Top 5 tech gifts for teens and tweens

These ideas will please the fussiest teen on your shopping list

Published: November 05, 2014 04:00 PM

Teenagers are notoriously tough to please, and it doesn't get any easier around the holidays. But these gifts should satisfy any kid on your list.

As the 2014 holidays approach, be sure to visit our Holiday Gift Ideas & Guide over the coming weeks. You'll find plenty of gift recommendations for electronics, home, cars, food, and more.

We also offer shopping advice, including tips on ways to stay safe and save money.

Acer Chromebook C720-2848

1. Acer Chromebook C720-2848, $200

Chromebooks are ideal for kids on the move, and this 11.6-inch model is an excellent option. It provides 10.75 hours of battery life and weighs just 2.7 pounds. And, like most Chromebooks, it's affordable. With these simplified, cloud-friendly laptops, just about everything is done and stored online, via the browser and apps, so frequent access to Wi-Fi is a must. For most kids, that's not a problem. The Chrome operating system doesn’t tax the computer the way Windows does, and that helps Chromebooks start up quickly. The solid-state drive that’s used instead of a traditional, slower hard drive also helps. This model is a good performer, so your teenager will be mobile and productive. And the anti-reflective display makes it great for outdoor use.  

HP Slate 7 Extreme

2. HP Slate 7 Extreme, $170

This is a great choice for kids who like to play games on their tablet. Performance is excellent, and the 7-inch display looks fantastic, with lifelike colors and a wide viewing angle. Battery life was more than 9 hours in our testing. The tablet includes a stylus for note-taking and drawing (although it lacks handwriting recognition). The Slate 7 Extreme comes with 16GB of storage, and there's a memory-card reader so you can add more.  

Microsoft Xbox One

3. Microsoft Xbox One, $500

The latest version of Microsoft’s game console, Xbox One has great graphics and entertainment features, including a built-in Blu-ray player. It comes bundled with a wireless controller and headset, and the Kinect sensor, for motion-controlled games and voice and gesture control. (There’s a $400 version without Kinect.) And of course, the Xbox has a wide variety of games on its platform. Update: The Xbox has a lower price through Jan. 3, 2015: $350 without a Kinect, $450 with a Kinect.

Take a look at Consumer Reports' detailed buying guides to learn lots more about choosing TVs, video-game consoles, tablets, computers, and headphones.

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LG 24 LB4510

4. LG 24 LB4510, $150

Tired of bickering with the kids about what to watch? This 24-inch model is a perfect second set for their bedroom. Small TVs don’t usually perform as well as larger ones, but this 720p model is an exception, with a great high-def picture. And it's hard to beat the price.

beats by dre Beats Solo HD

5. beats by dre Beats Solo HD, $170

These on-ear headphones have great sound and a cool look. They’re comfortable to wear, and come in black, red, white, or blue. The closed design keeps sound from leaking out, and also muffles some external noise. Compatible with mobile devices from Apple and some other brands, they’re a lighter version of the Beats Studio line.

—Donna Tapellini

More holiday gift ideas and tips

Visit our Holiday Gift Ideas page throughout the season to find the best deals, time-saving advice, and much more.

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