/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNet ZDNet independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNet Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

The 12 best cheap tech gifts for under $100

What is the best cheap tech gift under $100? Our recommendation is the Ninja Air Fryer. Here are ZDNet's top picks for affordable, useful gadgets and tech accessories that would make great gifts for any occasion.

No matter if you need to give a gift for a birthday, a graduation, an anniversary, or any other holiday, you don't need to spend.a fortune on a great gift. With the huge range of tech gadgets and accessories on the market -- ranging from smart home devices to gadgets that make working from home slightly easier—you can find something at an affordable price for any occasion. 

Below, we've compiled our best picks to make the hunt for gifts easier. 

Also: The best cheap tech gifts under $75

ninja-air-fryer-best-tech-gifts-under-100.jpg
Ninja

Features: 4-quart capacity | 1500 wattage | 105-400 degree Fahrenheit temperature range 

Our pick for best cheap tech gift under $100 is the Ninja Air Fryer for $89.99. Air fryers are popular right now—and for good reason: they allow you to make crispy chicken wings, reheat leftover pizza perfectly, roast veggies quickly, and more, all without unhealthy oils. This Ninja Air Fryer can air fry, roast, reheat, and dehydrate up to 4 quarts of food. And, it's also dishwasher safe for easy clean up. 

Pros: 

  • Four preset cooking options 
  • Dishwasher safe 

Cons: 

  • Less features than an Instant Pot
echo-show-8-gg.jpg
Image: Amazon

Features: 8-inch touchscreen | 13 MP camera with built-in shutter and auto-framing | 1280 x 800 resolution

The Amazon Echo Show 8 is the perfect all-in-one gift—it serves as a smart home assistant, a way to make video calls, and as a digital frame to show off your favorite photos.

You can get calendar reminders, traffic updates, and set timers, or even enjoy your favorite playlist via Spotify. There is also access to streaming services like Prime Video and Netflix. The Amazon Echo Show can even control other smart devices in your home.

Pros:

  • Smart display that can act as an assistant or can display favorite photos
  • Auto-framing camera to always keep you in centered the frame

Cons:

  • Need to have Amazon Photos or Facebook to use photo display feature
2.jpg

Features: Google Assistant | Built-in speakers | Four color options

An alternative smart assistant option—if Amazon's Echo Show isn't what you are looking for—is the Google Nest Mini. This home hub sports similar functions including the Google voice assistant, the ability to control IoT devices, check your schedule, and call friends and family. 

This option from Best Buy also comes with a Google Chromecast to stream anything to your TV. 

Pros: 

  • Can control other devices in your home 
  • Acts as a music player 

Cons:

  • No display screen 
hp-instant-photo-printer-best-tech-gifts-under-100.jpg
HP

Features: Connects via Bluetooth | HP Zink photo paper | Free HP Sprocket app

Easily print photos from your phone with this HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer. It prints photos onto HP Zink photo paper that are 2.3 x 3.4 inches. You can even add filters, frames, and stickers to your photos before printing using the free HP Sprocket app. 

Pros: 

  • Weighs less than a pound 
  • Prints one photo per minute 

Cons:

  • Paper refills are relatively expensive   
3.jpg

Features: 1080p camera | Cordless | 130-degree field of view 

If you're looking for a gift related to smart homes that can also bolster security, Ring's stick up cam is an affordable option. Suitable for use in or outdoors, the camera connects to a mobile device and monitors an area for any suspicious activity in real-time. If motion is detected, an alert is sent to the user, who can then access their camera to see what is happening. This device comes with a 1080p camera and night vision.

Pros: 

  • Customizable privacy zones 
  • Hear and speak to people via phone or tablet 

Cons:

  • Have to change batteries 
7.jpg

Features: Up to 10 days of battery | Water resistant up to 164 feet | Touchscreen

An affordable gift this year for those who are either fitness enthusiasts or would like to start leading a healthier lifestyle is the Fitbit Inspire 2. This fitness tracker, available in three colors, connects to a user's smartphone and is able to track activity levels, sleep patterns, heart rate, and more. 

