Make Tech Easier 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

2021 Gift Guide Featured

If you’re a regular reader of Make Tech Easier, you know that along with informative guides and tutorials and helpful lists of the best current software and hardware, we also provide unbiased reviews of products, software, and services. We’ve compiled a list of the best product reviews of 2021 to help you make some educated decisions when you’re shopping this year.

The entries in this holiday gift guide were sponsored. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the reviewers who maintain editorial independence, even with sponsored content.

Robot Vacuums

Roborock S4 Max Robot

2021 Gift Guide Roborock

The robot vacuum that actually does what you hoped it would do.

Pros

  • Powerful suction
  • LiDAR sensor
  • App control
  • Carpet boost
  • Designations for rooms, no-go zones, and invisible walls

Cons

  • High price, though it equals feature set
  • Slightly loud

Our rating: 4.5/5

Overall, the Roborock S4 Max robot vacuum is an absolute joy to use. It’s not like any other robot vacuum that the reviewer has used, and that’s a great thing. It actually picks up pet hair and debris and truly leaves her home feeling extremely clean. This is the kind of vacuum that will actually pay for itself, putting time back in your day. Clip the Amazon coupon to take $130 off and pay just $299.99.

Kyvol Cybovac S31 Robot Vacuum and Mop

2021 Gift Guide Cybovac S31

The mapping function will impress you right away with this vacuum!

Pros:

  • Impressive mapping function
  • Comes with everything you need plus extras
  • Dustbin doesn’t need to be emptied every time

Cons

  • Mopping function doesn’t work well
  • Remote gets confused with other infrared remotes
  • Very loud spoken directions

Our Rating: 4/5

The Kyvol Cybovac 531 Robot Vacuum and Mop has the same basic functions as other robot vacuums, with spot cleaning, deep cleaning, etc., but what sets it apart is the dustbin emptying and mapping. The mapping alone deserved a rating of 5. However, the reviewer had to take off for the mopping and the remote issue, so she deducted a half point for each. It’s a very impressive vacuum with two issues she just couldn’t look past. You can get it now for $519.

Dreametech Bot L10 Pro Robot Vacuum and Mop

2021 Gift Guide Dreametech L10 Pro

Exceptional cleaning ability while avoiding obstacles with ease.

Pros

  • Powerful suction
  • Quiet motor
  • Thorough mopping
  • 150-minute runtime
  • Exceptional LiDAR navigation

Cons

  • Remote in app doesn’t work well
  • Initial mapping takes a while

Our Rating: 4/5

You couldn’t really ask for a better combination of obstacle detection, navigation, and cleaning power. The app even shows you how much expected use is still left for each component. The only real flaws the reviewer found with the Dreametech Bot L10 Pro Robot Vacuum and Mop were the initial mapping appearing to take longer than it should and the remote in the app for manual control not working as it should. The reviewer’s floors looked just as good if not better than when she uses a manual mop and a heavy upright vacuum. Try it yourself for $399.99 after clipping the $90 Amazon coupon.

Viomi V3 Max Robot Vacuum

2021 Gift Guide Viomi Robot Vacuum

A fast, powerful, and quiet floor cleaning solution.

Pros

  • Super quiet
  • 2700Pa suction
  • Vacuums and mops
  • Up to 5 hours of runtime
  • Easily switches between floor types

Cons

  • No external remote and mopping button
  • Water tank is hard to empty

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Daily cleanups are so much easier with the Viomi V3 Max Robot Vacuum. It makes quick work of both mopping and vacuuming. Plus, it covered the reviewer’s entire home several times before it needed to be charged. And that includes mopping four rooms. If you want a dependable, quiet, and powerful vacuum/mop combo, the Viomi V3 Max Robot Vacuum is a worthy addition to any home. It’s also competitively priced for its features. Try it yourself for $299.99.

Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum and Mop Review

2021 Gift Guide Yeedi

Takes care of as much of the process for you as possible.

Pros

  • Powerful cleaning
  • Smart mapping makes custom cleaning easy
  • Self-emptying feature is great
  • Do Not Disturb feature keeps the vacuum from waking you up

Cons

  • Self-emptying process is on the loud side

Our Rating: 4.5/5

The skills of this vacuum don’t mean you never have to pay attention to your vacuum ever again. You’ll still need to fill it with water, change the filter, and empty the dust basin within the base station. That said, this is a robot vacuum that can make your life significantly easier. Even if you already own an older robot vacuum, it’s well worth investing in the Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum and Mop. Pick it up now for $349.99 after applying the $75 Amazon coupon.

