Still have one of those holiday gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Yes, the January sales landscape is far less of a target-rich environment than you'll find in those heady days right before Christmas, but there are still plenty of great deals out there. That that end, we've pulled together five of our favorite gadgets that are available for under $50.
Real AirPods will run you between $129 to $159, depending where and when you buy them. But for under $50, your best alternative is the EarFun Free. It offers wireless and USB-C charging, full water resistance and six hours of battery life between in-case charges. Oh, and for the price, they sound pretty good, too. Read our EarFun Free review.
No, the Lenovo Smart Clock isn't as fully featured as the Google Nest Hub -- but at half the price, it's a pretty sweet bedside companion that includes Google Assistant. There's no camera, which we appreciate in the bedroom, and the USB port on the rear is handy for charging phones or other gadgets on your nightstand. Read our Lenovo Smart Clock review.
The Wonderboom 2 from Ultimate Ears is a great softball-size travel speaker that will cost you between $80 and $100. But for just $40, the Wonderboom LE -- a reissue of the original Wonderboom, albeit only in black -- has all the key features that made it one of our favorite wireless speakers at twice the price. It's fully waterproof (it floats, actually) and sounds great for its size. Read our UE Wonderboom review.
Battery packs for mobile devices are easy to find, but the MyCharge HubPlus is a model of efficiency because it keeps the wires at a minimum. It's got fold-out prongs for plugging into a wall outlet, and it includes integrated Lightning and USB-C cables, plus a USB-A outlet for charging a third device (you can supply a Micro-USB cable for those pesky older products). You can spend up for the larger, heavier 10,050-mAh HubMax model if you need more juice.
These days, it's nearly impossible to get a TV without a bunch of "smart" streaming apps built-in. But that's not true of older TVs, and even newer ones don't have all the top new services, like Disney Plus. Enter the Roku Streaming Stick Plus: For under $50, this plug-in streamer will deliver literally every online video service you can think of -- Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and hundreds more -- at resolutions up to 4K for under $50. Oh, and the remote will control your TV's power and volume, too. If you're looking to give that old TV a new lease on life, this is the gadget to get. Read our Roku Streaming Stick (2017) review.
Sometimes you need a break from all the screens, headphones and streaming media. And for analog gamers ready to go beyond the likes Monopoly and Risk, Carcassonne is a great stepping stone to a wider board game world. Two to five players use tiles to build and claim towns, roads and farmland. The game is easy to learn, and alternate rule sets let players opt for more challenging scenarios.