All products recommended by The Hamden Journal are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
It’s dangerously easy to go over budget during the holidays when, especially when your gift list seemingly gets longer with each passing year. It’s even easier to do so when you have a bunch of gearheads in your life. We don’t have to tell you that gadgets are expensive (hello, $1,000-plus smartphones), but not every piece of tech will put a huge dent in your bank account. To make things easier for our budget-minded readers, we’ve collected everything in our gift guide that you can buy for $100 or less here.
You’ll find the full list below, but you can also check out a number of stories in our gift guide this year that include almost all budget-friendly things. Our board games, tech toys for kids and gifts for travel lovers roundups are just a few that are filled with inexpensive yet super fun ideas, plus our annual tech stocking stuffers guide focuses on gifts you can grab for under $50. What we’re trying to say is, you don’t have to go broke to get solid tech for your friends and family; you just have to know which affordable items are actually worth your money.
Audio-Technica’s affordable wireless headphones have consistently offered solid performance that would make a great gift, even with the lack of noise cancellation. The company’s latest are the M20xBT, a Bluetooth version of the A-T’s popular M20x wired cans. A comfy fit and up to 60 hours of battery life will cost you just $79. Connect to multiple devices at once with Bluetooth multipoint connectivity and reliably control tunes with physical buttons. The design isn’t as refined as the company’s pricer models like the M50xBT2, but you get the bulk of what makes Audio-Technica’s cheaper options so good. — Billy Steele, Senior News Editor
JLab Go Air Pop
Thanks to JLab, you can give a decent set of true wireless earbuds as a stocking stuffer. For $20, the Go Air Pop covers most of the basics. Eight-hour battery life, on-board controls, EQ presets, IPX4 moisture protection and the ability to use just one earbud at a time are all on the features list. The Go Air Pop is smaller than its predecessor, the Go Air, and this model comes with a case that completely closes. What’s more, the company kept the integrated USB on the charging case, so you don’t have to worry about looking for a cable when you’re out of power. — B.S.
UE Wonderboom 3
If you’re shopping for a Bluetooth speaker this year, the UE Wonderboom 3 is an affordable, tiny option that still packs a punch. It’s adventure-proof thanks to an IP67 rating, audio quality is bright and an outdoor mode boosts treble and bass so sound can be heard over a greater distance. You can also easily pair two Wonderboom 3 units for stereo sound, which won’t cost you a fortune thanks to the low price. And with up to 14 hours of battery life, you should be able to keep the tunes going for a while. — B.S.
If you’re not a fan of the Apple TV, the Roku Ultra is the only other set-top box worth considering. It’s fast enough to stream 4K video with Dolby Vision, and it supports just about every streaming app you’d want. It also has a solid remote with voice-search capabilities, and you can still access all of Apple’s streaming video via the Apple TV app. And while Roku’s interface isn’t pretty, it’s fast and gets the job done. — Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor
Joby Gorillapod 3K Flexible Mini-Tripod
One of the most useful accessories out there for vlogger on your Santa list are Joby’s famous mini-tripods, and the best one for the money is the GorillaPod 3K. Attaching your camera couldn’t be easier thanks to the secure clip-in mounting plate with a built-in level. And the flexible legs let you set your camera anywhere to shoot, or even wrap it around a tree or other object. And of course, you can bend them out for the ideal vlogging angle and steady out your shooting, to boot. Best of all, you can now pick one up at Amazon for just $45, a bargain for such a versatile tool. — Steve Dent, Associate Editor
Nanlite LitoLite 5C RGBWW Mini LED Panel
A good light is an awesome tool in your favorite photographer or videographer’s arsenal, and a relatively affordable gift to boot. One of the best all-around models is the Nanlite LitoLite 5C RGBWW Mini LED Panel. It weighs just 4.8 ounces, but offers dimmable lighting across a range of colors, with adjustments either on the fixture or via a smartphone app. It mounts on any wall or light stand via a magnet or quarter-inch threads, has cordless operation and a battery that runs for 1.5 hours at full power (charged via USB). The most interesting feature is special effects that range from a cop car’s flashing lights, flames, candlelights, a lightning storm and more. — S.D.
