The best tech gifts for $100 or less




  • In Business
  • 2022-11-24 15:39:46Z
  • By Engadget
 

It's dangerously easy to go over budget during the holidays when, especially when your gift list seemingly gets longer with each passing year. It's even easier to do so when you have a bunch of gearheads in your life. We don't have to tell you that gadgets are expensive (hello, $1,000-plus smartphones), but not every piece of tech will put a huge dent in your bank account. To make things easier for our budget-minded readers, we've collected everything in our gift guide that you can buy for $100 or less here.

You'll find the full list below, but you can also check out a number of stories in our gift guide this year that include almost all budget-friendly things. Our board games, tech toys for kids and gifts for travel lovers roundups are just a few that are filled with inexpensive yet super fun ideas, plus our annual tech stocking stuffers guide focuses on gifts you can grab for under $50. What we're trying to say is, you don't have to go broke to get solid tech for your friends and family; you just have to know which affordable items are actually worth your money.

Audio-Technica M20xBT

 

Audio-Technica's affordable wireless headphones have consistently offered solid performance that would make a great gift, even with the lack of noise cancellation. The company's latest are the M20xBT, a Bluetooth version of the A-T's popular M20x wired cans. A comfy fit and up to 60 hours of battery life will cost you just $79. Connect to multiple devices at once with Bluetooth multipoint connectivity and reliably control tunes with physical buttons. The design isn't as refined as the company's pricer models like the M50xBT2, but you get the bulk of what makes Audio-Technica's cheaper options so good. - Billy Steele, Senior News Editor

Buy M20xBT at Amazon - $79

JLab Go Air Pop

 

Thanks to JLab, you can give a decent set of true wireless earbuds as a stocking stuffer. For $20, the Go Air Pop covers most of the basics. Eight-hour battery life, on-board controls, EQ presets, IPX4 moisture protection and the ability to use just one earbud at a time are all on the features list. The Go Air Pop is smaller than its predecessor, the Go Air, and this model comes with a case that completely closes. What's more, the company kept the integrated USB on the charging case, so you don't have to worry about looking for a cable when you're out of power. - B.S.

Buy JLab Go Air Pop at Amazon - $25

UE Wonderboom 3

 

If you're shopping for a Bluetooth speaker this year, the UE Wonderboom 3 is an affordable, tiny option that still packs a punch. It's adventure-proof thanks to an IP67 rating, audio quality is bright and an outdoor mode boosts treble and bass so sound can be heard over a greater distance. You can also easily pair two Wonderboom 3 units for stereo sound, which won't cost you a fortune thanks to the low price. And with up to 14 hours of battery life, you should be able to keep the tunes going for a while. - B.S.

Buy Wonderboom 3 at Amazon - $100

Roku Ultra

 

If you're not a fan of the Apple TV, the Roku Ultra is the only other set-top box worth considering. It's fast enough to stream 4K video with Dolby Vision, and it supports just about every streaming app you'd want. It also has a solid remote with voice-search capabilities, and you can still access all of Apple's streaming video via the Apple TV app. And while Roku's interface isn't pretty, it's fast and gets the job done. - Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor

Buy Roku Ultra at Amazon - $90

Joby Gorillapod 3K Flexible Mini-Tripod

 

One of the most useful accessories out there for vlogger on your Santa list are Joby's famous mini-tripods, and the best one for the money is the GorillaPod 3K. Attaching your camera couldn't be easier thanks to the secure clip-in mounting plate with a built-in level. And the flexible legs let you set your camera anywhere to shoot, or even wrap it around a tree or other object. And of course, you can bend them out for the ideal vlogging angle and steady out your shooting, to boot. Best of all, you can now pick one up at Amazon for just $45, a bargain for such a versatile tool. - Steve Dent, Associate Editor

Buy Joby GorillaPod 3K at Amazon - $46

Nanlite LitoLite 5C RGBWW Mini LED Panel

 

A good light is an awesome tool in your favorite photographer or videographer's arsenal, and a relatively affordable gift to boot. One of the best all-around models is the Nanlite LitoLite 5C RGBWW Mini LED Panel. It weighs just 4.8 ounces, but offers dimmable lighting across a range of colors, with adjustments either on the fixture or via a smartphone app. It mounts on any wall or light stand via a magnet or quarter-inch threads, has cordless operation and a battery that runs for 1.5 hours at full power (charged via USB). The most interesting feature is special effects that range from a cop car's flashing lights, flames, candlelights, a lightning storm and more. - S.D.

