The holidays are coming up fast, and retail shelves are expected to run low this year. Now’s the right time to start picking up those tech gifts for everyone on your list. But finding the perfect tech gifts can be hard to do — especially if you don’t want to blow your budget at the end of the year.
Check out our holiday gift guide below, made up of a number of tech gifts priced under $50. Each item on this list has favorable reviews, and the list covers a range of categories. Chances are, you’ll find an ideal gift for everyone on your list!
Roku Express 4K+
The best Roku player you can get under $50 is the Roku Express 4K+
. It does just about everything you need out of a streaming device. You’ll get great 4K quality including HDR support, plus Wi-Fi and voice search. The included voice remote can also control your TV (power and volume), which is highly convenient.
Higher-end models add a remote finder, headphone listening, and wired internet connectivity. But for most people, the Roku Express 4K+ covers everything they need to get streaming.
A note on usability and content: A free Roku account will unlock some content, but most of the top-tier apps require separate subscriptions. That said, the app interface is dead simple to use, suitable for even the most tech-averse person on your list. As long as they have a TV and an internet connection, they can use this device.
Amazon Echo Dot
If you’re looking for the least expensive but still fully functional way to get an Amazon smart speaker into a loved one’s home or room, the Echo Dot
is for you. It’s a smaller and less impressive version of the fourth-gen Amazon Echo, mirroring the larger speaker’s spherical design.
In terms of sound quality, the Echo Dot is far inferior
to the full-fledged Echo, which costs twice as much. This makes sense, of course, but you can still listen to music and interact with Alexa in the same ways as on the larger device.
Alexa is pretty good at handling questions about the weather and other basic smart assistant stuff. You can ask it to play specific songs or to access specific services, and there are tons of Alexa skills out there to add.
Buying for a kid? There’s a special kid’s edition that looks like either a tiger or a panda, and both skins are adorable.
Jlab JBuddies Pro Wireless: Great Kids’ Headphones Under $50
There’s no shortage of inexpensive kid-oriented headphones available, but Jlab JBuddies
stand out from the rest. There’s a volume limiter switch for keeping those decibels at kid-safe levels, which is a must. These headphones feature an over-ear design that’s comfortable for kids at most ages and stages, yet they’re large enough for (small) adults to use and test.
Wireless functionality in a pair of cheap kids’ headphones is a great plus, and audio quality is more impressive than it needs to be.
Amazon Fire 7
It’s practically unthinkable, but Amazon has produced a fully functional, not-terrible tablet
that’s perfect for games, reading, listening and movie-watching — and it costs less than $50. (By one penny, but still.)
Make no mistake: it isn’t fancy. But it is very capable, especially considering the surprisingly low price.
If you’re shopping for kids, the Kids’ Edition
is worth the extra cost, even though it tips the scales north of $50.
This device isn’t a powerhouse. It won’t run Office (not well, at least), and it may struggle with high-demand applications (where they’re even available on the Amazon store). But for basic consumption and play, it’s hard to argue with the price.
Rocketbook Smart Notebook
Rocketbook makes some really interesting devices that should really be more widespread than they appear to be. The company’s smart notebook
is nearly magical: it’s a notebook, one you can write on with the included FriXion pen. (And yes, that’s a real, actual pen, like the kind you can buy at Walmart, albeit a specific type).
Whatever you write or draw in your Rocketbook can be saved as a PDF or JPEG from your phone. This allows you to capture notes, designs, scribbles, musings — whatever comes to mind.
Best of all, Rocketbook pages are reusable. Just wipe them down and start again.
The final item on our holiday gift guide are Apple AirTags
. These devices are a convenient way to track just about anything. Gift one to that loved one who always loses their keys or wallet, and now they can locate their lost items from their iPhone, iPad or Mac. It’s a great solution that most adults will love and appreciate.
Upsie Extended Warranties: The Best Gift of All?
If the best gift of all is peace of mind, then an extended warranty from Upsie
is pretty close to the perfect gift. These affordable extended warranties protect you from defects, failures, and accidental damage. They’re easy to buy and even easier to use if you need to make a claim, too.
Learn More About Upsie Warranties: