Gift a Gadget
With Christmas almost upon us, you might be on the lookout for gifts for your friends and family. If you know a tech junkie that you intend to give a gift to, you are lucky – tech junkies, unlike regular people, are pretty easy to shop for. Just get them a shiny, cool-looking gadget with which they can use to impress their fellow geeks.
You might be thinking twice about gifting people gadgets because you associate gadgets with high price tags. Actually, not all gadgets are expensive. In fact, you can get some great gadgets without breaking the bank – and they don’t have to be useless either.
To help you out, here are 10 great tech gifts under $50 that you can gift your family and friends (or yourself, if you happen to be a gadget-lover).
Priced at an affordable $35, Chromecast makes for the perfect gift for a friend who spends most of his or her time binge-watching Netflix. Chromecast is a media-streaming gadget that attaches to the HDMI port on a regular TV and turns it into a Smart TV.
With Chromecast, you can download dozens of media apps, like Youtube and Netflix, and stream internet content on your TV. You can also stream videos on your Android or Apple device on your TV wirelessly with it.
Andru is a cute USB charger that looks like the robot on the Android logo. It is tiny, has a colored micro-USB cable and will charge your Android phone or other USB devices. The charger comes in 4 distinct colors: pink, white, green and black. Andru has tiny lights for eyes that light up when it’s on standby or charged. Andru is priced at just $19.99.
You can’t go wrong with gifting someone the classic iPod Shuffle. At just $49.99, the iPod shuffle is a great, high-quality music player that can play hundreds of songs. The iPod Shuffle comes in 8 vibrant colors, including grey, black, purple, orange, yellow, blue, green and red. The Shuffle comes with Apple’s branded earphones, a Quick Start guide and a USB charging cable. You can also engrave a personal message on the back of the device for free!
LuguLake Portable Bluetooth Speakers are speakers that can connect to smartphones and tablets and provide high-quality stereo sound. They come with a stand, built against the speaker, which you can prop your smartphone or tablet on and turn into a tiny screen – perfect for gaming or watching movies with.
Unlike many other Bluetooth speakers, they also have a 3.5mm Auxiliary input to which you can connect your other devices like MP3 players, laptop, PSP or computer. They are available for an affordable $37.99 with free shipping.
The USBCELL product is a pack containing two ordinary-looking AA batteries that you use for your various gadgets, like your cameras or remote. If you look closely, though, you will see that the top of the batteries appears to have a hinge that can be flipped to reveal a USB port. The USBCELL battery is actually a rechargeable NiMH AA battery that plugs into any USB port for charging. This battery not only saves you money, but it is eco-friendly too. The USBCELL is available for $17.5 approx.
Tech lovers almost always dig Star Wars, so a Star Wars mood light as a gift should go down well with them. You can get two different “Star Wars: Lights of the Old Republic” lights for 23.72 dollars (14.99 pounds) each at Firebox.com. One of the LED mood lights comes in calming white, shaped like a Stormtrooper helmet, while the other one is black, a mini replica of Darth Vader’s helmet that lights up a menacing red.
There are two versions of the lights: small and large. The large ones cost about $64. The lights are battery-powered and small enough to be carried around. Firebox will ship these mood lights worldwide.
If you know someone who likes playing practical jokes (or you like them yourself), look no further than the Phantom Keystroker. The Phantom Keystroker is a USB drive replica that looks like an ordinary USB drive but is actually am unobtrusive pranking gadget.
The USB drive lookalike forces erratic mouse movements, garbage text and random CAPS lock triggers on the computer you attach it to – annoying if it happens to you but funny if you do it to others. The Phantom Keystroker is available for $26.44.
The StudioPRO Refracting Telescope is a starter telescope great for budding astronomers or just people who love looking at the night sky. The small telescope has a powerful 70mm Aperture and a metal table top tripod design that makes for easy maneuverability. Priced at $38.47, it’s a steal for that price and will make for a pretty unusual, but welcome, gift.
On the off-chance you don’t want to encourage someone’s gadget addiction, you can get them a board game like Monopoly. The Monopoly: World of Warcraft Collector’s Edition game is the usual Monopoly game with the WoW theme, perfect for someone who loves both Monopoly and WoW.
The WoW Monopoly board has been custom designed by Blizzard and comes with custom collectible tokens and in-game towns and cities that double as houses and hotels respectively. The game is available on Amazon for $33.78.
And, finally, if none of the items on this list appeal to you, you can always give your loved one a gift certificate. That way, you don’t have to pick your brains for a perfect tech gift – let the recipient buy whatever they want. We recommend you purchase a gift certificate (or card) for a popular online retailer like ThinkGeek, as these retailers have big inventories and tons of low priced gadgets.
If you get a ThinkGeek certificate, you can purchase one for any amount between $10 and $250. These gift certificates are processed within a day and are valid for 5 years before they expire.
We’ve tried to include different kinds of gadgets across various categories in this list and we think it should help you buy a great gift for your loved ones. There are tons of other gadgets out there you can get for less than $50, so keep looking if you don’t find what you’re looking for here.