The 7 Best Tech Gifts for Non-Techies in 2019

Not sure what to buy the tech non-conformist in your life? We can help.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon

"Lets you store hundreds of books on a compact tablet that's no bigger than a paperback."

Best for Animal Owners: Dyson V8 Animal Cord Free Vacuum at Amazon

"So easy to use that it almost makes vacuuming fun."

Best Speaker: Sonos PLAY:1 at Amazon

"With no cords, outputs or even Bluetooth to bother with, this Wi-Fi-powered speaker is about as easy as it gets."

Best Headphones: Sennheiser PXC 550 at Amazon

"The premium headset is compact and designed for travel, ergonomically engineered to be comfortable and stylish."

Best Home Assistant: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation) at Amazon

"There are no complicated user interfaces to navigate, and it won’t add yet another unwanted remote to your collection."

Best Smart TV: TCL Roku Smart LED TV at Amazon

"Gives access to over 4,000 streaming channels, cable TV, music and other devices without having to flip through a variety of menus."

Best Camera: Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera Kit at Amazon

"An intuitive, easy-to-use three-inch tilt LCD monitor helps demystify the shooting process, showing and composing shots right on the screen."

Our Top Picks

Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite

4.5

A Kindle makes a great gift for book lovers because it looks and reads just like the real (paper) thing. But your recipient’s travel bag will thank you — this device lets you store hundreds of books on a compact tablet that's no bigger than a paperback. In fact, the newest generation of Kindle Paperwhite offers 8GB of standard storage and an upgraded 32GB option if you’re looking to hold books or magazines that take up a lot of storage space.

Another feature upgrade is the IPX8 waterproof rating, which allows it to be submerged in up to two meters of water for as long as 60 minutes. This is an especially good perk for travelers who won't have to worry about it being damaged by rain or spills on the go. And who doesn't love a good read on the beach?

The rest of the standard Kindle features are here, too, such as a 300ppi resolution for ultra-clear e-ink representation, options for Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity, and an ultra-slim form factor measuring in at only 0.32 inches thick. 

This great Kindle also made our list of the best gifts under $200. Interested in reading more reviews on e-readers? Take a look at our selection of the best e-readers

Best for Animal Owners: Dyson V8 Animal Cord Free Vacuum

Dyson V8 Animal

 Amazon

4.6

Non-techie or not, any animal owner (or just about anyone) will welcome this space-age vacuum cleaner into their home. Winner of the J.D. Power “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Stick Vacuums” award, this cordless vacuum is so easy to use that it almost makes vacuuming fun. Part of the satisfaction is the ease of use. The V8 lasts for 40 minutes on a single charge, is lightweight and maneuvers with ease in any area that needs cleaning. The other part comes from how well it works. The powerful suction and two-tier radial cyclones work to increase airflow and capture fine dirt and pet hair. A power motor inside drives nylon bristles into carpets to remove dirt and pet hair. The vacuum also improves air quality, with a HEPA filtration system that captures allergens and emits cleaner air, perfect for anyone who has a pet and bad allergies. The bin is easy to remove and empty, making it even easier to want to clean your home.

Best Speaker: Sonos PLAY:1

4

Help someone transform their home into a music-lover’s dream with the Sonos PLAY:1, an easy-to-use wireless speaker with room-filling sound. With no cords, outputs or even Bluetooth to bother with, this Wi-Fi-powered speaker is about as easy as it gets. It connects to the house’s Wi-Fi network and can be controlled from your phone, streaming over services such as Apple Music and Spotify. The small speaker is powerful enough to fill an entire room with sound, thanks to two Class-D amplifiers and custom-built drivers that can be meticulously tuned to fit the acoustics of any surrounding. If they love the Sonos PLAY:1, then they can pair it with other speakers in the Sonos family to create a truly epic home theater experience.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best speakers​ can help you find what you're looking for.

Best Headphones: Sennheiser PXC 550

4.2

You don’t have to like technology to enjoy these high-tech wireless headphones by Sennheiser. The PXC 550 are a huge upgrade over those basic earbuds or cheapy plastic headphones, providing wireless technology via Bluetooth and adaptive noise cancelation to ensure peace and quiet at work or on the road.

The premium headset is compact and designed for travel, ergonomically engineered to be comfortable and stylish.They have a fold-flat collapsible frame, rotating earcups and a padded headband to achieve a luxurious and portable frame. Sound quality is balanced, exceptionally clear and adaptive to different forms of media, whether you are listening to classical music, on a conference call or watching an action movie. The battery lasts up to 30 hours on one charge and corrects to smart devices easily via Bluetooth 4.2.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best headphones

Best Home Assistant: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)

3.8

The Amazon Echo Plus 2nd Generation is easy to set up and use instantly, making it the perfect gift for a non-techie. This ultra-popular digital assistant plays music, answers questions, finds movie times, and so much more, all without lifting a finger. There are no complicated user interfaces to navigate, and it won’t add yet another unwanted remote to your collection — instead, everything is done with your voice. Want to make a phone call or send someone a message? Just ask Alexa. There are seven microphones inside the device that pick up your commands wherever you are, even while music is blasting. And you’ll want to play music because the speakers sound great. Vocals are crisp and clear while the deep bass far outpaces what you might think the hardware can do.

