Home

The best home gifts are both useful and beautiful. Here are some for any space or budget.

Tech

Technology gifts for every budget and interest — check out these smart stocking stuffers, new smartphones, headphones, speakers and more.

Video games

The Post’s consumer tech reporter Hayley Tsukayama and KidsPost video game reviewer Tom Ham reveal their picks for the holidays.

Travel

This year’s gifts will help the travelers in your life stay charged, organized, caffeinated and sand-free — and document their every move, of course.

Food

These gifts will satisfy the appetites of the food and drink lovers on your list.

Toys

KidsPost checked in with toy experts Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim for a sampling of this year’s best toys, games and crafts.

Books

For the readers in your life, books are the perfect gift. Let the editors of Book World make it easy for you with these picks.

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization. CR buys and tests all the products it rates, equipping consumers with trusted knowledge to make better choices.

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with any advertisers on this site and does not endorse products or services.

Apple: iPhone 8

$699 | The iPhone 8 is a solid upgrade over the iPhone 7, thanks to the addition of wireless charging and improvements to the camera. This is sure to please if you need a new smartphone and don’t need —or want — the new facial recognition technology of the iPhone X.

Buy
from Apple.com

Samsung: Galaxy S8

$724.99, plans may vary | Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has a truly edgeless screen that is perfect for watching video and viewing pictures, and packs more than enough power to make your own creations as well. All in all, it’s a strong smartphone that boasts the flexibility of Android without breaking your budget.

Buy
from Samsung.com

EXPERT PICK

Sonos PLAY:5

| This large WiFi speaker shares the top spot in CR rankings with the Edifier R2000DB. It delivers very good sound quality, is intuitive to set up and conveniently lets you skip to the next audio track by swiping a finger over the speaker’s top.

Buy
from

Amazon: Echo

$99.99 | Amazon’s new generation of the Echo smart speaker is smaller and has new finishes to blend more easily into your home. With several smart “skills” to choose from, you can customize this home assistant to fit your needs whether you’re looking to control your home or upgrade family game night.

Buy
from Amazon.com

Apple: iPad Pro

10.5-inch, $649; 12.9-inch, $799 | Want to ditch your laptop? The iPad Pro offers you both power and portability for a reasonable price. New software means you can multitask more easily while also toting a killer screen for watching videos on the go. If you want to, add the optional keyboard for more productivity.

Buy
from Apple.com

EXPERT PICK

Apple iPad mini 4 (128GB)

$550 | This latest version of Apple’s smallest iPad was introduced in 2015, but it’s still the company’s most affordable and portable tablet. It's an excellent performer, capable of running demanding graphic apps. Lightweight at 0.7 pounds, the mini 4’s bright, 7.9-inch screen displays among the most realistic colors CR testers have seen on a tablet.

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from

Anker: PowerCore +mini

$11.77 | Pick up a power boost to get you through the end of the day and avoid battery-related panic. Battery packs may not be the most glamorous tech gift, but it’s hard to think of one that’s more useful — particularly a petite one like the Anker PowerCore +mini that tucks away easily.

Buy
from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Bose QuietComfort 25

$300 | These over-the-ear headphones deliver a rare combination of top-notch noise cancellation and excellent sound quality, based on CR’s lab tests. The audio cable has a built-in mic and phone control buttons. The cable also detaches when peace and quiet is all you're after.

Buy
from

Jaybird: X3 Sport Bluetooth Headset

$129.99 | Headphones top the list of the most-wanted tech gifts this year, particularly wireless headsets that let you rock out whether or not your phone has a headphone jack. These Bluetooth headsets from Jaybird stand up to a strenuous workout and keep you tangle-free while you’re on the go.

Buy
from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Amazon Fire HD 8 (16GB)

$100 | This Amazon product covers the basics well; reading news and books, watching movies and playing simple games. Its 15-hour battery life is better-than-average. While not at the top of CR’s tablet ratings, it’s a great deal, selling for about one-half the cost of most competitors. It comes with Alexa, the voice-responding virtual assistant.

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from

JBL: Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

$88.69 | The party goes with you when you have a really good wireless speaker. The JBL Flip 4 is rugged enough to stand up to the rain and can even survive a quick dip in the pool, while being light and stylish enough to always make your packing list.

Buy
from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Apple Watch Series 3 Stainless Steel Case GPS + Crystal (42mm)

| The newest smartwatch from Apple gives wearers more freedom with its ability to make calls and receive data over a cellular network — with no need for a phone nearby. It features improved heart-rate tracking, an impressive scratch-resistant crystal, GPS and wireless charging. CR’s labs also confirmed Apple’s 50-meter water-resistance claims.

Buy
from

Tile: Sport

$34.99 | The forgetful among us could always use a little help. The durable Tile Sport tracker can attach to anything you don’t want to misplace — your keys, your bag, your dog or even your kid’s jacket — and lets you know where they are through an app on your smartphone.

Buy
from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Roku Streaming Stick+

Loading | The streaming stick virtually disappears behind your TV when you plug it into your set’s HDMI input. It has Roku’s market-leading assortment of streaming apps. You can search for content across multiple services, and the stick supports HDR technology for brighter, more lifelike images.

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from

Google: Chromecast Ultra

$69 | Tired of watching things on your phone? Send those YouTube videos to the TV. The Google Chromecast Ultra isn’t the only streaming stick on the market, but it offers high-quality video for a reasonable price. Plus, it tucks away behind your set so you don’t have to clutter up your television stand.

Buy
from Google.com

EXPERT PICK

Nikon D500

| This versatile SLR is easy to use yet powerful. CR testers were impressed with the image stabilizer, which enables hand-held telephoto lens shots without blurring, even in low-light settings. It powers up instantly and requires only a very short interval between shots. It also shoots very good 4K video.

Buy
from

Uncommon Goods: Travel Cord Roll

$20 | For those who aren’t so keen on carrying a rat’s nest of cables everywhere, a cord roll can be a compact way to keep things organized and lets you find what you need when you need it. This leather roll, from Uncommon Goods, puts everything you need at your fingertips.

Buy
from Uncommongoods.com

The Best American Comics 2017

Ben Katchor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

$16.19 | “It’s a great time to be an American cartoonist,” artist Ben Katchor declares in the introduction of this rich and witty collection of the best comics of the year. The book includes work by such cartoonists as Ed Piskor, Bill Griffith, Laura PallMall and Gabrielle Bell.

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from Amazon.com

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Liza Mundy (Hachette Books)

$16.80 | The once-secret story of the American women whose code-breaking helped win World War II. Mundy skillfully interweaves the history of the war and the evolution of military intelligence with the lives of the women who were racing to decipher enemy messages, while dealing with sexism, romance and heartbreak at home.

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from Amazon.com

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

Michael W. Twitty (Amistad)

$18.89 | Twitty, a culinary historian who is partial to dressing in the period attire of antebellum slaves and writes the blog Afroculinaria, chronicles his travels through the South, searching to understand himself through food and his family history. It’s part memoir and part history of American slavery.