Lexar Professional 1667x 64GB SDXS UHS II card
There’s no point in buying your favorite photographer UHS-I cards anymore when faster UHS-II models can be found at nearly the same price. That’s the case with Lexar’s 64GB or 128GB 1667x V60 UHS-II cards, available at just $33 and $50, respectively. While not as fast as a top-of-the-line 2000x card, you still get faster read and write speeds (250 MB/s and 120MB/s) than any UHS-I card for a fraction of the price. If speed is of the essence, then SanDisk’s top-end V90 cards with 300MB/s read and 260MB/s write speeds can be found for $80 and $150, respectively. — S.D.
The AeroPress is a fun way to make a single cup of coffee at home with an apparatus that doesn’t take up much space in the cabinet. It’s a versatile brewer that allows you to experiment with different infusion times and strengths as you go. I like to use it to brew a double-strength cup directly over ice whenever I forget to make cold brew. For the coffee nerd on your list that has a regular setup already, the AeroPress makes a great gift. And the AeroPress Go is even more compact. It tucks neatly inside a cup that you can brew directly into and is perfect for camping and travel. — B.S.
You don’t have to splurge for an Encore in order to get a reliable grinder for the coffee nerd on your list. Before I upgraded, I had a Cuisinart DBM-8 that served me well for years, and it was still doing so when I put it out to pasture. It’s a burr grinder so it provides a consistent grind size with 18 different options to choose from – spanning coarse to fine. The hopper holds eight ounces of beans while the canister can accommodate enough ground coffee for 32 cups. Since you probably won’t need that much often (if ever), there’s a selector that will automatically grind between four and 18 cups worth at the press of a button. — B.S.
Cosori Gooseneck Electric Kettle
A good kettle is essential if you want to up your home-brewing game, and it can help make a bunch of other things too like tea, ramen and more. Cosori’s Gooseneck Electric Kettle packs most crucial features into a relatively compact kettle that’s also priced right at $70. Goosenecks can be intimidating but they give you much more control when pouring over a Chemex, and we think Cosori’s, with its matte black finish, also looks pretty nice on most countertops. It has a stainless steel interior and five presets so you can easily get the perfect temperature for things like green tea, black coffee and more. Plus, the “hold temp” option lets you set and forget the water for a bit; you can turn it on before you start your morning routine and come back to perfectly heated water, ready for whatever’s picking you up that morning. — Valentina Palladino, Senior Commerce Editor
BruMate NAV mini
When it comes to travel mugs for coffee and tea, any item worth considering needs to check a few boxes – especially if you’re giving one as a gift. Being able to keep liquids hot for a few hours and fit in a cup holder are essential. BruMate’s NAV mini does both, and at 12 ounces, it’s the perfect size for on-the-go joe. Plus, it’s 100 percent leak proof thanks to the company’s robust lid. It can also keep cold drinks chilled for over 24 hours when that certain someone on your list needs cold brew next summer. — B.S.
Stanley Classic Neverleak travel mug
If you know someone that needs to keep coffee hot for much longer than a typical travel mug, Stanley’s Classic Neverleak option is the perfect gift. I’ve been using one of these for well over a year and it does an incredible job at keeping liquids at temperature for a long time. The company says your drink will still be warm for up to nine hours, plus the entire thing is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The three-position lid also locks closed to prevent accidental spills even if the mug gets jostled around. — B.S.
Miir cold brew filter + Wide Mouth bottle
There are a million ways to make cold brew, but it doesn’t get much easier than adding a stainless steel filter to your insulated travel bottle. Miir’s cold brew filter works with some of its drinkware canisters to provide a cold brew setup with “micro perforations” to reduce sediment after steeping. The filter fits Miir’s 32- and 42-ounce Wide Mouth Bottles (and 33oz Tomo) for plenty of smooth, cold coffee for adventures or taking to work. Plus, those Bottles have a leak-proof lid and can keep drinks hot or cold for hours. — B.S.
