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25 Last-Minute Deals on Gifts That Will Arrive by Christmas

25 Last-Minute Deals on Gifts That Will Arrive by Christmas

Maybe you panicked over what to get your friend who has everything, or your cousin is bringing their significant other to your family’s holiday gathering and you feel like you ought to get them something. Maybe it feels like autumn just flew by. Whatever the reason, we’re here to help. We’ve gathered up some of the best deals we could find that also have a good chance of making it to your home before Christmas.

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Tech and Accessory Deals

ipad mini with apple pencil

Apple iPad 9th Gen

Photograph: Apple

Some folks on the WIRED team have had their iPad orders delayed a few times, so keep that in mind if you’re choosing shipping. But this is a solid deal for our favorite iPad. The 9th-generation slate (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is powerful enough for most users, and it’s compatible with the majority of our favorite accessories.

The iPad Mini (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is our go-to tablet for travel. This deal is a match of the discounts we saw around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The slate is small enough to slip into a backpack and fits perfectly on an airplane tray table. With an 8.3-inch display, it’s great for watching movies or reading ebooks, as well as sketching and taking notes with the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9

Photograph: Samsung

The Amazon price is $30 cheaper than we saw during Black Friday. We just added this slate to our Best Tablets guide. It’s a relatively snappy Android machine that comes with a stylus—it’s great for catching up on shows, browsing your favorite apps, and even some light work. The price is a little high, but this deal makes up for it somewhat. The smaller Tab S9 FE is also on sale for $399.

Various versions are on sale at different retailers, but this is a match of the pricing we saw during Cyber Monday. The current Apple Watch is the Series 9, but last year’s Series 8 is virtually the same and $100 cheaper, which is why we say it’s a great buy at $300. You get all the features you need in Watch OS 10, which has Crash Detection to alert emergency responders if you’re in an accident and unresponsive, along with the usual health and fitness tracking features.

Image may contain Electronics Hardware Computer and Mouse

Logitech G203 wireless mouse

Photograph: Logitech

This is our favorite gaming mouse for under $50, and right now it’s even more affordable than usual. Certain colors will arrive in time for Christmas from each retailer as of press time, so if the color you want is out of stock at one store, check others. The mouse has six customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and solid performance for most gamers.

This is a match of the best price we’ve seen for this solid little Bluetooth speaker. It has nice, punchy sound and is available in a few colors. The battery lasts up to 16 hours on a single charge.

Clip the on-page coupon to save a bit of money on this excellent, tiny power bank. Most gift ideas aren’t one-size-fits-all, but a power bank is nearly universally useful. This model from Anker is featured in our guide to the Best Portable Chargers. It’s affordable, it arrives before Christmas, and the compact footprint means it can travel anywhere. Be sure to get the correct version for your giftee—the Anker Nano is available in both Lightning and USB-C versions.

Sony WH1000XM4 headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4

Photograph: Sony

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones (9/10, WIRED Recommends) have been a stalwart pair of wireless headphones for years now, and the reason for their success is plain. With excellent noise canceling, warm and detailed sound, and a ton of modern features in a comfy design, they’re among the best travel headphones you can buy. This deal is even better than what we saw on Cyber Monday.

Sony’s priciest wireless headphones, the WH-1000XM5, had a lot to live up to coming after the remarkably popular WH-1000XM4. Luckily, they deliver the goods with upgraded noise canceling, a posh new design, and a more refined sound signature that adds up to a great package, especially on sale.

Beats Studio Pro headphones

Beats Studio Pro

Photograph: Beats

We thought the Beats Studio Pro headphones (7/10, WIRED Review) were good, not great, but that was before they dropped to this price. This deal is just $10 higher than we saw during Cyber Monday. These headphones have excellent noise canceling, solid sound quality, and a USB-C plug for high-resolution audio. They pair easily with Apple and Android devices and even have head tracking for spatial audio. There are a few colors to choose from.

This is $5 more than we saw during Cyber Monday, but the deal is alright if you’re in the market for a streaming stick and you consume a lot of content on Amazon Prime. It works with other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, but the operating system is skewed toward Amazon content. This device was just released at the end of September. It’s faster and has more storage than the Fire TV Stick 4K—also on sale for $30 ($20 off).