Translators

Timekettle M2 Language Translator Earbuds

2021 Gift Guide Timekettle M2

Reliable translations wherever you are, along with music and call support.

Pros

  • Supports 40 languages
  • Translates in near real time
  • Listen to music and answer calls
  • Quick charging
  • Wireless charging case charges multiple times on a single charge

Cons

  • App is difficult to pair with initially
  • Touch sensitivity may be too sensitive

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Whether you have a friend who speaks a foreign language, need translations during a class or in a group, want to travel the world, or even just learn another language, these earbuds are the perfect companion. Since they do double duty as standard earbuds, you only need to carry your smartphone and the earbuds, which fit in a small, convenient charging case. Translations are nearly perfect with only the occasional errors. You can try the Timekettle M2 Language Translator Earbuds yourself for $103.99.

Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds

2021 Gift Guide Timekettle Wt2

In a category of their own with fast, accurate translation and an easy-to-use interface.

Pros

  • Translation is easy and shockingly fast
  • Multiple handy translation modes
  • Simple and easy pairing
  • Case magnet is strong and keeps the earbuds secure
  • Indicator lights handy and easy to read

Cons

  • Touch controls can be a little sensitive
  • Don’t function as standard earbuds

Our Rating: 4/5

The Timekettle WT2 Edge Translator Earbuds are called that for a reason. These aren’t meant to be a stand-in for your everyday earbuds. Instead, these are standalone translation devices. They are well worth it for anyone who spends time in places where they frequently encounter multiple languages. While the WT2 don’t instantly teach you how to speak a language, they may be the next best thing. You can set yourself up with a pair starting at $60.

Portable Monitors

INNOCN PF15-PRO Portable Touchscreen Monitor

2021 Gift Guide Innocn Monitor

So versatile, there aren’t many people who couldn’t find some use for it.

Pros

  • Super portable
  • Built-in battery lasts more than 4 hours
  • Works with Windows, macOS, Android, iPad, Game Consoles, and more
  • Included case protects the monitor when you’re not using

Cons

  • Included USB-C display cable is a little short

Our Rating: 4.5/5

The reviewer had a hard time thinking of anyone this monitor wouldn’t be useful for. If you travel or even work from home, there are many circumstances in which this monitor can improve your workflow or leisure time. If you’ve ever wished for a portable monitor that can work for media, photo editing, or anything else you can think of, the INNOCN PF15-PRO Portable Touchscreen Monitor is a fantastic option. Try it yourself and pay just $239.99 after clipping the $90 Amazon coupon.

Security

SimShine Baby Pro Smart Baby Monitor

2021 Gift Guide Simshine Baby Monitor

Powerful AI baby monitor is the perfect pair of second eyes.

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Clear night vision
  • Two-way audio
  • Cry and virtual fence detection
  • Works offline
  • Local file storage

Cons

  • Camera hesitates to turn back on in app

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Overall, the SimShine Baby Pro Baby Monitor is a truly impressive smart baby monitor. You don’t need a subscription, and cloud uploads aren’t even an option. Plus, you can easily access the monitor from anywhere using the convenient app. It’s simple to look back through the day’s footage. The only complaint is that when you’re trying to wake the camera back up through the app, after turning it off via the app, it took several tries before the app responded. If you want to keep a close eye on your baby or pets from anywhere, try the SimShine for yourself for just $169 for the 64 GB model and $174 for the 128 GB model.

X-Sense Home Security System

2021 Gift Guide X Sense System

An amazingly easy-to-set-up, affordable home security system.

Pros

  • Setup takes less than 15 minutes
  • Loud alarms
  • Wireless system
  • No subscription
  • Sends alerts to your phone

Cons

  • Alarm might not be loud enough for large homes

Our Rating: 4.5/5

From the setup and installation to actually using the security system, the reviewer remained pleasantly surprised at how user-friendly everything was. Plus, it worked exactly as stated. The volume is more than loud enough to alert you to danger, and you can get alerts on your phone from anywhere. Plus, you don’t have to buy an expensive subscription to use it. Overall, the X-Sense Home Security System is everything it promises to be. You can get your own system for $119.99 after applying the $20 Amazon coupon.

