Tech

Best tech gifts for $100 or less

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

For those who’re on the lookout for the most effective vacation presents below $100, with out resorting to a shawl, espresso mug or reward card, you may discover considerate and significant presents amongst our picks, together with tech gear for avid gamers, treats for music lovers and even some objects that will simply assist soothe your aching muscle tissue. You’ll be able to deal with this as your one-stop resolution for presents for the vacation season and Christmas presents.

Every product has been both comprehensively reviewed or personally examined to carry you the most effective tech presents for $100 or much less. Listed here are some more gifts for under $100 that we love, and Black Friday ad scans from Best Buy, Target, Walmart and extra.

David Carnoy/CNET

This therapeutic massage gun was one our high finances therapeutic massage gun picks till Sportneer got here out with an upgraded model that prices about $50 extra. Nonetheless, this stays a considerate reward because the high-value therapeutic massage gun is value attempting if you’d like one thing within the $75-to-$100 value vary.

Razer

Shopping for for somebody who’s gaming on their cellphone? Whether or not they’re iPhone customers subscribed to Apple Arcade or Android homeowners utilizing Xbox Cloud gaming or Google Stadia, the Razer Kishi is a high possibility. Just like the $80 iPhone-compatible model (the iPhone model is MFi-certified and can work with the iPhone 6 Plus and any newer mannequin), the Android model permits Android cellphone homeowners to play Xbox Cloud gaming with a Recreation Move Final subscription). It connects by way of USB-C and has pass-through charging however no built-in battery to provide additional juice. There’s an Xbox-optimized one for Android homeowners, too, for a couple of bucks extra.

The controller lets you sport in fashion with cell video games which have game-controller help (and profit from it) and anyone who performs lots of video games on their cellphone would recognize it as an excellent reward. Simply be sure to’re matching the appropriate mannequin to their cellphone. We do choose the Spine controller for iOS customers (see under). Alas, no Android model of that controller exists but.

Read our Razer Kishi review.

 

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It is superb how good this distinctive reward possibility is as a Lightning-connected controller from startup Spine is in comparison with the alternate options. It turns any iPhone 6S or later right into a Nintendo Change-style gaming expertise, with added smarts for social and chatty avid gamers. Just like the Razer Kishi, it connects by way of Lightning with pass-through charging however has no built-in battery. The massive benefit this magnificence has over the Kishi is that it is only a extra ergonomically sound controller and feels higher in your palms.

David Carnoy/CNET

I like Hyperice’s Hypersphere Mini ($99) therapeutic massage ball, however Theragun’s new Wave Solo therapeutic massage ball is arguably a tad higher and positively $20 cheaper at $79. It is also in regards to the dimension of a softball (3.4 inches, or 8.7 cm, in diameter), prices with a USB-C cable (a full cost presents as much as 200 minutes of battery life) and has three vibration pace choices.

It is good for pinpointing such downside areas as hip flexors that you simply may roll out with a lacrosse ball. There’s additionally a Wave Duo model for $99 that is good for rolling on both aspect of the backbone or putting on the high of your shoulder behind your neck whereas mendacity down.

Amazon

Whoever you are getting this for could also be a bit of embarrassed in the event you get him this reward however he’ll most definitely recognize it. Panasonic says its new ER-GK80-S has a novel V-shaped head that is “constructed to go in every single place” — and with precision. It comes with two attachments, has nearly two hours of battery life and can be utilized moist or dry. A journey case is included. It is a wonderful manscaping machine.

David Carnoy/CNET

I by no means tried the unique Fiil CC earbuds, however the next-generation CC2 improves on the efficiency of the originals, with higher battery life (they’re rated at 5 hours on a single cost) and no audio latency points when watching movies.

These did keep in my ears higher than the usual AirPods. They pair rapidly — they’re outfitted with Bluetooth 5.2 — there is a Fiil companion app for tweaking settings they usually sound fairly first rate for open-style buds, with simply sufficient bass to maintain you from feeling they’re bass shy. They’re additionally first rate for making calls and have contact controls. 

One in every of their distinguishing options is their open case, which makes it straightforward to entry the buds and put them again of their case. Due to some built-in magnets, they keep within the case securely — you’ll be able to flip it the wrong way up and the buds will not come out. Not like the AirPods, these have sq. reasonably than rounded stems, which appears a bit of bizarre at first, they usually do slot in your ears barely in another way to AirPods in consequence.

Juan Garzon/CNET

There are many nice Alexa-powered Echo merchandise, however on this value vary, we’re followers of the brand new Google Nest Hub (2nd gen). The upgraded sensible show delivers extra bass together with a brand new Sleep Sensing function. It additionally provides you on the spot entry to a world of solutions everytime you say, “Hey, Google,” and lets you forged content material on to the display from any Android machine.