Fellow Prismo AeroPress attachment
The AeroPress is a versatile brewing device and that’s why we keep it on your coffee gift guide list. But with the help of Fellow’s $30 attachment, you can take the humble method up a notch. The Prismo houses a pressure-actuated valve designed to mimic the process of making espresso so you can “pull a shot” without a machine. This creates the “crema” that you don’t typically get just by brewing stronger coffee with the AeroPress alone. The Prismo also comes with a reusable filter so you’re not burning through the paper ones an AeroPress usually requires. — B.S.
Hiware Borosilicate glass pitcher
After the handle on my previous pitcher developed a crack, I went on a search for a simple but durable container that could support my iced tea addiction and after a year and a half, this thing has not disappointed. Its heat-resistant borosilicate glass means you can pour boiling water directly into the pitcher without worrying about it shattering and its huge 68-ounce capacity holds enough to keep an entire family hydrated. Meanwhile, the stainless steel lid prevents leaves or stuff like fruit pulp from escaping. And at $20, this pitcher is just great value. — Sam Rutherford, Senior Reporter
Hario Cold Brew Bottle
If you know someone who always brings their “famous” iced tea to parties or picnics check out Hario’s Cold Brew bottle. It holds up to 750ml of liquid and comes with a removable strainer to keep tea leaves from spilling out. There’s even a grippy silicone top for easy handling and a removable stopper that acts like a cork. And if you’re worried it’s a little pedestrian looking to make a lasting impact, Hario makes a champagne bottle version too. — S.R.
Breville IQ Electric Kettle
For those on your list that prefer function over form, you really ought to consider Breville’s IQ Electric Kettle. In addition to having nearly double the capacity (57 ounces vs 30 ounces) of the Stagg, it has dedicated temperature settings for a lot of major types of tea (green, white, oolong and black). It’s also a bit more powerful with an output of up to 1,500 watts, so there’s less waiting around for the water to heat up. — S.R.
OXO Tea Infuser Basket
One of the easiest ways to brew better tea is by moving away from single-serving bags and switching to loose-leaf teas. That’s because typically tea bags feature lower quality leaves that often sit on shelves for months (or years) with the whole process favoring convenience over flavor. On top of that, the cloth or (more often) paper used to make tea bags can also impart unwanted flavors.
If you know someone looking to get into loose-leaf teas, they’re going to need an infuser, and OXO’s is one of the best. Its stainless steel basket won’t mess with the taste and its included lid traps heat in when steeping while also doubling as a saucer to prevent dripping once the tea is ready to drink. The basket is also a perfect size so it fits in practically any mug (and even many iced tea pitchers), and at just $15, it’s cheap enough to buy two or more so there will always be a clean one ready to go. — S.R.
Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister
While Fellow’s Atmos Canister was originally intended to store coffee, it’s equally great at keeping tea tasting fresh and flavorful, even after long periods. That’s because simply twisting its lid removes oxygen from the canister, slowing down potential oxidation which can cause tea to taste dull and lifeless. It’s available in three sizes (0.4, 0.7 and 1.2 liters) and in a range of materials, though you’ll probably want to stay away from the glass version, as light is another source of potential oxidation. (Leave the clear one for cookies or something.) And while it’s a bit on the pricey side, in my opinion there’s no better way of keeping even the fanciest leaves tasting great over time. — S.R.
For matcha lovers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of a traditional bamboo whisk or anyone seeking a way to quickly froth up some milk, Golde’s Superwhisk is a great pick. It has two different speed settings and a battery that can be recharged via USB. It even comes with an included travel case, so your giftee can take it camping or anywhere they want to enjoy some tea (or a latte). — S.R.
Pure’Tea Portable Tea Infuser
For people who want to bring their brew on the go, this charming portable tea infuser bottle looks great and makes the whole process super easy. Tea goes in the top section and water goes in the bottom. Right before drinking they flip the whole infuser upside down to brew instead of letting the leaves become oversteeped after sitting in water all day. The portable infuser also features borosilicate glass with a double-walled construction, so it can handle high temperatures without burning hands. Admittedly, there are similar bottles for less, but between its innovative design and premium materials, I can’t think of a better way to drink tea on-the-go. — S.R.
