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Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Tech Junkies

Our writers and editors weigh in on the best gifts under $50 to give this year.


There’s a good chance that everybody you know owns a smartphone. Really, everyone. Maybe you have a stubborn relative holding on to a flip phone, or maybe a grandparent not so hip with the times, but that’s a rarity these days. The point is that pretty much everybody has some level of understanding when it comes to electronics, and you don’t have to be a “tech junkie” to appreciate a good gadget. But for those who are a little more precious with their tech, and the accessories that compliment said tech, those are the people who are a little more difficult to buy gifts. Still, it’s not impossible.

Nimble 8-Day Portable Charger

Most portable chargers can get the job done in a pinch. But Nimble’s 8-Day Portable Charger packs high-end power with added benefits. Offering 18W in a compact design with three power output ports allows users to charge multiple devices. What’s more, it’s made using recyclable aluminum, plant-based bioplastics and other naturally occurring materials for less impact on the planet. Which means it’s a premium tech product that’s good for the environment, too.

Buy Now: $70

Google Home Mini

This is the smallest and most affordable speaker that’s decked out with Google Assistant. And despite its diminutive size, it’s a very good speaker for small rooms. Plus, you know you’re getting far-and-away the smartest virtual assistant.

Buy Now: $50

Apple AirPods

AirPods have been around for a hot minute now, but they’re undoubtedly great. They seamlessly sync to any iPhone and their case is more pocketable than any other I’ve seen. As long as they have an iPhone, these are the best true wireless headphones that you can buy.

Buy Now: $159

Chromecast Ultra

The Chromecast Ultra lets you cast any show or music from your smartphone to the big screen. It also supports 4K and HDR content, so it’ll work with the latest and greatest 4K TVs.

Buy Now: $69

Anker Soundcore Space NC Headphones

As Anker’s first foray into the noise-canceling market, the Soundcore Space NC headphones are nothing short of impressive. They’re comfortable, sound good, boast excellent battery life and noise-canceling capabilities, and best of all, they’re less than $100.

Buy Now: $99Read the Review

Polaroid OneStep+

The OneStep+ is the first Polaroid instant camera to have two lenses, enabling it to take really good portrait shots. It’s also Polaroid’s first instant camera to have built-in Bluetooth and work with a companion app, enabling the photographer to shoot in a manual mode, have complete control over things like the aperture and shutter speed, as well as shoot photos with all kinds of crazy light effects.

Buy Now: $160Read the Review

Twelve South PlugBug Duo

For anybody with a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, this handy adapter adds two additionally USB charging ports to the computer’s stock wall charger. Basically, it allows you to charge two other devices without needing another wall adapter or using up another outlet.

Buy Now: $50

Ember Ceramic Mug

Featured in the MoMA Design Store, meaning it’s beautifully designed, this little mug keeps your coffee, tea, hot chocolate or whatever other hot beverage you drink throughout the day at your ideal temperature throughout for 24 hours.

Buy Now: $80Read the Review

This Is Ground Cord Taco

Even though a lot of companies make cord tacos these days, This Is Ground was the originator. There models are made of pure leather and, like always, provide a great way to store all your charging cables, whether you’re traveling or organizing a drawer.

Buy Now: $30 (5-pack)

Nomad Universal Cable USB-C

This is essentially a way more versatile USB-C to USB-C charging cable then the one that comes with your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. That’s because one of its USB-C tips can be swapped for a USB-A tip, and the other USB-C tip can be swapped for a micro-USB tip. This means you can charge any gadget that charges USB-A, USB-C or micro-USB, so you can charge most laptops, tablets, headphones and smartphones with one cord.

Buy Now: $30

Arctic Breeze Mobile USB-A Fan

We’ve actually got a few of these in the Gear Patrol office. Yes, they’re quirky, but they’re actually very convenient for anybody who likes a bit of breeze, but doesn’t have the desk space for a full-on fan.

Buy Now: $9

Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine

Some people just like ambient noise. This little machine is great for homes and offices, especially adject to a bathroom, and it makes a soft melodic churning sound like a running dishwasher and air conditioning system. It’s nice.

Buy Now: $49

Vont Bluetooth Receiver

Anybody with an older car has the unfortunate inconvenience of not having Bluetooth. This means, when driving, they can’t wirelessly stream audio or answer hands-free calls. This little portable Bluetooth receiver changes that. It plugs into their car’s 3.5mm aux input and from there they stream music through the car’s speaker system.

Buy Now: $16

Quirky Cordies Desktop Cable Management

It’s a problem that a lot of desk-bound workers have: all their cords get tangled, or lost in cracks, making it super frustrating to find your power cable or the specific cord you’re looking for. This simple accessory sorts all that out.

Buy Now: $10

Peel Phone Case

With the latest smartphones — iPhone XS, iPhone XR, Pixel 3, Galaxy S9 — being so pretty, it’s a shame that you really need put a case on them. They’re made of glass, after all, and scratch easily. To prevent that, get them a simple phone case by Peel. There’s one for basically every smartphone, both old and new, and they’re so thin that you’ll forget that there’s even a case on there.

Buy Now: $25+

Anker Soundcore Flare

The Soundcore Flare is a portable speaker that sounds way bigger than its size. It’s waterproof, has a dedicated button to boost the bass, and through the Soundcore app you can tweak the EQ settings and customize the speaker’s LED lights. For $60, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more versatile, better sounding speaker.

Buy Now: $60

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB

Because photographers always need more memory, you can’t really go wrong gifting them an SSD. And this one by SanDisk is widly regarded as one of the top performing SSDs you can buy.

Buy Now: $19

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Don’t know what to get the people on your list? We’ve got you covered with our holiday gift guide.

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