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from Amazon.com

The Essex Serpent

Sarah Perry (Custom House)

$21.44 | When a wealthy young widow decides to take up paleontology and track down the fabled Flying Serpent of Essex, she excites fears and passions in a quaint English village. Though set in the late 1890s, this is a subtly modern novel about science and belief.

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from Amazon.com

Leonardo da Vinci

Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster)

$21 | The Renaissance genius comes to life in this ambitious new study. Isaacson, who has written celebrated biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, draws a vigorous, insightful portrait of the world’s most famous portraitist and concludes with worthy lessons we can all learn from da Vinci.

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from Amazon.com

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (Knopf)

$14.99 | The Facebook executive’s deeply personal self-help book — written with organizational psychologist Adam Grant — illustrates that nothing can inoculate us against grief. But interspersed among devastating scenes about the death of her husband in 2015 are powerful strategies for coping when your world feels like it’s falling apart.

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from Amazon.com

The Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World’s Animals

Joel Sartore (National Geographic)

$23.79 | This stunningly illustrated book shows one man’s race against time to record thousands of animal species around the world before environmental destruction snuffs many of them out forever. Sartore’s arresting photos are accompanied by the words of wildlife writer Douglas Chadwick and a foreword by Harrison Ford.

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from Amazon.com

Saints for All Occasions

J. Courtney Sullivan (Knopf)

$16.13 | In this quiet masterpiece, we follow the lives of two Irish sisters who arrive in Boston in the 1950s. One starts a family, while the other retreats to a convent, but neither finds what she expected. Sullivan’s story draws us into the essential qualities of motherhood and the compensations of faith.

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from Amazon.com

The Vietnam War: An Intimate History

Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Knopf)

$35.90 | This companion to Ken Burns’s TV documentary captures the war’s ambiguities through the varied experiences of ordinary men and women whose lives were shaped by the conflict. The volume includes many classic photos, but it also features hundreds of images likely to be unfamiliar even to experts on the war.

Buy
from Amazon.com

Political book bag

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World)

$16.80 | A collection of essays that Coates published during the Obama years, including “Fear of a Black President” and “The Case for Reparations.” Interspersed among these essays are personal reflections that provide the story of a writer at work, with all the fears, influences and insights that the craft demands.

Buy
from Amazon.com

The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance

Ben Sasse (St. Martin’s Press)

$17.67 | A Republican senator from Nebraska warns that American culture is producing a generation of ignorant, passive young adults who don’t read, have no grasp of civics and don’t embrace hard work because their meek helicopter parents have waited on the little darlings for far too long.

Buy
from Amazon.com

Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle

Jeff Flake (Random House)

$17.51 | In a stinging anti-Trump polemic, the Republican senator from Arizona explains how the conservative movement in America has gone awry. As future generations study this tumultuous time, “Conscience of a Conservative” — in many ways a sequel to Goldwater’s 1960 book of the same title — will be an important data point.

Buy
from Amazon.com

What Happened

Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon and Schuster)

$17.82 | In this candid memoir, Hillary Rodham Clinton opens up about her failed campaign for the presidency, veering between regret and righteous anger. She writes of her disappointment — with herself and with the media and other players. It’s a raw and bracing book, a guide to our political arena.

Buy
from Amazon.com

The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office

Jeremi Suri (Basic Books)

$18 | Historian Jeremi Suri makes a compelling case that the Oval Office has devolved into something that dooms even talented leaders to failure: The occupants have acquired ever more power, their ambitions have soared to absurd heights — and the combination has made it impossible to satisfy the electorate.

Buy
from Amazon.com

Fini Cutlery: Two-Pack Gift Set

$110 | The nubby handles take a little getting used to, but they encourage a proper knife grip by directing the hand into the proper position and enabling fingers to lock in the front and back. The forged steel eight-inch chef’s knife and 3.5-inch paring knife slice cleanly and efficiently.

Buy
from Finicutlery.com

DeLonghi America: Dedica Deluxe Espresso, Silver

$349.95 | You'd have to spend a lot more cash to find an espresso machine that outperforms this sleek new machine, with its 15 bars of pressure and adjustable frothing wand. With little effort, the device pulls a lovely shot of espresso, complete with a rich layer of crema on top.

Buy
from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1

| This multi-use, electric countertop appliance — pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pot, warming pot and yogurt maker in one — has a cult following. CR testers found it lives up to the hype. It doesn’t produce better tasting food, but it’s “faster and easier than cooking on a stovetop.”

Buy
from

Hot Bread Kitchen: Flatbreads Around the World

$80 | Perfect for creating an inspired feast. The large selection includes six types of bread, including sesame seed topped Persian nan-e barbari and flaky Moroccan m’smen. Best of all: Proceeds help fund the New York-based nonprofit Hot Bread Kitchen, which helps create professional opportunities for immigrant women.

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from Hotbreadkitchen.org

EXPERT PICK

Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004

$60 | You get a lot of versatility for your buck with this multi-talented appliance. In addition to a 2.5-cup chopper, the Ninja includes a top-rated blender and a midsized processing bowl. The chopper aced CR’s grating test and was very good at basic chopping and pureeing.

Buy
from

The Neighborgoods: Dish Towels, Aprons and Buttons

Two-pocket apron, $34; dish towels, $18; button four-pack, $6 | From a D.C.-based company, punny, two-pocket aprons in a sturdy poly-cotton blend and flour sack cotton dish towels with seasonal and practical prints are useful and cute, while a button four-pack with clever graphics makes the perfect stocking-stuffer.

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from Theneighborgoods.com

EXPERT PICK

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Professional “S” 7-Piece Knife Set

$300 | The kitchen knives from the premium German Henckels brand ranked at the top of CR’s tests, delivering on its higher price tag. The forged knives are sturdy and sharp, and their handles are exceptionally well-balanced. The seven-piece set includes a three-inch paring knife, five-inch serrated utility knife, five-inch hollow-edge santoku knife and eight-inch chef's knife.

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from

Stuff Every Vegetarian Should Know (Stuff You Should Know)

Katherine McGuire (Quirk Books)

$9.15 | This 144-page handbook packs incredibly useful information into a succinct, 4-by-6 inch pocket book. A useful starting point for anyone seeking to reduce their meat consumption, it’s filled with little nuggets such as a handy cheat sheet of complete proteins, guidelines for stocking your pantry and tips for making your omnivorous recipes vegetarian.

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from Amazon.com

Maple Guild: Maple goods

Maple cream, $12.99 for 10 ounces; bourbon barrel aged syrup, $16.99 for 375 milliliters; maple vinegar, $11.99 for 375 milliliters | Maple cream is rich and spreadable on toast or apple slices; silky bourbon barrel aged syrup is equally at home on pancakes or in cocktails; and maple vinegar adds a subtle sweet edge to salad dressings and pan sauces. All products are made with Vermont maple syrup.

