| OUTSIDE THE BOX
Holiday Tech Gifts for Budget-Conscious Shoppers
by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig
They say ’tis the season to be jolly. However, for me, it’s about being thoughtful. I don’t mean just with my behavior, but with being deliberate in my gift-giving. First, let me note that I personally enjoy giving DIY presents to family and loved ones; even when I don’t, I always want to personalize what I gift to others. This holds true when it comes to tech products. And believe it or not, I’ve realized that you can find something for everyone.
Giving tech gifts can be subjective—and expensive. A 2022 survey from Statista shows that an estimated 199 million U.S. adults planned to buy tech products and services as presents during that year’s holiday season. These items included headphones and earbuds, as well as streaming and download services—the latter in the form of popular and convenient digital gift cards.
As a tech gadget junkie, I always am looking for (or at) items that can help me streamline and organize my life. But to be honest, I love finding cost-effective things that also are fun and unique and make life a little easier—and that won’t cost me a fortune. This year, I would like to offer up some gift ideas for the person on-the-go that can still be gentle on your bank account, costing $100 or less.
Having jumper cables in your trunk is a must; however, their bulkiness can cause some to want to leave them at home. The portable car battery jump-starter from POWESU is easy to carry, and the power bank provides you with all that you will need in the event of a dead battery. It works with cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers, snowmobiles, ATVs, UTVs, and more.
Not only is having juice for your phone when you plan to be away from home for an extended period a good idea, but so is being prepared for an emergency and/or natural disaster, which many of us don’t always think about. Yiisonger’s magnetic wireless portable charger is pocket-sized and comes with a foldable kickstand (which supports your phone vertically and horizontally) and is easy to hold while making a call or taking pictures. This handy gadget also allows you to charge a phone and external battery power bank simultaneously.
If you don’t mind refurbished devices, a handheld tablet that is fully functional and in excellent condition, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7" Tablet, is an ideal gift for kids, high school students, or someone to use as a backup mobile device. Be sure to confirm the memory size, features, model, and accessories (if any) you will get with any refurbished device, as they may not be included.
The 5 in 1 Power Bank (and brand) was recommended by a couple of friends who travel a lot for business and pleasure and need to make sure their devices are charged and ready to go at all times. This bank is compatible with iPhones and Android and all upcoming USB-C devices (including Bluetooth headphones, fitness trackers, and smartwatches). It can be used internationally and is reportedly lightweight—a must for baggage requirements when flying.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
The Flippy tablet pillow stand is a fun, versatile digital device stand that works with tablets, Kindles, phones, and even small laptops. Its soft design is great for desk or lap use, and it includes a storage pocket for your earbuds, reading glasses, power cords, and other small items. When you need a different angle view, just flip it.
The DJI Mini quadcopter drone is for the beginner and/or young person who is interested in getting into aerial photography and filmmaking. The drone’s camera produces 5MP photos and HD720 videos and has a maximum flight time of 13 minutes. It’s easy to maneuver and use for creators of all ages.
Like the PhoneSoap 3 UV cellphone sanitizer and dual universal cellphone charger’s name says, this compact gadget allows you to charge your phone and clean it with UV-C light. Its unique design ensures that it removes “99.99% of bacteria and viruses in minutes” from all surfaces and sides of objects placed in it.
The HP Sprocket Instant Photo Printer is a great gift for physical photos on-the-go and for young photography enthusiasts. Connect with the HP Sprocket app, and via Bluetooth, and you can pull your best shots from your phone and/or social platform, edit them with filters and stickers, and print them anywhere on 2.3" x 3.4" Zink Photo Paper.
The Portable Neck Fan by JISULIFE is safe for children, seniors, and those with long hair. This 360-degree cooling system will provide that extra breeze to keep you comfortable. The ecofriendly neckband is soft and durable, and the fan has three speeds and 78 air vents that circle the fan and can be recharged with a USB cord.
There are several keyboard models by Logitech; I have the Logitech K480 Wireless Multi-Device Keyboard. Not only is it a great price for an external device, but it’s also compatible with PCs and Macs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets—all via Bluetooth. Some keyboards have small keys, but this one is more like a built-in board and is comfortable to use.
A FINAL NOTE
Although I’ve referred to specific items in this article, I encourage you to check around, compare, and find the product that works best for the recipient’s needs and wants, as well as your budget. Happy shopping!