Still have one of those holiday gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Looking for a gadget to augment your Valentine's gift bag? Yes, the mid-winter 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.
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.
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.
There's nothing sexy about a wall wart, but this one is the closest we've found to a universal charger -- and it only costs about $31. Use the USB-C PD (power delivery) port for nearly anything, up to and including the Nintendo Switch and most newer laptops. Meanwhile, the older USB-A slot works for phones, headphones or anything else that uses a legacy USB cable.
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.
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.
Published earlier, updated to confirm pricing and availability.