The very best presents for below $500 to blow your loved ones’s minds

Residing within the period of COVID-19 has made many individuals put additional particular thought into the presents they’re giving all year long. In any case, if you cannot spend time along with your family members, a terrific reward is the following neatest thing. Should you’re actually seeking to knock somebody’s socks off, you’ll be able to ship an especially beneficiant reward, like one thing within the $250-$500 vary. However, in case you’re dropping that a lot coin, you wish to ensure that you are giving one thing utterly superior. 

Prepared to seek out the right reward? This checklist will show you how to discover simply the fitting factor to order. One factor to notice although: As a result of they’re unlikely to be simply discovered within the coming months, we have left the PS5 ($400 to $500) and Xbox Series X ($500) and Series S ($300) off this checklist. If you may get your fingers on one, it might even be a terrific reward.

Scott Stein/CNET

Fb’s Oculus Quest 2 may very well be the system that makes digital actuality mainstream. It isn’t solely higher than the unique but additionally cheaper, beginning at $300 for the 64GB model (the 256GB model is $400). 

CNET’s Scott Stein praised it for being lighter and quicker, with revised controllers and longer battery life. The show decision is notably crisper and remarkably straightforward to learn textual content on. The one draw back: You now should have a Fb login in to make use of it.

Read our Oculus Quest 2 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Nintendo’s massively widespread platform could have a more recent, cheaper entry within the Switch Lite at $200, however the authentic acquired a minor enchancment within the V2 model with improved battery life. The large distinction between the 2? The Change Lite has a smaller display screen and is strictly moveable, with out the big-screen TV dockability and removable controllers that make the V2 so distinctive. We break down the differences here; the principle factor to know is we nonetheless contemplate the larger Change to be the higher selection.

Scott Stein/CNET

The brand new model of Apple’s entry-level iPad simply got here out in September with an up to date A12 Bionic chip processor that offers it a pleasant efficiency increase (a keyboard or case shouldn’t be included). In any other case it is just about the identical as final yr’s entry-level iPad, which stays the most effective worth in Apple’s iPad line. Whereas costs begin at $329 for the 32GB mannequin (and $429 for the 128GB model), search for particular affords as this iPad typically will get the flash-deal remedy. Maintain out for $250 for the 32GB mannequin.

Read more.


The Theragun Prime is a brand new Theragun included within the firm’s rebrand and launch of four new massage guns. Its prior equal was the Theragun Liv, which is reviewed in-depth here.

Just like the high-end Theragun Professional G4 ($599), the Theragun Prime’s predominant spectacular characteristic is that it is a lot quieter than its now-defunct counterpart. Actually, the Prime rivals the famously quiet Hypervolt Plus when it comes to quantity stage — that is an enormous enchancment from the Liv.

The enhancements do not cease there, although: The place the Theragun Liv solely had two preprogrammed speeds and got here with two closed-cell foam attachments, the brand new Theragun Prime has 5 built-in speeds (from 1,750 rpm to 2,400 rpm) and comes with 5 closed-cell foam attachments. 

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No, you’ll be able to’t get a really high-performance TV for lower than $500, however with TCL’s 55-inch 55S525 you may get a terrific reward with a nice-size display screen, very stable 4K image high quality and the most effective streaming system out there (Roku) for $450. If you wish to spend rather less, TCL is updating its 2020 4-series 4K line with an extra HDMI port in fashions bigger than 50 inches (it goes from three to 4 HDMI ports).

Read our TCL 55S425 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Hypervolt Plus is the second-generation Hyperice percussive massager, and rivals the marginally better-known Theragun in effectiveness. Regardless of being fairly forceful because of a 90-watt high-torque motor, it is notably quiet, so it isn’t annoying to make use of — to your self or others. It is cordless, after all, and the lithium-ion battery provides you about two hours per cost. It comes with three head attachments and options 5 velocity and energy settings. Usually $450, Greatest Purchase at present has it on sale for $349 because it will get able to launch a Bluetooth-enabled version of the same device.

Sarah Tew/CNET

So possibly your reward recipients have already got a pleasant TV, however they’re caught listening to its horrible built-in audio system. A soundbar is the best solution to repair that downside, and this $350 Yamaha is one our favorites on this value vary. As a bonus it additionally works with Alexa, so you’ll be able to ask Amazon’s voice assistant to play your tunes even when the TV is turned off.

Read our Yamaha YAS-209 review.

Greatest Purchase/Arcade1Up

Certain, you can get that fortunate giftee one among Arcade1Up’s basic stand-up machines, however nothing beats the nostalgia of sitting in a chair, drink comfortably in place, whilst you chase the newest excessive rating. Two units of controls face each other throughout a 17-inch display screen that allows you to play any one among eight video games. Along with the unique Ms. Pac-Man, you get Pac-Mania, Tremendous Pac-Man and Pac-Land, together with Galaga, Galaxian, Dig Dug and Dig Dug II. 

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