When it comes to tech, less expensive gifts may be less obvious than the big-ticket items like laptops and tablets. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of great gifts out there! Here are a few of my favorite gifts that won’t break the bank:
iPhone Cable Trigger
Here’s why this is cool: you don’t have to touch your phone to take a photo. That means if you’re taking a picture in low light, the extra stability will make the the photo less blurry. And if you’re taking a video, you won’t have the initial shakiness when you start or stop recording. And it’s only $23 from PhotoJoJo, a great price for a fun gift. Plus you can use it with the fam over the holidays!
iHome Rechargable Mini Speaker
This speaker is small, but surprisingly loud for its size! It’s rechargeable from USB, and can be used with anything that has a headphone jack, like your laptop or smartphone. It’s not going to power your home theater setup, but it’s great for both portability and price: it’s on sale right now for only $14.99 from Staples.
Custom-Printed Book from Blurb.com
Blurb specializes in helping you bring anything and everything you can imagine to life as a book. But what’s cool is that you don’t have to get 10,000 copies: you can get 1 printed as a special gift, or print up a cookbook for everybody in the family. Books are hardbound with as many pages as you like, and there’s even a feature for Instagram or Facebook photos. PERFECT for newlyweds, the grandparents, dedicated bloggers or aspiring photographers. There are tons of configurations, so the price will vary depending on what you choose, but you can make a hardcover 8×10 book starting at only $19.95.
Dual USB Outlet
So it can be hard to buy something for a gadget geek who has everything. Or seems to. That’s why this gift is great: everybody’s got devices that can charge with a USB port, but almost nobody has one built into the wall. With the right cable (that a gadget lover will already have) you can charge almost anything with this wall outlet, without a special adapter. Installation isn’t rocket science, and it’s only $24.95.
Rogue RFID-Blocking Wallet
Many credit and debit cards now come with RFID chips that let you touch to pay instead of swiping. Problem is, RFID tech is vulnerable to scammers who use special scanners to steal your credit card info from inside your wallet. So the hot new accessory is a wallet that will block those scanners, like this made in Maine Front Pocket Rogue Wallet for $40. Yes, you could just wrap everything in tin foil, but a roll of Reynolds is probably not the best holiday gift choice!
Agloves Touch Gloves
These gloves are special: they have silver in them. Thanks to the magic of physics, that means these gloves will work on any touchscreen. Plus they have small textured rubber grips to help you hold on that fancy touchscreen device so you’re not DROPPING expensive tech. The gloves are $29.99, but that’s way cheaper than replacing an iPad Mini with a busted screen!
Little Black Book iPhone Case
It’s kind of amazing that the big selling point of iPhones is how well designed they are, but then we cover them up with these cases that are anything but aesthetically pleasing. That’s why I love the Little Black Book iPhone case: it’s got the right level of design-savvy and quality to match the iPhone, and I love the Moleskine look. Plus there’s the convenient interior pocket option, plus customizable colors. It’s just NICE! $39.99 from Pad & Quill.
Streaming media in HD for under $50? Yeah, obviously a great gift, right?! The Roku Box hooks up to your TV to let you stream Hulu, Netflix, Amazon instant video, Pandora and more right to your TV. Normally the HD model is $60, but right now Roku is offering the HD box for $49.99. Unless you know somebody already has a Roku, or doesn’t have a TV, this is a great gift that can work for anybody, and doesn’t require them to pay extra fees once they have the box!
iFrogz Near Field Speaker
This speaker is another portable and affordable option that runs off either AAA batteries or USB. But what’s really cool about this particular speaker is that it uses Near Field to work wirelessly with your speakers, so all you have to do is set your phone or tablet on the speaker to play music. It’s faster and easier than bluetooth, because you don’t have to pair the device to the speaker. It’s only $24.04 on Amazon, and eligible for Amazon Prime, so no worries about this one getting here on time!
Lightning Port Adapter
Know someone that was NOT HAPPY when Apple updated their dock connector? Given how angry people were, you probably do. A great gift for that person is a Lightning to 30 Pin Adapter to make new iDevices compatible with old accessories. Think of like the tech equivalent of buying someone socks and underwear: it’s practical, it’s useful, and you can never have too many. And some people LIKE getting socks and underwear for Christmas! It’s $29 from Apple.