If I can think of one thing that every CNET fan has in common, its that youre all
incredibly hard to shop for. Youre a discriminating bunch and you already own a
bunch of gadgets, so why would your loved ones risk laying out a bunch of
money for a new gadget you wont like or dont need?
So to help you avoid another membership to the sock of the month club, here are
five tech gifts that are easy to give or receive, and theyre all priced under $50.
These all come from CNETs 2012 Holiday Gift guide. I ranked them by their
likelihood to please the geek who has everything.
Starting at #5: an MP3 player. Now, you probably own a dozen different gadgets
at this point that can play MP3s -- your smartphone, Xbox, tablet, laptop, TV,
maybe even a musical refrigerator. But theres something special about a cheap,
clip-on MP3 player. Whether its an iPod Shuffle or a Sansa ClipZip, you can take
them to the gym, leave them connected to your car stereo, or use it to voice your
homebrewed animatronic Abraham Lincoln.
At #4: the Logitech Harmony 300 universal remote. This $30 computer-
programmable remote makes a great gift for anyone with too many remotes, or
even just one grimey, sad, worn out clicker. Instead of shaming the nerd in your
life into taking a can of Lysol to their busted remote, just treat them with a new
one. If you can spare $60, an upgrade to the Harmony 650 adds a little built-in
screen and some cool extra features.
#3 is the least sexy product on this list, but its also the product that I personally
want the most: the D-Link DIR-605 L Cloud Router. You might remember this
little guy from my Top 5 routers under $80. You get fast wireless-N Wi-Fi speeds
and the killer feature -- an Android or iOS app that can control it. From halfway
around the world, you can boot freeloaders off your router, monitor connection
speeds, and even reboot the whole thing. They may already have a fast router,
but I bet it doesnt come with an app.
Coming in at #2: headphones! Can you ever have enough headphones? Think of
it as an instant, affordable way to make the gadgets you already have sound so
much better. If you want some peace and quiet, try the Audio-Technica ATH-
M30. Portability? Go with the Panasonic ErgoFit. And for style, theres the
Panasonic RP-HTX7. Lots of great options, and Ive never seen someone
disappointed by a new pair of headphones.
Now before we get to #1, just in case you have a little more in the budget, heres
a peek at CNETs top gift ideas for under $100. Ill take one of each, thank you.
And now for the #1 tech gift under $50. Theres a big case to be made for the
Roku LT. Its a great way to give the gift of streaming Netflix to someone in your
family who isnt up on the whole connected TV thing.
But if youre shopping for the gadget nerd who has everything, they probably
already have one of these or something similar. For a surefire hit, go with a
Bluetooth Music receiver. Theyll make pretty much any existing stereo Bluetooth
compatible. If Apples new lightning connector has made your old speaker dock
obsolete, heres a way reclaim it by going wireless. It works with Android, it works
with tablets -- you can even use it to upgrade that boombox you kept from 80s.
Youll get the geek cred, and the street cred. Mostly geek cred.
So there you have it, some great tech gift ideas, all for under $50. But thats just
the tip of the iceberg. Check out CNETs full Holiday Gift guide for more gift ideas
at any budget. And for more Top 5s like this, Top5.CNET.com.
Im Donald Bell, thanks for watching.