Buy Nanlite LitoLite 5C at Amazon - $75

Lexar Professional 1667x 64GB SDXS UHS II card

 

There's no point in buying your favorite photographer UHS-I cards anymore when faster UHS-II models can be found at nearly the same price. That's the case with Lexar's 64GB or 128GB 1667x V60 UHS-II cards, available at just $33 and $50, respectively. While not as fast as a top-of-the-line 2000x card, you still get faster read and write speeds (250 MB/s and 120MB/s) than any UHS-I card for a fraction of the price. If speed is of the essence, then SanDisk's top-end V90 cards with 300MB/s read and 260MB/s write speeds can be found for $80 and $150, respectively. - S.D.

Buy Lexar Professional 1667x at Amazon starting at $33

AeroPress Go

 

The AeroPress is a fun way to make a single cup of coffee at home with an apparatus that doesn't take up much space in the cabinet. It's a versatile brewer that allows you to experiment with different infusion times and strengths as you go. I like to use it to brew a double-strength cup directly over ice whenever I forget to make cold brew. For the coffee nerd on your list that has a regular setup already, the AeroPress makes a great gift. And the AeroPress Go is even more compact. It tucks neatly inside a cup that you can brew directly into and is perfect for camping and travel. - B.S.

Buy AeroPress Go at Amazon - $40

Cuisinart DBM-8

 

You don't have to splurge for an Encore in order to get a reliable grinder for the coffee nerd on your list. Before I upgraded, I had a Cuisinart DBM-8 that served me well for years, and it was still doing so when I put it out to pasture. It's a burr grinder so it provides a consistent grind size with 18 different options to choose from - spanning coarse to fine. The hopper holds eight ounces of beans while the canister can accommodate enough ground coffee for 32 cups. Since you probably won't need that much often (if ever), there's a selector that will automatically grind between four and 18 cups worth at the press of a button. - B.S.

Buy Cuisinart DBM-8 at Amazon - $58

Cosori Gooseneck Electric Kettle

 

A good kettle is essential if you want to up your home-brewing game, and it can help make a bunch of other things too like tea, ramen and more. Cosori's Gooseneck Electric Kettle packs most crucial features into a relatively compact kettle that's also priced right at $70. Goosenecks can be intimidating but they give you much more control when pouring over a Chemex, and we think Cosori's, with its matte black finish, also looks pretty nice on most countertops. It has a stainless steel interior and five presets so you can easily get the perfect temperature for things like green tea, black coffee and more. Plus, the "hold temp" option lets you set and forget the water for a bit; you can turn it on before you start your morning routine and come back to perfectly heated water, ready for whatever's picking you up that morning. - Valentina Palladino, Senior Commerce Editor

Buy Cosori electric kettle at Amazon - $70

BruMate NAV mini

 

When it comes to travel mugs for coffee and tea, any item worth considering needs to check a few boxes - especially if you're giving one as a gift. Being able to keep liquids hot for a few hours and fit in a cup holder are essential. BruMate's NAV mini does both, and at 12 ounces, it's the perfect size for on-the-go joe. Plus, it's 100 percent leak proof thanks to the company's robust lid. It can also keep cold drinks chilled for over 24 hours when that certain someone on your list needs cold brew next summer. - B.S.

Buy NAV mini at BruMate - $25

Stanley Classic Neverleak travel mug

 

If you know someone that needs to keep coffee hot for much longer than a typical travel mug, Stanley's Classic Neverleak option is the perfect gift. I've been using one of these for well over a year and it does an incredible job at keeping liquids at temperature for a long time. The company says your drink will still be warm for up to nine hours, plus the entire thing is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The three-position lid also locks closed to prevent accidental spills even if the mug gets jostled around. - B.S.

