Hot tech gifts for the holidays

A SteadiDrone QU4D aerial drone fitted with a GoPro video camera.
Dean Hutton | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Christmas is right around the corner, and this year expect to see a lot of tech toys under the tree.

Tech spending during the holidays will reach a record $33.8 billion, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

So, what are the hottest tech gifts?

Read More Standard shipping deadlines loom for online shoppers

The consumer drone market is soaring, but one problem can be the price of those unmanned aerial vehicles. That's especially a worry for rookies, who might crash and break their drones on the first flight.

One answer: a small, cheaper drone like the Hubsan X4, which sells for about $40 on Amazon.

"All the propellers and pieces come in easy replacement kits," said David Pierce, deputy editor at The Verge. "You can fix it yourself. It's a great way to start flying a drone if you have never done it before."

Read More 8 gift-worthy bottles of booze for spirits fans

Wearables are also all the rage with the Apple Watch expected next year. But there are options already available such as the Moto 360, which costs $250. Fans appreciate its design and all the usual features of a smartwatch, including notifications, voice control and apps.

"It will work with almost any Android phone made in the last year," said Pierce. "But, if you have an iPhone, you're stuck just getting a picture of the Apple Watch this year for Christmas."

Finally, GoPro is expected to enjoy a big holiday season. The company now offers models at prices ranging from $130 to $500.

Read MoreNeed gift ideas? Here's something for everyone

"GoPro is the market leader when it comes to action cameras," said Re/Code's Lauren Goode. "There are competitors. Sony has an action camera. Garmin has an action camera. And there are others as well, but GoPro really established itself in the market early on."

So the expectation is that drones, wearables and action cameras will find a lot of new fans this holiday season. An added bonus: They're all easy to stuff in a stocking.

Disclosure: NBC News group is a minority stakeholder in Re/code and has a content sharing partnership with it.