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from Mapleguild.com

EXPERT PICK

Swiss Diamond 9.5″ nonstick #6424

$80 | This nonstick, cast-aluminum frying pan gets a CR recommendation for its even cooking ability, sturdy construction and durable surface. Its handle stayed cool to the touch during cooking, and the nonstick coating stood up well to the steel wool abrasion test in CR’s labs. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

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from

True Cubes: Clear Ice Cube Tray

$45 | A low-tech solution to making astonishingly clear ice at home: Simply fill the tray with hot tap water and 24 hours (or so) later, be rewarded with cubes that look straight out of a fancy cocktail bar. The unit measures about 7-by-7-by-6 inches and makes four two-inch cubes.

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from Truecubes.com

EXPERT PICK

Breville Control Grip BSB510XL

$100 | This is the only stick-style, immersion blender that earns recommended status from CR experts. In tests, it bested competing models by a sizable margin, doing an excellent job at both blending frozen fruit and yogurt into smoothies and pureeing soups. It comes with a chopper and whisk attachment as well as a separate beaker.

Buy
from

Bishop’s Orchards: Apple Gift Pack

$32 | A gift of fruit is a holiday classic. We like the selection from this Connecticut orchard, featuring 18 fresh-picked apples, delivered right to the recipient’s door. Opt for a specific type such as Cortland or Macoun, or send a variety pack. (Note: Bowl in photograph not included.)

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from Bishopsorchards.com

EXPERT PICK

Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 FP-12BCN

$200 | This 12-cup food processor scored second best in CR testing after the Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL/A, but it costs about half as much. Its excellent slicing performance and low noise output earned it a CR recommendation. It has two operating speeds and comes with a mini-bowl attachment, dough blade, and separate slicing and shredding blades.

Buy
from

Harney & Sons: Historic Royal Palaces Collection

$42.95 | This lovely gift box contains an assortment of high-quality, full leaf tea, packaged in tins that are picture-perfect by themselves. Featuring a black tea blend with a touch of Bergamot; Thai-inspired green tea with coconut, ginger and vanilla; black tea with cinnamon, orange peel and clove; and an herbal African red bush with orange peel and cranberry.

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from Harney.com

EXPERT PICK

Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50

$50 | CR’s top-rated hand mixer is also among the least expensive tested. Cuisinart’s five-speed mixer had no trouble powering through stiff cookie dough during testing. CR experts also like this mixer’s wire beaters, which are easier to clean than the traditional center-post variety. The only negative: It’s a bit loud.

Buy
from

Blanc Creatives: Roaster

$265 for medium eight-inch; $310 for large 10-inch (both shown) | Carbon steel is forged by hand into enduringly beautiful cookware in Charlottesville. The roasters serve as a functional cooking tool for griddle cakes, vegetables or chicken, while also acting as statement serving pieces. Each pan arrives pre-seasoned with coconut oil.

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from Blanccreatives.com

Anthropologie: Wooden Piggy Bank

$15 | This simple, four-inch wide, rubberwood piggy bank is intended to teach financial responsibility to children, but we could also see it sitting pretty on a Scandinavian-inspired bookshelf, mixed among the books and other accessories. The maker, PlanToys, is committed to using sustainable materials without chemicals.

Buy
from Anthropologie.com

MoMA Design Store: Duralex Glasses

$36 | When The Post asked experts about their favorite water glasses earlier this year, chef Cathal Armstrong revealed that he uses Duralex’s nearly indestructible tumblers at home. This MoMA exclusive presents Duralex’s popular glasses in a festive rainbow of colors: crimson, mint, yellow, lavender, gray and cobalt. And they’re all dishwasher-safe.

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from Moma.org

EXPERT PICK

DeWalt DCD791D2

| This 20-volt drill driver demonstrated excellent speed in CR testing. Its impressive performance, compact size and modest price-point make it a CR Best Buy. At 3.4 pounds, it handles easily while still packing a powerful punch. It comes with two lithium-ion batteries and a built-in work light.

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from

West Elm: Crown Catchall

$29 | This 4.5-inch wide, brass-finish catchall could corral keys, loose change or jewelry, adding a bit of shine and whimsy to an entry console or vanity. Consider the idea of thoughtful pairings depending on the recipient, whether stackable rings for a preteen or a leather keychain for the new homeowner.

Buy
from Westelm.com

EXPERT PICK

Nest Learning Thermostat

| This easy-to-use thermostat remembers your daily heating and cooling preferences and creates a schedule based on them. Since it can detect whether someone is home, it can automatically adjust the temperature to conserve energy and help you save money. Improvements to this model include a slimmer design and better screen.

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from

Williams Sonoma: Arbequina Olive Crate

$99.95 | This set includes a potted arbequina olive tree, Williams Sonoma’s house olive oil, and hand cream and soap from Blithe and Bonny, a family-run California company. You’ll want to check whether your recipient has the right growing conditions (listed on Williams Sonoma’s site); outside the Gulf states and California, the tree would need to be brought inside over the winter.

Buy
from Williams-sonoma.com

EXPERT PICK

iRobot Roomba 890

| This self-operating vacuum aced CR’s tests, earning it recommended status. It circles around objects and senses debris; adapts to different floor surfaces for effective cleaning; avoids getting caught on tricky spots like rug tassels; maneuvers under furniture; and uses “cliff” sensors to avoid stairs.

Buy
from

Gin Creek Kitchen: Black and White Enamel Pitcher

$28 | Anyone could love the versatile size (7.25-inch tall by 4.75-inch wide) and the sweet farmhouse style of this enamel pitcher. Instead of wrapping this gift, tie a bow around its neck and present it filled with flowers or berry branches. It could also be used as a utensil crock.

Buy
from Gincreekkitchen.com

EXPERT PICK

Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable DCC-3200

$75 | This 14-cup drip coffee maker earned top marks in CR testing. Operation and cleanup are convenient; the carafe is easy to use; and brew performance is excellent. It has a charcoal water filter, an indicator to tell you when it needs cleaning, and it comes with a reusable coffee filter.

Buy
from

Sunnylife: Indoor Decorative Neon Light

Large, $60. Small, $26 | It’s not a real plant, but for some of us, that’s for the best. This retro neon desk light can be powered by USB cable or four AAA batteries and stands about 10-inches tall. Gift it alone or with a planter pot (as the base is a bit simple). It made us smile.

Buy
from Amazon.com

Beekman 1802: Ink Pot Bud Vase with 14K Gold

$22 | Designed after old-fashioned ink pots, these little but luxe vases come in white or black and are the perfect size for just a flower or two. They are hand-thrown by artist Jasmine Crowe and painted with 14-karat gold. You’ll love the feel of them — dainty but not fragile.

Buy
from Beekman1802.com

EXPERT PICK

Schwinn 470

| This CR Best Buy elliptical offers several features seldom found at this price point, including heart-rate controlled programs that automatically adjust resistance level and workout intensity and electronic incline adjustment. It also allows users to create and save their own workout profile.

Buy
from

Vacu Vin: Wine Essentials Gift Set

$27.58 | When The Post asked experts for their favorite wine stoppers, master sommelier Laura Maniec recommended Vacu Vin’s Wine Saver/Stopper, which she uses at all three locations of her wine studio, Corkbuzz. This gift set pairs a similar Vacu Vin wine saver with a cooler, pourer, corkscrew and two stoppers — a good value for the price.

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from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

KitchenAid Professional 6500 Design Series

$550 | This six-quart stand mixer with a glass bowl costs more than most competitors, but it performs at a consistently high level. It demonstrated excellent whipping, mixing and kneading performance and can take on an assortment of power attachments, including a pasta maker and food grinder. It comes with a whisk, flat beater and dough hook.

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from

Uncommon Goods: Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit

$118 | Heather Auchter, a California succulent grower and designer, created this fun take on a popular trend. The wood-framed planter can be hung on a wall or placed on a table as a centerpiece. Post staffers had a blast arranging and rearranging the succulents in the moss. (Note: They take about eight to 12 weeks to root in place.)

Buy
from Uncommongoods.com

EXPERT PICK

Vitamix Professional Series 300

$530 | This premium-priced, eight-cup capacity blender earned an excellent overall score in CR’s testing. Our experts found that it is very good at making smoothies and pureeing. It also performed strongly in durability testing—which involved crushing ice 45 times. Our survey data shows it to be the most reliable blender brand on the market.

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from

Artland: 19-ounce Glass Tea Infuser

$20.67 | Tea lovers deserve a to-go option. This dishwasher-safe glass travel mug can be filled with tea and hot water on one end and enjoyed from the other. A silicone sleeve insulates it and makes it comfortable to hold. You could even add fruit or a cinnamon stick and use it as an infuser.

Buy
from Amazon.com

Kellytoy: Squishmallows

Ages 3 and older

$14.99-$24.99 | These plush toys are soft and squishy, but they spring back to their original shape. The characters are adorable animals — frogs, penguins, owls and others — that come in three sizes. The smallest is tiny enough to clip on a backpack, and the largest is perfect to snuggle with at bedtime.

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from Squishmallows.com

Fisher-Price: Thomas & Friends Super Station Playset

Ages 3 to 7

$89.99 | Several children will have no trouble playing together with this set, which features more than 35 feet of track that can be configured in several ways. The set comes with four engines, but most other Thomas trains fit on the tracks. Adaptors also allow kids to connect any track pieces they have.

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from Amazon.com

Corolle: Mon Bebe Classique Blue Baby Doll

Ages 3 to 5

$67.96 | This 14-inch doll, dressed in a blue romper and coordinating hat, is a perfect choice for preschoolers who enjoy pretend play. The soft-bodied doll has a vinyl head, arms and legs. It comes with a pacifier, has eyes that open and shut, and smells faintly of vanilla.

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from Amazon.com

Gamewright: Cha-Cha Chihuahua

Ages 3 to 7

$20 | Preschoolers especially will get a kick out of this colorful and silly game that has two-to-four players drawing cards to collect dancing dogs. No reading is required to move the petite pooches along the dance floor, but players must be ready to get up and dance.

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from Amazon.com

Brackitz: Bugz 47

Ages 5 to 7

$29.99 | Kids are challenged to put together a play park to contain a motorized vibrating bug. The 47 pieces can be configured into the 20 suggested park layouts or ones kids dream up. The bug is tough, getting by obstacles and sneaking out of the park when given the chance.

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from Amazon.com

Ann Williams Group: You Do

Ages 5 and older

$19.99 | This family game promises nonstop silliness. Players pick five cards and race to be the first to do whatever tasks are on them. There are 500 tasks, so no two games are alike. And there’s no computer involved, so everyone — ages 5 to 95 — can play.

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from Annwilliamsgroup.com

Playmobil: Pharaoh’s Pyramid

Ages 6 and older

$69.99 | It took thousands of workers 10-plus years to build the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. But they didn’t have Playmobil’s easy-to-assemble design. The mummy looks harmless, but watch out for traps and puzzles, skeletons and spiders. The small pieces are choking hazards, so keep them away from any King Tots.

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from Amazon.com

MindWare: Q-BA-Maze 2.0 Mega Stunt Set

Ages 6 and older

$79.95 | “Favorite toy ever,” one grandparent raved after buying Q-BA marble mazes for a 6-year-old grandson. Teens seem to love them, too. The pieces interlock in endless combinations for a new challenge each time kids play. Marbles bounce, zigzag and swirl as they shoot through tubes and down the paths created.

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from Amazon.com

Lego: Friends Heartlake Hospital

Ages 7 to 12

$99.88 | Kids can jump into action when the helicopter or ambulance arrives at this three-story, fully equipped hospital. From the high-tech Xray lab to the waiting-room fish tank, nothing has been left out. There’s so much to see and do, the fun is infectious.

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from Amazon.com

Kid Made Modern: Wooden Robot Craft Kit

Ages 6 and older

$29.99 | Three robots are waiting to be built, painted and played with in this kit. Each set includes three sheets of stickers, 12 paint pots and two brushes. Movable arms and legs make these bots perfect for pretend games after kids make them. Kid Made Modern has lots of other well-done craft kits.

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from Kidmademodern.com

LittleBits: Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit

Ages 8 and older

$99.95 | Fans of “Star Wars” and coding will delight in this mini R2D2, complete with 20 sounds from the films. Kids can play with the toy as is, but to really bring the droid to life, they will need to download a free app, which has 16 special missions and other challenges.

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from Amazon.com

Aspinal of London: Multi Currency Wallet

$170 | The sleek wallet has four deep pouches – two per side — to separate cash and coins from different countries. You can match the colored zipper to the currency, such as red for the Chinese yuan, or stash Southern Hemisphere money in the bottom portion and Northern Hemisphere cash on top.

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from Aspinaloflondon.com

Lewis N. Clark: Waterseals Magnetic Waterproof Phone Pouch

$19.99 | This smartphone case laughs in the face of rainstorms, oceans and toilet bowls. The translucent pouch with the magnetic closure is 100 percent waterproof and performs swimmingly well in depths of 100-plus feet. Use the encased device as an underwater camera and post Instagrams of the aquatic life.

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from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

GoPro HERO5 Black

| The action camera captured very good still photos and solid 4K video. It can be controlled by voice commands such as “GoPro start recording” or “GoPro take a photo;” uses digital image stabilization (in some modes) to avoid blur; and offers relatively long battery life.

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from

MoMA Design Store: Pearl Compact Mirror and Charger

$30 | The beautifully designed dual-mirror compact with the LED light offers classy touch-ups in such dimly lit environments as romantic restaurants, red-eye flights and budget hotel bathrooms. In addition, portrait-ready subjects will never miss a selfie moment, thanks to the USB port for on-the-go charging. Comes in silver or pink.

