Yesterday, we took a look at some tech gifts under $100 to give this holiday season. Today, we’re going to recommend some of our favorite devices priced from $100-199. As always, we recommend looking towards your favorite shopping destinations to find the best prices, especially during the sales-filled holiday season.
- Nanoleaf Aurora Smart Panel Kit, $199.99. Coming in at just $200 are these awesome LED panels. We’ve recommended a few smart bulbs in the past; what makes these unique is that they are designed to be a centerpiece, not just hidden under a lampshade. You configure them by snapping them to each other, and they’re easily reconfigurable by just moving them around. They’re controlled by an app or Siri, and also includes a regular controller for guests (or tech-averse) people to use. Soon they’ll also have support for Alexa and IFTTT.
- Google Home, $129. Google Home is a voice assistant, like the Amazon Echo, that integrates seamlessly with other Google products and services. You can play your Google Play Music through the included speaker, ask it to cast from YouTube to your Chromecast, control your lights, and more. While currently not as robust as the Alexa system, Google will be adding more support for devices over time. We love how the Google Home’s speaker sounds compared to the Echo, and we’re impressed that it can have contextual conversations. For example, you can ask “Hey Google, do the Blackhawks play today?” and then, after receiving that response, ask “Hey Google, what’s their record?” You can check out a demo of this on our Google Home Facebook Live Office Hours.
- Logitech Pop Switch Starter Kit, $99.99. Alright, so this is a penny under our $100 suggested retail price, but the Pop Switch is a really cool new smart home controller from Logitech. It’s a zero-UI interface, meaning there’s no screen – it’s a large button that allows you to control a large variety of smart devices (including Hue bulbs, the SmartThings hub, and Sonos speakers) with just a tap. And who doesn’t like popping bubble wrap? The Starter Kit comes with 2 Pop Switches and a bridge to control them.