15 Ridiculously Expensive Tech Gifts

These are some of the most expensive tech gifts around. Unless you’re the 1 percent, you probably can’t afford them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t digitally window shop.
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15 Ridiculously Expensive Tech Gifts

During the 2018 holiday shopping season, people spent more money online than ever: $123.39 billion in the US alone, according to Statista, an increase of $17.25 billion. There’s no reason to think 2019 won’t see similar increases; holiday spending has gone up every year since 2008.

As always, a lot of that money is going toward new tech. We approve, of course, but not all gadgets are worthwhile purchases. There’s a point of diminishing returns with almost any overpriced item you buy, especially digital toys that depreciate the instant the box is open.

Below are some of the most expensive computing and tech products around, many of which we covet nonetheless. And why not? When you need to take out a second mortgage just to afford some tech, you’re in a class by yourself. Not one of these products is a gag either. They really exist and someone, somewhere buys them. In some cases, selling just a couple could keep a manufacturer in the black for a while.

Take a gander at what you can’t afford. But if you really have money to burn, check out Pricey Tech Gifts That Are Worth The Splurge.

  • Phase One IQ4 150MP

    You want the best image you can get? Then you’re going to pay a premium, because that requires a camera with a big sensor. Phase One’s IQ4 has a 151-megapixel sensor that’s second to none. It’s the equivalent of shooting on a 645 film camera. In the medium format camera itself, the price of $51,990 includes the body and a lens, and you pick the lens, with 80mm as the standard option. It weighs about 6 pounds. Read our review.
  • Vava 4K Laser Projector

    Short-throw projectors are great TV replacements, and with a device like the Vava you can get the equivalent of a 150-inch ultra-large 4K display tossed up on your wall. It can be as close as 7.2 inches from the wall and still make it look like a 100-inch TV with a 3000:1 contrast. Here’s what’s really nice: you don’t need a soundbar with this one, as the $2,699 Vava (down from the MSRP of $3,500) has built-in Harman Kardon stereo speakers.
  • LG Signature OLED88Z9PUA

    If you’re not sure what that model number above signifies, the important number is 88—or the diagonal inches on this 7-foot $29,999 TV set. What’s more, this incredibly expensive set is a full 8K (7,680 by 4,320 pixels) resolution, so you’ll be future-proofed for watching 8K content, once it becomes available someday.

    The picture on the OLED screen is fantastic, even with 4K upconversion. The Z9, as it’s called, is the most expensive set out there that isn’t a full wall (you can’t use it without the base, which handles the 4.2 channel, 80W sound system. Even the input lag is low, making it perfect for gaming. It uses WebOS for smart TV functions, and works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Read our review.

  • Peloton Tread

    Got your eye on a treadmill, but want to spend a little extra to make sure you’ve got all the classes that could come with it? Peloton’s got you covered with the $4,295 Tread. The carbon-steel unit is equipped with a 32-inch HD touch display, through which you can view thousands of classes, workouts, and motivational videos—if you also pay $39 per month. The screen has a camera so you can video chat with people in live classes.

    That price is for the basic’s package; you can get the family package for $4,844 (plus $202 a month) which includes even more goodies like resistance bands, free weights, and wireless earbuds, and a chest-strap heart monitor. Make sure you have room for the 455-pound monster before you buy. Read our review.

  • Hydrow Rower

    I’d never heard of Live Outdoor Reality (LOR) before, but that’s what the Hydrow Rower promises—stunning visuals to bring each workout to life, on the highest-tech rowing machine around. The LOR’s 22-inch sweat-resistant screen displays workouts lead by athletes, some of which are live streamed. All the resistance is digitally controlled, so you don’t have to adjust the $2,200 rower manually to match the workout on the screen.
  • Ultimaker S5 3D Printer

    How can you even call your house (or apartment or shed) a home without a 3D printer for all your small little plastic doodad needs? The $5,995 Ultimaker S5 is the best you can get, a behemoth that makes large-volume prints (larger than those we’ve tested for pros) with good quality. It’s easy to set up and control via the built-in touch screen. Having dual extruders means it can print with two colors at once. It’ll even use a water-soluble plastic that can act as a support for heavy parts as the printing happens. Read our review.
  • Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

    Audiophiles and entertainment junkies unite when it comes to the love of a soundbar, and one of the most expensive you can get is the AMBEO from Sennheiser. It’s big, it’s heavy, and it comes with an impressively wide sound field; listening modes are tailored to all types of entertainment. The 41-pound, $2,499 monster features 13 drivers, 5.1.4 Atmos audio, and no need for surround speakers (but we wouldn’t mind a subwoofer). This is Sennheiser’s only soundbar and a bold move into the space considering it costs twice as much as most soundbars. Read our full review.
  • Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage

    Sennheiser isn’t the only audio company with its first soundbar. Bang & Olufsen—always good for an incredibly priced speaker at the holidays—has the Beosound Stage, starting at $1,750 for the natural/black version up to $2,600 for the smoked oak casing with grey speaker option.

