Inexpensive gifts: Best tech, gadgets for under $100

A small budget doesn't mean a gift any less special. Here are the best affordable gadgets for Christmas 2019.

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Christmas is just around the corner, and while many of our gadgets -- such as smartphones and laptops -- can cost hundreds of dollars, you do not need to spend a fortune in the holiday season to get your hands on useful, entertaining, and high-value technology.

There is a massive market for electronics under the $100 mark, ranging from drones to smart home products and wearables, and over Christmas 2019, you can snap up a variety of cool gifts without breaking the bank -- no matter whether you're buying for children or adults. 

Below, we have rounded up some of the best deals on affordable technology, gadgets, and accessories for the holiday season.

The top tech, gadgets, and accessories for under $100

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.

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DJI Tello quadcopter beginner drone for $99 

You do not need to spend a small fortune to enjoy the world of drones. An entry-level model manufactured by DJI, the Tello, is a quadcopter design that can be controlled via a smartphone and features a five-megapixel camera capable of taking JPEG photos and recording 720p MP4 video. The drone can fly up to 10m vertically and up to 100m away.

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Fitbit Inspire for $100

The Fitbit Inspire is a budget-friendly gift, perhaps for fitness enthusiasts or those keen to start taking a more active interest in their health and daily activities. The fitness tracker, worn around the wrist, can be used to monitor heart rate, steps taken, and calories burned. Used in tandem with the Fitbit app, wearers can also access a dashboard of their activity data and track workout sessions.

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Roku streaming stick, 4K media player for $49 

The Roku streaming stick remains a popular, budget-friendly Christmas gift. The dongle can be plugged into a television set to provide access to a range of applications and services, including hundreds of free TV channels, movies, and subscription-based content. The Roku can stream in HD, 4K, and HDR.

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Brilliant Ideas LED USB Word Clock for $30

Something unusual for a desk is the Brilliant Ideas word clock, an LED-based display that lights up the time in words, rather than the numbers used on traditional timepieces. 

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JBL Charge 3 portable speaker for $100

Music lovers will enjoy a portable speaker this year as a Christmas gift, and the JBL Charge 3 is a worthwhile and affordable option. Packing in good volume and bass for the price point and a 6000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, the waterproof Bluetooth-enabled speaker can connect with your mobile devices to stream content.

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Google Home smart speaker for $79

The Google Home smart speaker is a voice-controlled assistant for homes, whether this is for catching up on the news, setting alarms and timers, or controlling Internet of Things (IoT) products such as lights or heating. The Google Assistant can be accessed by saying "OK, Google," and you can also use the speaker to tap into your favorite playlists. Pulling up information can be tailored to specific users, too, as the system can distinguish between different voices.

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Amazon Echo Show for $80

The Amazon Echo Show is another option to start up an IoT ecosystem at home. This product taps into the Amazon Alexa voice assistant -- also found in the Echo speaker range -- and is also able to answer queries and access 'skills' for weather reports, news bites, and to perform functions including setting timers, ordering goods, and streaming content.

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Neewer Ring Light Kit for $99

One for photography fans, the Neewer kit containing an LED light ring, light stand, carry bag, and optional accessories such as a remote or reflector. You can use the basic kit to improve the lighting conditions not just for taking still images, but also if you enjoy making or streaming videos. 

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Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 for $70

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 is likely to prove a hit with those who want to take photos while out and about without necessarily relying on their phone camera. This camera, which produces polaroids, is equipped with a viewfinder, a 60mm focal length lens, and f/12.7,  f/16, f/22, and f/32 settings depending on the environmental conditions, as well as the option to bolt-on a macro lens for close-up photography.   

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Amazon Kindle for $90

While there are other more expensive models available, such as the Amazon Paperwhite, the standard Kindle is an affordable e-reader with good battery life. This light device can be used to read e-books on the go and includes an adjustable light. Books can be sourced from the Kindle Store or downloaded directly. 

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Xiaomi Mi smart bedside lamp for $45

The Xiaomi Mi smart bedside lamp could make a great gift this year for someone who wants an elegant night light. Mood lighting or reading and changing the color to suit is no problem, and the lamp can also be controlled to gradually and automatically increase to help its owner get up in the morning.

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An entry-level VR headset for $37

The world of virtual reality does not only have to be explored by those with deep pockets. You can pick up entry-level, basic VR headsets, such as one manufactured by Optoslon, to play movies and access content via your smartphone. While nowhere as sophisticated as models such as the Vive or Oculus, this device can still provide good entertainment value.

More affordable tech deals over Christmas 2019 

  • Ember Temperature Control smart mug on Amazon for $71 
  • Anker PowerCore 13000 portable charger on Amazon for $29 
  • Lovebox Messenger on Urban Outfitters for $100 
  • Portable drone landing pad on Walmart for $4.99+