Breakaway Matcha Flight Kit
Getting into matcha can be intimidating for even long-time tea drinkers. Not only can matcha be expensive but, since it’s very finely ground green tea instead leaves steeped in water, it has a very different flavor profile and texture. So instead of buying someone a single type of matcha, give this matcha flight kit a try. It includes four different blends which range from bright grassy varieties to deeper savory mixes. There’s also a handcrafted bamboo scoop, a sieve, tea towel and most importantly, a motorized whisk for properly whipping up the perfect cup. — S.R.
Adagio Tea Samplers
For complete newbies to tea, Adagio’s loose teas sampler sets offer a huge range of types and flavors to choose from. You can select specific types like green teas from China for the Sinophile on your list, or opt for more general mixes like seasonal blends or even herbal selections. Prices also start as low as $12 a box for four different types, which makes this one of the most flexible and affordable ways of gifting a wide range of teas without doing a ton of research. — S.R.
Butterfly Pea Tea
The first time I had butterfly pea flower tea was on my honeymoon in Thailand and it was love at first sip. It has a sweet flora aroma with some subtle earthy notes. But its signature highlight is its color. When brewed alone, you get a deep blue hue with hints of green, but when you add acid suddenly the tea becomes bright purple or pink. And because butterfly pea flower doesn’t contain caffeine, between its color and taste, it’s a great way to introduce kids to tea. Steep it, chill it, add the juice from a couple lemons or limes and a splash of sugar (I preferred agave), and in no time you’ll have the perfect summertime iced tea. — S.R.
Astro A10 Gen 2
Astro’s A10 Gen 2 will get the job done and look cute while doing so, no matter what your personal style is. The Gen 2 comes in a variety of colors and patterns, from deep black with neon details to pastel purple or teal, meaning there’s something for every kind of live streaming vibe. It has a flip-to-mute boom mic, an incredibly flexible body, and replaceable ear pads and headband cushion. This headset is compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and Switch, so have at it, no matter how you play. — Jessica Conditt, Senior Reporter
8bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth controller
8bitdo knows its way around a wireless gamepad, and the Pro 2 Bluetooth controller is no exception. Whether in the transparent-body special edition or the classic black, white or gray, the Pro 2 delivers precise inputs, support for up to three custom profiles, and two extra back buttons. The Pro 2 looks like an old-school controller but it has advanced, modern capabilities, and it works with PC, Mac, Android and Switch. — J.C.
Logitech Litra Glow
The best thing you can do for your live-streaming setup is to get some good lighting, and Logitech’s Litra Glow has you covered. This is a small, mountable LED square that delivers a diffuse, soft glow without any harsh shadows or defined edges, and it’s designed to make its subjects look their best. It comes with an extendable three-way monitor mount and is USB-powered. — J.C.
Wanxing neon signs
Nanoleaf may be the premier brand when it comes to live-stream lighting, but there are plenty of other, cheaper options in the realm of on-screen glow. Wanxing, for instance, has a line of neon signs that’ll make any streaming space pop, at prices that won’t bust your budget. There are plenty of designs to choose from, including skulls, hearts, ghosts, game controllers and cute text, each available for less than $40. — J.C.
Google Nest Hub (2nd gen)
Google’s Nest Hub smart display is a great device to have around the home — especially if your gift recipient already uses the Google Assistant. It works as a digital photo frame and they can use it to watch YouTube and Netflix. It can also make calls via Google Duo and offers recipe videos along with step-by-step cooking instructions. If the user so chooses, they can track their sleeping patterns if they place the device next to their bed. Additionally, if they already have a Nest Doorbell camera, they can easily use the display to see who’s at the front door. — Nicole Lee, Commerce Writer
Blink Indoor camera
Blink’s indoor camera offers the gift of peace of mind in a compact and affordable package. Your loved one will appreciate the fact that Blink is wireless and battery-powered; since they don’t have to place it near an electrical outlet, it can sit almost anywhere. They also won’t have to worry about recharging the camera since it can last up to two years on its two included AA batteries. Aside from just letting them monitor their home, it also features customizable motion alerts so they’ll only get alerted when they want to. There’s also two-way audio so they can hear and speak to the person (or pet) on the other end. — N.L.