Read our Google Nest Hub (2nd gen) review.

 

Lenovo

We favored the unique Google-Assistant Lenovo Sensible Clock and this Model 2 mannequin can also be fairly nifty and features a wi-fi charging pad. The contact display is just 4 inches, so it is fairly small, nevertheless it’s straightforward to arrange and the inclusion of the wi-fi charging is handy. The function set is considerably restricted in comparison with the Google’s Nest Hub (2nd gen) — there isn’t any YouTube streaming obtainable — however in the event you’re on the lookout for a sensible alarm clock with climate forecasts built-in and first rate sufficient sound for its small dimension, that is a beautiful possibility. It is obtainable in three colours.

Read our Lenovo Smart Clock 2 review.

 

For lots of people, Apple’s unique HomePod was too dear at $350. That speaker has been discontinued, however the HomePod Mini remains to be round. It is a very compact Wi-Fi speaker that prices quite a bit much less ($99) and performs greater than you’d count on for its small dimension. Sure, it is extra interesting to these invested in Apple’s ecosystem and comfy with Apple’s voice-assistant Siri, which drives the speaker, however the value is correct and you’ll pair two HomePod Minis to create stereo sound or mix a number of to create a multiroom audio system (you’ll be able to hyperlink them to the unique HomePod, in fact). 

Whereas music playback is tied into Apple Music, you need to use AirPlay 2 to stream audio from different music providers, together with Spotify, out of your iPhone and different Apple units (read this for AirPlay requirements).

Read our Apple HomePod Mini review.

 

David Carnoy/CNET

Anker’s Soundcore Wakey could also be the most effective clock radio you should purchase for the cash. Not solely does it sound higher and play louder than your typical clock radio, nevertheless it has an built-in wi-fi charging dock for Qi-enabled smartphones, which incorporates all of the iPhones and Samsung smartphones from the previous few years. What’s additionally interesting about this vacation reward thought is that there is a companion app (sure, it is also a Bluetooth speaker) that lets you program in your preset FM radio station favorites and dim the LED clock to your liking. 

The Wakey is available in white and black; typically the black mannequin goes on sale.

Jabra

The Jabra Elite 3 headphones are Jabra’s most reasonably priced true-wireless earbuds to this point and have a reasonably fundamental function set, although they provide robust sound and name high quality for the cash. They’ve 6mm drivers, four-microphone name expertise and Jabra’s HearThrough transparency mode. Qualcomm aptX HD audio is supported for aptX-enabled units.

Battery life is rated at as much as seven hours on a single cost at reasonable quantity ranges, with the case storing an additional three full prices (28 hours whole). They’ve an IP55 water-resistance score, which implies they’ll take a sustained spray of water and are additionally dust-resistant. As with the opposite new buds, you need to use both bud independently in a mono mode. 

Whereas they do not have such extras as energetic noise-canceling, the Elite 3 earbuds provide strong efficiency and a cushty match for an affordable value.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Luxe is SanDisk’s newest iXpand Flash Drive that lets you transfer picture and video information from a Lightning-enabled iOS machine to a USB-C-enabled laptop or Android cellphone. It additionally has an computerized back-feature for iOS units (you may have to obtain the iXpand Drive companion app). 

The 128GB model I attempted prices $60 (although it is on sale now for $50), whereas the 256GB model prices $90. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Ember makes 10-ounce (284 grams, $100) and 14- ounce (397 grams, $130) variations of its temperature-controlled sensible mug, which retains your sizzling beverage of selection sizzling whilst you sip it over an extended ingesting session. Whereas it will not maintain espresso or tea heat for hours, the concept is that you would be able to choose your supreme temp by way of the companion Ember app for iOS or Android and maintain your beverage at a excessive temp through the half-hour or so it takes to casually drink it.

I personally choose the bigger model, nevertheless it does value extra. A great insulated mug with a high on it would additionally maintain your beverage sizzling (and they’re cheaper), however this Ember mug lets you drink a cup of Joe such as you usually would and never sip it by a small gap within the high.

This smaller 10- ounce mannequin is offered in a wide range of colours, together with the snazzy bronze pictured right here, whereas the bigger model solely is available in black or white.

Read our Ember Ceramic Mug preview.

 

David Carnoy/CNET

There’s nothing like a bit of mixing on the go on your family members’ protein shakes. That is the place the BlendJet 2 is available in. Geared up with a chargeable battery, it is extra highly effective than you suppose and is ready to whip up smoothies with out having to plug in anyplace. It prices by way of USB-C (you get about 15 blends per cost) and is totally waterproof. Drink proper from the blender!