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 in silver

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Photograph: Samsung

This is a slightly better discount than we tracked during Cyber Monday. The Galaxy Watch6 Classic (7/10, WIRED Review) has some features that are exclusive to Samsung phones—like the electrocardiogram—but, technically, any Android owner can use this smartwatch. It has better battery life than an Apple Watch, smooth performance, and a fun mechanical rotating bezel. If you don’t care for the mechanical bezel, you can save some dough and opt for the standard Galaxy Watch6 instead.

This deal is a match of the lowest we’ve seen. Fujifilm’s Link Wide is our favorite Instax printer, if only for its size: Those gloriously big Instax Wide prints just look better. They are pricier, though, at around $1.20 per print (print price varies by quantity). The Instax Wide has a dedicated app that works well and has plenty of fun layouts and premade templates. This does not include film, so you’ll also want to grab a pack of Instax Wide Film.

Home, Kitchen, and Outdoor Deals

Google Nest Hub

Photograph: Google

It was $10 cheaper earlier in December, but this is a relatively small price difference to pay this close to Christmas. This second-generation Nest Hub (7/10, WIRED Recommends) doesn’t have a camera, so it’s a bit more privacy-minded than some other smart displays. It is compact, with a 7-inch screen, which makes it ideal for your bedside table. It also has sleep-sensing tech to track your sleep quality.

Another match of a Cyber Monday discount we saw a few weeks back, this gadget is best if you frequently use other Amazon products and services. The Amazon Echo Show 10 is the best Alexa Smart Display. It can connect with other Echo speakers, and the 10-inch screen swivels around so you can keep a recipe or a Zoom video call within easy view.

This is a match of the lowest price we tend to see for this little green machine, which made our list of the Best Carpet Cleaners and the Best Viral TikTok Gadgets. It’s great for cleaning furniture, stairs, and vehicles.

Image may contain Pot and Dutch Oven

Photograph: Lodge

We saw this discount during Cyber Monday, and as of press time it applies to all three colors. The enameled Dutch oven is user-friendly. The nonstick, nonreactive surface is perfect for slow-cooking stews, oysters, and practically anything else for long periods. It’s oven-safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

This would make a great gift for cyclists, campers, and preppers. The LifeStraw filters contaminated water without batteries or other accessories. Grab a BPA-free bottle to filter into and you’ll get out 99.99 percent of waterborne bacteria for up to 1,000 gallons of water. This price matches the lowest we usually see.

Deals on Everything Else

Specialized Turbo Tero 3.0

Photograph: Specialized

This deal matches the price we shared during Cyber Monday. We tested the premium version of this bike (8/10, WIRED Recommends) and loved it. The best way to describe it is that it’s one of Specialized’s cushiony, comfy mountain bikes but with a motor and some adjustments to make it an all-around awesome ride.

Best Buy is offering up to 50 percent off a selection of goodies that youngsters will probably enjoy. Many of these toys are sized perfectly to fit inside stockings. I’m partial to this stuffed rockhopper Penguin—just look at him.

There are over 200 games to choose from for Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles. If you’re stuck on which title to get, go with a family-friendly option like Just Dance 2024 for some Christmas evening entertainment.

It may be a last resort to pick up plastic tchotchkes for the kids in your life, but I’m here to tell you that we’re officially in last-resort territory. Luckily this sale has over 700 discounted items to choose from, so no matter their age or interests, there’s probably a gift in here that they’ll like.

Clip the on-page Target Circle offer to get this deal. Target Circle is free to join and very worthwhile if you frequently shop at Target. We like Target’s cat scratchers and houses, and this is a solid deal for those trying to celebrate the holidays with their cats—as if they won’t get distracted by all the wrapping paper flying everywhere.

Other Gifts to Consider

AirBnB Gift Card

Photograph: AirBnB

From gift cards to game subscriptions, we have an entire guide dedicated to the Best Digital Gifts you can buy. There’s something for every person at every price point. If your deadline is approaching fast, these gifts can be delivered in just a few minutes.