TP-Link Kasa smart plug
With a smart plug, any appliance can be part of a connected home for not a lot of money. TP-Link’s Kasa smart plug is a particularly good one because it is both affordable and incredibly compact (and if you’re really short on space, there’s a mini version that’s even smaller). Together with its companion app, they can schedule a timer to turn on and off anything from Christmas lights to a coffee maker. It’s also compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, which lets them add voice control to any outlet. — N.L.
Eero 6 WiFi Mesh router
With most of us having so many gadgets and smart home devices, perhaps the best thing you can give your loved one is the gift of better WiFi to keep things running smoothly. Amazon’s Eero routers will deliver just that. The latest models support WiFi 6, the latest and fastest WiFi standard, and will support 75-plus devices simultaneously. It also covers up to 1,500 square feet with WiFi speeds up to 900 Mbps, so it’s unlikely they’ll ever have to deal with dead spots or buffering again. The Eero 6 also comes with a built-in Zigbee smart home hub that lets them connect compatible devices without having to purchase a separate device. — N.L.
Startorialist JWST Cosmic Cliffs High Top Sneakers
JWST has been fully operational since June 2022, and it’s already sent us stunning images of our universe. One is a star-forming region in the Carina Nebula called the Cosmic Cliffs (fun fact, the tallest peaks are 7 light years high!) and you can get this amazing image on a classy pair of high-top sneakers from Startorialist, a STEM fashion brand. Keep in mind these are a custom order, so they may take a few weeks to ship. — Swapna Krishna, Freelance Writer
Banllis Decorative Astronaut and Moon Bookends
Want to spruce up someone’s book shelves? These adorable astronaut moon bookends will delight any space lover. They come in two colors, gold and gray – depending on whether you want them to pop or blend in. They aren’t the heaviest bookends, so you probably don’t want to hold up a huge stack of hardcovers with these, but they look good from both far away and close up – the detailing on the moons is an especially nice touch. — S.K.
The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy
Moiya McTier tells the story of the Milky Way in a unique way: from the point of view of the galaxy. It’s a funny and smart look at our galaxy (and humans’ place within it), and presents scientific information in an approachable and often hilarious way. Whether you’ve read every space book out there and are looking for something new or don’t know where to start, this is a unique perspective for sure. — S.K.
Four Point Puzzles Moon Puzzle
This 1,000 piece puzzle features an exquisite NASA image of the Moon’s surface. The rich detail here, and the intricate lunar features, will provide a challenge to even experienced puzzle aficionados. — S.K.
Svaha USA JWST Deep Field Custom Hoodie
Svaha USA is another great brand that’s got some fantastic STEM merch. They’ve even got JWST’s Deep Field image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 on a hoodie! If a pullover hoodie isn’t your thing, you can also find the image on tote bags, dresses, and more. These are custom printed upon ordering, so don’t wait until the last minute or you may not receive yours by the holidays.
Astronomy Activity Book For Kids
If you have five to seven year old kid on your holiday gift list who’s fascinated by galaxies far away, this activity book is a great choice. Written by a former NASA scientist and beautifully illustrated, it contains games and projects about space, information on how to find constellations and big astronomical events such as meteor showers, and more.
Super Cool Space Facts
If the kid on your list is more into cool facts and less into hands-on projects, this book is exactly what you think it is from the title: full of hundreds of space facts, along with full-color photos. It’s a great choice for any younger space nerd – but honestly, it’s a good read for the adults in your life who want to know more about space but don’t know where to start.