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from Moma.org

EXPERT PICK

1MORE E1001 Triple Driver

$99.99 | These small, sleek earphones deliver excellent sound with an earplug-like design that limits extraneous noise. The audio cord has inline volume and smartphone controls with an integrated microphone. To ensure a proper fit, the device comes with nine pairs of ear pieces in various sizes and types.

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from

Mr. CER Tech: The Airhook

$25 | This display tool for smartphones and tablets transforms any airplane seat into a personal screening room. The device, which secures to the upright tray table, includes a beverage holder and an eye-level pedestal for electronic devices. Now, if only there were buckets of in-flight popcorn.

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from Theairhook.com

IOT Group: Rova Flying Selfie Drone

$149 | Think big picture with this small, lightweight camera drone that captures high-quality stills and video from on high. The device works via a WiFi connection and easy-to-use smartphone app that allows winged videographers to instantly share their aerial shots on social media. In case of inept piloting, a set of bumpers is included.

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from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Grado Prestige SR325e

$295 | The retro design of these over-the-ear-style headphones — with their powder-coated aluminum casings, thick cord, black foam ear surrounds and leather headband — isn’t compact or meant to keep out ambient noise. But the sound quality is superb, which is why the SR325e model, the flagship of Grado’s Prestige series, tops CR’s ratings.

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CGEAR: Sand-Free Mat

$40 - $136.91 | Outsmart sand with the durable mat that performs like a strainer. The granules pass through the fabric, so your bikini, phone and sunscreen stay grit-free. D-rings anchor the corners. Choose from a variety of sizes to accommodate beach parties ranging from solo sunbathers to groups basking en famille.

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from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Creative iRoar Go

| This wireless Bluetooth speaker delivers satisfying sound and can go pretty much anywhere, thanks to its small size, weatherproof design and built-in rechargeable battery. Creative’s "SuperWide" technology, CR experts report, makes music sound larger and individual instruments more distinct from one another.

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from

Kuju Coffee: Ready-to-Brew Drip Coffee

$19.45 | Adventure traveler and coffee snob? We have both of your personas covered. The cleverly designed single-serving packets attach to your mug, so you can drip coffee without extra gear. One caveat: You need boiled water, so choose your youth hostel or yurt wisely. The fair trade coffee is sourced from Thailand.

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from Kujucoffee.com

EXPERT PICK

Fitbit Charge 2

| This CR Best Buy is more pure fitness tracker than sportswatch. The slim, elegant and splashproof band fits comfortably and has intuitive functions accessible by a small button or its touchscreen. It lacks GPS but offers real-time, heart-rate monitoring and the ability to track steps, sleep and calories burned.

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Luckies of London: Scratch Map

$26 | Globetrotters looking for a novel way to track — and display — their growing list of visited countries will want to clear wall space for this laminated world map. It works likes a lottery ticket: Scratch off a country’s surface with a coin to reveal a bright color marking the exotic been-there, done-it locale.

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from Thegrommet.com

EXPERT PICK

Garmin fenix 5

| This rugged smartwatch is packed with features for adventure athletes. It has GPS and GLONASS satellite antennas; a three-axis gyroscope-and-altimeter-assisted compass; heart- rate monitor; step, sleep and calorie tracking; phone notifications and music controls; inactivity alerts; dog-tracking capability (yes, dog-tracking); seven days of battery life; and specialized apps for sports.

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DxO: ONE Digital Connected Camera

$469 | To take high-quality photos without an entourage of cumbersome equipment, the ONE may be The One. The tiny DSLR camera syncs up with your iPhone, so you can share your images quickly and easily. The Lilliputian gadget also fits into your pocket, so move over wallet.

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from Amazon.com

EXPERT PICK

Scosche SportFlex 3

$20 | A good choice for outdoors types who don't want to pay a lot for headphones, these earbuds deliver very good sound quality at a price point that makes them a CR Best Buy. The bend-to-fit earclips do a good job keeping the earbuds in place during activities such as jogging and cycling.

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Knomo: DropGo iPhone Charging Case and Powerbank

$86 (combined cost of case and power bank) | Anyone who has spent way too much time on their knees or belly searching for a wall outlet will appreciate the simplicity of this wireless phone charger. Sized to slip easily into a pocket or bag, the DropGo can provide up to one-and-a-half charges without the hassle of adapters and cords.

Buy
from Knomobags.com

Destiny 2

Teen | PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows

$48.89 - $59.99 | Bungie’s follow-up to its blockbuster hit Destiny brings you back into the world of the Guardians to face down new forms of evil. Designed for playing long sessions or in quick bursts, Destiny 2’s multiplayer modes are the most enjoyable part of the game, letting you collaborate with friends on a quest for glory. — Hayley Tsukayama

Buy
from Amazon.com

What Remains of Edith Finch

Teen | PlayStation 4 and Windows

$19.99 (download only) | This independent hit from Annapurna Interactive pushes the boundaries of the conventional video game and guides players through a multi-generational story that explores one family’s troubling curse. By turns shocking and sensitive, What Remains of Edith Finch stands out as a promising example of how games can reimagine storytelling. — Hayley Tsukayama

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from Giantsparrow.com

Horizon Zero Dawn

Teen | PlayStation 4

$44.65 | Packed with action and adventure, Horizon Zero Dawn earned high acclaim from reviewers this year. Players step into the boots of Aloy, a hunter living in a post-apocalyptic world that’s been overtaken by robots. Aloy must use everything at her disposal — spears, arrows, explosives and her wits — to survive. — Hayley Tsukayama

Buy
from Amazon.com

Injustice 2

Teen | PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

$39.64 - $43.85 | Spoiling for a good fight? Injustice 2, the follow-up to Injustice: Gods Among Us, offers that and more in an even darker and more violent version of the DC Comics Universe. With all the action of a traditional fighting game, Injustice 2 also lets players customize and improve their characters over time. — Hayley Tsukayama

Buy
from Amazon.com

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Everyone 10+ | PlayStation 4, Windows and Oculus

$35.65 - $49.99 | Live out your Star Trek exploration fantasies in this virtual reality game. You can be the captain, work as tactical officer, advise as engineer or take the helm. Bridge Crew works across the major VR headsets, so you can play with friends no matter their platform of choice. — Hayley Tsukayama

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from Amazon.com

Cuphead

Everyone 10+ | Xbox One and Windows

$19.99 (download only) | Cartoons from the 1930s inspired this game, which follows a character through numerous levels and tough boss battles. Each frame, animation and background has been hand-drawn. Seeing the game in motion is magical. But the tough gameplay makes it a challenge for even seasoned players. — Tom Ham

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from Amazon.com

Super Mario Odyssey

Everyone 10+ | Nintendo Switch

$59.88 | Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach, and it’s up to players to save her before their wedding. Helping Mario is Cappy, who wears a hat that can take on many forms and can get Mario through levels filled with enemies. Odyssey is the best Super Mario yet.