Does it count as procrastination if the gift arrives in six to eight weeks on purpose? Subscription boxes are gifts that keep on giving. There are hundreds of boxes available for all sorts of hobbies and interests. The options are nearly endless. We have roundups of the best subscription boxes for gifting, the best subscription boxes for kids, the best snack box subscriptions, the best coffee bean subscriptions, and the best meal kit delivery services.

Some Advice for Last-Minute Shopping

Finding a gift at the last minute can be tricky. You’re in a race against the clock—and other procrastinating shoppers. These tips might be of some use.

  • Look for in-store pickup: Amazon has a convenient badge that says whether an item will arrive before Christmas, but stores like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target may have local pickup available so you can circumvent shipping altogether. Amazon also offers locker pickup in some locations, but it usually isn’t any faster.
  • Check alternative retailers: We’ve done our best to find the stores that have in-stock items with fast shipping times, but if your heart is set on something and it won’t get delivered on time from a certain store, check other stores as well as the manufacturer’s site.
  • Consider similar items: The phone you want in space gray might be back-ordered, but the sky-blue version may be able to get to you sooner. Or maybe the laptop with a little more or less hard drive space is in stock. If a timely gift is more important than its exact specs, tweak it.
  • Honesty is the best policy: Chances are your friends and family will understand if you tell them, “Hey I got you something but it won’t be here until the 27th.” Mine certainly have!
Best Apple Watch (2023): Which Model Should You Buy?

Best Apple Watch (2023): Which Model Should You Buy?

Do you want an Apple Watch that can replace your satellite messenger, your cycling computer, and your running watch? Then, my friend, the Watch Ultra 2 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is for you. Like the Series 9, it has the new S9 chipset for faster processing and Double Tap and the new ultra-wideband chip for precision-locating your phone, and it will be more sustainable when paired with the Alpine Loop strap or the Trail Loop. It also has a new, shockingly bright 3,000-nit display. I didn’t see a difference on a sunny day on the water, but you might, on a glacier somewhere.

However, like the Series 9, many of the Watch Ultra 2’s best new outdoor features are only fully apparent when you’re also within reach of your iPhone. The touted offline maps are only visible on the watch when you download them on your iPhone and have it charged and within Bluetooth range of the watch. If you start a cycling activity on your watch, it shows up as a Live Activity on your iPhone. Many of these features—along with the handy Action button and the three-mic array—are also available on last year’s debut Watch Ultra and WatchOS 10. Again, if you bought a Watch Ultra last year, I would wait to upgrade. If this is your first, however, you will thoroughly enjoy the Watch Ultra 2. This is the watch to get if you love outdoor sports but also want the full functionality of a smartwatch—as long as you don’t accidentally close the tab that tells you how to get back home.

🚫 Why It Might Be Hard to Find: Apple recently decided to suspend sales of the Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 on Apple.com starting December 21 and in it’s retail stores December 24, pending an expected ban by the International Trade Commission. The federal agency is considering a ban because of a dispute over a patent for the technology that Apple uses in the newest Watch models’ blood-oxygen sensor. If the ban does happen, the Apple Watch may not be available on Amazon or other retailers starting December 26.

22 Best Bluetooth Speakers (2023): Portable, Waterproof, and More

22 Best Bluetooth Speakers (2023): Portable, Waterproof, and More

The best Bluetooth speakers still have a place near and dear to our hearts, even as we’ve seen better (and more portable) smart speakers creeping into the universe. It’s fun and easy to ask an Amazon Echo or Google Nest speaker to play your favorite track or tell you the weather, but smart speakers require stable Wi-Fi and updates to work. By (mostly) forgoing voice assistants and Wi-Fi radios, Bluetooth speakers are more portable, with the ability to venture outside of your house and withstand rugged conditions like the sandy beach or the steamy Airbnb jacuzzi. They’ll also work with any smartphone, and they sound as good as their smart-speaker equivalents.

We’ve tested hundreds of Bluetooth speakers since 2017 (and many before that), and we can happily say they are still some of the best small devices you can listen to. Here are our favorites right now. Be sure to check out all our buying guides, including the Best Soundbars, Best Wirefree Earbuds, and Best Smart Speakers.