Every music lover and music maker needs a good pair of headphones. There are so many amazing sets out there to choose from, but I remain a dedicated fan of Sony’s affordable workhorse the MDR-7506. They’ve been a studio mainstay for decades for good reason. They’re natural sounding, light and comfortable enough to wear for hours, and reasonably priced. The MDR-7506s are equally at home monitoring a podcast, mixing a club banger or just listening to some vinyl. In short, they’re a great practical gift even if you’re operating under a tight budget. — Terrence O’Brien, Managing Editor
Anyone who practices some sort of creative art – be it music, painting or writing – hits a block at some point. There’s tons of advice out there on how to overcome these hurdles, but one of the most famous is easily the Oblique Strategies deck. Developed by Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno in 1975, each card contains an action or a way of thinking designed to shake up your approach to a thorny creative problem. “Use an unacceptable colour,” “Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate” and “Emphasize the flaws,” are the sorts of vague instructions you can expect. And how someone interprets the prompts will produce different results for each person. If you’re shopping for anyone with a creative streak, they’ll find a use for this deck. — T.O.
If you’re gift shopping for a music producer I can almost guarantee you they’re fans of J Dilla. He was a singular force in hip-hop, and has even had his MPC displayed at the Smithsonian. Dilla Time by Dan Charnas chronicles not just the life of Dilla (James DeWitt Yancey), but his legacy and the history of rhythm in America. In addition, there are graphics that help illustrate the concepts behind Dilla’s unique beats and what made him so special. It’s part biography, part history lesson and part practical music production guide. — T.O.
How to Write One Song
If there’s an aspiring songwriter on your list, consider picking them up a copy of How to Write One Song. Written by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, this tome breaks down the process from beginning to end and encourages readers to start small; don’t try to become a “songwriter” just try to write a song. But this isn’t a rote how-to book, that sort of thing is only so helpful when it comes to mastering an artistic craft. It’s about building creativity into your everyday life. And just like any other skill, being creative requires practice. — T.O.
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in video games. Across 268 captivating pages, Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier shares how some of the most influential games of the past decade were made. Featuring interviews with the people who were there – including The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann and Eric Barone, the creator of Stardew Valley – the stories that populate Blood, Sweat, and Pixels shed a light on just how fraught the process of creating a game can be during even the best of times. It’s riveting reading for anyone who wants a more informed perspective on the craft. — Igor Bonifacic, Weekend Editor
Don’t let the Logitech G305’s affordable $40 price fool you, it’s a gaming mouse almost any gamer would happily add to their collection. At 99 grams, it’s one of the lighter mice in Logitech’s stable, and you can program all six buttons to your liking. It also includes the company’s fast and responsive Hero optical sensor and Lightspeed wireless technology for “wired-like” performance. A single AA battery provides the G305 with up to 250 hours of life, and you can get as much as nine months of use with some tweaking. Best of all, the G305 is available in a few different colors, including a handful of cheerful pastels. There’s even a K/DA version for fans of Riot’s virtual K-pop group. That versatility makes a perfect gift for a PC gamer. — I.B.
If you’re buying a gift for someone who primarily plays games on their phone, consider treating them to the best mobile gamepad on the market. At $100, the Backbone One is pricey, but it easily surpasses competitors like the Razer Kishi in build quality. It also comes with a surprisingly robust companion app that makes capturing screenshots and clips from your play sessions a breeze. Each new Backbone One controller also comes with complimentary access to services like Xbox GamePass, giving owners a few different ways to add to their game library. — I.B.
As Supergiant’s staff composer, Darren Korb has written some of the most memorable video game soundtracks in recent memory, but his work on Hades may be his best yet. From start to finish, the Hades Original Soundtrack is filled with tunes like ”Out of Tartarus” and “The Unseen Ones” that will make you stand up and shred an air guitar. It’s the perfect gift for fans of Hades (and there are many of those), but you can also give it to someone who hasn’t experienced the game yet. It might just convince them to play one of the best indies of the last few years. — I.B.
