When it comes to holiday gift giving, we all want to put a huge smile on our loved ones’ faces. If tech gifts are high on your shopping list, however, let’s face it – the price tags can put a frown on yours.
Fortunately, cool gadgets are getting more and more affordable every year. This holiday season, go ahead and wow your kids, your spouse, or even your grandpa, with one of these fun technology gifts that won’t break the bank. And don’t worry – we’ve only selected products with a four-star rating or higher so you don’t end up being that person who’s known for giving duds.
Full disclosure: It’s possible I may earn a small commission from the affiliate links contained in this list. Even so, I have compiled these ideas mostly because I care about you. Really.
Give the gift of sound with these sleek little ergonomically-designed wireless earbuds. With HD stereo sound and an 8mm drive area (for us normal people, that means the area the sound comes from is big) these babies will give your teenagers a high-quality way to ignore you.
Did I mention the charging case allows wireless charging? Add to that the lightweight design and one-step pairing and you’ve got a recipe for Christmas morning success. And all for one-third of the cost of those…shall we say “other” wireless earbuds.
The fire stick truly is the ultimate in entertainment gadgets. It gives your lucky recipient access to all their favorites streaming services – from Netflix to YouTube to Sling and everything in between – in stunning 4K Ultra HD. This pint-size wonder can also surf websites and take Alexa commands. But wait, there’s more – check the weather, view live camera feeds (we’re not sure what to think about this one and hopefully your loved one will only use it for home security purposes), and stream music.
With Prime, things get even better (and honestly, who doesn’t have Prime??). The fire stick puts all the best Prime Video content in one place, including movies, sports, TV shows, etc. You get the picture (get it, the “picture”?). Finding the perfect gift for the couch potato in your life has never been easier.
Okay, okay – yes, it’s another product from the big ol’ Zon. The truth is, they make some really cool stuff. What can the Amazon Smart Plug do? A better question might be “What can’t it do?” Firstly, it’s easy to set up (making it a great gift for techies and non-techies). It works with Alexa devices like the Echo and Fire TV, or without one just by using the Alexa app. Turn on lights, appliances, anything really, via voice or by scheduling times – including when you’re away from home.
The smart plug is the perfect Christmas gift idea for people who have everything. Because really, who in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to start the coffee maker without getting out of bed??
4. Tile Pro
Statistics show that 99% of people have lost their keys, wallet, or phone at one time or another (I made that up, but I’m sure it’s close to accurate). Make your loved one’s life easier this holiday season with a fool-proof way to find lost items (okay, almost fool-proof, we’re sure there’s a fool somewhere who could mess it up).
The Tile Pro attaches to said keys or wallet and then when they get lost, the app shows you where they are. Easy peasy. Lost phones work in reverse – the user can press the button on the Tile gadget and it makes the phone ring (even if set to silent – what???). And if the Tile itself gets lost, the user can recruit the entire Tile community to help locate it with their apps. Pretty cool, right? There ya go – your scatterbrained friend or family member checked off your Christmas list for the reasonable sum of about $35.
The Anker PowerCore 10000 external battery is the ideal gift for, well, anyone. There isn’t a single person on your Christmas list who doesn’t know the sinking feeling of a dead phone battery. In fact, maybe you should just make things simple and get one for everyone on your list.
Anker is well known for their quality charging devices, and this little beauty is no exception. It’s slim, lightweight, and delivers about 2-3 charges depending on the device. PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology help get the juice in fast, perfect for those dicey situations (you know, like when Google Maps sends you on a wild goose chase trying to find your Great Aunt Betty’s house).
People love power. They’ll love this gift, and you for giving it. More importantly, you’ll love the price.
Everyone has a Gordon Ramsey or Rachael Ray wanna-be on their holiday gift-giving list. Bring your favorite home chef into the 21st century with this smart thermometer. It’s got all the bells and whistles for perfect meat prep – including six probes – great for ensuring that every dish on the table (meat and otherwise) will be food-poisoning free.
With preset temps and the ability to monitor the cooking from a phone app, your mom, dad, or Uncle Bill will be able to enjoy socializing at holiday parties instead of hovering in front of the oven all day. Happy keeping Uncle Bill in the kitchen so you don’t have to endure his fishing stories? Give him the battery charger instead.
Your favorite desk jockey will surely think of you fondly throughout each perfectly-warmed sip of coffee, tea, or hot toddy while barreling through another grueling day at work.
This sleek mug warmer and mug set features LED display, touch-tech controls, and an easy-clean, spill-resistant surface. The plate heats beverages to temps between 77 and 158 degrees, and the mug is designed in durable food-grade stainless steel. Best of all, at 17 oz. it’s generously sized for even the most addicted coffee fiends.
Sometimes the coolest gifts are re-engineered old-school ideas, and the Rocketbook definitely fits that bill. This reusable dot grid notebook is essentially a portable whiteboard. Take your notes, scan them to the cloud using the Rocketbook app, wipe it clean and repeat. I mean, how cool is that?? This is one of those unique gift ideas that pleases both the most modern of techies and the oldest of old farts on your list (you know, those of us who were alive when cursive handwriting was a thing).
And at barely over $20? I mean c’mon – that’s a lot of wow factor for not a lot of green. Speaking of green, better add a couple of these to the cart for your favorite tree huggers too.
This smartphone-controlled surge protector with four USB outlets is ideal for households with a constant refrain of “does anyone have an extra charging block?” Not only that, but it also allows scheduling so Grandma can trick burglars by turning her lights on while she’s at bingo.
The beauty of this gift is that it’s great for literally anyone. Bonus: eliminate the charger adapter hunt for all your family members and you might even get dibs on that last piece of pie at the Christmas party.
Some people lose their charging blocks; some people lose the cords too. This set of wireless charging pad and phone stand is the ultimate solution for those on your list who can barely keep track of their phone – much less the charging accessories.
The neat thing about this set is that it allows for charging a phone and a set of wireless earbuds at the same time. Or two phones. Hey, how your recipients use it is none of our business – we don’t judge – we just think it’s really cool. And you won’t go broke making a good impression (which, really, is the main goal this time of year, if we’re honest).