Tech gifts for less than $100
Don't have a ton of money to spend? Fear not, there's plenty of good tech gear available for under $100.
Roku 3 (2015)
What grad can't use a media streamer?
Roku's the full featured Roku 3 costs less than $100. That said, the new 2016 version of the Roku Streaming Stick offers similar performance and features for $50 less, so be sure to check that model out.
Amazon Fire TV (2015)
Amazon's Fire TV does have some cool advantages over Roku and competing devices, including excellent parental controls, great support and the ability to work with tricky hotel and dorm-room Wi-Fi systems (although Roku recently added that last feature). The new Fire TV box also delivers next-generation 4K video for less than any other 4K-compatible streamer, although most 4K TVs have built-in apps that can do the same thing. Plus, its new Alexa voice assistant feature offers cool tricks like replying to your queries about the weather and adding stuff to a to-do list.
Logitech MX Master
Who doesn't love an awesome mouse? While somewhat pricey, the Logitech MX Master's expansive feature set and smooth operation make it a worthwhile purchase for power users seeking a high-performance wireless mouse.
Biolite SolarPanel 5+
Biolite's $80 SolarPanel 5+ is equipped with an internal battery that stores energy from the sun, which means you can keep a charge in reserve your for smartphone and other devices (tablets will take longer to charge).
Here are its key specs:
- Real time power - 5 Watt, high efficiency monocrystaline Solar panel.
- On-board battery built-in 2,200mAh battery for one full phone charge.
- 360 Kickstand angle easily from trees, tents, and tables.
- Sundial align with the sun for maximum power output.
- Ultra slim design minimalist profile slips easily into your pack.
JBL Flip 3
JBL's third-generation Flip wireless speaker has a more streamlined, splash-proof design and better battery life (at 10 hours), while the price remains the same at $100, £100 or AU$150. And as with all such speakers, the JBL plays any audio content from a Bluetooth-enabled source -- nearly any smartphone or tablet, and most recent computers -- so long as it's in the same room or relatively nearby. (Want more Bluetooth speaker options? Check out our list of best portable mini Bluetooth speakers, many of which are under $100.)
Amazon Kindle 2014
Yes, tablets and smartphones can double as e-readers. But the $79 Amazon Kindle has a long-lasting battery and a paper-like 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 Fire HD 6
As much as we like e-ink readers, though, an extra $20 will get you a full-fledged color tablet. Sure, it doesn't have much storage (8GB) and it's not super-zippy, but the well-designed Fire HD 6 is one of the better options out there -- especially given its $99 price tag. It does come in a 16GB version for $20 more, and it's also worth mentioning that Amazon occasionally discounts both HD 6 models from time to time, making them even better bargains.
The "new" Apple TV starts at $149, but the old Apple TV, which doesn't come with the fancy voice remote or have the ability to play games, is $69.
If you're invested in the Apple universe -- own an iPhone, iPad or Mac, or you already have lots of movies, TV shows, and music on iTunes -- Apple TV is a better choice than the Roku. And even though it's 3 years old, Apple is keeping its box fresh with new channels every few months.
Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 is eco-friendly and practical -- use it with a Mac, iPad or iPhone and never worry about recharging the battery.
Wacom Creative Stylus 2
The Wacom Creative Stylus 2 is a perfect choice for creative grads who like using the iPad as a sketchbook. And the sub-$80 price won't sting.
Logitech UE Roll
The UE Roll is a fully waterproof, wireless Bluetooth speaker that sounds quite good for its size. It comes in multiple color options for just less than $100.
Beyerdynamic DTX 350p
Beyerdynamic makes some great high-end headphones, but lately it's been putting out some value models with great sound. The on-ear DTX 350p, which comes in black or white, sounds better than a lot of headphones that cost twice the price. (Want more headphone options? Check out our list of best headphones under $100.)
An oldie, but a goodie. Despite being first released in the 1990s, the Sony MDR-7506 may well be the best-sounding headphones you can get for under $100.
Garmin Vivofit 2
Looking for a low-maintenance step counter? The Garmin Vivofit 2 is waterproof and has a one-year battery life, despite its always-on screen. Not bad for about $75 (online).
The new version of the Jawbone Up2 features a redesign that makes the band more stylish and, more importantly, less likely to fall off your wrist. It's leaps and bounds better than the original Up2. Plus, a new firmware update finally adds overdue automatic sleep tracking to this model and previous versions.
Skullcandy Grind Wireless
The Grind, one of our favorite budget headphones, now comes in a wireless Bluetooth version called the Grind Wireless for $90. It's available in multiple color options and sounds very good for its relatively modest price point.
Logitech Harmony Home Control
We've got a few products here at the end of the roundup that don't quite get in under the $100 mark, but if you're willing to stretch your budget a little, they're worth checking out.
The Harmony Home Control offers the biggest bang for the buck in the Logitech line, with an RF remote (no more line-of-sight issues) and the option to use iOS and Android devices as remote controls, too. It costs a little more than $100, but it's still a good value.
Jawbone Mini Jambox
The Jambox Mini initially retailed for $179, but has steadily dropped in price and now can be had for $75 in certain colors (yes, it's available in a variety colors).
Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite e-reader carries a list price of $119, but sometimes Amazon discounts it to $99. It's not as slick as the step-up Kindle Voyage, but it now sports an "HD" screen and is a fine e-reader, especially at $99.
Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse
One of the swankier mice out there that's designed for mobile use, the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 is essentially a mini, travel-friendly version of Logitech's flagship MX Master.
Bose SoundLink Color
For a little bit more than $100, you can pick up a Bose SoundLink Color ($130). It's doesn't perform quite as well as the $200 SoundLink Mini, but it's an attractive little Bluetooth speaker that delivers big sound for its size, is easy to tote around and recharges with a standard Micro-USB cable.
Amazon Echo Dot
It's not so easy to get an Echo Dot right now (only existing Echo owners can order it through the Echo and shipment dates have been pushed out to summer). But the new mini version of Amazon's cloud-connected voice activated speaker does cost less than $100.