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Tech products are among the easiest items to gift during the holidays, as almost anything with a chip can prove useful and become greatly appreciated. Best of all, there are plenty of quality devices out there for affordable prices.
We've conjured up 36 cool tech gift ideas, ranging from audio products to pet feeders, that are $50 or under. Admittedly, a couple items here are just a hair over $50, but they still deserve a mention for posing such an excellent value.
Fitbit Aria Air, available at Amazon, $49.95
Fitbit Aria Air is a thin smart scale that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and help keep track of important health metrics over time. Data is stored in the Fitbit app, which includes more tools to help set personal goals and log your results. Fitbit Aria Air does require the app to work correctly, but you don't need to invest in a separate Fitbit fitness tracker to use the Aria scale.
Super Sonic Scrubber, available at Amazon, $26.20
This is one of our reviewer's favorite cleaning gadgets. It can quickly and comprehensively clean any surface, from your bathroom sink to the roof of your car. It comes with five different brush heads to conquer all types of grime.
6-month Scribd Subscription, available at Scribd, $50
This one comes in at exactly $50, but for any friend who loves to read, a Scribd subscription is the perfect gift. Scribd has a massive library of electronic books, magazines, audiobooks, and documents, from classics to the newest releases. Scribd is available for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook, and all web browsers, so your friend can read on the go, wherever they are.
Wyze Cam, available at Amazon, $35.98
If your friend or relative is looking for a security camera, this is one of the best (and cheapest) gifts you can buy them. It captures excellent HD video, sends phone notifications when it detects movement, and is tiny enough to blend into its surroundings. Should your friend or relative want to add more cameras, Wyze models are inexpensive, so you're not forcing them into a pricey ecosystem.
Our reviewer called the previous generation model "a shockingly great home security camera."
Anker PowerPort III Duo, available at Amazon, Anker, Walmart, starting at $27.99
The Anker PowerPort III Duo charges up to 36W, with 18W coming from each USB-C port. It can charge two iPhones at top speed, or two Android phones at nearly top speed — Samsung's recent phones can charge up to 25W.
It makes for a great gift if you notice your friend or relative uses older or slower chargers, and it's especially relevant these days since Apple and other phone makers aren't including chargers with their new phones.
Bagsmart Electronic Organizer, available at Amazon, $27.99
If you have a friend or relative who likes to bring a lot of tech on their travels, this gift will make their life a lot easier. It's just the size of a book, but it has handy pockets and pouches for all tech accessories you need, including cables, cords, adapters, SD cards, flash drives, and more.
Lay-n-Go Wired Tech Bag, available at Walmart, $34.95
This bag has mesh pockets and straps to hold your headphones, dongles, cords, chargers, phones, e-readers, and whatever other tech you may need to carry around. It's also easy to fold into a compact shape, and you can hang it from the seat in front of you with an attached strap.
Rocketbook Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $24.57
The Rocketbook Smart Notebook looks like a standard notebook, but it's actually a high-tech device. Write or draw on its 36 pages with the included FriXion pen, and you can easily save your work as a PDF or JPEG with your phone. The pages are also re-usable; just wipe them down with a wet cloth to start again.
Cyxus Blue Light Blocking Glasses, available at Amazon, $19.49
Blue light-blocking glasses make a great gift for anyone who spends a lot of time looking at screens. Cyxus sells affordable full-rim, half-rim, and clip-on frames. The company also offers a one-year warranty, so your friend can get them repaired or replaced if necessary.
Digits Touchscreen Gloves, available at Moshi, $29.95
Winter can be a rough time for tech enthusiasts, because gloves make it difficult to use a touchscreen. Never fear: the Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves are here to help. The fingertips are made with "conductive fibers" customized for use with a phone or tablet, and the palms include rubberized grips to keep you from dropping your gadgets.
Mophie Wireless 15W Charging Pad, available from Amazon and Best Buy, $49.99
Apple MagSafe wireless charger, available from Apple, Amazon, B&H Photo, starting at $34
If you're not sure what gift to get a tech lover, you can't go wrong with a wireless charger. This Mophie model can charge any phone that supports wireless charging, even through a thick phone case. We love its suede-like finish, and it charges up to 15W for compatible Android phones.
For iPhones, the Mophie Wireless 15W Charging Pad will only charge up to 7.5W, which is fine as a desk or night stand charger when speedy charging isn't a priority. If you think the giftee wants faster wireless iPhone charging, Apple's own MagSafe wireless charger will be their best bet.
Ytonet Laptop Bag, available at Amazon, $29.99
Gift this sleek, professional laptop bag for just under $30. Not only does it look great, but it also has extra compartments for a phone, tablet, passport, pens, umbrella, water bottle, and anything else your friend or family member might need to carry around.
