10 Hottest Tech Gifts for 2015

This holiday season, technology gifts no doubt will be in unusually high demand as it's the top-ranked gift category for both giving and receiving. And consumers have droves of choices in gift shopping with what seems like an avalanche of new devices having hit the market this year.

Holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $463 on gifts for family members this year, up from $458 last year, according to the National Retail Federation, which says this season is expected to be "very digital."

This year, about 46% of holiday shopping is expected to be done online on sites like Amazon (AMZN) , up from 44% last year, according to the latest NRF survey. Online sales are expected to increase between 6% and 8% to $105 billion.

Shoppers are eyeing smartphones, smart tablets, wearable devices like Apple's (AAPL) new Apple Watch and increasingly popular streaming devices like Roku or Tivo Bolt.

Here are 10 hot technology gift options sure to please even the toughest ones to shop for on your list:

iPad

The iPad is always a sure-fire win gift for anyone who does not have a smart tablet. This year, Apple has added a larger iPad, known as the iPad Pro . At 12.9-inches, it's Apple's largest tablet yet, and, starting at $799, the most expensive.

Apple is marketing the iPad Pro to users who use a lot of apps, but some reviewers have found this model may be a candidate to replace the MacBook.


Shop for iPads on Amazon.

Tivo Bolt

Tivo Bolt, starting at $299, aims to be a powerhouse of media entertainment.

The device works with existing cable as a cable box or with HD antennas and it can record up to 4 shows at once. You get a year of Tivo (TIVO) Service, valued at $149 per year, for free. Tivo Bolt can work like a Roku or any other set-top box, streaming Amazon Prime or Netflix shows, among others.


Get the Tivo Bolt on Amazon.

Amazon Echo

Priced at $179.99 and available with free shipping for Prime subscribers, Amazon Echo is getting rave reviews from consumers and product reviewers alike.

A virtual assistant that doubles as a speaker, Amazon Echo is a hands-free device for your home that can do a range of tasks, from playing music to providing information. It can read you the news, check traffic, turn off lights, log your shopping list or check sports scores, all with only voice commands.


Get the Echo on Amazon.

iRobot Roomba Vacuum

iRobot's (IRBT) Roomba Vacuum is a dream device for anyone with one too many household chores to handle. This vacuum is self-operating, finding its way around your entire floor space without damaging furniture thanks to its soft rim.

The circular vacuum robot, priced starting at about $359, can cover carpeted flooring as well as hard flooring and automatically returns to its charging station after cleaning sessions. It's ideal for pet owners who need regular light cleaning to keep the homes pet-hair free.


Shop for iRobot Roomba Vacuum on Amazon.

Apple Watch

In a much anticipated move toward new products, Apple introduced its Apple Watch last year to tap into the growing interest in wearable devices.

Starting at about $349, the smartwatches are available in stores like Target and through online channels like Amazon. Apple Watches track your physical activity but they can also access texts and emails among other tasks.


Shop for the Apple Watch on Amazon.

Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones

A beloved device of many frequent airline travelers, the Bose QuietComfort headphones can block out irritating ambient background noise to provide a peaceful environment in the noisiest of public places.

Starting at $299, Bose QuietComfort headphones have an enthusiastic customer base who love the crisp, clear sounds and soft ear cushions.


Get the Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones on Amazon.

GoPro HERO4 Action Camera

GoPro's (GPRO) action-capturing cameras this year include the GoPro HERO4, with 4K Ultra HD video.

The camera, starting at about $339, can capture adventures from a first-person perspective with its wearable, mountable features. It has waterproof housing and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for sharing your shots.


Get the GoPro Hero4 Action Camera on Amazon.

SONOS PLAY: 1 Wireless Speaker

These small speakers, which run for $199, let you stream your music library or Internet radio through any room in the house. Add more over time to create a full house-wide sound system.

The portable 3.5-inch speakers let you control your music from your smartphone, tablet or PC and allow different songs to play on different speakers at the same time.


Get the SONOS PLAY: 1 on Amazon.

Sharp 43 Smart HDTV with Roku

In televisions, 43-inch screens are all the rage now. And among them, the Sharp 43 Smart HDTV, priced at $377 on Amazon, gets rave customer reviews.

As a Smart TV, Sharp 43 works with apps like Netflix, YouTube and Pandora with its Roku feature.


Get the Sharp 43 Smart HDTV with Roku on Amazon.

Fitbit Charge HR Heart Rate and Activity Tracker

While Fitbit (FIT) does have heated competition from other wearable device makers this year, including from Apple's Apple Watch, its activity-tracking bands are still among the most popular.

Fitbit bands, which come in a variety of models and colors, track your number of steps, your stairs climbed and your calories burned. Users find extra motivation in knowing their numbers as well as sharing their stats with friends and family.


Get the Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Fitness Band on Amazon.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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