David Carnoy/CNET

This insulated water bottle has built-in UV expertise within the lid that, with a press of a button, kills off micro organism in three minutes and purifies your water. (There’s an built-in rechargeable battery that makes use of a proprietary USB charger.)

The UV gentle breaks the DNA of the micro organism,” Glo says, “eliminating the micro organism that trigger unhealthy scent and style.” So not solely does the bottle clear water, nevertheless it cleans itself.

The bottle additionally retains your water chilly or sizzling for as much as 12 hours.

 

Biolite

BioLite has a number of transportable lighting choices and the Alpenglow 500 is one in every of its newer additions to its line. It is a transportable “lantern” that has a number of modes and shade choices. As its title implies, it delivers 500 lumens of sunshine, and it’s certainly fairly shiny.

The step-down Alpenglow 250 presents 250 lumens for $30 much less. Each are rated for five hours of battery life on the excessive setting and as much as 200 hours on the low setting.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The 2021 model of Amazon’s smallest sensible show provides the next decision digital camera than its predecessor for an inventory value of $85. For those who’re on the lookout for a video-enabled Echo machine for a nightstand or residence workplace, that is essentially the most reasonably priced possibility (although the 1st-generation mannequin is commonly on sale for $45 or much less). The brand new Echo Show 8 lists for $130 and typically goes on sale for lower than $100. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Logitech’s MX Keys is one in every of our favourite on a regular basis Bluetooth keyboards and now it is available in two smaller variations that depart off the quantity pad and another keys: MX Keys Mini and MX Keys Mini for Mac. Each value $100, the identical value as the usual MX Keys. Colours embody rose, pale grey and graphite. 

When you’re getting much less keyboard for a similar sum of money, the MX Keys Mini does have three new keys, providing you with shortcuts to dictation (obtainable in choose nations for Home windows and MacOS customers), emojis and the all-important muting and unmuting of your microphone for video-conference calls. Additionally, Logitech says that its “minimalist type issue aligns your shoulders and lets you place your mouse nearer to your keyboard for much less hand reaching, leading to higher posture and improved ergonomics.” From my exams, I agree with that evaluation.

The keyboard is analogous in dimension to Logitech’s standard and cheaper K380 keyboard ($30). However MX Keys Mini, outfitted with Good Stroke, Logitech’s “greatest nonmechanical typing expertise,” has a extra premium feel and look. And, like the usual MX Keys, it has backlit keys that gentle up as your palms strategy and mechanically regulate to the lighting circumstances, dimming and even turning off to preserve power.

Be aware that the hyperlink under goes to the usual MX Keys Mini. The MX Keys Mini for Mac can be found here.

Read our Logitech MX Keys first take.

 

David Carnoy/CNET

A few years in the past, Logitech unveiled the MX Master 3 ($100), the third technology of its premium residence/workplace mouse. Then final 12 months we bought the $80 MX Anyplace 3, the third iteration of the corporate’s premium “cell” mouse, and it might simply be my favourite Logitech mouse but.

The MX Anyplace 3 is available in a few variations. There’s the usual “common” model that works with Home windows, MacOS, iPadOS (13.4 or increased), ChromeOS and Linux computer systems by way of Bluetooth or Logitech’s Unifying USB dongle, which is included. MX Anywhere 3 for Mac works solely by way of Bluetooth and is optimized for Macs and iPads. Each mice can be found in pale grey and the MX Anyplace 3 (with the dongle) can also be provided in rose and graphite.

Read our Logitech MX Master 3 first take.

 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Roku Extremely has always been a nice 4K HDR streamer. Because the flagship in Roku’s extensive line of sticks and gamers, its bag of nifty methods features a distant finder and a distant with programmable distant buttons. This model provides higher Wi-Fi, a quicker processor and the power to stream in Dolby Vision — a long-awaited function that enables it to higher compete with the best streamers from AmazonApple and Google

Sure, the Roku Express 4K Plus, which prices round $40, is a greater worth, however the upgraded Extremely is commonly on sale nowadays for $70 (it lists for $100) and has an Ethernet port for individuals who wish to go along with a wired connection.

Read our Roku Ultra (2020) review.

 

CNET

Sure, the Echo Dot sells for half the value, nevertheless it’s value splurging for the full-size Amazon Echo — particularly if it is marked down. Along with its zillions of sensible residence capabilities, this voice-controlled speaker delivers better-than-average sound high quality and doubles as a straight-up Bluetooth speaker, too.

Read our Amazon Echo (2020) review.

 

Extra reward concepts

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