Webcams

Tenvis TW888 FHD 1080P Webcam Review

2021 Gift Guide Tenvis Tw888

Affordable webcam with impressive video quality and noise reduction.

Pros

  • 1080P video quality
  • Built-in microphone with noise reduction
  • Easy installation
  • Tripod included
  • Works with multiple operating systems

Cons

  • Tripod slides

Our Rating: 4.5/5

The reviewer remarked that she would use the Tenvis TW888 FHD 1080P Webcam as her main webcam. The video quality looked sharp and clear. Even the person she was meeting noticed a difference, which is impressive. The adjustable tripod is a major bonus. It held up perfectly, though it did slide a few times when connecting the USB cable. If you’re looking for an affordable webcam that doesn’t skimp on quality, try it yourself for just $19.99 after clipping the Amazon coupon to take half off.

COOLPO AI Huddle Pana 360-Degree Webcam

2021 Gift Guide Coolpo

Innovative panoramic webcam transforming the way you meet.

Pros

  • 360-degree webcam
  • Four built-in mics
  • Voice and face tracking
  • Plug-and-play installation
  • Wide compatibility

Cons

  • Voice tracking has a slight delay at times
  • Power cord could be a little longer

Our Rating: 4.5/5

If you regularly have several people in the same room during a meeting, the COOLPO AI Huddle Pana is an invaluable tool. It’s much more effective than your standard webcam. Plus, it’s easy to pack away and take with you for meetings. The 360-degree panoramic view gives you the freedom to move and comfortably space yourselves out during a meeting. Plus, giving everyone their own dedicated section of the screen makes meetings feel more personal than just seeing a wide view of an entire room. Businesses and small teams will likely get the most use out of this all-in-one webcam, microphone, and speaker combination. You can upgrade your meetings for $587.89 after applying the $100 Amazon coupon.

NexiGo 60 FPS AutoFocus 1080P Webcam Review

2021 Gift Guide Nexigo 60fps

Great webcam with smooth video for business meetings and chats with friends and family.

Pros

  • 60 FPS and 1080P video
  • Built-in privacy cover
  • Lengthy USB cable
  • Reduces background noise
  • Easy setup
  • Wide compatibility

Cons

  • No tripod included (a tripod is supported, though)
  • Mic is quieter
  • Lengthy cable (can get in the way in smaller areas)

Our Rating: 4/5

Overall, the NexiGo 60 FPS AutoFocus 1080P Webcam worked as promised. The 60 FPS refresh rate and white balance correction keep your calls clearer, even if you’re moving around and dealing with imperfect lighting. While the mic did block out noise fairly well, the reviewer had to speak a little louder to be heard. In blocking background noise, it doesn’t pick up voices quite as well. Otherwise, it’s a great choice. You can try out the webcam yourself for just $49.72 after applying the 10% Amazon coupon.

eMeet c960 HD Webcam

2021 Gift Guide Emeet C960

A highly-adjustable competitively-priced webcam.

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Great stand for use with a large variety of devices
  • Low-profile storage and folding available
  • Great picture quality
  • Great sound capture, including noise reduction

Cons

  • Low-light correction may over-correct

Our Rating: 4/5

Overall, the eMeet C960 HD Webcam is a feature-complete HD webcam that offers everything you could reasonably ask for in its price range. The wide lens and actual 30 FPS capture go a long way in making the image on the eMeet C960 look better than it does on some other 1080p webcams. The addition of the dual microphones and extremely adjustable stand are definitely a bonus in this regard, too. You can buy the C960 for just $27.19.

Headphones

OneOdio Monitor 60 Professional Headphones

2021 Gift Guide Oneodio Monitor 60

Budget-priced headphones for professional use.

Pros

  • Three different removable cables included
  • Swiveling ear cups are great for DJs
  • Multiple inputs let you use any cables you want
  • Comfortable for hours at a time

Cons

  • Frequency range isn’t as flat as other pro headphones

Our Rating: 4/5

If you’re interested in DJ’ing, the OneOdio Monitor 60 Profesional Headphones are a great buy. The multiple cables mean they’ll work with whatever you need to plug them into, and the swiveling ear cups are a key feature. If you’re just starting out in production or could use a set of professional closed-back headphones that bleed less audio into microphones, the OneOdio Monitor 60 Professional Headphones are a solid, affordable option. If you’re a music listener looking to upgrade from the earbuds that came with your phone, the OneOdio Monitor 60 Professional Headphones are a great option. You can pick them up for $79.99.

