Let's start with the fun stuff -- albeit the gift that's hardest to find. The new Nintendo Super Nintendo Classic packs 21 awesome retro games into one tiny box that hooks up to any HDTV, and it even includes a second controller for two-player matches in Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II. Just don't pay more than the retail price of $80 for this one.
The perfect alternative to the SNES Classic is the Nintendo 2DS XL. That $150 portable plays nearly all of the same games, plus hundreds more. If that's beyond your budget, though, the standard 2DS is just $80. The one snag: The standard 2DS can't play most SNES titles from Nintendo's library. It does, however, come bundled with either New Super Mario Bros. 2 or Mario Kart 7.
The best bang for your buck in Roku's 2017 lineup is the $70 Streaming Stick Plus. New for 2017 in the plug-in design are full 4K and HDR compatibility, and a remote with both voice control and the ability to control your TV's volume and power. Oh, and it streams every major (and hundreds of minor) video service out there, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Vudu, Movies Anywhere and HBO Go.
New for 2017, Amazon's 4K Fire TV streaming dongle isn't quite as good as Roku's stick. But it costs the same $70 and it's fully compatible with Amazon's best-in-class Alexa voice assistant. If you're buying for someone with a house full of Echo speakers, it's a great way to go.
Speaking of Amazon: The company makes the only tablet priced under $100 that we can enthusiastically recommend. The 2017 version of the $80 Fire HD 8 tablet is zippier than ever, and it offers expandable storage, too.
If you're buying for a bookworm, the entry-level Kindle offers a better reading experience in the sun than a glossy-screen tablet or smartphone. The baseline Kindle shown here costs $80, but it will be frequently discounted by $20 or $30 during the holiday season.
The step-up Kindle Paperwhite adds a gently lit screen for nighttime reading. The unit costs $120, but we're including it here because it's often discounted to $99. Definitely wait for that sort of Black Friday or Cyber Monday discount before buying.
New for 2017, Amazon's second-generation Echo is more affordable and more attractive than its predecessor. Its ubiquitous Alexa voice assistant handles a boatload of queries and smart home controls, and the audio quality is better than that of the entry-level Echo Dot. And with seven plastic or fabric finishes (oak is shown here), it can fit into any decor.
OK, let's return to the world of non-Amazon devices. If you're buying a gift for someone who needs music in the bathroom or by the pool, the waterproof UE Wonderboom is a great choice. The $99 Bluetooth speaker is about the size of a softball, and it sounds great for its size.
At $110, the Bose SoundLink Micro is just a tad out of the budget range here. But it's worth the splurge for anyone who values ultimate portability in a waterproof wireless speaker. You won't find any other speaker this small that sounds this good.
Moving from wireless to wired headphones: The Sony MDR-7506 model is a true classic. These first debuted in 1991 -- but they are also arguably still the best-sounding headphones you can get for under $100.
The Fitbit Charge 2 and Alta HR are our favorite fitness trackers, but they'll cost you closer to $150. You can gift the more minimalist Flex 2 fitness tracker for closer to $60. Unlike those more expensive models, it's fully waterproof, too.
Buying for a road warrior who's always making conference calls on the iPhone? Pioneer's Rayz Rally is a compact plug-and-play Lightning speaker for the iPhone or iPad that doesn't require charging. It works best as a speakerphone but also can be used for music and boosting the sound during video playback.