USB-C Universal Cable, available at Nomad, $34.95
This cable includes USB-A, Micro USB, and USB-C endings, so it's a perfect gift for a friend or relative who needs to charge many different devices. It's 1.5 meters long, and has a braided Kevlar covering for exceptional durability. Nomad says the cable will last at least five years, so it'll be a gift that keeps on giving.
Pure Enrichment PureRelief XL King Size Heating Pad, available at Amazon, $34.99
This heating pad is designed to alleviate full-body pain. Drape it over your shoulders and fasten it around your neck, or place on your arms or legs to help relieve muscle tension and pain. It has six temperature settings, from 105 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Apple Air Tags, available from Apple, Best Buy Amazon, starting at $29
Samsung Galaxy Smart Tags, available from Samsung, Amazon, Best Buy, starting at $17.99
For any friend who's always losing their keys, a bluetooth tracker will be a godsend. They can stick this tiny battery-powered device on their key ring and, if they lose their keys, they can remotely activate an alarm, or locate it if it's out of range of their phone using a crowd-finding network.
These trackers are also great for tracking any item you attach them to away from home. They work by pinging a nearby iPhone (for AirTags) or Samsung phone (for Samsung Galaxy Smart Tags), which then lets you locate the item.
Monoprice Recessed Wall Tap, available at Amazon, $28.25
This probably sounds like a boring gift, but hear me out. You can stick this gadget into any regular outlet to make that outlet into an advanced smart outlet. Any device you plug in, be it a lamp, fan, air conditioner, or anything else, becomes a smart device that you can turn on and off using Alexa and Google Assistant . The wall tap includes two outlets and two USB ports, all of which can be controlled separately.
Kasa Smart Light Bulb, Multicolor, available at Amazon, $11.98
TP Link's Kasa smart bulbs are some of the best cheap smart devices you can get. They work with Alexa and Google Assistant , and can create all sorts of cool effects. You can also incorporate them into scenes and routines, and set them to timers and schedules.
Anker PowerCore III 20K Portable Charger, available at Best Buy, $49.99
A power bank is an excellent gift for anyone who travels or spends a lot of time out and about. The Anker PowerCore III 20K stores a huge amount of charging power for $50. It supports the Power Delivery 3.0 standard via its USB-C port and the Quick Charge 3.0 standard via its two USB-A ports, so it can accommodate a variety of smartphones, tablets, and even the Nintendo Switch. And thanks to its massive 20,000mAh of capacity, it can provide plenty of juice.
Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote, available at Amazon, $21.99
Roku Streaming Stick 4K, available at Amazon, $29.00
If you're not sure what to buy someone, a streaming stick is usually a safe bet. The Fire TV Stick Lite is one of the cheapest ones out there, and it will allow your friend to search for content with their voice (using the included remote) and access hundreds of streaming services, including Hulu , Netflix , Disney Plus, and (of course) Amazon Prime Video. This model supports up to 1080p playback with HDR.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K costs a little more, but it has a simpler interface and steps things up from HD to 4K streaming with HDR, including support for the advanced Dolby Vision format. The included remote has dedicated buttons for a few popular apps, along with a microphone for voice search.
FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Portable Radio, LED Flashlight, USB Charger and SOS Alarm, available at Amazon, $29.99
Yes, you read that correctly: This is a radio, flashlight, charger, and SOS alarm in one. Anyone who enjoys hiking or other outdoor activities will love this device, which can be powered by solar power, a hand crank, AAA batteries, or a rechargeable power bank. Oh, and it has a USB port to charge other devices as well.
Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard, available at Best Buy, $29.99
This is our favorite budget Bluetooth keyboard and with good reason: it can remember up to three device connections at a time, it works with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and at just 10.9 x 4.9 inches, it's compact enough to easily carry in your purse or backpack. Your friend can whip this out and type whenever inspiration strikes, whether they're in bed, at a coffee shop, on the bus, or anywhere else.
Logitech M557 Bluetooth Mouse, available at Amazon, $30.70
A Bluetooth mouse makes a great gift, and this tiny one is our favorite. It's completely wireless — there's no receiver — so your friend can just whip it out and start clicking without fiddling with their computer's USB port. They can also customize the device's six buttons to map to the tasks they value the most. Our reviewer Brandt Ranj liked the M557 so much that he bought a second one to use at work.
Doss Soundbox Touch Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, available at Amazon, $23.75
You might not expect a small, portable speaker to sound very good. But the Doss SoundBox Touch weighs just 1.4 pounds and still delivers excellent audio with very full bass. It also features up to 20 hours of battery life, and a Bluetooth range of 33 feet so you're unlikely to lose connection.
Long Crossbody Phone Pocket, available at Leatherology, $40
As smartphones increase in size, it's becoming more of a pain to carry them around, especially for folks who often wear clothing without pockets. That's why our reviewers recommend Leatherology's Long Crossbody Phone Pocket, a stylish carrying case for your phone. It has an exterior front pocket to hold other stuff as well.
Note: Make sure that your recipient's phone will fit, as this pocket is only guaranteed to hold iPhones and a few Samsung models.
