6 of the Best Tech Gifts for 2017

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Yes, we're still waiting for flying cars and jetpacks. But in the meantime, there are lots of cool gadgets to keep us engaged on terra firma. Whether you want faster food, better Wi-Fi, or just a more chill home environment, our team of editors has selected some gifts worth grabbing.

1. For The Time-Strapped Home Chef: Instant Pot

If you're not hip to the phenomenon that is the Instant Pot ($85), allow me to rock your world. It's an electric pressure cooker that can do everything from making rice to braising meat in no time flat. A pressure cooker uses steam to raise its internal pressure, which raises the boiling point to make food cook faster. So while it once took me 45 minutes to cook rice, an hour to bake a potato, and 90 minutes to roast a squash, with the Instant Pot, I've got rice, potatoes, and squash fully cooked in 20 minutes. Everything is faster, and everybody likes faster. – Ashley Hamer

2. For The Internet Addict: Portal Wi-Fi Router

The FastLanes technology used by the Portal Wi-Fi router ($200) is a unique FCC-certified feature that makes it the fastest, most reliable wireless router you'll find anywhere. Most Wi-Fi routers broadcast the internet into one of two wireless channels, which was fine 15 years ago when you only had to share a channel with a neighbor or two. But now that basically everyone has wireless internet at home and at work, there's a lot of interference, which is why Portal operates in a special protected portion of the wireless spectrum originally reserved for weather radar systems. This is a huge swath, about three times wider than the spectrum conventional Wi-Fi uses today, and it's relatively uncrowded by other devices. This means your data will speed right past your neighbor's Wi-Fi data, which is stuck in congested Wi-Fi traffic. I live in urban Chicago with more than 30 wireless networks within range of my apartment, and I have never had a single issue. This is the best router money can buy. — Cody Gough

3. For The Brazen Adventurer: GoPro HERO 6 Action Camera

You've probably already heard of the GoPro, but the new GoPro HERO 6 ($499) is the company's best action camera yet. I first used the HERO 5 and I was bummed at how bouncy the footage was when I clipped the camera to my backpack. The HERO 6 offers superior image stabilization for crystal-clear 4K video without the crazy, nauseating bounce effect. I also like that the HERO 6 is waterproof up to 10 meters (33 feet), so you can take that baby snorkeling without extra housing. It isn't cheap, but considering its compact size, versatility, and the fact that it can even survive being swallowed by lava, I'm convinced I'll get my money's worth in just a few vacations. Now, if GoPro could come up with some kind of wearable attachment that doesn't look like mountain climber lederhosen, that'd be cool. – Ben Bowman

4. For The Minimalist Audiophile: Sengled Solo LED Bulb with Built-In Bluetooth Speakers

I'm a sucker for gimmicks: my favorite time of year is when Lay's rolls out their annual assortment of weird flavors. Basically, I love anything that's combined with another thing. But trust me: this Sengled Solo combination LED lightbulb and Bluetooth speaker ($33) isn't just a mash-up for the sake of mashing-up. I don't have a huge speaker setup. What I do have is a small apartment, a podcast obsession, and a steadily growing hearing problem, so a high-quality speaker that fits in any room and has a light fixture is my dream come true. The Sengled Solo costs about as much as a run-of-the-mill Bluetooth speaker, but you won't have to worry about charging it or finding it if it's been misplaced. Instead, it becomes an at-home sound system that's basically invisible. It syncs with Amazon Alexa, and you can also control it from an Android or iOS device. – Reuben Westmaas

5. For the Maximalist Audiophile: Sonos One

Well, this is awkward — I actually have the exact opposite problem from Reuben's small-apartment speaker situation. My apartment isn't the biggest in the world, but it is long, which means that if I play an album at one end and walk to the other, I can barely hear it. I'm not about to shell out to get multi-room speakers installed, but luckily, I don't have to. Sonos speakers connect to each other wirelessly, so what's playing in the living room can also play in the kitchen. It's also designed to be endlessly expandable, so you can start with a single speaker — I suggest the Sonos One ($200) — and then add more whenever you want to. Plus, with the Sonos app, your speakers can connect with all the greats: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Alexa, you name it. It's a super easy way to get audio in every room of the house without shelling out a fortune up front. – Ashley Hamer

6. For The Nervous Nellie: VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser

Anything that can make my cramped city apartment bedroom feel like a zen yoga retreat, I'm into. My essential oil diffuser by VicTsing ($32) has become a weirdly critical part of my bedtime routine. Thanks to the scents, humidifier, and subtle color-changing lights, I drift off to sleep in a zone of ultimate chill. If you're really feeling wild, it's not overambitious to leave the diffuser running overnight to pump your dreams full of lavender and tea tree. Pro tip: Throw a few drops of eucalyptus and orange in there together, trust me on this. – Joanie Faletto

Written By Curiosity Staff November 15, 2017