Affordable: Top tech, gadgets for under $100

Here are some of our favorite innovative and fun gadgets and gifts for tech enthusiasts. These are affordable and budget-friendly.
By Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
1 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A bionic bird

An alternative to standard drones is the $75 Bionic Bird, a remote-controlled gadget which can be controlled via an accompanying app. While out in the air, the bird can glide, turn, and skip, and the device can also be used indoors on slow mode.

See it now: Bionic Bird

2 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon's $50 Fire TV Stick 4K, the latest evolution of the media streaming device, has been designed specifically with 4K Ultra HD content in mind. The dongle is useful for Amazon Prime Video subscribers and is also able to act as a hub for thousands of other channels, apps, and Alexa skills.

The Fire TV Stick will be released on October 31.

See it now: Amazon

3 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Sega Saturn smartphone controller

If you're looking for a gift for someone with a fondness for retro gaming, this smartphone controller could take them back to the days of the $32 Sega Saturn. In total, 17 games are currently available.

See it now: Firebox

4 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET


The $50 Sphero Mini robotic ball is a smaller alternative to the Sphero, an app-enabled robotic ball. Sphero is great fun for kids but is also highly addictive for adults, too, as you can use an app to set the ball zooming around the floor, to dance, spin, and more. The toy, however, is also educational as it can be used to teach basic coding through gamification.

See it now: Iwantoneofthose

5 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Amazon Echo wall clock

If you are looking for an accessory for someone that already opts into the Echo home ecosystem, the $30 Amazon Echo wall clock could make a great gift. The clock will display timers you've set with the Echo smart speaker.

See it now: Amazon

6 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Mobile photography box

Olloclip's mobile photography box is an affordable setup for mobile photography enthusiasts. Specifically designed for the iPhone X, the $99 kit contains fisheye, Super-Wide, and Macro 15x lenses.

See it now: Olloclip

7 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Smart gloves

An affordable but thoughtful gift -- especially as the cold weather rolls in -- this $14 pair of smart gloves have fingertips embedded with a conductive material so wearers can still use their mobile devices effectively without subjecting themselves to numb fingers.

See it now: Iwantoneofthose

8 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

LIFX smart lighting

WhilePhilips Hue IoT lighting is a popular choice when delving into the world of connected lighting, the bulbs do require a central hub which is an additional expense. As an alternative. the $50 LIFX smart lighting range is a popular and more affordable option with many of the same features -- including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home integration.

See it now: Amazon

9 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Wallet Ninja

The $11 Wallet Ninja is an affordable and useful accessory which can be tucked away in a wallet and brought out when users need a tool such as a bottle opener, screwdriver, or cellphone stand.

See it now: Firebox

10 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Smartphone projector

An interesting gift for those who enjoy downloading and watching media on their smartphones -- who may also like watching their movies and television shows sometimes on a bigger screen -- is this $26 smartphone projector.

See it now: Firebox

11 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Bitcoin cufflinks

A rather fun accessory for evenings out and something that could make a great gift for virtual currency enthusiasts is this $62 pair of Bitcoin cufflinks, which are gold plated and made by hand.

See it now: Etsy

12 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Google Home Mini

The $49 Google Home Mini is an alternative accessory for users of Google Home to extend the smart voice assistant's capabilities -- or act as a budget-friendly way to dip a toe into the world of IoT.

The device, a smaller version of Google Home, can be used to tap into the Google assistant, access weather, news, finance, travel updates, stream music, and more.

See it now: Google

13 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Holy Stone quadcopter drone

Popular just for entertainment purposes and now as a professional setup for enthusiasts, videographers, and photographers alike, drones are big business -- but this doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune to become involved.

There are many affordable options on the market, such as the $80 Holy Stone quadcopter drone.

See it now: Amazon

14 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET


A budget-friendly gift for someone who is forever losing their keys or wallet is the $40 Orbit Key. The tracker, encased in aluminum, is waterproof and can be used via an accompanying app to find devices it is connected to through Bluetooth up to 100 feet away.

See it now: Orbit

15 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Amazon Echo 2nd generation

As a gift for those already enjoying the Amazon media ecosystem -- or simply as a way to kickstart a smart home -- the $100 Amazon Echo 2nd generation smart speaker could be a good gift option. The smart speaker is voice-activated and uses the Alexa assistant to tap into music, the news, weather, and traffic reports, as well as "Skills," which are downloadable apps to enhance the device's functionality.

See it now: Amazon

16 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Anker PowerWave

The $46 Anker PowerWave is an affordable and useful Qi charger able to power up your mobile devices through wireless charging.

Modern devices, such as the iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy series, are compatible. The company claims that WaveBoost technology is used to charge up devices up to 30 percent faster than other chargers on the market.

See it now: Amazon

17 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Corsair Strafe mechanical gaming keyboard

If you would like to gift someone with an interesting keyboard over the holiday season, the $99 Corsair Strafe mechanical gaming keyboard is an affordable option. The keyboard is fully programmable and is likely to appeal to those with a fondness for different colors and light setups.

See it now: Amazon

18 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Roku streaming stick

The $49 Roku streaming stick could make a great and affordable gift over the holiday season. The plug-and-play dongle can be used to stream media from sources including Netflix, HBO, and Pandora, as well as access both free and paid channels in HD.

The latest version of the device also comes with a voice-activated remote.

See it now: Roku

19 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The $119 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is an e-reader which is very light and has extensive battery life when only used for reading purposes, making it a popular gift year after year. While slightly above the price bracket, the company also offers fully refurbished models for a hefty discount.

See it now: Amazon

20 of 20 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Anker SoundCore

A very affordable gift over the holiday season is the $28 Anker SoundCore. This portable Bluetooth speaker is small enough to fit into a bag for use anywhere from a park to a hotel room and has a strong Bluetooth connection which connects it to modern mobile devices and MP3 players. The sound quality is reasonable for the price.

See it now: Amazon

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