countertop cleaning process is a bit more involved, keeping floors clean is just one of those tasks that’s super easy to automate. So why not get a little robot slave to keep your home floor surfaces tidy while you focus on more critical tasks, like catching that important Fantasy Football game that could make or break your season? Brilliant! Say hello to my little friend from Eufy. The RobotVac X8 is a laser-guided, dust-busting urban assault vehicle, and it’s on sale right now for almost 50% off, just $259.99.
Gigabyte M32U 32-Inch 144Hz 4K FreeSync Gaming Monitor
Display panel technology is advancing at blinding speed lately, and pretty soon some great new tech in OLED panels and IPS Black will enter the scene to kick the visuals up a notch. As a result, existing high-quality monitors, like Gigabyte’s M32U 4K 144Hz IPS monitor ($599, currently 25% off), are coming down in price nicely. This monitor by Gigabyte is my current favorite high-end panel that won’t break the bank, and I in fact bought it for myself for an early Christmas gift in my second workstation location at home. Oh really Dave, you shouldn’t have, but thanks so much.
LG OLED C1 Series 4K 120Hz 65” TV With G-Sync, FreeSync And HDMI 2.1
While we’re on the subject of panels, how about something a little larger for the living room? And in this case, only the inky saturation of OLED will do, along with a native 120Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 support for some casual gaming or fast action content, like catching a little Top Gun: Maverick. You can even toggle between NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync technology for buttery gaming in your flavor of choice. With a 1ms response time, this TV also supports eARC (Enhanced Audio Return) for transmitting the original source audio signal back through its HDMI connection, to reproduce pure, clean acoustics.
Oh how I have visions of sugarplums dancing in my head for LG’s OLED C1 Series 4K 55-inch, or heck even 65-inch TV’s, the latter of which is currently 40% off and will save you a cool $1K.
Marco Chiappetta: OM Digital Systems M.Zuiko 20mm f1.4
I have had a serious case of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome — get your mind out of the gutter) since the release of the OMDS Olympus OM-1 camera earlier this year. I have been an Olympus fanboy for ages and all of my appearances on our 2.5 Geeks livestream come courtesy of one of my Olympus bodies and a tiny 25mm f1.8 lens. Things are a little tight though, so the wider 20mm focal length of the OMDS M.Zuiko 20mm f1.4 ($699) would be ideal, plus it’s compact, durable, weather-sealed, and offers beautiful “feathered bokeh” when shot wide open, which makes this lens great for a wide-range of photo and video needs.
ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6E Gaming Router (GT-AXE16000)
My network is in desperate need of a 10G upgrade. The fact that most of us are still limping along with pokey, aged gigabit Ethernet in 2022 is just sad. One top of offering gobs of wireless bandwidth and the latest WiFi 6E connectivity, the beastly ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE16000 ($699) has a pair of 10G wired ports, a 2.5G WAN port, and flexible firmware with tons of features.
I’m also itching for a 32”, 4K IPS or IPS Black display with excellent DCI gamut coverage and a high refresh rate, but Dave beat me to that one. In fact, if I get a few Amazon gift cards for Christmas, that Gigabyte display he mentioned above may end up in my shopping cart. Fingers crossed!