Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.The RundownBest Video Game System:Nintendo Switch at Amazon"Specifically designed to encourage your teen to get out of their cave and play with their friends."Best Virtual Reality System:HTC VIVE at Amazon"The ground-breaking virtual reality system that will make even parents want to get in on the action."Best E-Reader:Amazon Fire HD 8 (10th Generation) at Amazon"Teens will be able to choose from millions of movies, TV shows, songs, eBooks and more."Best Gaming Mouse:Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum at Amazon"Features an advanced optical gaming sensor designed by Logitech."Best Gaming Headphones:ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset at Amazon"Designed to give clarity to every detail at every frequency and volume level."
Best Video Game System:Nintendo Switch4.2 Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on Walmart
Concerned parents who fear a gaming console will isolate their teenager shouldn't worry any longer. The Nintendo Switch is specifically designed to encourage your teen to get out of their cave and play with their friends. This means your teen (and one other) can go out in the sun and enjoy a few rounds of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Super Bomberman R by just using one shared console.
Of course, you can get up to four players or more on the Nintendo Switch as long as you buy an extra Joy-Con controller. Depending on the type of game played, the portable battery for the system generally lasts about 3 to 5 hours. More intense graphic-heavy processing games will limit the battery life, while lighter more quick games will preserve its power.Nintendo Switch Review
Best Virtual Reality System:HTC VIVE3.6 Buy on Amazon
Want to really impress your teen with the latest technology? Want to send them to another world? Get them the HTC VIVE, the ground-breaking virtual reality system that will make even parents want to get in on the action. It provides room scale VR, emerging your teen into another dimension where they can physically interact with 3D objects and play VR specific games.
The HTC VIVE is perfect for any teen gamer that wants the best in virtual reality. The system is compatible with over hundreds of games on SteamVR, so there are countless worlds to play in and environments to interact with. You can even condition your teen's bravery by sending them on a first person rollercoaster, boxing match or to the dentist's office. Included are wireless controllers designed to make interacting in virtual reality more natural and intuitive.
The device features an adjustable headset for comfort and provides multiple eye relief adjustments, including lens distance so you won't have to worry about your teen having strained eyes or soreness. It features SteamVR tracking, too, so your teen will always experience the best of virtual reality whether they're sitting, standing or in a room-scale space.HTC Vive Review
Best E-Reader:Amazon Fire HD 8 (10th Generation) Tablet3Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on Staples
Feature-rich at a price that's tough to beat, the Amazon Fire HD 8 makes a great device for teens. Available in both 16GB and 32GB configurations, each model offers up to 400GB of additional storage, which you may end up needing when you consider the depth of content available. Teens will be able to choose from millions of movies, TV shows, songs, eBooks and more. And all their favorite apps are available too, from Netflix to Hulu and much more. Up to 10 hours of battery life ensures all-day fun.
Books, videos, games, and all other kinds of media look great on the Fire HD 8's HD (1280 x 800) display, and dual stereo speakers with Dolby Audio technology ensure that every piece of audio content sounds crystal-clear. Teens will also love the hands-free Alexa capabilities. They can make video calls to friends using the front-facing camera and use the AI assistant to inquire about sports scores, weather, homework or music.Amazon Fire HD 8 (8th Gen) Review
Best Gaming Mouse:Logitech G502 Proteus SpectrumBuy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on Walmart
Is your teen a competitive computer gamer? Do they play intense shooters such as Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege or Call Of Duty? Want to make sure they're not screaming over losing matches by giving them an extra competitive edge with one of the most powerful gaming mice on the market?
The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum is a mouse made for competitive online first person shooters. It features an advanced optical gaming sensor designed by Logitech that makes it their most accurate and responsive mouse to date. It comes with customizable weights that can be placed under the mouse to conform to the perfect fit and feel. DPI settings are customizable, too, allowing for 200 to 12,000 DPI to adjust for any intense gaming situation for primed sensitivity.
The Logitech G502 also includes customizable lighting, surface tuning and button macros. Your teen can change its color scheme and lighting frequencies with its included Logitech Gaming Software application. It's compatible only with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7 operating systems.
Best Gaming Headphones:ASTRO Gaming A40 TR HeadsetBuy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on Walmart
Maybe there's too much noise coming from your teen's room? But there's a way to keep their noisy TV or computer volume down when they're playing a video game and that's be investing in the ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset (one of the best out right now).
The ASTRO Gaming A40 TR Headset features pro quality audio designed specifically for pro gamer. It's designed to give clarity to every detail at every frequency and volume level. It comes with Dolby Surround 7.1 technology, as well as a Dolby Headphone output, which allows for clarity in sound (those gunshots might sound a bit too real) and voice chat, so your teen can politely disagree with opponents.
The ASTRO is lightweight and features an ergonomic design intended with the user's comfort in mind. It's adjustable and won't cause your teen any neck cramps or blown out eardrums. It's compatible with the Windows and Mac operating systems and comes with two models used for either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
What to Look for in Portable Electronics for Teens
Type of gadget - There are all kinds of portable electronics you can buy for your teen. The question is what will they be interested in? If gaming is a hobby, then there are a few options, from a Nintendo Switch to a new gaming laptop. If they enjoy the outdoors, a drone might be a fun gadget to have.
Price - As you can imagine, prices vary depending on the type of gadget you choose, and you can spend a lot of money on a simple gift. If you're not interested in dropping hundreds of dollars on the teen in your life, there are definitely less expensive options, such as e-readers and headphones, that you can opt for instead of pricier items.
Your own interests - If you're buying this portable electronic for your own teen, don't be afraid to take your interests into account. Are you hoping that the gadget will help you and your teen connect? If so, make sure it's over a shared hobby, such as reading or gaming. Or perhaps choose an item like a drone, which is something you both can learn to use together.