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The 12 best cheap tech gifts under $50

What is the best cheap tech gift under $50? ZDNet recommends the Aluratek Digital Photo Frame. But we've compiled a list of other excellent gadgets that make great gifts and cost less than $50.
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Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Need a good gift for someone special (or, perhaps, you!), and need it to be less than $50? You've come to the right place!

Here, we've compiled a list of some of the best gifts that you can pick up for under $50 — from kitchen tools to products that help with productivity to entertainment gadgets, you'll find a gift for everyone on your list. 

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Aluratek

Features: 8-inch screen size | USB or SD flash connection | 4:3 aspect ratio

Our pick for the best cheap gift under $50 is the Aluratek Digital Photo Frame since it makes a personalized and sentimental gift for the ones you love. Simply insert a USB or an SD card into the frame's back slide slots, and photos will cycle through the frame. Photos are displayed on the frame's true digital LCD panels for clear and vibrant colors and definition. 

Pros: 

  • Easily view your favorite photos 
  • Automatic slideshow 

Cons:

  • No built-in memory
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WeatherTech

Features: 360-degree rotation | Compatible with all smartphones | Nesting cups for universal fit

As one of the most renowned brands in the car accessory market, WeatherTech's CupFone Cup Holder is perhaps its most popular product. It fits into your car's cupholder and has a tilting function so you can tilt your phone to the right angle to look at directions or make hands-free calls. WeatherTech promises the CupFone will fit "all known smartphones," including those with normal sized protective cases. 

Pros: 

  • Fully adjustable to fit any phone and cupholder size 
  • Allows for hands-free calls

Cons:

  • No adjustable height
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Amazon

Features: 9 color options | 42 pages | 7 different page styles

For that one friend or family member that is always making lists and carries a notebook with them everywhere, the Rocketbook Fusion Smart Notebook is the perfect gift. The notebook's synthetic paper allows you to write the included Pilot FriXion pen, then wipe the page clean with a damp cloth to reuse again and again. You can save your pages to the Rocketbook app's cloud to make it easy to find later. 

Pros: 

  • Transfers notes from book to app 
  • Useful for to-do lists, calendars, goal-setting, sketching, and more

Cons:

  • Not hardcover
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Features: 6 color options | Built-in Tile technology | IP55 rating

You might not be able to pick up AirPods for under $50, but that doesn't mean that you can't pick up a set of awesome earbuds. The Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless In-Ear earbuds offer great sound, are IP55 rated to resist sweat, and water and dust resistant. You also get 24 hours of total battery life from the buds and the charging case. This is a superb package at the fraction of the cost of AirPods.

Pros: 

  • Can use both buds together or use one solo
  • Call, track, and volume control

Cons: 

  • Complaints of connection issues
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iDOO

Features: 5-Liter water tank capacity | Fits 7 plant pods | Adjustable light height up to 14.57 inches tall

If you have a friend or family member that is into gardening or growing their own herbs, the iDoo Hydroponics Growing System would make a great gift. This indoor smart garden can easily fit a kitchen counter and can grow up to seven plants, making it easy to have fresh veggies year-round.

An adjustable light with 24-watt LED lights that simulate the sunlight spectrum grows as your plants get taller, so they are always receiving the most optimized light. The smart garden also has three light modes depending on the stage of the plants' growth.

Pros:

  • Adjustable light height
  • Different water and light modes

Cons:

  • The lights can be very bright so do not put in a bedroom

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Takeya

Features: 2 quarts | BPA-Free Tritan pitcher | Portable and leak-proof

The coffee lover in your life will appreciate fresh, homemade cold brew coffee every morning with the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker. Takeya's ultra-fine mesh filter is designed to brew coffee to perfection and keep coffee grinds out of your coffee. And, the airtight seal locks in that cold brew coffee flavor for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. 

Pros: 

  • Keeps coffee fresh for up to two weeks 
  • Brew cold brew in three easy steps

Cons:

  • Lots of different parts mean lots to clean
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JBL

Features: 12 different color options | 10 hours of battery life | 4 ounces

Give the gift of music with the JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth speaker. It delivers a clear, loud, and booming sound perfect for any part. You can bring it anywhere to listen to your favorite tunes—even to the pool or beach since it is completely waterproof and has a convenient clip to clip onto a backpack, purse, etc. Also, you can take calls thanks to a noise-canceling speakerphone built into the speaker. 

Pros: 

  • Completely waterproof 
  • Noise-canceling speakerphone 

Cons:

  • Lacks bass
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Features: 1 year of battery life | Connects via Bluetooth and Apple's Find My Network | IP67 waterproof rating

Know an iPhone user who loses stuff all the time? AirTags are the perfect gift for them! AirTags integrate perfectly into the Apple ecosystem -- the Ultra Wideband chips in newer iPhones can pinpoint them, and if one is lost, people walking around with iPhones are secretly helping look for it! Features a replaceable battery, and is waterproof up to IP67.

Pros: 

  • Inexpensive 
  • Long-lasting battery

Cons:

  • No real-time tracking

Also: AirTags review: Tile trounced by the power of Apple's Find My network

YubiKey 5 NFC

Features: USB-A | Supports password managers | FIDO 2 Certified

This is the perfect gift to help people protect their digital assets. Everything from your social media accounts, email, password manager, and much more can be secured by this one hardware key. I've been using these for well over a year now, and not only have they streamlined my online security, they've also been super reliable.

Pros: 

  • USB-A and NFC offer broad support
  • Low cost

Cons:

  • No USB-C support

Also: Best security keys: Protect your online accounts

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Amazon

Features: 6 replacement massage heads | 6 adjustable speeds | 2 pounds

Everyone loves a good massage, and this massage gun by KZED relaxes muscles, relieves muscle stiffness, and improves soreness after exercise. The six types of massage heads meets the needs of different muscles, and the adjustable speeds allow you to customize the vibrations for either a lighter massage or a deep tissue one.  

Pros: 

  • Long battery life 
  • Different speeds and different heads for a customized massage

Cons:

  • Can be tricky to change out the heads
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife - Huntsman

Features: 3.4 ounces | 15 functions | Stainless steel

There are a lot of different Swiss Army Knives out there (don't bother with the cheap clones), but for under $50, this Huntsman is probably the best. It offers a well thought out selection of tools, and yet is compact enough to slip into a pocket. If you manage not to lose it, and this will give years of service.

Pros: 

  • Corkscrew, can opener, screwdriver, scissors, blade, and more
  • Compact size

Cons: 

  • Scratches form easily

What is the best cheap tech gift under $50?

We chose the Aluratek Digital Photo Frame as the best cheap tech gift for under $50 since it makes a personalized and sentimental gift for the ones you love. However, any of the products on our list would be great tech gift options—it just depends on what the gift receiver likes/needs. 

How did we choose these cheap tech gifts?

Our process in deciding these products included extensive research into each product including reviews (both good and bad), pricing, category of the gift, and trusted brands. We considered different gift options in various categories so gift givers would be able to find a gift for anyone on their list for any occasion.

Are there alternative cheap tech gifts to consider?

Here are a few other options to consider that are also under $50:

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