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from Amazon.com

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Everyone 10+ | Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii-U

$56.63 - $56.99 | The world of Zelda moves from linear to fully open for the first time. Players can explore the land of Hyrule any way they like. As they progress, players will come across shrines containing puzzles, tasks and challenges. Completing them will bring rewards that will help them on the journey. — Tom Ham

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from Amazon.com

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Everyone 10+ | Nintendo Switch

$53.83 | The crazy Rabbids have teamed up with classic Mario characters for a game that on the surface might look like typical Mario fare. But this turn-based game means players will have to plan their moves in advance. Spread across four worlds, the game includes a host of challenging enemies. — Tom Ham

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from Amazon.com

Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy

Everyone 10+ | PlayStation 4

$34.99 | Early PlayStation users might remember the Crash Bandicoot series from the ‘90s, in which players would guide a feisty marsupial through challenging jumping puzzles. The three games from the series are back, but in HD. Crash has never looked better, and the action has been faithfully restored from the original. — Tom Ham

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from Amazon.com

Blenders

EXPERT PICK

Vitamix Professional Series 300

$530 | This premium-priced, eight-cup capacity blender earned an excellent overall score in CR’s testing. Our experts found that it is very good at making smoothies and pureeing. It also performed strongly in durability testing—which involved crushing ice 45 times. Our survey data shows it to be the most reliable blender brand on the market.

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EXPERT PICK

Breville Control Grip BSB510XL

$100 | This is the only stick-style, immersion blender that earns recommended status from CR experts. In tests, it bested competing models by a sizable margin, doing an excellent job at both blending frozen fruit and yogurt into smoothies and pureeing soups. It comes with a chopper and whisk attachment as well as a separate beaker.

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Coffee Makers

EXPERT PICK

Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable DCC-3200

$75 | This 14-cup drip coffee maker earned top marks in CR testing. Operation and cleanup are convenient; the carafe is easy to use; and brew performance is excellent. It has a charcoal water filter, an indicator to tell you when it needs cleaning, and it comes with a reusable coffee filter.

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EXPERT PICK

Black+Decker Mill & Brew CM5000B

$60 | Coffee aficionados know that the volatile oils, flavors and aromas in coffee beans are exposed by grinding—and begin dissipating within minutes. This machine keeps the flavors fresh by grinding whole beans in the brew basket immediately before adding hot water. But if you want to use pre-ground coffee, the grind function switches off.

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EXPERT PICK

Frigidaire Professional Programmable Drip FPDC12D7MS

$100 | ​CR's tests found t​his 12-cup drip coffee maker has a well-designed carafe, a​s well as impressive brewing and easy operation.​ Also, setup, operation and cleanup is convenient and intuitive. Among its other attractions are a washable, cone-type filter basket, a water filter and an indicator that tells you it's time to clean the machine.

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Pots and pans

EXPERT PICK

Swiss Diamond Reinforced 10 pc. #6010

$500 | This nonstick cast-aluminum set earned the highest rating in CR testing. Even after 2,000 strokes of steel wool on the nonstick coating, fried eggs slid off easily. The set includes eight- and nine-inch frypans, 1.4- and 2.2-quart saucepans, a 3.2-quart saute pan, 8.5-quart stockpot and glass lids. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

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EXPERT PICK

Swiss Diamond 9.5″ nonstick #6424

$80 | This nonstick, cast-aluminum frying pan gets a CR recommendation for its even cooking ability, sturdy construction and durable surface. Its handle stayed cool to the touch during cooking, and the nonstick coating stood up well to the steel wool abrasion test in CR’s labs. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

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Food processors / Choppers

EXPERT PICK

Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL/A

$350 | This 16-cup food processor earned CR’s top rating by a wide margin, with superb slicing, shredding and grating performance. It’s also remarkably quiet given its power. Features include an adjustable slicing disk, mini-bowl attachment, whipping blade and a convenient disk storage case.

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EXPERT PICK

Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 FP-12BCN

$200 | This 12-cup food processor scored second best in CR testing after the Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL/A, but it costs about half as much. Its excellent slicing performance and low noise output earned it a CR recommendation. It has two operating speeds and comes with a mini-bowl attachment, dough blade, and separate slicing and shredding blades.

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EXPERT PICK

Ninja Master Prep Professional QB1004

$60 | You get a lot of versatility for your buck with this multi-talented appliance. In addition to a 2.5-cup chopper, the Ninja includes a top-rated blender and a midsized processing bowl. The chopper aced CR’s grating test and was very good at basic chopping and pureeing.

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from

Knife sets

EXPERT PICK

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Professional “S” 7-Piece Knife Set

$300 | The kitchen knives from the premium German Henckels brand ranked at the top of CR’s tests, delivering on its higher price tag. The forged knives are sturdy and sharp, and their handles are exceptionally well-balanced. The seven-piece set includes a three-inch paring knife, five-inch serrated utility knife, five-inch hollow-edge santoku knife and eight-inch chef's knife.

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EXPERT PICK

Ginsu Chikara 8-Piece Knife Set

$99 | Some still associate the Ginsu brand with its ‘70s and ‘80s infomercials. (“Not even a tin can can dull a Ginsu!”) But this is a serious cutlery company, and its eight-piece set offers real value. CR experts named the collection a Best Buy after finding it offers performance and handle comfort on par with much pricier knives.

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Mixers

EXPERT PICK

Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50

$50 | CR’s top-rated hand mixer is also among the least expensive tested. Cuisinart’s five-speed mixer had no trouble powering through stiff cookie dough during testing. CR experts also like this mixer’s wire beaters, which are easier to clean than the traditional center-post variety. The only negative: It’s a bit loud.

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EXPERT PICK

KitchenAid Professional 6500 Design Series

$550 | This six-quart stand mixer with a glass bowl costs more than most competitors, but it performs at a consistently high level. It demonstrated excellent whipping, mixing and kneading performance and can take on an assortment of power attachments, including a pasta maker and food grinder. It comes with a whisk, flat beater and dough hook.

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Blu-ray players

EXPERT PICK

LG BP350

$80 | This CR Best Buy Blu-ray player has excellent high-definition picture quality, fast load times, a highly intuitive and easy-to-use interface and WiFi capability for connecting wirelessly to a home network. All of this comes at a price point that’s well under $100. It also streams video from services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Plus.

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from

EXPERT PICK

Sony BDP-S3700

$75 | If you want a Blu-ray player for your HDTV, but you’d rather not pay extra for features like 4K upscaling and two-way Bluetooth, this is your model. It delivers excellent HD picture quality and has high-tech features such as screen mirroring. There’s also built-in WiFi for connecting to a home network and streaming services.

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Headphones

EXPERT PICK

Bose QuietControl 30

$300 | These wireless Bluetooth headphones deliver excellent noise reduction and sound quality, according to CR’s tests. A U-shaped collar hangs around the user’s neck while earbuds extend from the collar by wires. CR audio experts found them effective and comfortable. It also has an integrated microphone and controls for volume and smartphone call functions.