Mu6 Ring Open Air Headphones

2021 Gift Guide Mu6

Affordable and great open air headphones suitable for sports use.

Pros

  • Open air – allows you to be aware of your surrounding
  • Easy to pair
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Need to turn on higher volume during sports
  • Micro USB charging port
  • Music quality could be better

Our Rating: 4/5

For those who want to listen to music on the go but dislike in-ear earbuds, the Mu6 Ring Open Air Headphones are the ones for you. They could be a good companion for you without breaking the bank. In fact, they are fine for everyone as long as you’re not an audiophile. The call quality is surprisingly good, too. Pay just $59.99 after clipping the 20% off Amazon coupon.

Earbuds

xFyro ANC Pro Earbuds

2021 Gift Guide Xfyro Anc

Long-lasting, comfortable earbuds with AI noise-cancelling.

Pros

  • Ergonomic fit
  • Long battery life
  • Stereo-quality audio
  • AI-powered noise cancelling and noise filtering

Cons

  • Short charging cable

Our Rating: 4/5

Overall, the reviewer was thoroughly impressed with how well the xFyro ANC Pro Earbuds delivered on what was promised. She did wish the case either had a longer cable or charged wirelessly and would have loved the option to turn them off other than by just putting them in the case. The AI-powered noise canceling and filtering allows you to stay immersed in your music while being more aware of your surroundings or blocking out distractions almost completely. Plus, they’re comfortable enough to wear through vigorous workouts. You can check out the earbuds yourself for just $89.

FIIL CC2 Wireless Earbuds

2021 Gift Guide Fiil

Competitively-priced wireless earbuds with great sound quality and top-notch noise cancellation.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Fairly comfortable and stable in the ears
  • Voice quality and noise-cancellation are top notch
  • Sleek and stylish aesthetic

Cons

  • In-app equalizer presets are largely worse than the stock sound profile

Our Rating: 4/5

The reviewer thought the FIIL CC2 Wireless Earbuds were great. They’re comfortable, they sound really good for a pair of earbuds, and they’re competitively priced. Add stellar noise cancellation on the mic, great battery life, and a sleek aesthetic to the equation, and you’d be hard-pressed to find earbuds that are better in every way at this range. Test out these earbuds ourselves for just $49.99 after redeeming the $20 coupon on Amazon.

EarFun Free 2 Earbuds

2021 Gift Guide Earfun Free 2

Superb sound at a bargain price.

Pros

  • Superb sound quality
  • Wireless charging
  • Low price
  • 30 Hours playtime

Cons

  • Bulky fit in ears
  • No in-ear detection

Our Rating: 4/5

The EarFun Free 2 Earbuds are available for just $37.99 after clipping the Amazon coupon for 5% off. The reviewer believes that’s a steal based on sound quality alone, not to mention the long playtime. The only negatives were the bulkiness and lack of in-ear detection. If you can live without those, you may have found yourself new earbuds.

Soundbars

GOKUID Storm Soundbar

2021 Gift Guide Soundbar

Great-sounding convertible soundbar that can split into a dual Bluetooth speaker configuration.

Pros

  • Subwoofer is as boomy as intended
  • Split speaker mode works up to a 6-feet distance
  • A ton of connectivity options, including Bluetooth
  • Remote included

Cons

  • Slightly high price for a non-smart speaker
  • Very short power cable

Our Rating: 4/5

The GOKUID Storm Soundbar is fairly decent for a convertible soundbar or Bluetooth speaker with a subwoofer, but it’s not as competitive as it should be, considering smart speakers are available for a similar price. Additionally, the short power cable and its lack of shielding from interference are considerable downsides. Yet, the reviewer found that these speakers in either their soundbar or split standing configuration sounded great; the subwoofer had more than enough punch to satisfy him. Pick one up for yourself at 89.98.

Office Furniture

Flexispot Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk

Flexispot Comhar Standing Desk Sitting Height

A highly functional and stylish standing desk to take your home office to new heights.