Updated December 2023: We’ve added the JBL Authentics 200, Urbanista Malibu, Sonos Move 2, Sennheiser Ambeo Mini, and Ultimate Ears Epicboom.

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The Startup That Transformed the Hack-for-Hire Industry

The Startup That Transformed the Hack-for-Hire Industry

If you’re looking for a long read to while away your weekend, we’ve got you covered. First up, WIRED senior reporter Andy Greenberg reveals the wild story behind the three teenage hackers who created the Mirai botnet code that ultimately took down a huge swath of the internet in 2016. WIRED contributor Garrett Graff pulls from his new book on UFOs to lay out the proof that the 1947 “discovery” of aliens in Roswell, New Mexico, never really happened. And finally, we take a deep dive into the communities that are solving cold cases using face recognition and other AI.

That’s not all. Each week, we round up the security and privacy stories we didn’t report in depth ourselves. Click the headlines to read the full stories, and stay safe out there.

For years, mercenary hacker companies like NSO Group and Hacking Team have repeatedly been the subject of scandal for selling their digital intrusion and cyberespionage services to clients worldwide. Far less well-known is an Indian startup called Appin that, from its offices in New Delhi, reportedly enabled customers worldwide to hack whistleblowers, activists, corporate competitors, lawyers, and celebrities on a giant scale.

In a sprawling investigation, Reuters reporters spoke to dozens of former Appin staff and hundreds of its hacking victims. It also obtained thousands of its internal documents—including 17 pitch documents advertising its “cyber spying” and “cyber warfare” offerings—as well as case files from law enforcement investigations into Appin launched from the US to Switzerland. The resulting story reveals in new depth how a small Indian company “hacked the world,” as Reuters writes, brazenly selling its hacking abilities to the highest bidder through an online portal called My Commando. Its victims, as well as those of copycat hacking companies founded by its alumni, have included Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Malaysian politician Mohamed Azmin Ali, targets of a Dominican digital tabloid, and a member of a Native American tribe who tried to claim profits from a Long Island, New York, casino development on his reservation.

The ransomware group known as Scattered Spider has distinguished itself this year as one of the most ruthless in the digital extortion industry, most recently inflicting roughly $100 million in damage to MGM Casinos. A damning new Reuters report—their cyber team has had a busy week— suggests that at least some members of that cybercriminal group are based in the West, within reach of US law enforcement. Yet they haven’t been arrested. Executives of cybersecurity companies who have tracked Scattered Spider say the FBI, where many cybersecurity-focused agents have been poached by the private sector, may lack the personnel needed to investigate. They also point to a reluctance on the part of victims to immediately cooperate in investigations, sometimes depriving law enforcement of valuable evidence.

Denmark’s critical infrastructure Computer Emergency Response Team, known as SektorCERT, warned in a report on Sunday that hackers had breached the networks of 22 Danish power utilities by exploiting a bug in their firewall appliances. The report, first revealed by Danish journalist Henrik Moltke, described the campaign as the biggest of its kind to ever target the Danish power grid. Some clues in the hackers’ infrastructure suggest that the group behind the intrusions was the notorious Sandworm, aka Unit 74455 of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, which has been responsible for the only three confirmed blackouts triggered by hackers in history, all in Ukraine. But in this case, the hackers were discovered and evicted from the target networks before they could cause any disruption to the utilities’ customers.

Last month, WIRED covered the efforts of a whitehat hacker startup called Unciphered to unlock valuable cryptocurrency wallets whose owners have forgotten their passwords—including one stash of $250 million in bitcoin stuck on an encrypted USB drive. Now, the same company has revealed that it found a flaw in a random number generator widely used in cryptocurrency wallets created prior to 2016 that leaves many of those wallets prone to theft, potentially adding up to $1 billion in vulnerable money. Unciphered found the flaw while attempting to unlock $600,000 worth of crypto locked in a client’s wallet. They failed to crack it but in the process discovered a flaw in a piece of open-source code called BitcoinJS that left a wide swath of other wallets potentially open to be hacked. The coder who built that flaw into BitcoinJS? None other than Stefan Thomas, the owner of that same $250 million in bitcoin locked on a thumb drive.

