This story is a part of, CNET’s present picks with knowledgeable recommendation, critiques and proposals for the newest tech items for you and your loved ones.
On the lookout for one of the best vacation items beneath $100, with out resorting to a shawl, espresso mug or present card? Our picks embody considerate and significant presents, together with tech gear for avid gamers, treats for music lovers and even one thing on your favourite quarantine prepare dinner.
We have both both comprehensively reviewed or anecdotally examined every product.
Anker’s Soundcore Wakey could also be one of the best clock radio you should purchase for the cash. Not solely does it sound higher and play louder than your typical clock radio, however it has an built-in wi-fi charging dock for Qi-enabled smartphones, which incorporates all of the iPhones and Samsung smartphones from the previous couple of years. What’s additionally interesting about this Christmas git concept is that there is a companion app (sure, it is also a Bluetooth speaker) that permits you to program in your preset FM radio station favorites and dim the LED clock to your liking.
At the moment, the black model is cheaper ($74) whereas the white model prices $89.
For lots of people, Apple’s authentic HomePod was too dear at $350, although it is now come down in value to $300 and typically much less. Enter the HomePod Mini, a really compact Wi-Fi speaker that prices loads much less ($99) and performs larger than you’d anticipate for its small dimension. Sure, it is extra interesting to these invested in Apple’s ecosystem and comfy with Apple’s voice-assistant Siri, which drives the speaker, however the value is true and you’ll pair two HomePod Minis to create stereo sound or mix a number of to create a multiroom audio system (you may hyperlink them to the unique HomePod, in fact).
Whereas music playback is tied into Apple Music, you need to use AirPlay 2 to stream audio from different music providers, together with Spotify, out of your iPhone and different Apple gadgets (learn this for AirPlay necessities).
Learn our Apple HomePod Mini evaluate.
Anker’s Soundcore Movement Plus got here out in 2019 and managed to slide beneath my radar, which is a disgrace as a result of it is arguably one of many best-sounding audio system beneath $100, if not one of the best. A bit of bigger than many mini Bluetooth audio system, it is nonetheless compact and manages to sound fairly a bit fuller than a lot of the competitors beneath $100, with larger bass, extra quantity and higher readability. It is also absolutely waterproof (IPX7 rated) and has help for the aptX streaming codec for gadgets like Samsung’s Galaxy telephones that help it. Learn our Anker Soundcore Movement Plus evaluate.
The Lumenus ioLight USB bike mild is not your customary bike mild. For starters, it is Bluetooth-enabled with a GPS-guided app that routinely tells the sunshine to flash pink once you come to a cease and show a flip sign once you flip left or proper. It is also actually brilliant (200 lumens) and is rechargeable and water resistant, with a rubber cowl and gasket that covers the Micro-USB charging port. The duvet additionally glows at midnight ought to the battery die (the ioLight is rated at 5 hours at most brightness and 30 hours in power-saving mode). You may simply mount it to the entrance or again of your bike or scooter with the included strap.
The EarFun Air distinguishes itself with a snug match, first rate noise canceling (although not nice) and properly balanced sound with good readability and well-defined bass. They’re smooth-sounding earbuds and a cut price at $56 (there is a 10% immediate coupon to clip on Amazon, after which should you add the code EFAIRPRO2, the value drops to $55.99 earlier than tax. The deal is nice by Dec. 13).
Voice calling can be above common — noise discount outside was first rate and callers stated that they had no hassle listening to me (there is a mild sidetone characteristic that permits you to hear your voice within the buds as you speak). Battery life is rated at as much as seven hours with noise canceling on and these have a IPX5 score, which suggests they’re splashproof and are superb for understanding (I ran with them).
Hyperice’s authentic Hypersphere therapeutic massage ball ($150) is kind of highly effective however a bit on the big aspect and requires its personal energy adapter to cost. In the meantime, the brand new smaller Hypersphere Mini ($99), with a three-inch diameter concerning the dimension of a softball, expenses with a micro-USB cable. A full cost presents greater than two hours of battery life and, with three speeds to select from, it truly works higher for rolling out your muscular tissues. Its dimension means it additionally travels higher. It is at the moment on sale for $79.