Pros

  • Sturdy base allows for tall height adjustment
  • Sleek look
  • 4 saved height profiles
  • Charging ports built in

Cons

  • Big investment

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Overall, the reviewer thinks the Flexispot Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk is well worth the money, retailing for $429.99. The physical benefits that come from being able to switch from sitting to standing are definitely worth the price you might pay for something like this. One negative is that the tempered glass top: it’s more difficult to clamp a monitor arm to and prone to fingerprints.

Flexispot Sanodesk

2021 Gift Guide Flexispot Sanodesk

A sturdy, spacious, and well-produced standing desk for all manner of applications.

Pros

  • Weighty legs and sturdy frame
  • Simple assembly for those without experience
  • A wide range of desktop styles to choose from

Cons

  • Requires a desktop that’s sold separately
  • Can dent your budget just for the desk frame alone
  • Can seem gigantic in a smaller room

Our Rating: 4/5

We think the Flexispot Sanodesk is a top-notch standing desk for a wide variety of setups. It has a lot of space, it’s solid as a rock, and is adaptable due to its electric motors. The reviewer thinks this desk is a great value at £419.99, due to the quality and performance. For those working at home who want to make sure they’re in good health, the Flexispot Sanodesk hits the spot in a myriad of ways.

Flexispot Desksize Pro v9

2021 Gift Guide Flexispot V9

Surprising innovation, sturdily built and fun to use.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Fun computer stats
  • Folding design for easy storage

Cons

  • Too large to be left out all the time
  • Heavy – very, very heavy
  • Takes some time to find perfect adjustments

Our Rating: 4/5

The Flexispot Desksize Pro v9 is a great invention and one the reviewer finds to his considerable surprise, really useful and fun to use. The cycle computer on the top of the bike is really fun and motivating and as easy or hard as you want it to be – however, it can take quite a lot of fiddling to find the perfect adjustments for the seat and the table. You can try it yourself for £359.99. If finding time for fitness while working at home is a problem for you, it’s a solution the reviewer recommends.

FlexiSpot Kana Bamboo Standing Desk

2021 Gift Guide Flexispot Kana

Pros

  • Solid bamboo desktop
  • Frame supports up to 275 lbs.
  • Adjusts up to 48.4″
  • Smooth, quiet height transitions
  • 3 memory presets

Cons

  • Difficult to put together alone
  • Heavy to move (which is also a good thing)

Our Rating: 4/5

If you’re looking for a standing desk that will last you for years, the FlexiSpot Kana Bamboo Standing Desk definitely delivers. While it will take a little effort to put it together, it’s all worth it once you start using it. With smooth transitions at the push of a button, memory presets, and an elegant bamboo desktop, it fits well within any home office. Or, you could use it for any other area where you need an adjustable table or desk. You can try this desk for yourself and customize it a bit if you’d like for just $329.99.

Flexispot Flexi-Chair Oka Office Chair BS9

2021 Gift Guide Flexi Chair

Modern, comfortable office chair for frequent use.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Easy to put together
  • Sturdy and stable

Cons

  • Uncertain stain proofing
  • Choice of colors

Our Rating: 4/5

Office chairs are something you should never scrimp on, making the £219.99 you’ll pay for the Flexispot Flexi-Chair Oka Office Chair worth it. It’s meant for office use and designed for long durations of sitting. The striking orange breathable seat feels comfortable and has great lumbar support. Although it’s not as configurable as chairs costing hundreds more, it is adjustable enough and comfortable enough to serve the needs of a frequent user.

Gimbals

Hohem iSteady X Gimbal

2021 Gift Guide Isteady X

Value for money gimbal, sturdily built, with lots of great features.

Pros

  • Sturdily built for the price
  • Very smooth and smart features
  • Fabulous built-in special effect templates

Cons

  • Templates don’t work flawlessly and still have a few bugs
  • Soft pouch included instead of a proper case

Our Rating: 4/5

The Hohem iSteady X Gimbal is an excellent starter gimbal that packs a lot of bang for your buck and is highly recommended. It’s good for vloggers and tourists and even has some features which movie-makers would find invaluable. It’s easy to use, and the motors and sensors make sure your shots are smooth and professional. One of the few downsides is that the templates in the app can be a bit buggy. You can get the device for $63.20 after applying the 20% off Amazon coupon.

Hohem iSteady V2 Gimbal

2021 Gift Guide Isteady V2

Stabilization and AI tracking in one convenient package.