Buy Stanly Neverleak mug at Amazon - $28

Miir cold brew filter + Wide Mouth bottle

 

There are a million ways to make cold brew, but it doesn't get much easier than adding a stainless steel filter to your insulated travel bottle. Miir's cold brew filter works with some of its drinkware canisters to provide a cold brew setup with "micro perforations" to reduce sediment after steeping. The filter fits Miir's 32- and 42-ounce Wide Mouth Bottles (and 33oz Tomo) for plenty of smooth, cold coffee for adventures or taking to work. Plus, those Bottles have a leak-proof lid and can keep drinks hot or cold for hours. - B.S.

Buy cold brew filter at Miir - $15

Fellow Prismo AeroPress attachment

 

The AeroPress is a versatile brewing device and that's why we keep it on your coffee gift guide list. But with the help of Fellow's $30 attachment, you can take the humble method up a notch. The Prismo houses a pressure-actuated valve designed to mimic the process of making espresso so you can "pull a shot" without a machine. This creates the "crema" that you don't typically get just by brewing stronger coffee with the AeroPress alone. The Prismo also comes with a reusable filter so you're not burning through the paper ones an AeroPress usually requires. - B.S.

Buy AeoPress attachment at Fellow - $30

Hiware Borosilicate glass pitcher

 

After the handle on my previous pitcher developed a crack, I went on a search for a simple but durable container that could support my iced tea addiction and after a year and a half, this thing has not disappointed. Its heat-resistant borosilicate glass means you can pour boiling water directly into the pitcher without worrying about it shattering and its huge 68-ounce capacity holds enough to keep an entire family hydrated. Meanwhile, the stainless steel lid prevents leaves or stuff like fruit pulp from escaping. And at $20, this pitcher is just great value. - Sam Rutherford, Senior Reporter

Buy Hiware glass pitcher at Amazon - $27

Hario Cold Brew Bottle

 

If you know someone who always brings their "famous" iced tea to parties or picnics check out Hario's Cold Brew bottle. It holds up to 750ml of liquid and comes with a removable strainer to keep tea leaves from spilling out. There's even a grippy silicone top for easy handling and a removable stopper that acts like a cork. And if you're worried it's a little pedestrian looking to make a lasting impact, Hario makes a champagne bottle version too. - S.R.

Buy Hario Cold Brew Bottle at Amazon - $24

Breville IQ Electric Kettle

 

For those on your list that prefer function over form, you really ought to consider Breville's IQ Electric Kettle. In addition to having nearly double the capacity (57 ounces vs 30 ounces) of the Stagg, it has dedicated temperature settings for a lot of major types of tea (green, white, oolong and black). It's also a bit more powerful with an output of up to 1,500 watts, so there's less waiting around for the water to heat up. - S.R.

Buy Breville IQ electric kettle at Amazon - $80

OXO Tea Infuser Basket

 

One of the easiest ways to brew better tea is by moving away from single-serving bags and switching to loose-leaf teas. That's because typically tea bags feature lower quality leaves that often sit on shelves for months (or years) with the whole process favoring convenience over flavor. On top of that, the cloth or (more often) paper used to make tea bags can also impart unwanted flavors.

If you know someone looking to get into loose-leaf teas, they're going to need an infuser, and OXO's is one of the best. Its stainless steel basket won't mess with the taste and its included lid traps heat in when steeping while also doubling as a saucer to prevent dripping once the tea is ready to drink. The basket is also a perfect size so it fits in practically any mug (and even many iced tea pitchers), and at just $15, it's cheap enough to buy two or more so there will always be a clean one ready to go. - S.R.

Buy OXO tea infuser basket at Amazon - $15

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister

 

While Fellow's Atmos Canister was originally intended to store coffee, it's equally great at keeping tea tasting fresh and flavorful, even after long periods. That's because simply twisting its lid removes oxygen from the canister, slowing down potential oxidation which can cause tea to taste dull and lifeless. It's available in three sizes (0.4, 0.7 and 1.2 liters) and in a range of materials, though you'll probably want to stay away from the glass version, as light is another source of potential oxidation. (Leave the clear one for cookies or something.) And while it's a bit on the pricey side, in my opinion there's no better way of keeping even the fanciest leaves tasting great over time. - S.R.