Shopping for for somebody who’s gaming on their telephone? Whether or not they’re iPhone customers subscribed to Apple Arcade or Android homeowners utilizing Xbox Cloud gaming or Google Stadia, the Razer Kishi is a high choice. Just like the $80 iPhone-compatible mannequin (the iPhone model is MFi-certified and can work with the iPhone 6 Plus and any newer mannequin), the Android model permits Android telephone homeowners to play Xbox Cloud gaming with a Recreation Move Final subscription). It connects through USB-C and has pass-through charging however no built-in battery to provide additional juice. There’s an Xbox-optimized one for Android homeowners, too, for $100.
The controller works properly with cell video games which have game-controller help (and profit from it) and anyone who performs a whole lot of video games on their telephone would admire it as a present. Simply ensure you’re matching the best mannequin to their telephone. We do want the Spine controller for iOS customers (see beneath). Alas, no Android model of that controller exists but.
It is superb how good this Lightning-connected controller from startup Spine is in comparison with the options. It turns any iPhone 6S or later right into a Nintendo Swap-style gaming expertise, with added smarts for social and chatty avid gamers. Just like the Razer Kishi, it connects through Lightning with pass-through charging however has no built-in battery. The massive benefit it has over the Kishi is that it is only a extra ergonomically sound controller and feels higher in your fingers. Learn extra.
Bose’s SoundLink Micro ($100) delivers spectacular sound for its dimension and is absolutely waterproof. Since it has been out some time it steadily will get discounted, notably through the holidays — often to $79 — which makes it an ideal choose for any audiophile in your record. I have not heard of anybody not liking this as a present.
Learn our Bose SoundLink Micro evaluate.
The Upright Go 2, just a little machine you stick onto your pores and skin on the high of your again (between your shoulder blades), is a singular present that displays your posture and vibrates once you’re slouching. Utilizing the companion app for iOS and Android, you may arrange coaching regimes and maintain monitor of your progress. This new second-gen model is 50 p.c smaller than the unique. Extra adhesives value $10 for a 10-pack however some individuals use double-sided tape to save cash.
The adhesives (10 are included) stored the Upright Go 2 on my again simply superb — I barely seen the machine was there aside from when it vibrated — and you’ll put on it for a number of days with out changing the adhesive. Ultimately the adhesive must be changed, nonetheless, otherwise you threat having the machine fall off your again.
The JBL Clip Three is arguably one of the best travel-friendly wi-fi speaker, however should you’re in search of stocking stuffer concepts, the UE Wonderboom 2, which presents improved sound and battery life over the unique, is a superb selection. This wi-fi speaker is accessible in a couple of dozen enjoyable colours, it actually can float and it sounds nice, too. Its record value is $100, however typically goes on sale (it is at the moment $50 for Black Friday).
Learn our UE Wonderboom 2 first take.
In the event you’re trying to do some Xbox Cloud gaming in your Android telephone, the PowerA Moga XP5-X Plus is each a wired and wi-fi recreation controller for Android smartphone that is additionally appropriate with PCs. It features a removable telephone clip, built-in energy financial institution and mappable Superior Gaming Buttons, plus combo micro-USB and USB-C cables to cost or play in wired mode. The Razer Kishi controller is a extra compact answer however the PowerA Moga operates like a normal Xbox controller with higher ergonomics.
Amazon’s 5-inch Echo Present 5 is its most inexpensive sensible show, however we might counsel stepping as much as the bigger Echo Present 8 (8-inch display), which is at the moment on sale for $80. It has been as little as $65 however $80 remains to be a very good value for it.
Learn our Amazon Echo Present Eight evaluate.
Final September, Logitech unveiled the MX Grasp 3 ($100), the third technology of its premium house/workplace mouse. Now, a yr later, we get the $80 MX Anyplace 3, the third iteration of the corporate’s premium “cell” mouse, and it could simply be my favourite Logitech mouse but.