Pros

  • AI tracking
  • 3-axis stabilization
  • Moment templates
  • Compatible with most other apps
  • Compact, lightweight design

Cons

  • Hinge and thumbscrew can stick
  • Joystick comes off easily

Our Rating: 4/5

Overall, the Hohem iSteady V2 Gimbal is ideal for vloggers, filmmakers, and those who just like to move around during meetings. The setup process is quick and easy, even if you’re new to using a gimbal. The app features great tutorials to aid in the process. While the reviewer wishes the joystick was a bit more sturdy, the design itself is durable and compact for regular use. The AI tracking is impressive along with the standard stabilization. If you’re looking for a reliable gimbal that can keep you in frame, give the iSteady V2 a try for just $103.20 after clipping the Amazon coupon.

Hohem iSteady Pro 4 Gimbal

2021 Gift Guide Isteady Pro 4

Affordable gimbal with stabilization that’ll change how you film action.

Pros

  • 3-axis stabilizer and anti-shake technology
  • Easy mounting
  • Camera connection controls for GoPro
  • Smooth gimbal adjustments
  • Includes a case
  • Doubles as a power bank

Cons

  • Camera connection only works with GoPro

Our Rating: 4/5

If you’re looking for a combination of performance and price, it’s hard to beat the Hohem iSteady Pro 4 Gimbal. The 3-axis stabilizer is made for an active life or to just keep you in the frame while vlogging. The controls are easy to access with just one hand, and mounting is an absolute breeze. While there are no connection features for action cameras other than Go Pros, it’s still a highly useful gimbal for other action cameras as well. Try it yourself for $99.

Routers and Repeaters

Rock Space AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Router

2021 Gift Guide Ax1800 Router

Budget-friendly router with high-end features ideal for high-traffic smart homes.

Pros

  • Wi-Fi 6 capable
  • Up to 2,500 sq. ft. coverage
  • Expands and strengthens 5GHz band
  • Quick and easy setup

Cons

  • Security options are minimal

Our Rating: 4/5

If you need more coverage, a stronger signal, and even bandwidth distribution for all your devices, the Rock Space AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Router has you covered. It’s simple to set up and ideal for higher-traffic home networks. It’s also perfect if you want better 5GHz coverage throughout your home. While it doesn’t offer advanced security settings, it does offer the basics. You can try the router for $41.79 after applying the 45% off Amazon coupon.

Rock Space AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Repeater

2021 Gift Guide Ax1800 Repeater

Create a stronger, more reliable network through your home.

Pros

  • Compatible with most routers
  • Works in areas up to 1,500 sq. ft.
  • Dual-band WPS button
  • Dual function as repeater and access point
  • MU-MMO technology

Cons

  • Setup was glitchy
  • Plug doesn’t connect or disconnect easily at all

Our Rating: 4/5

If you want something that’s highly compatible with most routers along with a much wider overall range for your connection, this repeater delivers. The reviewer was thoroughly impressed with how much better, more stable, and longer the signal strength really was. For slow or dead areas, it drastically improves your experience. The reviewer loved that it worked well through walls and was overall easy to set up. Try the Rock Space AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Repeater for just $62.99 after you clip the Amazon coupon.

Keyboards

Epomaker AK84S Mechanical Keyboard

2021 Gift Guide Epomaker Ak84s

A steller mechanical keyboard with many customization options.

Pros

  • Feels great under the fingers
  • Bright backlight
  • Handy set of extra shortcuts mapped to the keys

Cons

  • Key placement could be better suited to Macs
  • Home keys may not be pronounced enough for touch typists

Our Rating: 4/5

The Epomaker AK84S Mechanical Keyboard is not presented at a throwaway price at $109, so it will end up being a considerable purchase. The keyboard feels good under the fingers, has many applications in darker rooms because of the lighting customization, and offers a range of extra shortcuts not found on a regular Mac keyboard. If you are looking for a keyboard that can outperform your current default model and have a need for the extra functionality on offer, consider the Epomaker AK82S a top-tier option.

Lighting

eco4life Wi-Fi LED Strip Lights

2021 Gift Guide Eco4life

Vibrant LED strip lights to make the perfect addition to any smart home.