‘For All Mankind’ Deserves 7 Seasons

‘For All Mankind’ Deserves 7 Seasons

The Apple TV+ series For All Mankind is an alternate history story in which the Soviet Union beats the United States to the moon, leading to a greatly intensified space race. Screenwriter Rafael Jordan was excited to see another science fiction show from Ronald D. Moore, creator of the hit series Battlestar Galactica.

“I’ve been saying for two or three years that this is probably the best show on TV, and it’s not the first time we’ve said that about a Ron Moore show,” Jordan says in Episode 556 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley thinks that For All Mankind will appeal to a wider audience than most outer space shows, since its first season revolves around the familiar and relatable world of the Apollo program. “It starts off with this fairly realistic world of the ’70s, so if you’re someone who’s put off by super science fiction stuff, it kind of eases you into it,” he says. “And then by the time you’re hooked, then the fusion reactors and all that kind of stuff starts coming in.”

For All Mankind also features top-notch dialogue and characterization. Writer Sara Lynn Michener thinks the show will appeal to anyone who likes the knotty domestic drama of shows like Mad Men. “Very few characters, if any, ever feel like they’re just there to provide filler and there to provide something else for the main characters,” she says. “Every time you think that you’re going to write them off as some sort of caricature, you’re wrong, and they’re going to come back around and be real again in a new way, in a refreshing way, and I absolutely love that about this show.”

For All Mankind is currently airing its fourth season, out of a planned seven. Lightspeed magazine editor John Joseph Adams hopes the show becomes one of the rare science fiction series to last that long. “I think this is one of the best science fiction shows probably ever, certainly the best alternate history show,” he says. “Everybody watch it and get your friends to watch it, because we’ve got to get those seven seasons.”

Listen to the complete interview with Rafael Jordan, Sara Lynn Michener, and John Joseph Adams in Episode 556 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Rafael Jordan on alternate history:

For once my background as a musician ties into this, and there’s really nothing they can do about this, but as the timelines start to diverge from reality, they use a lot of specific songs from certain years to create the mood. And I dig that, but also those songs wouldn’t exist any more. They would be different. “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. That song wouldn’t exist in this new timeline. It would be slightly different, because music is a reflection of the times and culture. … In the perfect version of this show they would have had the extra money to hire bands to make fake songs in the style of the times.

John Joseph Adams on the Season 2 finale:

What they figure out is that they can basically cover every inch of them with duct tape. So they basically make spacesuits out of duct tape, because that’s what they have, and they have some kind of face masks that they can put on them. And they explain in excruciating detail, “Any bit of your skin that’s exposed is just going to balloon.” It sounds completely awful, and you can see the angst on their faces as it’s explained what’s going to happen to them. And they have 15 seconds to get from where they are to this control panel on the outside, and it’s so intense. It’s just incredible.

David Barr Kirtley on astronaut Garrett Reisman:

Ron Moore calls [Garrett Reisman] and says, “I have an idea I’d like to bounce off you.” So they meet up, and Ron Moore says, “I’m thinking about doing a show about NASA in the ’70s, or maybe make it an alternate history thing, where we start off that way but then it diverges from actual history. One or the other.” And Garrett Reisman says, “Well, when I was in Russia I saw their lander”—their lunar lander that they built that they never used. And he’s like, “Most people don’t realize how close the Russians actually came to beating us to the moon.” And so they started talking about, “Whoa, what if that had happened? Then this would have happened, and this would have happened.” So that’s where the show’s origin was.

Sara Lynn Michener on Apple TV+:

I remember being very worried when this show came out, because I was literally pleading with people to watch it. Because I desperately wanted it to have all of the seasons, and I had read somewhere that they have a whole planned seven-season arc. And I want to see every bit of it. So I remember when it came out I was just like, “Why am I the only person talking about this show?” … I think Apple TV+ is smart enough to look at the long game and say, “Hey, if we finish this show, we can keep making money off of it in perpetuity,” and that is such a smarter way of doing stuff like this, because they’re aware shows go through ebbs and flows of popularity.


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