From chargers to smart outlets, and connected speakers to gaming accessories, there are a wide number of tech products that make ideal gifts this coming holiday season. The best part is you don't need to spend a lot of money. We rounded up 10 gift ideas that cost less than $50.
Anker PowerCore+ mini
This power bank isn't the largest you can buy, coming in at only 3350mAh, but it's also incredibly affordable. For just shy of $14, you can pick up a device ideal for anyone with a smartphone, which is everyone in 2017.
Sporting PowerIQ technology, this power bank automatically detects and supplies as much juice to a connected device as it can take. The PowerCore+ mini also comes in a variety of colors, including black, blue, pink, silver, and gold.
Amazon Echo Dot (second-gen)
The second-generation Echo Dot by Amazon is a great purchase for anyone wanting to create a connected home. As a starting point, this device will allow you to control connected smart devices (like lights and outlets), as well as play music, set alarms, make calls and even order things online. Not bad for around $50.
Thanks to its premium microphones, the Echo Dot will also be able to hear you from across the room.
CamKix Camera Shutter
Smartphone cameras are very good today, and more people are posting images to social media than ever before. The CamKix camera shutter allows one to activate the camera and take snaps without physically touching the smartphone, which is handy for those times when you need to take a group photo but don't wish to look silly with a selfie stick. It's also only $7.
This shutter remote works with iPhones and Android smartphones.
When traveling abroad, one has to rely on travel adapters that often blow a fuse and are then rendered useless. This is what the Zendure Passport solves by implementing an auto-resetting fuse. What this means is it can handle multiple surges and reset itself. It's not cheap (early backer price of $35) when compared to other adapters, but since it should last some time it'll be a worthwhile purchase.
We got one in for review and found it to be a very well thought-out adapter.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
The Fire TV Stick ($39.99 is Amazon's affordable device for TVs that can extend the range of capabilities for a complete living room experience. As well as content from Amazon, it's possible to tap into tens of thousands of channels and apps, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, YouTube, Amazon Video, NBC, WatchESPN, and Disney.
All that's required is an open HDMI port on your TV.
Xbox Wireless Controller
The official Xbox wireless controller from Microsoft (about $47 is the gamepad you need if you want to play games on the company's console or on a PC. Available in a variety of colors and themes, it's possible to get one for less than $50, but if you wish to grab a custom controller you will need to shell out some more cash.
The controllers can also be found on Microsoft's official store, but they cost considerably more than its retail partners. You can also design your own controller.
Losing keys, we've all been there. There's just something about keys that make them easy to misplace. Thankfully, there are handy accessories like the Tile Mate (from $24.99 that make it simple to locate them when you've searched behind the sofa to no avail. Using a compatible smartphone (iOS and Android), you can quickly make the tag ring via Bluetooth when you're nearby.
There are other handy features, like the app noting down the last known location of the Tile Mate, and a one-year battery life.
Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS X
Flight, combat and space games can all take advantage of what's known as a Hands On Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS). The T-Flight HOTAS X ($49.99 is an affordable solution, sporting 12 programmable buttons and five axles that can be configured depending on requirements. If you're new to HOTAS and space or flight simulators, it's an ideal starting point.
Once you fire up Elite Dangerous and enjoy a more immersive experience, you'll never go back to a gamepad or keyboard and mouse.
Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Live Gold unlocks access to various online services for Microsoft's console. For just shy of $40, you'll be able to pick up a card that will allow any Xbox owner to add six months of Xbox Live Gold to their Microsoft account. Not only is it possible to play online with other people, but this subscription opens up access to free games every month and substantial savings on games.
If you have an Xbox One X, you need this.
Bluetooth headphones have come along way and are actually rather decent these days. The I18 by HAVIT only costs $30 and offers some rather interesting features, including 40mm drivers with acceptable sound quality, bicast leather headband, 22-hour playback time on battery, microphone for calls, Bluetooth 4.1, and a dedicated 3.5mm jack for when you run out of juice.
Available in colors including black, red, and beige, for the price these are some killer headphones, with a range of up to 20 meters and comfort that makes wearing them for long sessions a pleasant experience.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.