Whether you’re an IT manager considering gifts for your crew or you’re just looking to buy the right gift for that techie in your life, it’s often difficult to find a gadget that they don’t already own. In the case that you aren’t very technology savvy yourself, you may even be second-guessing your own gift-selection skills.
Whatever the reason, this list has been compiled with a little something for everyone. These gadgets are sure to please the technophiles in your life and some might please even the most plugged-in teens, geeks and gurus.
We’ve compiled this lineup of 15 high-tech items to simplify shopping this season. Some are just fun to use and a few of these devices are things that just about everyone should own.
Hot Tech Gifts $50 or Less
Click through for 15 high-tech gifts that will help simplify your holiday shopping this year. The best part, they’re all $50 or less.
YubiKey NEO Password Device
Increase your password security with the YubiKey NEO Password keychain device. Like its basic brother, the YubiKey Standard ($25), this waterproof, crushproof, simple key produces a one-time password (OTP) for Windows, Linux, Mac, Firefox, Chrome, iOS and other formats. It provides Near Field Communications (NFC) access for mobile devices and uses a CCID-compliant USB token. For those who are leery to trust such devices, it claims to be the “first authentication device to comply with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) requirements.” Those credentials are not too shabby.
Suppose your favorite techie is in a meeting and needs to share images of a new product or a video showing users how to install new software, but he or she has only a bare wall and a smartphone. If they had access to this simple projector unit, the problem would be solved. But it’s not just handy for ending work crises. It also is handy for embarrassing friends via videos on a smartphone or sharing hilarious YouTube videos of funny pet tricks. Hang up a sheet, put a smartphone into the box, and get ready for the show. Oh, and even better, the projector also amplifies the sound.
LifeBar Portable Battery Charger
The travelers on your list can charge their smartphones and tablets via USB in the airport without searching for a free outlet with this remarkable, portable charger. The LifeBar Portable Battery Charger provides 3600 mAh capacity and an LED shows you how much charge is left. The sleek silver design makes sure it slides right into your pocket or bag. And it’s compatible with most USB-enabled devices.
Universal Desktop Charging Station
Make your techie the most popular person in the office with the Universal Desktop Charging Station. It comes with nine interchangeable connectors that provide charging capacity for a wide variety of phones, tablets and devices. Forget your charger? No problem, it probably has a connector to fit it. The anti-slip platform connects to a computer via a USB cable and holds the device securely until charged.
Campers, hikers and outdoorsy types will approve of the weatherproof ALL-Terrain Sound Bluetooth speaker. Set it up, hang it up or prop it up and share your tunes at home or in the great outdoors without worry. Clear sound can be had even in the middle of nowhere. And if you still have a signal out there on the trail, you can even answer your phone calls right from the speaker. Pretty handy, huh?
Tile Smart Companion Key/Device Locator
The Tile Smart Companion Key/Device Locator is a life-saving, truly amazing product. We misplace our keys often on a daily (or sometimes hourly) basis. But, when you put this simple, small tag on your key ring, you can locate them easily, with the touch of a screen. Currently only available for Apple iOS (coming soon for Android), the Bluetooth Tile allows the user to track lost keys via an app and a lilting melody that gets stronger as you get closer to your keys and your Tile via GPS locator technology. Perfect for all those absent-minded professors in your life.
Universal Clip-On Smartphone Camera Lens
Many of us own smartphones with cameras that are capable of taking amazing photos. But, sometimes it would be nice to change up the view with a more powerful lens. And now you can. No need to lug around a large camera bag and changeable lenses. Just clip on one of these pocket-sized Universal Clip-On Smartphone Camera Lenses and you’re ready to capture some amazing shots — even macros — all for less than $20.
Splash Shower Tunes
Secretly, we all love to sing in the shower. Some of us even dance. So the Splash Shower Tunes waterproof Bluetooth speaker is sure to be a favorite. It’s even great for those who prefer a long soak in the bathtub with some relaxing tunes or for use by the pool or hot tub. You can even forward through your playlist, turn up the volume, and answer calls, all from this handy little device. It attaches to smooth surfaces via a strong suction cup. And for less than $20, it’s nothing short of awesome.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Plug this little Fire TV Stick into an HDMI port and stream a bevy of TV shows, videos and movies. Some streams, such as Netflix, do require a paid subscription, but being able to simply and easily access them without a computer or bulky device is still pretty impressive. And with the slim remote and/or Android app for your smartphone, you can sit back and control your viewing destiny. Binge-watch an entire season of a TV show. Spend hours watching YouTube videos that teach you how to knit. What a great way to waste away a winter day.
iRoller Touchscreen Cleaner
Though not a glamorous, high-tech device, the iRoller Touchscreen Cleaner is extremely handy and can be used time and time again. And the neat freak mobile device users will be thankful to you every time they clean their tablet or smartphone screens. The iRoller is simple to use: Just roll it across the screen and let the safe, tacky, liquid-free surface pick up dirt, lint, fingerprints, oil and bacteria from the screen. Then rinse the roller, let it dry, and you’re ready to clean again.
Zipbuds Tangle-Free Earbuds
It seems everyone has had to deal with the horror of untangling the cords on earbuds. They knot themselves up no matter what you do to keep them straight. So the Zipbuds Tangle-Free Earbuds will put an end to that frustrating detangling. The cords are thicker and feature a zipper design that allows them to be zipped up to prevent tangling or to give them a tighter fit when worn. They come in three sizes, block out unwanted outside noise and provide high-quality sound.
Roku 3500R Streaming Stick
Yet another compact stick for streaming media, the Roku 3500R can be inserted into your TV’s HDMI port for endless hours of striking HD TV watching. Use the included remote to control streams or sync it with any iOS or Android device. You can even use mobile apps to send videos from your phone to the TV.
Audio-Technica Noise-Canceling In-Ear Headphones
For those who work in a noisy cube farm or a loud data center, blocking out background noise is a necessity for productivity. It’s also necessary for parents, teens and those who want to ignore the incessant snoring of the guy sitting next to them on the plane. The Audio-Technica Noise-Canceling In-Ear Headphones reduce outside noise by 90 percent while providing your tunes or video sound in crystal-clear quality. And of course, they include an airline plug adapter for those frequent travelers.
Wood and Metal Bluetooth Tracking Tag
Put this attractive Bluetooth Tracking Tag on your keys, then link it to your iPhone or iPad via the free app. That way, if you lose your keys, use the app to find them via the Bluetooth technology in the handsome key fob. But even better, if you have your keys, but lost your iPhone, simply touch the alert button on the key ring and locate your smartphone. Ingenious!
Google Chromecast Video Streaming Device
Not to be outdone, Google has also joined the streaming media game with its Chromecast device. As with others, it plugs into the HDMI port on your TV to allow you to watch just about anything you can stream from the app on your smartphone or tablet. It works with devices running Android, iOS, Mac, Windows or via a Chromebook to send your favorite TV show episodes up to the bigger screen.