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Best back to school tech under $100

A C-note is all the budget you need to buy great tech. Here are some of our favorite products available for under $100.

David Carnoy
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
David Carnoy
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The best tech under $100

With our list of the best accessories under $25 and the best tech under $50, we've already shown that you can get some great gadgets without breaking the bank. Now we're raising the budget to $100 and choosing a new list of favorites -- including all of the products shown above.

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2 of 19 Sarah Tew/CNET

Logitech X300

The X300, Logitech's latest entry in to the micro Bluetooth speaker space stands out because it's well built, offers decent, and is well-priced at around $60 online.

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3 of 19 Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku 3

The Roku 3 is our current top pick in the Internet media box category. It's the best overall choice for online streaming, with Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, Amazon Instant, Vudu, Watch ESPN, Watch ABC, and -- finally! -- YouTube, plus literally hundreds of others. (Pretty much the only thing missing is iTunes; you'll need an Apple TV for that -- see the following slide.) The Wi-Fi remote -- which doesn't require "line of sight" to the player -- seals the deal.

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4 of 19 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple TV

If you're a full-on Apple person -- an iPhone, iPad, or Mac owner, someone who already has lots of movies, TV shows, and music on iTunes, or who's really into iTunes Radio or iTunes Match -- Apple TV is a better choice than the Roku. And with the recent additions of the Watch ABC, Watch ESPN, Watch Disney, HBO Go, the Weather Channel, and free, live news channels like Sky News and Bloomberg TV, it's certainly a great deal -- but we'd recommend holding off for the next couple of months, since rumors of an updated box are becoming hard to ignore.

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5 of 19 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-ray player

Streaming video is great, but there are still plenty of folks with stacks and stacks of DVDs and Blu-ray discs. With the ability to plays discs and stream the top services (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, YouTube, Pandora, and others), the Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-ray player is a good alternative to a Roku or Apple TV. Just note that this 2013 model is due to be replaced very soon.

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6 of 19 Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Kindle 2012

Yes, tablets and smartphones can double as e-readers. But the $69 Amazon Kindle has a long-lasting battery and a paperlike screen that avid readers will appreciate. And unlike more-versatile devices, there won't be any calls, emails, or texts to distract the reader, either. Amazon kept this 2012 model in the line, and it remains the most affordable Kindle you can get without stepping up to the the self-illuminated, touch-screen 2013 Paperwhite version for $119.

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AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker BTV1

Yes, Amazon lends its brand to a line of "cheap but good" basic accessories -- and its BTV1 Bluetooth speaker ain't half bad for $60. (Want more Bluetooth speaker options? Check out our list of best portable mini Bluetooth speakers, many of which are under $100.)

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Brother HL-2270DW

When your budget is just $100, printer shopping can be tough. And, indeed, the Brother HL-2270DW offers neither multifunction capabilities (no scanner/copier, no fax) nor color output. But if you're just looking for a reliable laser printer with Wi-Fi, this workhorse is a great choice.

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Klipsch R6i in-ear headphones

We've been fans of Klipsch's in-ear headphones for a while. Its latest R6i in-ear model is very comfortable and will appeal to bass lovers.

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10 of 19 Dong Ngo/CNET

Seagate Backup Plus

Everyone is sitting on a mountain of documents, photos, videos, and music. Even with cloud storage, you need a local backup -- and the Seagate Backup Plus gives you 1TB of storage (that's 1,000GB) for less than $100.

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V-moda Remix Remote

The V-moda Remix Remotes are some of the best in-ear headphones you can get for under $80, and -- unlike many 'buds -- they have a generous two-year warranty.

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12 of 19 Dong Ngo/CNET

Actiontec Wireless Network Extender Plus Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit

Powerline networking is a great plug-and-play solution to extend a network, but what if you need Wi-Fi on the on the other end? The Actiontec Wireless Network Extender Plus Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit has you covered. It's not the latest, greatest wireless standard, but it will get the job done for most folks -- and only sets you back about $90.

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Sony MDR-7506

An oldie, but a goodie. Despite being first released in the 1990s, the Sony MDR-7506s may well be the best-sounding headphones you can get for under $100. (Want more headphone options? Check out our list of best headphones under $100.)

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14 of 19 Logitech

Logitech Harmony 650

It's a few years old, but the Logitech Harmony 650 is still the best universal remote you can get for under $70 -- just be ready to invest some time and effort into programming it on your Mac or PC. (If you've got a slightly bigger budget, step up to the Logitech Harmony Smart Control for $130 or less.)

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Fitbit Zip

At just $60, the Fitbit Zip is among the most affordable health trackers we can recommend. Just clip it to your belt and use your iPhone or Android phone to monitor your steps and calories burned throughout the day -- or just tap the Zip's screen to get the same info.

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Withings Pulse

Fitbit gets all the press, but the Withings Pulse may be the best fitness tracker you've never heard of. The $99.95 gadget monitors your steps, sleep, and even your heart rate.

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JBL Flip 2

The JBL Flip was one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers under $100 throughout 2013. It's portable, rechargeable, has speakerphone capability, sounds great for its size, and works as a wireless speaker with virtually any smartphone or tablet. The new JBL Flip 2 adds upgrades like Micro-USB charging, more powerful speakers, and NFC pairing. It start out at $130 but now is down to $99.

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LG Tone Ultra

We like the around-the-neck design of LG's Bluetooth Stereo headsets and the Ultra is new for 2014 and sports slightly better audio than its predecessors. Now that it's come down in price (under $100 at some online retailers) it's a better deal than it was at launch.

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Check out best tech under $50 and under $25

If $100 is too rich for your blood, don't fret: we've also got lists of the best tech under $50 and the best tech accessories under $25, too.

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