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from

EXPERT PICK

1MORE E1001 Triple Driver

$99.99 | These small, sleek earphones deliver excellent sound with an earplug-like design that limits extraneous noise. The audio cord has inline volume and smartphone controls with an integrated microphone. To ensure a proper fit, the device comes with nine pairs of ear pieces in various sizes and types.

Buy
from

EXPERT PICK

Grado Prestige SR325e

$295 | The retro design of these over-the-ear-style headphones — with their powder-coated aluminum casings, thick cord, black foam ear surrounds and leather headband — isn’t compact or meant to keep out ambient noise. But the sound quality is superb, which is why the SR325e model, the flagship of Grado’s Prestige series, tops CR’s ratings.

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from

EXPERT PICK

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4

$300 | These wireless Bluetooth headphones offer very good sound quality in a sleek, closed, over-the-ear format that blocks some external noise without completely shutting it out. A built-in microphone, as well as volume, music and phone controls, work with Bluetooth linked devices. And the earcups swivel flat for ease of carrying and storage.

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from

EXPERT PICK

Bose QuietComfort 25

$300 | These over-the-ear headphones deliver a rare combination of top-notch noise cancellation and excellent sound quality, based on CR’s lab tests. The audio cable has a built-in mic and phone control buttons. The cable also detaches when peace and quiet is all you're after.

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EXPERT PICK

Scosche SportFlex 3

$20 | A good choice for outdoors types who don't want to pay a lot for headphones, these earbuds deliver very good sound quality at a price point that makes them a CR Best Buy. The bend-to-fit earclips do a good job keeping the earbuds in place during activities such as jogging and cycling.

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EXPERT PICK

Grado Prestige SR80e

$100 | These retro-style, over-the-ear headphones are a CR Best Buy. They deliver nearly the same superb sound quality as Grado’s Prestige SR325e flagship model, but for $200 less. The thick, bulky cord isn’t ideal for on-the-go listening, and the black foam ear pads aren’t meant to insulate the user from exterior sound.

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Tablets

EXPERT PICK

Apple iPad mini 4 (128GB)

$550 | This latest version of Apple’s smallest iPad was introduced in 2015, but it’s still the company’s most affordable and portable tablet. It's an excellent performer, capable of running demanding graphic apps. Lightweight at 0.7 pounds, the mini 4’s bright, 7.9-inch screen displays among the most realistic colors CR testers have seen on a tablet.

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EXPERT PICK

Huawei MediaPad M3 (32GB)

$250 | This svelte, Android tablet is a solid performer with an excellent display and long battery runtime. A voice-typing feature lets you dictate emails and text documents. CR experts judged it to be slim, compact and lightweight for its 8.4-inch screen size.

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EXPERT PICK

Asus ZenPad Z10 ZT500KL (4G, 32GB)

$360 | This highly rated tablet with a big (9.6-inch) screen mimics the iPad in size and shape, offers a very good display, excellent overall performance and long battery runtime. All this adds up to a great value, earning it a CR Best Buy designation.

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EXPERT PICK

Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Z580C-B1 (32GB)

$180 | With an eight-inch screen, this is the smallest of the Asus tablets. But it packs high performance into a slim and light package, including an excellent display, GPS mapping, voice-typing and an on-screen keyboard that allows text entry by swiping across keyboard letters. All this and an attractive price tag make it a CR Best Buy.

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EXPERT PICK

Amazon Fire HD 8 (16GB)

$100 | This Amazon product covers the basics well; reading news and books, watching movies and playing simple games. Its 15-hour battery life is better-than-average. While not at the top of CR’s tablet ratings, it’s a great deal, selling for about one-half the cost of most competitors. It comes with Alexa, the voice-responding virtual assistant.

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Digital Cameras

EXPERT PICK

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II

| CR experts found this Sony camera produces excellent video quality and very good still images under a variety of lighting conditions. This 20-megapixel advanced model has features that can produce a variety of shots otherwise attainable only with much larger SLRs or mirrorless cameras with several lenses.

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EXPERT PICK

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

| This top-rated camera model earned a CR recommendation by delivering high image quality and performance. It can capture ultra-high-definition video at 30 frames per second; is fast enough to fire off 12 frames per second in burst mode; and has an excellent swiveling touchscreen.

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EXPERT PICK

Nikon D500

| This versatile SLR is easy to use yet powerful. CR testers were impressed with the image stabilizer, which enables hand-held telephoto lens shots without blurring, even in low-light settings. It powers up instantly and requires only a very short interval between shots. It also shoots very good 4K video.

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EXPERT PICK

Canon EOS Rebel T6i

| This entry-level, 24-megapixel SLR achieves very good image quality in both photo and video mode, using many of the same features found on the pricier EOS Rebel T6s. It can shoot five frames per second, and — though packed with manual controls — is still smaller and lighter than many comparable SLR cameras.

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EXPERT PICK

GoPro HERO5 Black

| The action camera captured very good still photos and solid 4K video. It can be controlled by voice commands such as “GoPro start recording” or “GoPro take a photo;” uses digital image stabilization (in some modes) to avoid blur; and offers relatively long battery life.

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Media Streaming

EXPERT PICK

Roku Streaming Stick+

Loading | The streaming stick virtually disappears behind your TV when you plug it into your set’s HDMI input. It has Roku’s market-leading assortment of streaming apps. You can search for content across multiple services, and the stick supports HDR technology for brighter, more lifelike images.

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Wireless Speakers

EXPERT PICK

Sonos PLAY:5

| This large WiFi speaker shares the top spot in CR rankings with the Edifier R2000DB. It delivers very good sound quality, is intuitive to set up and conveniently lets you skip to the next audio track by swiping a finger over the speaker’s top.

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EXPERT PICK

Edifier R2000DB

| These handsome Bluetooth wireless speakers stand out for two reasons. One, they sound great. Two, they come as a pair, so they can provide better stereo separation than single-unit models. They’re also less expensive than many other top-rated models that deliver comparable sound quality, making them a CR Best Buy.

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EXPERT PICK

Creative iRoar Go

| This wireless Bluetooth speaker delivers satisfying sound and can go pretty much anywhere, thanks to its small size, weatherproof design and built-in rechargeable battery. Creative’s "SuperWide" technology, CR experts report, makes music sound larger and individual instruments more distinct from one another.

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EXPERT PICK

Paradigm PW 600

| This CR-recommended WiFi wireless home speaker should appeal to critical listeners. It offers very good sound quality and ease of use – and can be paired with a second unit to deliver better stereo separation, improving the sound further. It also works with other streaming standards such as Play-Fi and DLNA, so it is compatible with more devices.

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EXPERT PICK

Wren Sound V5US

| This stylish, high-end wireless speaker works over both WiFi and Bluetooth, and it’s very good sound quality makes it a CR recommended model. It comes with a remote control, and it can play audio from smartphones and tablets over your home network using Apple AirPlay or Play-Fi streaming standards.