Pros

  • 180 lights per set
  • Cut to fit every few inches
  • Connectors included for additional strips
  • Control via remote, app, or voice
  • Set schedules, timers, and custom light scenes

Cons

  • Music sync doesn’t always work well
  • Lights are waterproof but remote and adapter aren’t

Our Rating: 4/5

Overall, the reviewer enjoyed using the eco4life Wi-Fi LED Strip Lights. They’re a breeze to install and easy to customize to the length you need. The app puts you in complete control over the lights. From schedules to presets, you can have the lights ready to use and flashing in the pattern you want in just a few minutes at most. The vibrant colors look great. The reviewer loved how easy it is to dim them when needed for softer colors, too. While she wished the music sync worked a bit better, that’s really the only flaw. Try them out yourself for $29.95.

Daybetter Smart LED Strip Lights

2021 Gift Guide Daybetter2

Affordable DIY way to add ambient lighting anywhere in your home.

Pros

  • 50 feet of lights
  • Control via remote, voice, control box, and app
  • 16 million light options
  • Create custom scenes, schedules, and timers
  • Cut lights to fit where needed

Cons

  • Adhesive doesn’t continue to stick in some areas
  • Music doesn’t sync consistently

Our Rating: 4/5

The Daybetter Smart LED Strip Lights are an extremely affordable way to add color-changing lights to any room. They’re not waterproof but easy to control and set up. With millions of colors, you’ll always find the perfect light for the occasion. Both the app and remote work great to quickly control the lights. The reviewer would love to see the Strobe and Flash modes be faster and the music sync to work more consistently. A bigger issue is with the adhesive, which doesn’t seem strong enough to last long term, especially since a few parts didn’t stick at all. You can buy the lights for $19.99 after clipping the $3 Amazon coupon.

MOMAX Q.LED Desk Lamp

2021 Gift Guide Momax Desk Lamp

Durable desk lamp with 30 light settings and wireless charging.

Pros

  • 30 lighting combinations
  • Wireless charger
  • USB charger
  • Auto-shutoff timer
  • Adjustable lamp head and arm

Cons

  • 10W charging can take 2 to 3 hours

Our Rating: 4.5/5

The MOMAX Q.LED Desk Lamp looks rather simple, but that makes it blend in well in any room. With a sturdy design and the ability to charge devices wirelessly and via USB, it easily replaces the need for extra outlets for charging various devices. The 30 different light combinations are a major perk. Mix this with the highly adjustable lamp head and arm, and you have the perfect lamp for most any need. Clip the Amazon coupon to take 5% off and pay just $59.84.

Smartphones

imoo Watch Phone Z6

2021 Gift Guide Imoo

Fun watch for kids to wear and a great communication device for parents to connect with their kids.

Pros

  • Comes with phone dialer
  • Comes with GPS and rear/front cameras functions
  • Easy to use
  • Plenty of parental control

Cons

  • Battery life can be better
  • Watch face can be a bit big for kids
  • No easy way to start a video chat from watch

Our Rating: 4/5

The reviewer guesses that once kids are old enough, they won’t want to wear a tracker for you to locate where they are. But for younger kids who can’t always be by your side, the imoo Watch Phone Z6 is useful to help you monitor where they are and communicate with them in real time without them carrying a phone (and getting addicted to it). You can pick it up for $239 after applying the on-site $10 discount.

AGM M7 4G LTE Smartphone

2021 Gift Guide Agm M7

A phone that can do everything you need and still hold up to the rigors of a rough and tumble lifestyle.

Pros

  • Rugged, simple functionality
  • Powerful flashlight
  • Modern smartphone features in tough, classic body
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Locked applications and OS make for little flexibility
  • Difficult setup without proper guidance

Our Rating: 4/5

If there’s one thing the reviewer would have to commend the AGM M7 for, it’s being a rugged, traditionalist outlier in a fragile smartphone world. The removable battery, dual SIM cards, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Type-C charging make the AGM M7 4G LTE Smartphone a surprising mix of a lot of the things that people really like about old and new smartphones. It’s clearly meant to be a simple, rugged phone that does its job and nothing else. Plus, for a price around $56 after applying the on-site code, you can’t beat it.

RedMagic 6S Pro

2021 Gift Guide Redmagic

Combination of specs, style, and game focus makes it a treat to use during game time.

