10 Tech Gift Ideas for Less Than $50
Today is Cyber Monday—the online companion to Black Friday—a hectic day when retailers and e-commerce sites like Amazon offer a slew of sales and deals. What better gifts to buy on Cyber Monday than tech gifts? We’ve got 10 great technology-related ideas, each available online for less than $50. Be sure to double-check prices for any changes or sales. Hanukkah and Christmas are a month away. Get clicking.
Google’s new and improved Nest Mini boasts stronger sound and a fabric top made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. This smart home assistant can play music, check the news and weather, set timers, and search the internet. With just a quick “Hey Google,” you can stream Spotify, SiriusXM, Pandora, Netflix, YouTube, and others. You can also pair your Nest Mini with other Google Home devices, including smart light bulbs. The Nest Mini is available in four colors, and Google is offering a 10 percent student discount, valid through December 31.
Looking for wireless headphones that won’t set you back hundreds? Check out Mpow’s bluetooth earbuds. Designed for exercise, these waterproof headphones are equipped with high-definition sound and easy controls for music, plus hands-free calling and a noise-isolating microphone. They’re lightweight, adjustable, and available in seven colors. Mpow Flame headphones have a battery life of seven to nine hours on just two hours of charge, and they come with a case, a charging cable, three sets of ear tips (small, medium, and large), one set of memory foam ear tips, and a cable clip.
This compact charger from RAVPower enables dual charging and is compatible with just about any device you could want—from smartphones to laptops, tablets, e-readers, and more. With a USB and a USB-C port, you can charge two devices at once at a 57W maximum output, or 61W for just USB-C. The charger is compatible with iPhones, MacBooks, and iPads, as well as many Samsung Galaxy models, Google Pixels, the Nintendo Switch, and more. The pocket-sized accessory does not include the cables themselves, but with its high-capacity output, can charge devices more quickly than standard wall chargers. The charger is available in black or white.
Meal prep can be a stressful endeavor, but this digital rice cooker will change that. Equipped with a 650W heating system and a large cooking pot, the stainless steel appliance allows for making up to 20 cups of rice at once, plus a slow-cook function for preparing soups and stews. The cooker automatically keeps food warm after cooking, and the pot and accessories are dishwasher safe. The set also comes with a spatula, a steaming tray, and a measuring cup.
Everyone is familiar with Alexa, Amazon’s smart home assistant. Now, you can take Alexa with you anywhere. Simply pair this auto speaker with the Alexa mobile app and connect it to your car’s bluetooth or auxiliary input, and Alexa can perform all 80,000 of its skills on the go. The speaker is equipped with eight microphones, which can be turned off for privacy, and it mounts to your car vent. Like the popular Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, the auto speaker can play music, check the weather, and give directions (through a navigation app on your phone), all controlled by your voice. The speaker comes with an in-car power adapter, a micro-USB cable, an auxiliary cable, and a vent mount. Be sure to check if your car’s bluetooth is compatible.
This smart digital scale can take your health regimen to a new level. Paired with its mobile app, the RENPHO scale measures and tracks body weight, BMI, body fat, and 10 other body composition metrics. The device can sync with other fitness apps and services, including Samsung Health, Apple Health, Google Fit, and the Fitbit App, and users can share their progress with friends. Multiple accounts can be used on one scale, and the system can save data to sync whenever connected. This sleek scale has a tempered glass surface, and is available in black or white.
The popular workplace sitcom The Office coined the fake slogan “limitless paper in a paperless world.” They didn’t know it at the time, but the folks at Dunder Mifflin were perfectly describing a smart notebook. The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook enables users to drastically reduce their paper use by uploading their notes to cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and more, and then wiping the pages clean for endless use. Simply download the Rocketbook smartphone app, and your handwritten notes can be on your screens in just seconds. The notebook comes with a Pilot Frixion pen and microfiber cloth for cleaning. The book is available in two sizes, 6 in. x 8.8 in. and 8.5 in. x 11 in. (the larger size is $31.97), and eight colors.
With the recent releases of Apple TV+ and Disney+, streaming service subscriptions could dominate this holiday season. With the Roku Express, you can stream those providers plus Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and many more. Just connect the device to your TV and internet, sign into your streaming accounts, and binge away. Through the Roku Channel, you can also stream live TV, news, sports, and entertainment. The system comes with a remote and an HDMI cable, and can be paired with an Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control capabilities. Note: the Roku does not include actual subscriptions to any streaming services.
The world of technology has been transitioning to wireless for some time now, and wireless chargers are well worth the investment. No matter where you charge your phone, this wireless charging stand will keep your smartphone well juiced at all times. The charger is high-speed and offers Fast Charge compatibility for iPhones and Samsung devices—you’ll need a separate Quick Charge 3.0 wall adapter (not included). For a standard charge, any Qi-enabled phone is compatible. Most smartphones released in the past few years are Qi-enabled, but you can check your phone’s Qi capability here. The stand will charge through phone cases up to five millimeters thick and can be used both upright and in landscape orientation. The pack comes with a six-foot micro USB cable and is available in black or white.
For anyone who spends hours every day on the phone, this bluetooth headset is a must. The Friencity headset is compatible with all bluetooth-enabled devices, and offers noise-reducing technology and a long battery life for both calls and music. You can answer and hang up calls and control the volume with easy controls on the headset, and it can be connected to two devices at once. The headpiece is adjustable, designed for comfort, and has a bluetooth range of up to 33 feet. The headset includes a USB charger, and it can be purchased with a charging dock for $28.99.
Have another recommendation for a tech gadget under $50 you think would make for a great gift this holiday season? Add it in our Comment section below.