Do you have a pre-teen or adolescent child? Struggling to think of what to get them for Christmas to complete or complete their PC setup? It’s that time of year again when Santa is only a couple of weeks away from leaving the presents under the tree. If you’re still deciding what to get your loved ones, there’s not long before there’s not enough time to have your items delivered, so you’d better think hard about what you can get little monster for their gaming setup.
My son is 13 and he is 26 and plays a mix of games from Minecraft and Roblox, to a lot of zombie games. They also like to hang out with his friends on their little Discord server as they play multiplayer games together and stream their gameplay to each other. Having watched many YouTube videos, my son has been well indoctrinated into the RGB-all character when it comes to his room decor. Studio 54 has never had a light show like it, even during the disco days.
Headphones: choose quality, wireless is an advantage
So, what are some affordable options for kids to play PC games? I’ve found that my son goes through peripherals pretty fast, thanks to a mixture of abuse and the fact that some devices just don’t meet the needs of an active, excited teenager.
Headphones are always the first to go. I started out letting him have my secondhand products when he was younger, but as he matured, he became more interested in the products he wanted to use. Cheaper, flimsy headphones would only last a few months, so I started upgrading to sturdier brands and quickly became a fan of the quality and price of headphones like the HyperX Cloud II, which you might often find discounted, especially around the holidays. sale like black friday.
It is definitely worth spending a little more money to get a more resistant product that can last a long time. One thing he’s wanted recently though is a wireless headset, especially for use with his VR headset, as there are already enough cable issues when using it. So this year I opted for a HyperX Cloud Alpha wireless headset and I hope it meets your expectations.
Wireless gaming headsets are an especially good idea for kids, as they can get excited and accidentally rip the wires out of wired ones. On the other hand, you need to make sure the headphones stay charged and have decent battery life. It’s almost obvious that you want a headset that uses 2.4GHz wireless technology, not just Bluetooth because the Bluetooth quality isn’t that good. If you want to find a top-notch headset, check out our list of the best gaming headsets. There are also a couple of good headphone deals right now:
RGB mouse pads – a really cheap gift
One simple and inexpensive gift I’ve gotten for my son for the past few years is a new mouse pad. Sometimes it’s just a plain color, and other times it can be decked out with whatever trendy interests it may have. A mouse pad is usually a bit of a filler because it usually doesn’t cost much, but of course you can go crazy and spend a small country’s GDP on one with flashing lights and wireless charging if you’re so inclined.
Tom’s Hardware happens to keep a list of the best RGB mouse pads, and we test them to make sure they really shine. There are also now a couple of solid sales on pads:
Keyboards: compact and colourful
When it comes to keyboards and mice, it all comes down to preference, and the prices for these range from pretty cheap to obscene. Think about factors like size, space, mechanics or membrane, RGB, and price. For my son, it must have RGB; it’s more important to him than the functionality of the product, but I’ll make sure it’s capable of both and good value for money too.
He has a small desk in his room and never uses the numpad on his current keeb so I decided to get him a smaller TKL (Ten-Key-Less) card that still retains the functionality of the F-keys but does a little ‘more than desk space. I opted for a Logitech G Pro TKL that I could find on sale for around $50, this keyboard comes with mechanical switches and all the RGB you could want.
We keep an updated list of the best gaming keyboards. There are also some compelling keyboards for sale right now:
Mouse: save money by staying wired
Even for a mouse, I found a Logitech G Pro Wired for $30 that pairs comfortably with the keyboard and is well priced. It doesn’t bother having a wireless keyboard and mouse, and having a wired connection for these two peripherals usually saves you a lot of money and eliminates the pain of the mouse or keyboard dying out at the most inconvenient moment.
We have a list of the best gaming mice based on our extensive testing and research. However, there are also some great gaming mouse deals right now:
Monitor: A dramatic upgrade, but not a cheap one
The last thing I bought my son for Christmas is a new monitor, as he was using a very old second hand monitor that I had passed down many years ago, just like the PC he is using – made with all my old parts and pieces. The first thing to consider when thinking about buying a monitor is the use case, so think about what hardware is powering it. A monitor is one of those pieces of kit that can last multiple PC builds, so it pays to get it right.
My son uses his computer for school work and gaming and has an older Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB powering the graphics. His desk space is also important, so I wouldn’t want anything bigger than a 27-inch screen. Being a small gamer and enjoying FPS games, something with a decent 144Hz refresh rate plus would be nice, but with the GPU it has, it’s not capable of gaming higher than 1080p. So I’m considering a monitor limited to a resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080).
Choosing a 1080p monitor also gives you plenty of options and keeps the price low since high-speed 1080p displays are available for under $200. If you’re willing to spend closer to $250 or $300, you can get a 2K (2560 x 1440) which will make text and images look sharper. Either way, if you upgrade your graphics card in the future, you can think about another monitor with a higher resolution and maybe convert the one you buy today into a second monitor.
We have a very detailed list of the best gaming monitors you can buy, based on our tests. However, these screens are in good sales at the moment:
- Dell S2721HGF (27-inch, curved 144Hz, 1080p): now $179 at Dell (opens in a new tab) (was $259)
- Dell G2722HS (27-inch, 165Hz, 1080p): now $149 at Dell (opens in a new tab) (was $279)
- Alienware AW2521HFL (25-inch, 240Hz 1080p): now $199 at Best Buy (opens in a new tab) (was $249)
The main takeaways from buying any piece of computer, peripheral, or monitor is to think about the purpose you want them to serve, the amount you’re willing to spend, and if it’s for the holidays, whether your child really wants them.
Be reasonable and shop around for good deals and prices and don’t rush your purchases. Hopefully, you’ve already done your shopping, but if not, check out our lists of the best deals on PC hardware and technology right now and the best monitor deals.