The MX Anyplace Three is available in a few variations. There’s the usual “common” model that works with Home windows, MacOS, iPadOS (13.four or increased), ChromeOS and Linux computer systems through Bluetooth or Logitech’s Unifying USB dongle, which is included. MX Anyplace Three for Mac works solely through Bluetooth and is optimized for Macs and iPads. Each mice can be found in pale grey and the MX Anyplace 3 (with the dongle) can be provided in rose and graphite.
The last word present for somebody who’s all the time dropping issues, Tile Stickers are little spherical trackers that pair together with your telephone. To seek out one, you simply faucet the app to make it ring. However you too can use a wise speaker. Now, as an alternative of getting to seek out your telephone earlier than you could find your different stuff, simply inform Google that will help you find the lacking factor.
The MX Keys is arguably the neatest low-profile Logitech keyboard I’ve used. It has “spherically dished” keys that type of cradle the ideas of your fingers, and the keyboard is responsive and tactile. In that sense, it is much like Logitech’s Craft keyboard, which lists for twice the value.
The keys mild up as your fingers strategy and there is a sensor that adjusts the illumination in response to the lighting circumstances. You too can flip off the sunshine if you wish to save battery life. The twin structure is designed for each Mac and Home windows customers, and MX Keys is appropriate with Home windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android methods.
Utilizing illumination, you may get 10 days of operation on a full cost or as much as 5 months with backlighting turned off. When it is time to recharge, the battery indicator LED glows pink and you’ll proceed utilizing the keyboard whereas charging through USB-C.
If you wish to maintain interesting to your computer-tethered giftee, a gaming mouse would probably be a welcome addition.
Learn our Logitech MX Keys first take.
Assuming there’s nonetheless somebody who would not personal one in every of these, an Instantaneous Pot is an ideal present each for individuals who like to prepare dinner and people who hate it. It might strain prepare dinner, sluggish prepare dinner and nearly all the things in between. Proper now, one of the best deal is at Amazon, the place the six-quart mannequin is $79.
Take a look at CNET’s record of one of the best Instantaneous Pot offers for the newest bargains.
This health tracker smartwatch has been out some time however if you wish to give your family members a smartwatch inside your sub-$100 finances, the Amazfit Bip remains to be your finest wager. Regardless of the low value, it is received an always-on show, water resistance, coronary heart charge monitoring and — most significantly — battery life that blows away the Apple Watch. This considerate present actually goes above and past another stocking stuffer concepts we have seen.
Learn our Amazfit Bip evaluate.
Fitbit has a number of health trackers beneath $200, however just one new grownup mannequin on this value class: the Encourage 2. If you would like the name-brand cachet and superior smartphone apps, this Fitbit is an efficient trade-up from the Amazfit talked about above.
Learn our Fitbit Versa Lite vs. Encourage HR vs. Cost Three comparability.
It is fairly straightforward to replenish the space for storing in your gaming console, and that is when an exterior drive just like the WD Black P10 comes into play. Beginning out round $75 for the 2TB model, this compact drive attaches to the USB port in your PlayStation four or Xbox One and instantly offers you much more room to retailer your video games. No extra must delete titles as you add new ones. The drive additionally is available in a 5TB Xbox model with a white trim (pictured on proper), however it prices $140. Both model can be utilized with PCs and so they use a USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface. It isn’t as quick as costlier solid-state drives, however the P10 has switch speeds of as much as 130 MBps. Your video games will run simply superb from it.
Sure, the Kindle app is accessible without cost on telephones and tablets. However should you’re shopping for a present for a e book lover, the Kindle Paperwhite beats a telephone app as a result of it presents distraction-free studying. Different methods the Paperwhite beats a telephone: It is readable in full daylight or in a darkened bed room, it is absolutely waterproof and its battery lasts days or perhaps weeks, not just some hours. Whereas this nice present usually retails for $130, it was $80 to $85 for Prime Day and Cyber Monday, and it could return to that value earlier than yr’s finish.
Learn our Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) evaluate.
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