Holiday shopping can be extremely difficult. First you have problems trying to find gifts that will actually be useful and wanted by the recipient. This can be hard if it is a relative you may not know well. Then you have to try and find gifts that are affordable enough that you don’t end up breaking your bank account. Technology is so integrated into our lives these days that technology related gifts can be a great idea. But what can you get that a person may want that won’t be too expensive? This guide is here to try and give some suggestions for holiday tech gifts that cost less than $50. So let’s see just what you can get…
Media Streaming Device
More and more we use our mobile devices just about anywhere for entertainment. It could be listening to music or watching a video. The problem is that when we use them in public, it can be extremely distracting to those around us. Sure, you can plug in headphones or earbuds but then you have to worry about the cord getting caught thus pulling the device out of hands and potentially breaking it. Bluetooth headphones allow one to connect them to the device without wires but many of them are extremely expensive. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money though for some decent audio. The Kinivo BTH240 can be found for around $25 and provide support for just about any mobile device with Bluetooth. They can even double as a headset for talking on the phone and have media controls built into them.
Let’s face it, the speakers that are built into smartphones and tablets leave much to be desired when you want to listen to music or watch a movie. They often have limited volume levels and often have a very tinny sound. It is possible to hookup the devices through the audio jack to a stereo system or portable speakers but its a hassle. If you want to fill a room with audio from the device but don’t want to be tied down to the speakers, wireless speakers that use Bluetooth are a great solution. There are a huge number of options out there but Amazon’s Basic Portable Bluetooth speaker offers stereo sound in a mobile package that can run for up to eight hours on a charge and for only $40. It is also available in red, white or blue colors if black isn’t your thing.
Ever try to type up a lot of text onto a tablet or even worse a smartphone? The small virtual keyboards can be a major hassle for trying to get accurate text input onto them. Sure, autocorrect can help a bit but it can also cause more problems than it solves. For someone that needs to type up a lot of information on these small devices, a Bluetooth keyboard can be of huge help. The problem is that most of them can only pair with a single device which can be a problem if you have multiple devices you might want to use the keyboard with. The Logitech K480 is a portable wireless keyboard that has the ability to pair up with three different devices. It might be a bit big but the keyboard is comfortable and the device is very affordable at roughly $40-$50.
The mouse is so ubiquitous when it comes to the image of a desktop computer system. That little device has been helping us navigate around our software for over two decades. While it is a great little device, it can also be a major pain for users particularly in their wrists. Trackpads and touchscreens have helped with the issue somewhat but the mouse isn’t going away anytime soon. I personally like to use a trackball for reasons I have discussed in the past. In fact, I even like to use a trackball instead of laptop trackpads because of the ergonomics. The Logitech M570 is the model of choice with its wireless capability and great comfort. Price is very reasonable with prices under $30. And yes, I even use it for gaming.
External Battery Pack
These days we walk around life carrying a lot of various technology items but our smartphones and tablets are typically the most crucial. The problem is that these can eat up power rapidly such that you don’t have enough to go through an entire day. An external battery is essentially a battery pack that is designed to be used with these and other devices that can be charged through USB ports to keep them up and running. They can vary in size to small up to quite big and they provide the power necessary to get your devices back up and running. There are tons of brands and models available but I really like the Anker PowerCore+ for their ease of use and ability to be used with devices like the iPad that require a higher amperage to properly charge. The 13400mAh model offers a nice balance for size and capacity. The best part about the new PowerCore+ series is their fast charge ability and it can even power an Apple MacBook through a USB-C cable if you really need it.
OK, many people will probably scoff at the idea of giving someone rechargeable batteries. It’s kind of like giving someone socks but let me tell you, when you need them it is nice to get them and during the holidays there are plenty of toys and electronics that need them. I personally love the Sanyo Eneloop batteries that come precharged and offer excellent reliability. The problem is they are a bit more expensive that many other brands. Well, Amazon offers some Amazon Basic models that are nearly identical to the Eneloops but more affordable. They come in AA and AAA sizes with either 4 or 8 batteries. Prices range from around $2.50 to $3.25 per battery.