I love technology and in particular, I like things that are cool and USEFUL. Tech gadgets can often be cool, but not very practical. When giving a gift, I like to go for the wow factor and make sure it’s not only cool, but also practical. Here’s my Top 10 tech gadget gift under $100.
- This holiday season, everyone is getting the FitBit One, not the FitBit Force, which is their new product. I don’t like to have to wear a wristband, which is why I lean toward the FitBit One. It measures your steps, staircases, calories at rest, activity, water intake, and sleep. C’mon, for $99, this puppy is a steal.
- Rocksmith 2014 is on the list for any guitar enthusiast who always wanted to learn how to play guitar. This is a video game that runs the player through a multitude of games and teaches you how to play the guitar. You can plug it into a Mac/PC, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. It learns with you, so as you get better, it ups your level automatically. It’s only $60 and it’s genius!
- ChromeCast is for the video and TV junkie. This little gadget allows you to share video, images, and other content from your laptop, tablet, or phone to your TV with no wires. Just plop the little device into your TV’s HDMI port and you’re up and running. Talk about plug and play; and it’s only $35. Watch the video of it in action.
- CM4 Q Card Case. This is one of my faves (I own one too), it’s a smarthphone case that allows you to carry up to 3 credit cards and some cash in the back. I actually carry 5 cards, no cash and it’s awesome. Fits iPhone 4/4s/5/5c/5s and Galaxy S4. Price is $30-40.
- Sphero Original is a ball that does lots of things and is controlled with your tablet, computer or smartphone. You can get a free nubbie cover for outdoor use if you order from Brookstone. It’s controlled by an iOS/Android app. Apparently it’s great for kids and adults of all ages. Just watch the video. For $79.99 seems like it will provide hours and hours of entertainment.
- Hammerhead Bike Navigation for the cyclist in your life. They’ve added not only a GPS system, but it takes the unknown out of cycling. Based on your preferences you put in their app (hills, flat, distance, scenery, difficulty, etc), it picks the best route for you. You can also share your route. Works in all light and weather conditions. You can even compete with friends. It’s compatible with Strava and MapMyRide too. For only $85 it will send your cyclist on an adventure s/he will never forget.
- Sony BDP-S5100 Blu-ray player with super wi-fi is good for anyone who still has a boatload of DVDs and who likes to stream video from Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, and music from Pandora. Price: $99.
- Eton BoostTurbine 4000 for the traveler. Any backpacker or person who travels would be thrilled to have this gadget that not only packs 4,000mAh of power, but also has a hand crank on the back so that you can recharge it with a little elbow grease. Forget the right converter plug while travelling? No problem. Backpacking in a remote place or not near an outlet? No problem. It can recharge a cell phone at least two times before you need to crank it to recharge it. MSRP is $79.99, but I’ve seen it cheaper on Amazon.
- Apple Airport Express for the savvy traveler who wants to save a buck. Works with Windows and iOS. AirPort Express supports simultaneous dual‑band 802.11n Wi‑Fi. That means it transmits at both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies at the same time. It comes with Airplay and wireless printing capabilities. Easy to set up (as most Apple products are). Only $99 and fits in your palm.
- Leap Motion Controller is for the sci-fi futuristic person on your shopping list. It’s like the matrix meets Steve Jobs. This jury is still out on this, but it seems to be promising. The reviews are mixed, but in essence it allows you to control your computer with your hands rather than a mouse. Some say it’s great for gaming. Others say it’s great for Google Earth. But some have had a tough time with it, although not sure if they are technically challenged or not. For $80, not too shabby.
Have any other tech gadgets on your list?