15 affordable tech gifts you’ll want to buy for yourself, too
Dec 10, 2020, 4:05 AM
This year’s shopping season kicked off months ago — yes, months — and you can expect killer sales will last through the new year. I’m compiling all my favorite practical to gag gifts here on my site.
Finding the right tech gift is tricky. You want to make sure, first and foremost, it works the way it should. Then it would be best if you considered whether your recipient would use it.
I’m here for you. Here are 15 smart tech gifts for just about anyone on your list, from the total tech nerd to the not-so-savvy.
1. This portable charger will keep you powered wherever you go
I’ll fess up. I bought myself one of these. It’s perfect for the techie who has everything. The Anker PowerCore Fusion is a 2-in-1 charger. Plug it into the wall and charge like normal, or take it with you and it acts as a battery pack. It’s powerful enough to charge a smartphone or even a tablet fully. These are so handy to have around the house.
2. For your most forgetful relative
If you have someone a little scatterbrained on your list, the Tile Mate is a gamechanger. These small Bluetooth trackers attach to keys, slip into wallets or purses or even the remote and help you keep track of your stuff. The finders and free app work with iOS and Android. Grab a two-pack for one person or buy a few and stick them in your family member’s stockings.
3. An excellent blow-dryer replacement for women
Ask any woman: Blow drying your hair and trying to fumble with a brush is the worst. That explains why the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush is so popular. This thing is an absolute fan favorite, with 93,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It’s like a salon blowout at home, and it’s faster and easier than using a blow-dryer. Best part? It’s seriously cheap.
4. Never overcook a steak again with this thermometer
This tool is perfect for foodies or someone learning to cook. The ThermoPro TP19 is an instant digital thermometer that’s super accurate and easy to use. The digital display is big and easy to read. It has a motion sensor, so you’re never waiting for it to power up and it’s waterproof. I love that it has a magnet. Stick it right on the fridge for safekeeping.
5. If they can’t stop fighting over outlets, gift this one
The Socket Shelf Wall Outlet Power Charger plugs right into a regular outlet, but it’s a surge protector with eight AC outlets and three USB ports. It has an 8-inch by 3-inch shelf on top, big enough to hold everything you’re charging, including a phone, a watch or earbuds. It’s perfect for small spaces or rooms like the kitchen or bathroom, where you want to keep your gadgets away from water.
6. Or give them smart outlets instead
If you have relatives interested in the idea of a smart home but don’t know where to start, get them a Kasa smart plug set. You can use these for things like lamps and small appliances and set schedules through the Kasa app. These are even more useful with a smart speaker, so you can control what’s connected to the smart plugs using your voice.
7. Easy way to turn the living room into a home theater
No matter how advanced TVs get, the built-in speakers still leave a lot to be desired. It’s an easy fix that doesn’t require hundreds of dollars worth of A/V receivers and surrounds speakers. Just add an Insignia Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer. It takes 10 minutes to get set up and the wireless subwoofer part is a big plus.
8. Charging station for the household with too many gadgets
If you know someone with tons of devices, one of the best gifts to give is a solution to keep them organized and charged. The Hercules Tuff Charging Station is great. Put it on a desk, nightstand, kitchen counter, you name it, and it’ll give you a low-profile place to charge up to six gadgets like phones and tablets.
9. For the soon-to-be cord cutter, give a streaming stick
Give the gift of Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and all the streaming services with the Roku 4K Streaming Stick. It’s small and portable, which means it’s easy to move from TV to TV. Even if you give this to someone who doesn’t plan on paying for Netflix or other premium options, there’s still lots of free content available through Roku’s apps.
10. Take to the skies with an affordable drone
If you’re looking for an entry-level drone without breaking the bank, you’ve got to see the Ryze Tech Tello quadcopter. It takes photos up to 5 megapixels and video in 720p resolution — not super high quality but an excellent value for a beginner. This thing is also tiny and will fly about 13 minutes on a charge. Just don’t let the kids fly it over nearby houses. Neighbors tend not to appreciate that.
11. Gift an always-hot cup of joe
Cold coffee makes winter mornings a bummer, so who wouldn’t want this Cosori Coffee Warmer and Mug Set? It’s a stainless steel warmer with an LED display with a matching 17-ounce stainless steel mug. It can get coffee super hot — as in 160 degrees.
12. Stay cozy with USB-heated mittens
Here’s a stocking stuffer that’s useful: Heated fingerless gloves. We all know someone who always has freezing hands, right? These fuzzy, colorful gloves plug right in a computer’s USB port with a 5-foot line. They’re a little silly and a lot useful.
13. Scare off the monster under the bed with a wireless nightlight speaker
You don’t have to drop a bunch of money to get a solid Bluetooth speaker. Bonus: This one is a nightlight too. Switch between six LED themes and set it on a timer to turn off when you want. The battery charges via USB in about three hours. One charge is enough for about 10 hours of music playback.
14. Drink up with a 3-in-1 smart water bottle
A bottle that makes hydrating fun? Yep. This 22-ounce water bottle from ICEWATER glows every hour to remind your recipient to take a drink. It has a wireless Bluetooth speaker built-in, too, and it’s loud enough to take with you camping, to the park, or on a hike. There’s even a dance mode where the lights flash to music.
15. Give her a cute way to store her phone
She’ll love this gorgeous crossbody bag for her phone. Just get it and trust me. It’s inexpensive, comes in lots of pretty patterns and is the perfect size to hold just about any smartphone. It’s made in the USA and the lining is water-resistant. Love that.
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