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Laptops

EXPERT PICK

LG gram 13

| This laptop is one of the fastest CR experts have tested. Its drive can handle media editing and mid-range video gaming. It has an impressive 12.75 hours of battery life and a fingerprint reader for added security. And at two pounds, it’s particularly light for its 13-inch screen size.

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EXPERT PICK

Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB

| This CR-recommended, 15.6-inch laptop is a top performer. It has enough power to handle video editing and mid-range gaming; a full-size keyboard; and a touchscreen that flips into stand-up, easel-like mode or a tablet configuration. The battery lasted 12.75 hours in CR testing.

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Workout Equipment

EXPERT PICK

Bodyguard E-40

| A top-rated elliptical, the Bodyguard is a very basic design more akin to that of an indoor bike than to traditional ellipticals, which results in a space-efficient, 62-inch length. The battery-powered display features three exercise programs, and the manually controlled brake offers a variety of resistance levels.

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EXPERT PICK

Schwinn 470

| This CR Best Buy elliptical offers several features seldom found at this price point, including heart-rate controlled programs that automatically adjust resistance level and workout intensity and electronic incline adjustment. It also allows users to create and save their own workout profile.

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Fitness Trackers

EXPERT PICK

Fitbit Surge

| This watch-style fitness tracker, packed with features for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, has been around for years but continues to be a solid performer. It comes equipped with GPS, a heart-rate monitor and a 1.3-inch touchscreen display. It can receive phone calls and text notifications from a smartphone.

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EXPERT PICK

Garmin Forerunner 35

| This GPS-equipped fitness watch has excellent real-time heart rate monitoring, accurate step counting and a 1.3-inch screen that’s sharply visible in both low and bright light. It offers sleep and calorie tracking, and is easy to put on, recharge and sync with smartphones for text and call notifications.

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EXPERT PICK

Fitbit Charge 2

| This CR Best Buy is more pure fitness tracker than sportswatch. The slim, elegant and splashproof band fits comfortably and has intuitive functions accessible by a small button or its touchscreen. It lacks GPS but offers real-time, heart-rate monitoring and the ability to track steps, sleep and calories burned.

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Smartwatches

EXPERT PICK

Apple Watch Series 3 Stainless Steel Case GPS + Crystal (42mm)

| The newest smartwatch from Apple gives wearers more freedom with its ability to make calls and receive data over a cellular network — with no need for a phone nearby. It features improved heart-rate tracking, an impressive scratch-resistant crystal, GPS and wireless charging. CR’s labs also confirmed Apple’s 50-meter water-resistance claims.

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EXPERT PICK

Garmin fenix 5

| This rugged smartwatch is packed with features for adventure athletes. It has GPS and GLONASS satellite antennas; a three-axis gyroscope-and-altimeter-assisted compass; heart- rate monitor; step, sleep and calorie tracking; phone notifications and music controls; inactivity alerts; dog-tracking capability (yes, dog-tracking); seven days of battery life; and specialized apps for sports.

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Chromebooks

EXPERT PICK

Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

| Like several higher-end Chromebooks, this top-ranked model does almost everything that many users will ever need from a conventional computer. Its Intel Core processor demonstrated excellent speed and performance in CR lab tests. The 12.5-inch touchscreen “flips” via a 360-degree hinge, allowing it to function as a touchscreen tablet.

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EXPERT PICK

Acer ChromeBook CB5-312T-K8Z9

| This Acer was among the highest ranking Chromebooks in expert testing, earning CR recommended status. It has excellent versatility, very good portability and an impressive 10.5 hours of battery life. Its 13.3-inch touchscreen display folds back for use as a tablet.

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Drills

EXPERT PICK

Bosch PS32-02

| This CR-recommended 12-volt cordless is all the drill most people will need. It’s lightweight, powerful for its size and quieter than most comparable models. It comes with two lithium-ion batteries (so you can charge one while using the other) and a built-in work light.

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EXPERT PICK

DeWalt DCD791D2

| This 20-volt drill driver demonstrated excellent speed in CR testing. Its impressive performance, compact size and modest price-point make it a CR Best Buy. At 3.4 pounds, it handles easily while still packing a powerful punch. It comes with two lithium-ion batteries and a built-in work light.

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Countertop Appliance

EXPERT PICK

Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1

| This multi-use, electric countertop appliance — pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pot, warming pot and yogurt maker in one — has a cult following. CR testers found it lives up to the hype. It doesn’t produce better tasting food, but it’s “faster and easier than cooking on a stovetop.”

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home climate control

EXPERT PICK

Nest Learning Thermostat

| This easy-to-use thermostat remembers your daily heating and cooling preferences and creates a schedule based on them. Since it can detect whether someone is home, it can automatically adjust the temperature to conserve energy and help you save money. Improvements to this model include a slimmer design and better screen.

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Drones

EXPERT PICK

DJI Mavic Pro

| A “beautifully-engineered” drone that’s easy to use, the Mavic Pro boasts simple takeoff and landing controls, a 4K camera, more than 20 minutes of fly time and obstacle detection. A camera stabilizer captures smooth, sharp shots even when in motion. It folds into a tiny package without removing the propellers.

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EXPERT PICK

GoPro Karma

| This convenient and well-designed drone works in conjunction with GoPro’s HERO Black action cameras, which are sold separately. The drone is easy to set up and fly, and comes with a steady-cam attachment that works for both drone and hand-held filming. It also has a nicely compact backpack carrying case.

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Robotic vacuums

EXPERT PICK

iRobot Roomba 890

| This self-operating vacuum aced CR’s tests, earning it recommended status. It circles around objects and senses debris; adapts to different floor surfaces for effective cleaning; avoids getting caught on tricky spots like rug tassels; maneuvers under furniture; and uses “cliff” sensors to avoid stairs.

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EXPERT PICK

Ecovacs DEEBOT M88

| In testing, this CR-Best Buy did an excellent job cleaning both bare and carpeted floors, navigating under furniture without getting stuck and finding the charging base. It’s also both easy to use and quiet — the latter being especially important for robot vacuums, which often run for an hour or more.

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Printers

EXPERT PICK

Canon imageCLASS MF247dw

| This black-and-white laser printer comes with WiFi networking, scans, copies and faxes, in addition to printing quickly (18 pages of text per minute) and cheaply (2.8 cents per page). An automatic document feeder means no feeding pages in one at a time; and it allows printing on both sides.

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EXPERT PICK

Brother MFC-L5700DW

| This black-and-white laser printer is versatile, fast and comes with Ethernet and WiFi networking. It scans, faxes and copies as well as prints. It pumps out 23 pages of text per minute. And printing costs just 1.8 cents per page. Good for both home and office.

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About this project

Photos and animations by Bill O’Leary. Consumer Reports product photos by Consumer Reports. “What Remains of Edith Finch” art provided by Annapurna Interactive. Heartlake Hospital photo by Lego. Destiny 2 photo by Activision.

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