February 24, 2024

Some people like to give just one big gift for Christmas. Maybe it’s a car, an expensive piece of jewelry, or a rare book or collectible art. It’s a great strategy for those who hate shopping for a bunch of things.

There are a lot of expensive tech gadgets that fit that bill. Expensive drones, a new smartphone, tablet, gaming system, or computer are options. There are also a few things they might not expect.

As a kid, there was no greater joy than finding that first bike under the tree on Christmas morning. The same could be true for adults if it’s an e-bike.

Electric bikes are some of the most Googled gifts this year. The bikes peddle themselves but you can flip a switch or tap a button that will give the option to do some peddling or let the bike do all the work uphill. E-bikes have removable batteries so you don’t have to bring it inside or near an outlet. They also have built-in theft protection that notifies the user with an alert on their phone if someone is touching or moving the bike without permission. Prices range from around $700 to $5,000 or more.

If board games are more their speed a chess set controlled by AI would surprise even the most ‘techie” person. The Square Off chess set lets them play against a computer or with a random Square Off player from anywhere in the world. When the competitor makes a move, their chess piece magically moves across your board. If they capture one of your pieces, it moves off the board. For anyone seeing it for the first time, they almost always say it’s like something out of a Harry Potter movie. You can also play a friend who doesn’t have a set. They can square off using the Square Off app to play the game with you. The classic chess set is $500 but they have less expensive and less fancy versions now for under $300.

The Bartesian Duet robot bartender is a cocktail party favorite. You fill the bottles with your favorite spirits and, using capsules that hold the ingredients, the Bartesian mixes cocktails perfectly. It’ll make margaritas, cosmos, an old fashioned, and others. The original Bartesian has 4 bottles for spirits but takes up a great deal of countertop space. The new “Bartesian Duet” comes with two bottles for spirits and is $245.

And finally, there’s Amazon’s Astro home robot. Released to the public earlier this year Astro guards the house when you’re not home, investigates sounds, takes items to other people, and entertains the kids with songs and dances. It’s an Echo device on wheels. If it detects someone in your home it will send an alert to a smartphone.

Astro is $1,600. Recently, Amazon began marketing Astro to small business owners looking for a security system.

Not saying the best gifts are those that cost a lot of money, but these tech gifts will steal the show. And there’s little chance they have them.

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