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The best holiday tech gifts under $50

Tech gadgets can make everyone's lives better, and they don't have to cost a fortune. The best cheap tech gifts under $50 are sure to impress everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Reviewed by Kayla Solino

Shopping for holiday gifts for your loved ones can quickly add up and become pretty expensive. However, you don't need to spend a fortune to find a gift that will not only impress -- but also make their lives easier. To drive that point home, ZDNET put together a list of best-value tech products that are sure to impress without breaking the bank. 

Also: Best early Black Friday deals: Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and more

We've got a gift for everyone on your shopping list, from the working professional to the music lover to the notetaking aficionado and more, all under $50, making it the perfect budget gift or even stocking stuffer. The best part is that most of these products are discounted even further right now, making these gifts a bang for your buck. 

  • Price: $15

If someone on your list is a working professional who could benefit from business cards, the Linq card is an alternative that will be sure to wow. Whenever I go to a professional event and show people my Linq card, usually people are amazed, making it not only practical but also a great conversation starter. 

All you have to do when you get the card is set it up in the Linq app, and then when people tap your card with their phone, your Linq profile will come up, which they can then easily save to their contacts. It really is that simple. Did I mention that the price point and size make it a great stocking stuffer?

  • Price: $30 

With Apple's recent switch to USB-C charging, now most phone users employ a USB-C charging port, which this Anker Power Bank is perfect for. This power bank's major selling point is its compact design, which makes it no bigger than most of my lipsticks. Despite its small size, the charger still packs impressive features including 5,000mAh capacity, which is enough to charge an iPhone 15 Pro to 68%, according to Anker. 

It also has a foldable USB-C port, which eliminates the need for pesky wires or the struggle of trying to find out where to place your portable charger, since you can just let it hang from your phone as you continue with your phone activities. 

  • Price: $30 

I know you may be thinking $30 for a phone accessory is a steep price, but let me tell you why it's worth the price tag. Typically, I have strayed away from any MagSafe accessory since the hold is typically mediocre, and I feel like it will slip off my phone at any given point. However, this accessory changed my opinion. 

The hold on the back of my phone is so strong that I can turn my phone upside down while holding just the accessory, and my phone will not slip off. This little accessory helps avoid hand fatigue while holding your phone up and scrolling aimlessly and even doubles as a little stand you can use to prop up your phone for FaceTime calls, video streaming, and more.  

  • Price: $40 (on-sale for $20 on Amazon) 

An Amazon Fire TV Stick has the ability to make your older TV have the capabilities of a newer, smart TV by giving it access to all of your favorite streaming apps. All you have to do is find the HDMI port on your TV,  plug the stick in, sign-in to your Amazon account, and then download and sign into your favorite streaming services to start watching. 

This is especially a great gift for people who aren't ready to take the plunge and upgrade to a brand-new smart TV but could use a little upgrade. Amazon is usually consistently running deals on this product, and right now, it's available for 50% off, making it only $20. 

Also: The best streaming devices of 2023

  • Price: $40 (on sale for $25 on Amazon) 

Novelty meets practicality with this gift. If you know someone who is very organized and likes to take notes, this gift is perfect for them. The Rocketbook Fusion Smart Notebook scratches the itch to physically put pen to paper while also providing the convenience of digital, portable notes. 

The notebook comes with synthetic paper, which users can write on the same way they would on any piece of paper, using the included Pilot FriXion pen. Then, users can easily scan the pages and save them to Rocketbook's app cloud, which will give the notes a digital home accessible at any time from your devices. Then, when they are ready, they can wipe the physical page clean with a damp cloth to reuse again and again. 

Also: The best smart notebooks

  • Price: $35 (on sale for $30) 

I purchased this tripod when I realized I was traveling somewhere where I wanted to take a photo but knew that I would most likely not have someone to take it, or at least someone who would take it to my liking. This tripod is portable and super easy to fit anywhere, not much bigger than a Stanley bottle in height and much slimmer in width, as seen in the photo. 

Despite its compactness when folded, it stretches to five feet, perfect for full-body photos. The photo clicker is an added bonus that lets you snap photos with a click of a button, even when the tripod is feet away. 

  • Price: $29

Everyone can use some help keeping track of their items, and AirTags can do just that. Whether it be keys, your wallet, your remote, or even your pets, AirTags are a great solution for keeping track of items you don't want to lose. 

This is a great gift for iPhone users since AirTags integrate perfectly into the Apple ecosystem and FindMy system to locate the items. My favorite feature is the one that will tell you exactly how many feet away your item is, helping you pinpoint the exact location when you might not be able to physically see it. 

Review: AirTags

  • Price: $50 (on sale for $40 on Amazon) 

Give someone on your shopping list the gift of music with the JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth speaker. The speaker delivers a clear, loud, and booming sound perfect for any occasion, including a party, workout, shower or even just casual music enjoyment. 

Its compact design makes it easy to bring anywhere, even on daily commutes, since it has a convenient clip to attach to a backpack, briefcase, or another object and is waterproof, making it rainproof. Users can even use it to take calls thanks to a noise-canceling speakerphone built into the speaker. With 12 different color choices, you can find one that will suit everyone on your list's taste. 

Also: The best portable speakers

  • Price: $50 (on sale for $23)

If someone you know hasn't ever owned an Echo device, this speaker is a great way to introduce them to the world of smart home assistants. With the Echo Dot, users can use their voice to play music, learn about the weather, set cooking timers, and get other Alexa Assistance. 

For those who are already a little tech-savvy and familiar with smart home appliances, they can even use Alexa to turn their lights on and off and control other aspects of their smart home. Lastly, if you know someone who already owns an Echo Dot, the new fifth-generation model boasts upgrades to the last, including better speakers, making it the perfect gift for them. 

  • Price: $37 (on sale for $22 on Amazon) 

Whether the person you are shopping for is a student, working professional, or just someone who likes to spend a lot of time on their computer, they can severely benefit from an ergonomic mouse. This mouse has an ergonomic shape, which makes it more comfortable to hold, avoiding pain in the hand or wrist after long periods of time. 

At $37, this mouse made ZDNET's pick for best budget ergonomic mouse. Right now, it is even on sale, making it cheaper than it already was at only $22.

How did we choose these cheap tech gifts?

First, I identified the different interests the people on your wish list may have. Then, I used my own hands-on experience with many of these products, as well as the experiences and expertise of the other ZDNET experts to curate the perfect gifts for each person. For this particular list, I made sure to keep budget in mind, making sure all the finds had an original pricetag that was under $50. 

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