The Echo Plus makes an especially good gift for anyone with a smart device or devices already in their home. It serves as a control hub for all those different gadgets (smart locks, lights, thermostats, and more), so users can simply ask Alexa to turn up the heat, dim the lights, or lock the door from wherever they are. If your non-techie friend doesn’t have any compatible devices, you can grab an Amazon Smart Plug that you can plug any device into for around $25, so they can try out some smart home functionality on the cheap. Once they see how simple and convenient it is, they might just jump on the smart home bandwagon.

The Echo Plus 2nd Generation comes in three tasteful shades of gray. The soft mesh covering looks more “homey” and less “high-tech” than previous iterations, with a sleek silhouette that blends in seamlessly with any kind of décor. 

Best Smart TV: TCL Roku Smart LED TV

4.7

People who are tech skeptics are often afraid that mastering a new device's features and functionality will be confusing and time-consuming. In reality, innovative technology often makes the learning experience easier and less frustrating. Take the Roku Smart TV for instance. Instead of having to deal with a bunch of remotes and hooking up media via cables, you can handle setup and viewing needs via one HD package.

Available in sizes ranging from 43 to 65 inches, the modern sleek design looks great mounted on a wall or on an entertainment center. The award-winning intuitive smart interface gives access to over 4,000 streaming channels, cable TV, music and other devices without having to flip through a variety of menus. Searching is even easier when you use the connected Roku mobile app, though the simple remote pares down the number of buttons to just the essentials. This smart TV is sure to convert any tech skeptics!

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best smart TVs

Best Camera: Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera Kit

The Canon EOS M10 is a great gift for anyone who has expressed interest in taking better quality photos, but is intimidated by the complex mechanisms of higher-end products. This mirrorless camera contains the same advanced CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 image processor that are found in bulky DSLR cameras, but at a much slimmer and more portable size. Eighteen Megapixels capture wide variety of footage in even challenging lighting conditions, while Hybrid CMOS Auto-Focus II delivers speedy and precise image adjustment to help frame the perfect shot.

An intuitive and easy-to-use three-inch tilt LCD monitor helps demystify the shooting process, showing and composing shots right on the screen. Wi-Fi and NFC make transferring photos a breeze, while Creative Assist will come to the rescue during the shooting process by allowing for easy adjustment of brightness, blur, contrast, warmth and other features.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought three top-rated tech gifts for non-techies and our reviewers tested them daily for weeks on end. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these products, from their various uses to their price. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Tech Gift for a Non-Techie

Level of difficulty - There are plenty of easy-to-use tech gifts out there, but it’s still important to take a person’s skill level into account when choosing a present for them. You don’t want to purchase a gift that’s too complicated for them to figure out.

Setup process - If you’re buying this gift for someone like your parents or grandparents, chances are you might have to set it up for them. Especially if you live far away, you may want to choose a gadget that’s simple for them to use on their own — for example, a pair of headphones is probably a better idea than a Smart TV.

Interests - It’s always important to consider your giftee’s interests and lifestyle. Whether the non-techie in your life is a pet owner, a music lover, or anything in between, there’s an option on our list for you.

Test Results: Kindle Paperwhite (Best E-Reader)

4.5

What We Like

  • Sleek design

  • Waterproof

  • Great storage space

What We Don't Like

  • Glare on the screen

  • Experimental browser doesn’t function well

Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle
Kindle Paperwhite Tablet
Kindle Tablet
Kindle Paperwhite e-reader

The newest Amazon Kindle Paperwhite was a hit with our testers because of its compact size, sleek design, and waterproof feature. Its improved 8 GB of storage space was also a highlight: “It holds double the amount of books,” noted one reviewer. In terms of negatives, one reviewer felt that the glare on its screen was “harsher than other models.” Its experimental browser also left a lot to be desired, according to one tester.

Test Results: Sennheiser PXC 550 (Best Headphones)

4.2

What We Like

  • Unique design

  • Great sound quality

  • Modern, adaptive noise canceling

What We Don't Like

  • The fit is a mixed bag

  • Slow charging time

  • Limited, finicky controls

 Lifewire
 Lifewire
 Lifewire
  Lifewire
  Lifewire

“It was really refreshing to see an audiophile brand take on Bluetooth headphones,” said our tester, “with transparent, clear audio specs to back it up.” Another highlight was its noise-canceling technology: “While there are other Bluetooth headphones with solid noise-canceling, Sennheiser's NoiseGard is among the most modern adaptive noise-canceling we've tried.” On the other hand, because they had “no dedicated app and some finicky external controls,” there was a bit of a learning curve. He also wished they charged more quickly.

Test Results: TCL Roku Smart LED TV (Best Smart TV)

4.7

What We Like

  • Great value

  • Good-quality picture

  • Smartphone app

What We Don't Like

  • Average sound

  • Glare on screen

Roku Smart LED TV
TCL Roku Smart LED TV
TCL Roku LED TV
Roku Smart LED TV
TCL Roku TV

One of our testers thought this Smart TV was a great overall value: “For the cost, it’s a very good buy, providing an extremely easy setup process and good picture quality.” Its smartphone app, which functions just like its remote, was another highlight. The downsides? Our testers thought its sound quality was just average. One reviewer also reported that its screen was too reflective: “You won't be happy in a very bright room or if you have windows behind you,” he said.