Pros

  • Touch-sensitive shoulder buttons a game-changer
  • LED fan looks nice, keeps phone cool
  • Game Space makes phone feel like a gaming device
  • 6.8inch, 165Hz AMOLED display is gorgeous

Cons

  • Won’t appeal to everyone

Our Rating:4.5/5

As with any phone, the RedMagic 6S Pro isn’t going to be for everyone. In this case, if you’re not interested in the RedMagic 6S Pro, you may not be interested in a gaming phone, period. Yes, the visual style is bold, but that is going to be a selling point for many phone-first gamers. The combination of specs, style, and game-focused features makes the RedMagic 6S Pro a treat to use when it’s game time. Once you have to get down to business, the 6S Pro holds its own, but it’s always ready for a quick five minutes or so of gaming on the side. Buy it now for $599.

Miscellaneous

GiiKER Super Cube

2021 Gift Guide Super Cube

Anyone can solve the GiiKER Super Cube in a minute.

Pros

  • Cute packaging
  • Simple to pair
  • Fun tutorial
  • Makes solving easy for pro and novice users

Cons

  • Long tutorial
  • No instructions for one game
  • To solve without app will take time

Our Rating: 4/5

The reviewer didn’t even glance at the tutorial for this electronic game that functions much like a Rubik’s cube but still solved it in 62 seconds – with the app’s help! She couldn’t do it without that. After she made her way through the tutorial as well, she solved it in 54 seconds. Without the app, she still wouldn’t be able to solve it. She was already able to predict some solving moves toward the end. You can try your luck with the GiiKER Super Cube for just $38.99.

Carchet Discovery T12 Dashcam

2021 Gift Guide Carchet Dashcam

Good buy if you’re looking specifically for both a dashcam and a backup camera.

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Easy setup for front-facing camera
  • Great build quality
  • Large mirror adds functionality

Cons

  • No MicroSD card included
  • Involved setup for backup camera

Our Rating: 4/5

Overall, I’d say this is a good product, depending on your use case. At $119.9 (after clipping the $50 Amazon coupon), the price tag is a little steep for someone who already has a backup camera. You can get just a backup camera for much cheaper. But if you’re someone in need of both a mirror-mount dashcam and backup camera, this price is fairly competitive, and the Carchet Discovery T12 Dashcam appears to be one of the better cameras on the market.

Linedock Dock for MacBook Pro

2021 Gift Guide Linedock Dock

Perfect power docking and professional quality: a game-changer!

Pros

  • Plenty of connections
  • Complex and flexible charging
  • Built-in SSD for some models
  • Fantastic and thoughtful design
  • Robust sustainability policy

Cons

  • None that we could uncover

Our Rating: 4.5/5

The Linedock 16″ dock for MacBook Pro itself is quality through and through: the company itself is making all of the right noises about its process and values, and the performance is stellar. On the whole, the Linedock is an exciting product that delivers. You can get your own for $679.

eMeet Luna Wireless Speakerphone

2021 Gift Guide Emeet Luna

Clear call quality complete with noise reduction for better meetings.

Pros

  • Three built-in mics for up to eight people
  • Noise reduction
  • Multiple connection modes
  • Wide compatibility

Cons

  • Charging can take up to four hours

Our Rating: 4.5/5

The eMeet Luna Wireless Speakerphone has some of the clearest call quality the reviewer has experienced in a wireless speakerphone at this price point and in some that cost much more. The noise reduction feature makes it a must-have if you’re going to be in a noisy environment or just want to shut out something as simple as the sounds of your keyboard clacking while you’re taking notes. However, charging can take up to four hours, which could be an inconvenience if it runs down after a meeting, but you have another quickly after. Try the eMeet Luna for just $55.99 after applying the 30% off Amazon coupon.

MegaModz Modded PS5 Controller

2021 Gift Guide Megamodz Controller

High-quality controller modding for real PS5 controllers

Pros

  • Uses first-party Sony PS5 Controllers before mods are added
  • Mods work as intended
  • Skins are of high quality and show very little wear and tear

Cons

  • Hair-Trigger Mod can interfere with some functionality

Our Rating: 4.5/5

All in all, this is an extremely good modified controller from MegaModz. The thorough testing the reviewer did of the controller’s mods showed how the custom paint job held up and helped it earn its high score. The paint job is immaculate, and the mods ordered work as advertised. Overall, the MegaModz Modded PS5 Controller is highly recommended for your next modded gamepad. You can try it yourself for just $79.99.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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