Finding the right gift for every person on your list can be a difficult struggle. Especially if you have a techie to buy for and you are not up-to-date on the latest technology. Fortunately, there are plenty of gifts out there for those who love fun and useful gadgets, and these in particular are all under $100.
The Amazon Echo Dot (Second Generation)
Amazon’s little “smart speaker’ Is now available at the great low price of $50. All you have to do is call out “Alexa” and the Echo will turn on some music, get the weather forecast, and also provide you with answers to your most important questions. It can also be used to control hundreds of smart home accessories as well.
The Logitech UE Roll 2
The UE Roll 2 is a fully waterproof, wireless Bluetooth speaker that sounds quite good for its size. It comes in multiple color options for just under $100 and includes a floatation accessory for pool use.
The 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. 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.)
Nintendo NES Classic Edition
Nintendo’s new Switch game console isn’t coming until 2017. In the meantime, you can relive your 80s gaming nostalgia with the NES Classic, a mini old-school console with 30 games built-in. It’s just $60 (an extra controller costs $10).
Prefer to game on the run? At $99, the 2DS is Nintendo’s most affordable portable, and it includes a game to get you started.
Roku’s recently released 2016 line of video streaming devices range in price from $30 (Roku Express) to $130 (Roku Ultra). Toward the higher-end is the Roku Premiere+ at a penny less than $100. That gives you 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) video from streaming apps that offer it, plus a Wi-Fi remote (no pointing needed) with a headphone jack for private listening (although all of them get private listening via the Roku app).
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 now has that last feature).
The current 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 Alexa voice-assistant feature offers cool tricks like replying to your queries about the weather and adding stuff to a to-do list. The core Fire TV bundle is now $90, the antenna bundle is $100 and the gaming edition bundle (with gamepad) is down to $130.
Google Chromecast Ultra
Google has upgraded its video streamer for 2016 with (you guessed it) 4K and HDR compatibility. It’s great if you prefer to control your video from your phone or tablet — and if you don’t need Amazon Prime video. Priced at $69.
Amazon Fire HD 8
Not only has Amazon upgraded its Fire HD 8 with improved performance and more memory (16GB instead of 8GB), but it’s dropped its price by 40 percent. At just $90, it’s a steal.
Amazon Kindle (2016)
Amazon has updated its entry-level e-reader with an improved design — it’s thinner and lighter — and added Bluetooth audio options for visually impaired readers. Priced at $79.99.
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.
Syma X5C Explorers drone
For under $60, you can get a camera drone that’s fun to fly and easy to repair. It makes an excellent starter drone with plenty of features to keep them satisfied.
Air Hogs Ultimate Millennium Falcon Quad drone
The foam body of this “Star Wars” drone is friendly to kids and furniture alike. It’s a must for anyone who ever wanted to indulge their inner Han Solo. Priced around $80.
Logitech MX Master
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. Priced around $65.