As we head into the holiday season 2019, I can’t help but think about all the cool tech things I want to buy. And while the holidays are about spending time with friends and family and eating a lot of food, there are also a lot of gifts to be bought! I decided to write this list to help you find the best tech gifts under $100. Don’t overspend on tech this year! Check out the 9 best (and useful) gift ideas for the techie in your life.
1. For Fashionable Folks: Timbuk2 Laptop Backpack
Price: $65 | Check Price on Amazon
If you’re into tech, then you probably have a lot of gear to haul around: computers, tablets, cameras, etc. The best way to carry everything is with a quality laptop bag. While there are so many bags to choose from, I’ve been enjoying my Timbuk2 backpack.
I’ve been using the Timbuk2 Parkside for the past 3 years. I like it because it’s durable, lightweight (1.6 lbs), and sleek. It doesn’t make you look like you’re a school kid, carrying a turtle on your back. The internal laptop pocket fits up to a 15″ MacBook Pro. Even though it has a small profile, you can fit layers of clothing and shoes in the main compartment. Plus there are pockets in the front to secure smaller items.
2. For Makers: Upgrade their Soldering Iron
Price: $30-$99 | Shop on Amazon
One of the best tech gifts under $100 is an upgraded soldering station. If you’re the kind of person who has one of those junk $10-$20 irons, (you know who you are), now is the time to buy a quality soldering iron.Weller's WLC100 high-performance analog soldering station is on sale for 46% off. This model is designed to give hobbyists professional-grade performance for DIY projects.
If you’d rather have a digital soldering station, you can pick up the Weller WE1010NA for 34% off. This unit is 40 percent more powerful than previous models, so if you’re going to be doing a lot of soldering, it might be worth the investment.
Both models are under $100 for the holidays, but I’ve also included some other brands worth checking out, below. Just remember that you get what you pay for when buying most tools, including soldering irons.
3. For the DIY-er: Invest in a DEWALT Drill Set
Price: $100 | Shop for DEWALT
High-quality tools are important if you’re going to be building robots – or doing DIY work of any kind. If you’re looking to replace a broken or worn-out drill set, or buy your first drill, I always recommend DEWALT.
The holidays (and Black Friday) are the best times to buy drill sets and drill bits. You’ll see prices slashed up to 50%. On Amazon, you can pick up the DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver Kit with two batteries, a charger, and a case for $94.
Furthermore, if you’re buying power tools as a gift, it’s wise to stick with the brand that the recipient already has. Oftentimes the battery packs are interchangeable and it’s better to have a bunch of tools from one brand than one type of tool from each brand.
4. Tech Gifts Under $100 For Everyone
Price: $50-$150 | Check Price on Amazon
In the world of tech, you’re living life on the edge if you don’t back up your computer. You don’t want to be that person that has a gazillion files and photos on your computer only to have them lost. That’s a gut-wrenching feeling that is 100% preventable. I highly recommend investing in cloud storage or a portable external hard drive.
Cloud Storage Options
Cloud storage is great because you can access your files from anywhere. There are a bunch of free options out there too, so it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are some of my top picks (in order of preference).
- Mega (50 GB+ free, encrypted per account)
- Google Drive (15 GB free per account)
- iCloud (5 GB free per account)
- Dropbox (2 GB free per account)
- pCloud (10 GB free per account)
- Box (10 GB free per account)
However, if you lose your password or have sensitive data, cloud storage might not be the best option. The next alternative is to get an external hard drive.
External Hard Drives
I recommend buying the largest hard drive that you can afford. Storage is becoming more affordable, so even if you don’t think you have 4 TB of data, in a few years you might have 10 backups or a bunch of files that need to be stored somewhere.
Here are some backup drives to check out on Amazon:
Additionally, I do not recommend 1 TB drives because most computers have 1 TB built-in. So, if you max out your computer’s hard drive, you’ll be maxing-out your backup drive right away. The best way to figure how much storage you need is to take the size of your computer’s hard drive and multiply it by two or three. That way you can have two or three full backups of your computer, should you need to restore a copy. Lastly, I also recommend buying a separate backup hard drive per computer unless you own all of the computers and want backup data in one place.
5. For the Audiophile: Sleek Bookcase Speakers
Price: $90 | Shop on Amazon
The next tech gift under $100 is speakers. If you’re buying a gift for someone who enjoys music and also has a home office, bedroom, or hangout space that could use an audio upgrade, then the Edifier R1280T powered bookshelf speakers are a top pick!
Conveniently connect any device that has a 3.5mm headphone jack or dual RCA output. You can also connect two different auxiliary devices at the same time, so you don’t need to unplug your TV and your smartphone to enjoy tunes. These speakers have studio sound quality with a 13mm silk dome tweeter and 4-inch full range.
If you’d rather have wireless speakers, the AOMAIS Life Bluetooth Speakers have a similar modern style without the need to route wires.
6. For the Smart Home Guru: Philips Hue
Price: $40 and up | Check price on Amazon
Smart Homes are all the rage these days, so if you have a friend who has yet to join the bandwagon, then give the gift of Philips Hue.
I’ve used the Philips Hue for the past three years, and it’s a game-changer when it comes to home lighting. You can ask Siri (Google Assistant or Alexa) to control your lights. Plus, you can set wake-up alarms, bedtime lights, and scenes.
With so many lights to choose from, Philips Hue is a great choice for tech gifts under $100.
7. For the Fitness Fanatic: Smart Scale
Price: $20-$80 | Check Price on Amazon
Are you shopping for a fitness-crazed friend who also enjoys tech? Then you’ll want to check out the YUNMAI Premium Smart Scale.
Smart Scales allow you to track your weight, body fat percentage, and health. The data is also captured into a smartphone app for tracking and analytics.
If you know someone who is trying to improve their health or already leads a healthy lifestyle, then this tech gift is right up their alley!
8. For the Binge-Watcher: Roku or Fire TV Stick
Price: $25 and up | Shop on Amazon
The Roku and Fire TV Stick make a great gift for people who don’t have Smart TV’s but enjoy entertainment on-demand.
If you’re an Apple connoisseur, then you may want to spend the extra $50 and opt for the latest Apple TV.