Buy Fellow Atmos canister at Amazon - $35

Golde Superwhisk

 

For matcha lovers who don't want to deal with the hassle of a traditional bamboo whisk or anyone seeking a way to quickly froth up some milk, Golde's Superwhisk is a great pick. It has two different speed settings and a battery that can be recharged via USB. It even comes with an included travel case, so your giftee can take it camping or anywhere they want to enjoy some tea (or a latte). - S.R.

Buy Superwhisk at Golde - $24

Pure'Tea Portable Tea Infuser

 

For people who want to bring their brew on the go, this charming portable tea infuser bottle looks great and makes the whole process super easy. Tea goes in the top section and water goes in the bottom. Right before drinking they flip the whole infuser upside down to brew instead of letting the leaves become oversteeped after sitting in water all day. The portable infuser also features borosilicate glass with a double-walled construction, so it can handle high temperatures without burning hands. Admittedly, there are similar bottles for less, but between its innovative design and premium materials, I can't think of a better way to drink tea on-the-go. - S.R.

Buy portable tea infuser at Perlure - $65

Breakaway Matcha Flight Kit

 

Getting into matcha can be intimidating for even long-time tea drinkers. Not only can matcha be expensive but, since it's very finely ground green tea instead leaves steeped in water, it has a very different flavor profile and texture. So instead of buying someone a single type of matcha, give this matcha flight kit a try. It includes four different blends which range from bright grassy varieties to deeper savory mixes. There's also a handcrafted bamboo scoop, a sieve, tea towel and most importantly, a motorized whisk for properly whipping up the perfect cup. - S.R.

Buy Flight Kit at Breakaway Matcha - $56

Adagio Tea Samplers

 

For complete newbies to tea, Adagio's loose teas sampler sets offer a huge range of types and flavors to choose from. You can select specific types like green teas from China for the Sinophile on your list, or opt for more general mixes like seasonal blends or even herbal selections. Prices also start as low as $12 a box for four different types, which makes this one of the most flexible and affordable ways of gifting a wide range of teas without doing a ton of research. - S.R.

Shop Adagio tea samplers

Butterfly Pea Tea

 

The first time I had butterfly pea flower tea was on my honeymoon in Thailand and it was love at first sip. It has a sweet flora aroma with some subtle earthy notes. But its signature highlight is its color. When brewed alone, you get a deep blue hue with hints of green, but when you add acid suddenly the tea becomes bright purple or pink. And because butterfly pea flower doesn't contain caffeine, between its color and taste, it's a great way to introduce kids to tea. Steep it, chill it, add the juice from a couple lemons or limes and a splash of sugar (I preferred agave), and in no time you'll have the perfect summertime iced tea. - S.R.

Buy butterfly pea tea at Amazon - $22

Astro A10 Gen 2

 

Astro's A10 Gen 2 will get the job done and look cute while doing so, no matter what your personal style is. The Gen 2 comes in a variety of colors and patterns, from deep black with neon details to pastel purple or teal, meaning there's something for every kind of live streaming vibe. It has a flip-to-mute boom mic, an incredibly flexible body, and replaceable ear pads and headband cushion. This headset is compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and Switch, so have at it, no matter how you play. - Jessica Conditt, Senior Reporter

Buy Astro A10 Gen 2 at Amazon - $60

8bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth controller

 

8bitdo knows its way around a wireless gamepad, and the Pro 2 Bluetooth controller is no exception. Whether in the transparent-body special edition or the classic black, white or gray, the Pro 2 delivers precise inputs, support for up to three custom profiles, and two extra back buttons. The Pro 2 looks like an old-school controller but it has advanced, modern capabilities, and it works with PC, Mac, Android and Switch. - J.C.

Buy 8BitDo Pro 2 at Amazon - $50

Logitech Litra Glow

 

The best thing you can do for your live-streaming setup is to get some good lighting, and Logitech's Litra Glow has you covered. This is a small, mountable LED square that delivers a diffuse, soft glow without any harsh shadows or defined edges, and it's designed to make its subjects look their best. It comes with an exte

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