The very best tech you can buy for $150 or less

The very best tech you can buy for $150 or less

Summary: Buying tech on a budget? These 17 gadgets are the very best for $150 or less -- from speakers to streamers, coffee machines and computer peripherals.


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  • Mophie Juice Pack Air (iPhone 5/5s)

    So many people have iPhones but are disappointed by the battery life, which, even with the latest iteration of the Apple smartphone, is still far from great. The key is simple: A juice-pack that charges the device, but without the need for carrying around extra cables and a battery pack. It clips to your iPhone 5 (and iPhone 5s) as a wrap-around case. It's relatively lightweight, but it does add a hefty chunk of bulk, so it's not ideal if you're wearing tight jeans. That said, it will keep your iPhone's battery doubled-up on charge, so you'll likely never run flat during the day again.

    Lowest available price: $89.95 reviews: Mophie Juice Pack Air

    Image: Amazon

  • Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2

    So many business users have ditched their desktop and notebooks in favor of the ultra-portable tablet. And why not? You can do pretty much everything you can on a tablet as you can on the chunk of machinery in your laptop bag. But many still find the lack of a keyboard to be an unacceptable compromise. Enter the part-keyboard, part-case, which connects to your 10-inch tablet (the most common size, including full-sized iPads) via Bluetooth and allows you to type while you're on the move. And because it uses wireless technology, it's compatible with almost every tablet on the market.

    Lowest available price: $61.99 reviews: Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2

    Image: Amazon


  • Sony MDR-7506

    Some prefer the smaller, in-ear headphones. Forget them, particularly if you're after superior sound with a retro feel. With a light coiled wire and a thick, padded ear comforter, the sound is unspeakably good — and for under a hundred bucks, no less. They've been around since the early-1990s, but these headphones still know how to kick out some seriously good sound. Though, if you're after some headphones you can make calls on, you might want to move along and keep looking.

    Lowest available price: $84.95
    CNET Review: Sony MDR-7506

    Image: Amazon

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Smartphones, Storage, Tablets

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  • Shenanigans

    I call Shenanigans on the HTC One. It's not $99. It's $99 plus something like two years of $20.00 monthly payments. Heck, I can go down to Best Buy, put a $899 64Gb iPad 3 on my card, then make 18 months of $50.00 payments and pay it off interest free.

    Doesn't mean I got the iPad for free. It just means I paid it off over 18 months.
    • Flawed like any other "top" list.

      Seriously! And the HTC One isn't the top dog in the category. For a real screamer of an under rated phone try an LG G2. As for tablets, if you like the Nexus 7 but it breaks the wallet, try it's cousin, the Asus MeMO Pad 7 HD. Should be findable for under $150.
  • Very best?

    No roku...

    The mophie powerpack and keyboard folio for iDevices are clumsy compromises. I don't get why those are "best" of anything. What is the point of a device being slim, stylish and lightweight if it needs bulky, heavy clumsy solutions like that?
  • Keyboard

    sorry, having used the Logitech, it isn't that good. For a start it is a membrane based keyboard.

    I just bought a Razer BlackWidow keyboard, with Cherry Red MX keys, now THAT is a keyboard.
  • Thumbs up on the Sony headphones

    I agree on those Sony MDR's. I got some back when they first came out in the 90's, and I *still* have that pair and I use them when listening to music while I program. They sound great, and you can wear them for hours without getting pain in any one spot. There is one downside, though. The comfy earpads faux-leather deteriorates after a couple of years, leaving you with just the underlying fabric covering the foam. But you can buy replacement ear-pads on eBay for about $8 per pair...
  • I hate galleries.

    No clicks for you.
    • At least in this Gallery, it was simple enough to ...

      look at the pictures and decide I didn't care about the stuff being shown. I agree that Galleries are waste of bandwidth, clicks, etc... Probably responsible for more carpal tunnel injuries than nearly any other wasteful IT technology with the exception of deleting emails hocking "Whitepapers" !
  • Keurig Vue V700 pricing

    I'm curious as to where you came up with the price for the Keurig Vue V700. Everything I can find is closer to twice that amount or more.
  • ROKU? ChromeCast?

    These two are at the top of my list for "tech value". If you don't have a Smart TV, having a $60 ROKU is the next best thing! ROKU is very mature, offering a wide variety of services including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, and Pandora, and also has limited support for playing external media files. Likewise, you can't beat ChromeCast's support for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and a few other limited services. ChromeCast still has some unrefined, sharp edges, but for $35, it provides significant tech value.
  • Never a portable HDD

    I have a portable HDD that takes a double USB to power the HDD and it still has power issues when transfering large amounts of files. My friend has multiple portable HDDs and none of my computers in my house can power them using a single USB.

    If portability is needed and capacity/$ is of concern, go with a large USB 2.0 flashdrive. If performance is of concern, go with a large USB 3.0 that performs well, or a stright SSD with an adapter (Samsung's desktop kit comes with an SSD to USB adapter).

    If it's for personal backup, go with a full-sided, powered, external HDD .
    • Worse yet...

      Another one of my friends has 2 of the same model portable hdd's and his laptop used to power them via a single USB connection (using the cable the manufacturer provided). Now, perhaps due to the age of his laptop, it can't power either of them using a single USB connection and he needs to buy a dual USB cable to access the files he put on the two HDDs.
    • Huh?

      I have three portable drives and they can easily run from one USB port each.

      The trick that I have found is that you have to get the right cable in order to allow them to do so, but it is definitely doable.

      This is on a Mid-2012 Macbook Pro.

      Oh and $47 for a 64GB MicroSD card? And it's is not even UHS-1 rated! Talk about a rip off, you can often find UHS-1 rated 64GB MicroSD cards for about $30.

      This writer obviously didn't do his research properly for this list.
  • fitbit force

    fitbit force has been recalled due to skin sensitivness. it is not being sold anymore until they replace with new model