Now is the time to start planning the Christmas tech you are going to purchase for friends, family, and yourself! We all know tech can be quite costly. Here is a blackjack of affordable and useful tech you can buy now for under $50. Some are fun, some are practical, some are just out there. But, there should be something for everyone, especially if you want to create a smarthome.
#1: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
I recommended this as a good item to purchase as part of a bundle for Black Friday because Raspberry Pis make great presents for the DIY tinkerer in your life (or yourself). There are so many cool things you can make. Mine is currently a retro gaming console. It’s also a great platform for getting into automation software like Home Assistant. If you already have one, think about upgrading.
#2: Roku Premier Stick
The Roku Premier Stick is the great 4K streaming stick and I highly recommend it. Roku makes a lot of affordable streaming sticks and you can check out the different models here.
#3: Amazon 4K FireTV Stick
Although I recommend the Roku Streaming Stick, there are some cases when the Amazon 4K FireTV Stick is a better fit, and often it is less expensive. It makes for a great gift!
#4: Google Chromecast
Sticking with streaming devices… The Google Chromecast also makes a great secondary streamer for you and guests because of how easy and convenient it is to cast.
#5: Insignia Voice Activated Speaker
The Insignia Voice Activated speaker is the best value you can get in a Google Assistant powered speaker, and it also includes an alarm clock. It also has a feature that isn’t present in the Google Home or Google Mini.
#6: Google Home Mini
If you can’t find the Insignia Voice Activated Speaker on sale or you just prefer a smaller Google Assistant powered speaker, you can’t go wrong with the Google Home Mini.
#7: Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Gen)
Amazon stepped up its game with the Echo Dot (2nd Gen). It has a better look and better speakers than the original. If you are into the Amazon ecosystem this is the budget smart speaker for you.
#8: Rocketbook Everlast
The Rocketbook Everlast is not your typical gift, but techies who like to take notes might love it. It is a reusable notebook that sends your notes to the cloud. Here’s my review.
#9: LIFX Mini Wi-Fi Smart LED Multicolor Light Bulb
There are many smart LED light bulbs on the market. I like the multicolor LIFX mini because it has great light quality, is compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit, it integrates with many Home Automation platforms (like Home Assistant) and works without a hub.
#10: TP-Link Smart Plug Mini (2-Pack)
The TP-Link smart plugs are inexpensive, well reviewed, and compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. TP-Link plugs are also scriptable. 2 for under $50 is a good first step into a smart home.
#11: Harmony 650 Universal Remote
The Harmony 650 Universal Remote can easily take the pain away from having to switch back and forth between too many remotes. If you can afford to go a smidge above $50 you can get the Harmony Smart Remote Control which includes the Harmony Hub and is much more powerful and flexible. Read my review to see why I’m a fan of the remote.
#12 Amazon Fire 7 Tablet With Alexa
A fully functioning tablet for under $50 is still a great deal. The Amazon Fire 7 tablet may be small by today’s standards, but it makes a great gift.
#13 Anker Premium USB 5-Port Wall Charger
Everyone has more and more devices that need charging in their houses. This Anker charger has a USB-C 30W charging port for quickly charging newer devices as well as 4 other charging that ports that safely deliver up 2.4amps each.
#14 RAVPower 26800mAh Portable Battery
Sometimes you are on the go and can’t find an outlet. This RAVPower portable battery has enough capacity to charge your phone and tablet several times over should you need it. It also includes a USB-C charging port.
#15 Wink Connected Home Hub
Smart hubs are needed to make your automate your home and make it truly smart. The Wink Connected Home Hub is an expensive and popular entry into the world of controlling and automating smart locks, smart switches, sensors and many other devices in your home.
#16 Nintendo eShop Gift Card
These days, not only can you buy and download your games online, but you can also download extra features like unlocking levels, characters, and outfits (called downloadable content or DLC). An eShop gift card is great for this! Your Fortnite lover will be very happy. Of course, if you don’t have a switch, you can buy similar gift cards for other platforms.
#17 Retro-Bit RES 8 Bit Console
Longing to play your (or your parents’) older classic NES games? The Retro-Bit RES Console comes with everything you need to play the older games on modern systems. 2 controllers, an HDMI port, low cost, and a small form factor make this a great gift!
#18 Eufy Smart Scale
For those who are health conscious, or trying to be more health conscious, the Eufy Smart Scale makes tracking your progress easy. Automatically save and track your weight, BMI, body fat, muscle mass and more via a Bluetooth connection to your phone. Just be sure you don’t offend your gift recipient!
#19 Blue Snowball Ice
Are you or someone you know getting really into podcasting, making YouTube videos, or video conferencing with friends and family? The Blue Snowball Ice microphone greatly improves sound quality for video.
#20 Oontz Angle 3 Ultra Bluetooth Speaker
I’ve had Oontz Angle 3 for years and it solid, produces good sound, and has a 3.5mm connection as well as Bluetooth. Smart speakers are in vogue now, but sometimes all you really want is a portable good sounding speaker to amplify the sounds of your portable devices.
#21 Clearstream ECLIPS TV Antenna
Last but not least we have the Clearstream ECLIPS TV Antenna. This small indoor antenna makes it easy to pick up your local station TV signals for free. This is a valuable tool and a good gift for those looking to cut the cord.
So there you have it. 21 great and affordable gifts for Christmas, or any time. If you are looking for more ideas, or advice on what to buy be sure to look at my Buyer’s Guide.
What tech gifts are you buying for Christmas? What items should be on the list that I missed? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
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