    The almost 18-pound devices has 11 power amps and 11 speaker driver units (including 4 woofer drivers, so no subwoofer supposedly necessary). It’s not only for TV, as it has full wireless capabilities via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, not to mention support for AirPlay and Chromecast, among other tech. You can wall-mount it or lay it down (pointing speakers upward) and it’ll auto adjust to sound fine either way.

  • Devialet Gold Phantom Opera de Paris

    France’s Devialet always delivers when it comes to hyper-expensive ways to listen to music. The latest is the Phantom Opéra National de Paris, with gills in gold leaf, gilded by Ateliers Gohard (or go home). That little detail pushes the price of the “regular” Gold Phantom Reactor Bluetooth speaker from $2,990 up to $3,490.
  • Alienware 55 OLED Gaming Monitor

    It’s as big as a full-fledged TV, but this display is all about the gaming. Alienware calls this $2,799 screen (down from $4,000) the first 55-inch OLED gaming monitor. Gameplay happens over a 120Hz DisplayPort 1.4 connection and it is splendid looking, from the picture to the design. There are other nice touches, like four USB-A ports, smart HDR modes, and custom lighting. The price drop helps make it even more worthwhile, yet still astronomically priced.
  • Insta360 Pro 2

    Not everyone needs to shoot 360-degree virtual reality video like you see in Google Street View. But if you do, you need the right professional-level camera, and that camera is probably the melon-sized Insta360 Pro 2. It shoots full stereoscopic 3D images with HDR using six F2.4 fisheye lenses, and has sensors galore. The result is two simultaneous 8K videos with the best quality possible. All that visual power for $4,999 to start.
  • Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Cryptomic Purifier

    With most of us spending 65 percent of time indoors, why not clean up the air. You may not realize you need to destroy formaldehyde—the chemical used for storing body parts in jars!—in your home. But it’s used in a lot of building products like particle board and more. It’s also a well-known carcinogen.

    Worry no longer, hypochondriac with lots of cash: the latest Dyson filter, the $750 Cryptomic, converts that chemical in the air into harmless water and carbon dioxide. You can read about what’s happening on the LCD air quality reading built into the device. Or get the Pure Cool version if you don’t need the heat.

  • Square Off Grand Kingdom Set

    There are a bazillion ways to play chess, the game of kings, from ultra-cheap to inexpensive apps. But if you want the highest-tech method—one that involves a magnet-powered rosewood finish board moving full-sized pieces, while you monitor gameplay with an app on your smartphone—you need the $449 Grand Kingdom Set from Square Off.

    Use the app to play with people in other locations while you watch it play out locally, or play against the computer at up to 20 levels of difficulty. The Grand Kingdom board is extra wide beyond the usual checkerboard, so it had room to move even your defeated pieces to the side. Once the game is over, it’ll move all the pieces back to their original positions for you. It has a battery that lasts 30 games, so you can take it with you, but it’s not exactly made for playing in the backseat of the car.

  • iQ Friends of Hue LED Flush Mount

    You might balk at paying almost $600 for a smart bulb, but the iQ is much more than that. It’s a full brushed-black light-fixture ring with a custom diffuser that is powered by Friends of Hue—as in the Philips Hue smart built. That instantly makes this aluminum/steel/acrylic light one of the smartest you’ll ever install. Depicted above is the flush mount version; ET2 also sells two versions of it as pendant lights that hang down as far as 12 feet, for those of you with really high ceilings. Control it with apps, or voice (via Alexa or Google Assistant) or using any ZigBee-based smart home controller.
  • Boston Dynamics’ Spot

    I don’t really know how much a Spot robot dog costs—you have to contact sales to find out—but Boston Dynamics’ first commercially available robot is available, if you have the cash. Spot is not really for consumers, but we all know you’re not just any consumer if you can afford a droid-dog that goes 3mph, avoids obstacles, can walk up and down stairs, and looks like an action movie special effect. Besides, what is some business going to do with it other than look cool? It would be even cooler looking on your patio, serving drinks.
  • Holiday Gift Guide

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