It's sort of crazy to think about, but 2015 is drawing to a close. Thanksgiving will be here in just a couple of weeks, and then it's time for full-blown Christmas-shopping mania. All I can say is, thank heavens for online retailers. I'm eternally grateful that I can spend time that might otherwise be burnt up in the retail crush with friends and family while my gifts for them wind their way through major carriers' shipping centers.
Wondrous as modern logistics may be, nobody has figured out a sure-fire solution to the problem of what to get those loved ones to start with. Whatever you might think about our collective insanity when it comes to holiday shopping, it's undeniable that gift-giving is an entrenched tradition for this time of year.
The Tech Report's editors and contributors are acutely familiar with just how hard it is to find the right present for your favorite tech enthusiast or PC gamer, and we're here to help. We've pooled our collective experience with this year's latest and greatest tech to figure out what we think most techies would be happy to find under the tree this year.
Our gift guide is sponsored by Newegg. We'll be using links to their product pages throughout the guide, though we reserve the right to link to other retailers as needed if Newegg doesn't stock something we want to recommend. Support The Tech Report by purchasing your gifts through these links. Our thanks to Newegg for their continued support.
Gaggia Classic espresso machine
The Gaggia Classic is a favorite entry-level home espresso machine among coffee geeks. I bought one for myself this past year. You can spend more and get a fussier machine, but this one pulls great shots with ease, every time.
Just be sure to pair the Classic with the right grinder, arguably as critical a component to home espresso as the machine itself. Fellow espresso fiend and TR Managing Editor Jeff Kampman suggests Baratza's Preciso or Virtuoso grinders as good starting points, depending on your budget.
iPad mini 4
The best small tablet on the market, with Apple's speedy A8 processor, 2GB of RAM, and an astounding display. Pay the extra hundred bucks for the 64GB version, and this thing should last you for years.
Microsoft Sculpt keyboard
I love mechanical keyboards, but I need an ergo keyboard for writing to avoid wrist problems. This year, I finally retired my ancient white MS Natural keyboard in favor of Microsoft's Sculpt. The Sculpt combines an ergo layout with high-quality scissor switches. It's a clear upgrade over Microsoft's own rubber-dome options. The Scuplt is pretty reasonably priced, too, at $70 without the companion number pad or mouse. If you want those things, Microsoft also sells a combo package for $100.
Asus MG279Q monitor
This is the chosen one. Asus' MG279Q monitor combines a nice IPS panel, a 144Hz peak refresh rate, and variable refresh rates with VESA Adaptive-Sync. Sadly, Nvidia has withheld support for this VRR standard, but if you're not wedded to Nvidia graphics cards, this should be the only monitor you need. Asus also makes a similar monitor with G-Sync, called the PG279Q, that features a higher peak refresh rate of 165Hz. If you need G-Sync, this display is a good bet, too.
Kingston HyperX Cloud II headset
Kingston's HyperX Cloud II headset was part of my Skylake Damagebox build recently, and it's so good that I wanted to keep it for myself. The Cloud II's superb fit and light weight make for a very comfortable headset. The cups provide excellent isolation, and the USB sound card provides crisp and clear analog output wherever you go.