Pros: 

  • Daily readiness score and 24/7 heart rate monitoring 
  • 1-year Fitbit Premium membership included 

Cons:

  • No color screen 
jbl-flip-5-portable-speaker-best-tech-gifts-under-100.jpg
JBL

Features: 12-hour battery life | Universal compatibility | 65Hz-20kHz frequency response

Give the gift of music with the JBL Flip 5 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 rated IPX7 for water-resistance. It can also be paired with another JBL compatible speaker for complete stereo sound. 

Pros: 

  • Multiple color options 
  • Pairs with other JBL speakers 

Cons: 

  • No microphone feature to take phone calls
8.jpg

Features: Included charging case | Bluetooth 5.0 | 33-foot range

Over the past few years, wireless earbuds have disrupted the traditional headphone market in a big way. While it's always handy to have a case to hand to stop them from going missing, the advantage of these kinds of headphones is their portability and lack of wires -- and the Jabra Elite 65t is no exception. These stylish wireless earbuds would make a great gift this year as they not only pack up to five hours of use but also contain a built-in microphone for hands-free calls.  

Pros: 

  • Large, medium, and small ear tip sizes included 
  • Headset controls lets you play/pause, reject a call, skip a song, and more

Cons:

  • Only one color option
sodastream-starter-kit-best-tech-gifts-under-100.jpg
SodaStream

Features: Dishwasher safe | Makes up to 126 bottles | 3 color options

You don't have to buy cases of sparkling water anymore with the SodaStream water maker. The maker uses Quick Connect technology for fast and easy CO2 cylinder insertion. Simply insert a SodaStream carbonating bottle and once your water is carbonated, you can add any flavor(s) for customized and delicious sparkling water. 

Pros: 

  • Dishwasher safe for easy clean up 
  • Add any flavor combination to your water 

Cons:

  • Flavors sold separately 
10.jpg

Features: 11 pounds | 1500 watts | Non-stick 14 x 8 inch ceramic grill

Something foodies will enjoy, this gadget is portable and can be used to cook everything from meat to vegetables. Since it's smokeless, you can use it anywhere, including indoors. An LED touch control panel lets you select the temperature of the grill anywhere from 220 to 450 Fahrenheit for perfect grilling results. 

Pros: 

  • Smokeless 
  • Removable grill for easy cleaning 

Cons:

  • Can take a little longer to cook some things 
11.jpg

Features: 4.25-inch full color vertically oriented screen | 3.5mm headphone jack | Removable joystick

Fans of old, classic games will love the Namco Museum mini retro arcade system, an affordable 10-inch arcade cabinet. In total, 20 Bandai-Namco titles, such as Pac-Man, Sky Kid, and Galaxian are included. This gadget, containing a removable joystick, also comes with inbuilt speakers and a headphone jack.

Pros: 

  • Play retro game titles 
  • Weighs only 2.3 pounds

Cons: 

  • Limited number of games 
12.jpg

Features: Three-speed massage | Heat option | Carrying handles to customize massage pressure

Over at Best Buy, you can pick up a Shiatsu Deluxe neck and shoulder massager, a heated cushion that fits snugly around your neck and shoulders for instant relief for tired muscles. When many of us are sitting at a PC all day now in our home offices, this massager is a thoughtful gift -- and one that will likely have a lot of use.

Pros:

  • Heat option
  • Three speeds of massage from relaxing to intense

Cons:

  • Not cordless 

What is the best cheap tech gift under $100?

Our recommendation for the best cheap tech gift under $100 is the Ninja Air Fryer since it's an essential kitchen appliance that will let anyone fry things in a healthier way. However, any of the products on our list would be great tech gift options—it just depends 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 couple other options to look into that are also under $100:

Related

12 best Father's Day tech gift ideas under $100 in 2022
2020-06-12-at-9-28-07-am.jpg

12 best Father's Day tech gift ideas under $100 in 2022

Hardware
The 6 best air fryers of 2022
replace-this-image.jpg

The 6 best air fryers of 2022

Kitchen & Household
Amazon Prime Day 2022: Shop the best early Prime Day deals now available
image-2018-07-16-at-12-27-08-pm.jpg

Amazon Prime Day 2022: Shop the best early Prime Day deals now available

Deals