Kopack Lightweight Laptop Backpack, available at Amazon, $32.99
This is the best backpack to give a tech enthusiast — full stop. It has a laptop pouch, a lockable compartment for valuables, a USB port to charge devices, and a whopping 17 interior pockets for cords, chargers, and other accessories. It's also water-resistant, so your stuff won't get ruined in the rain.
Sonic Bomb Extra-Loud Dual Alarm Clock, available at Amazon, $33.99
This is a perfect gift for the many, many people you probably know who have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. This device will use pulsating lights, extra-loud noises, and a 12-volt bed shaker to make sure they're out the door on time.
PetSafe 5-Meal Pet Feeder, available at Amazon, $54.95
PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Water Fountain, available at Amazon, $51.93
These products both come in at slightly over $50, but they're great gifts for any pet owner (or for your pet).
The battery-powered feeder automatically dispenses up to five pet meals on a schedule that you set. If you're out of the house for a few days, you'll know your pet is taken care of.
PetSafe also makes a mini fountain that constantly filters and dispenses clean running water. It'll ensure that your cat has access to a fresh drink at all times, even when you're not home to refill their bowl.
8Bitdo SN30 Pro Wireless Bluetooth Controller, available at Amazon, from $52.99
8Bitdo controllers are light and easy to hold, and they work with phones, computers, and Nintendo Switch consoles. They make a great, affordable gift for any game-loving friend or relative, but especially those who enjoy retro gaming. While the wireless Sn30 looks old-fashioned, it has all the buttons you need for most modern games, including dual analog sticks.
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, available at Amazon, $49.00
These are our reviewer's favorite wired cheap headphones for their excellent sound quality, comfortable design, and effective noise-isolation. Note that as studio headphones, these are best suited for use with a computer, TV, or home-entertainment system, rather than a smartphone. They're attached to a sturdy 3.5mm cable, and come with a 6.3mm adapter for larger audio equipment.
Google Nest Mini, available at Walmart, $24.98
Echo Dot with Alexa, available at Amazon, $34.99
A Google Nest Mini is a great gift for anyone looking to get started on a smart home, or anyone who just wants a nice smart speaker. It sounds decent for its small size, and it's got a futuristic design for a modern home. If your friend or loved one hasn't used a voice AI before, they'll love playing around with Google Assistant and discovering everything it can do.
Like the Google Nest Mini, Amazon's Echo Dot is another great way to introduce a friend to smart home tech and voice assistants. The new fourth-generation model features an updated spherical design, but the puck-shaped third-generation version is still available if you're looking for an even more affordable gift option.
Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard, available at Amazon, $49.99
Any gamer or aspiring-gamer friends will appreciate the gift of a good gaming keyboard. This is our reviewer's favorite budget option for its full RGB lighting and solid, well-built keys. It also has six programmable buttons which they can customize to their gaming style. Though the K55 is only $49, it has the look and feel of a much more expensive RGB device.
LectroFan White Noise Machine, available at Amazon, $44.54
If you have a friend or relative who has trouble sleeping, you need to buy them this white noise machine, which plays 10 different types of fan sounds. You might be skeptical, but trust me: The LectroFan's sounds are actually the most calming ambient noise I have ever heard. (For more traditional users, it plays 10 levels of white noise as well). I gave this device to an insomniac friend this summer, and he still uses it every night.
Logitech Z313 Speaker System, available at Amazon, $39.88
For any friend who is looking to replace their computer speakers (or buy their first set), Logitech's Z313 is the best budget option. The system includes two stereo speakers and a subwoofer, and while they won't deliver premium sound, they're head and shoulders above any monitor's built-in speakers.
Mpow 059 Bluetooth Headphones, available at Walmart, Mpow, starting at $22.87
The Mpow 059 have long been our top choice for the best budget wireless headphones, and they would make a great gift for anyone who's been looking for a solid wireless audio solution. They don't have noise cancellation or high-end audio, but they sound good the money.
Jlabs Audio Jbuds Air, available at Best Buy, Amazon, Target, starting at $24.49
True wireless earbuds are an ideal fit for comfortable and portable listening, and the Jlabs Audio Jbuds Air are a great set for under $50. As for sound quality, the Jbuds Air have plenty of bass, a decently tuned midrange, and solid clarity in the high end, especially for a pair of earbuds in this price range.
Amazon Echo Show 5 2021, available at Amazon, $54.99
Amazon's Echo Show 5 2021 is a smart screen that can make video calls, display family photos, and use a wide selection of apps. Controlled by Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant, the Echo Show can also serve as a hub for other smart home devices. Keep in mind, it will require a wireless internet connection at home to function properly.
The Echo Show 5 normally costs $85, but right now it's on sale for just $55 at Amazon. That's technically $5 over our $50 limit, but we still think it's worth a mention since it's easily one of the best smart screens you can gift someone.
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