By Tracey Dowdy
If you’re part of a Secret Santa gift exchange at work or even if you’ve got hard-to-buy-for family members, figuring out a gift that won’t be re-gifted can be tricky. These gadgets and gizmos – all under $50 – are sure to be a hit with even the trickiest and pickiest.
- The Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote ($40) is one of the less expensive streamers out there. Though it lacks some of the features of pricier versions (4K HDR video or Dolby Atmos sound), it offers 1080p HD and a good amount of content. My favorite feature is the Alexa voice remote, which allows you to find, launch, and control content with the push of a single button.
- The Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($29) is one of the best Bluetooth speakers under $50. It’s water resistant, providing protection against rain, dust, snow, and spills, features 24-hour battery life, a 66-foot Bluetooth range, aux input, and solid sound quality, it’s a steal.
- The Hamilton Beach Set and Forget Slow Coker ($49) is a dream come true for busy moms. Just program the slow cooker to cook your dish for a specified time, choose the appropriate internal food temperature, and the slow cooker automatically switches to WARM once that temperature is reached.
- Shure’s SE112 earphones ($49) provide solid sound quality for the price point – these are at the low end of what Shure offers. Their design muffles some external noise and limits the amount of sound that escapes from the earpieces, though not.
- Consumer Reports recommends the Hamilton Beach 46205 Programmable Coffee Maker ($39) as it can “brew a mean cup of joe at a fantastic price.” While there are more high-end coffee makers out there, this model is programmable, has an auto-shutoff feature, and makes a good cup of coffee in under 10 minutes. Plus, Consumer Reports gives it a Very Good rating for “predicted reliability.”
- The Anker Wireless Qi Phone Charger ($22) allows you to charge your phone up to 2x faster than without plugging it in. No more hunting for cords – place your phone on the pad and voilá! A fully charged phone in no time. Its LED indicators, temperature control, surge protection, short-circuit prevention, non-slip pad, compact design, and worry-free 18-month warranty make it safe unobtrusive, and a steal at just $22.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.