Okay, I lied. We do have one straightforward recommendation: Hollow Knight. Team Cherry’s debut title is one of the best games made in the past five years. It combines the exploration of a 2D Metroid-like title with a challenging combat system that is reminiscent of FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series. Add to that a beautiful soundtrack, art style and story, and it’s easy to see why so many people are eagerly waiting for Hollow Knight’s upcoming sequel, Silksong. While we’re here, go the extra mile and gift your friend or loved one a physical copy of the game. It comes with a beautiful map of Hollow Knight’s world. — I.B.
This gift will only appeal to fans of FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series, but let me tell you, if the person you’re buying for falls in that group, they will love you for it. Laudate Luna is a beautiful 12- by 36-inch print of Lordran, the setting where the first game takes place. Anyone who has fond memories of Dark Souls will be able to retrace their journey to Anor Lando and find all the places where they died repeatedly trying to conquer the game’s punishing combat. — I.B.
SanDisk microSD card
If buying a gift for someone who enjoys gaming on their Nintendo Switch, there’s a good chance they’ll appreciate it if you get them more storage. The beauty of microSD cards is that they’re affordable. A company like SanDisk offers 512GB models for less than $100. That’s enough to install about 20 to 30 games. SanDisk sells Switch-specific models, but any UHS-1 compatible microSD card that offers transfer speeds of at least 60 MB/s will do. — I.B.
Mooas Multi-Cube Timer
One of the most difficult obstacles with working from home is all the distractions. You’re constantly sidetracked by temptations like TV, the internet or just easy access to the kitchen. A potential solution to that is to use one of these multi-cube timers from Mooas as a productivity tool. Each side corresponds to different lengths of time; to start the timer, you’ll flip the cube so your desired time faces upwards. Flipping the LCD display upwards again will pause it, while turning the display downwards will stop the timer.
There are a number of ways to use them, but I like using the Pomodoro Technique with these. I’ll enable the 30 minute timer which then encourages me to focus just on my work for the allotted time period. Once time is up, I give myself a five minute rest, and then I start it over again. You can also use them as a reminder to stand up and stretch every so often. These timers come in a variety of colors, each with different time pre-sets, so be sure to pick the one with the time lengths you think your loved one will want. — N.L.
Logitech Lift Vertical mouse
If someone you love spends all of their time on a laptop for work, getting them a wireless mouse can improve the ergonomics of their setup immensely. Not only are they generally more comfortable to use than trackpads, but they can also help improve posture and prevent hand cramping – especially if you get a vertical mouse. Logitech’s Lift is one of its latest vertical mice and it’s ideal for small- to medium-sized hands (those with large hands should check out the MX Vertical instead). The 57-degree angle in its design places their hand in the natural handshake position, which will put less pressure on their wrist than a standard mouse would. It also has a comfortable, soft-touch finish with four customizable buttons that are easy to reach. They’ll be able to connect it to their laptop via a USB receiver or Bluetooth and, regardless of which method they choose, the Lift will last two years before needing replacement AA batteries. — V.P.
Logitech C920S Pro Full HD webcam
Remote workers might not have to see their co-workers anymore, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have meetings. Any WFH employee will tell you that their days are often inundated with Zoom calls and Google Meet video conferences. That’s why an external webcam is essential, at least if you care about looking good. Our favorite is the Logitech C920S Pro HD webcam, which offers 1080p video quality, autofocus capabilities and white balance adjustment. One big benefit over regular built-in webcams is that they’ll be able to position it however they like, which makes it that much easier to put unsightly household messes out of view. It has a large 78-degree field of view plus a lens cover that will protect your loved ones’ privacy when not in use. — N.L.
Those who sit at their desks all day will appreciate a more ergonomic setup for less back and neck pain. One way to achieve that is with the Ergofoam Ergonomic Adjustable Footrest, which helps provide fim support for your feet and ensure your sitting position is upright. The footrest is made out of memory foam and is covered in a plush velvet, making it super comfortable as well. This particular model is adjustable to two different heights, which is great for those who need a slightly taller footrest. Additionally, the footrest can be flipped upside down and used as a rocker to keep your feet moving, improving your circulation. — N.L.