Christmas on a budget is difficult to do, particularly when you're looking for gifts for a fussy or overbearing tech consumer. All the latest gadgets and gizmos would make for fantastic presents, but there's a cheaper way to satisfy your tech-happy friends and family. Here's a few ideas to kickstart those budget-friendly brainwaves.
Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
Amazon's Echo Dot is currently half price, making it a good choice for those who don't already have a smart assistant. Via Alexa voice command, the Dot can play music, ask any burning questions and talk to compatible home appliances. For £25, it's hard to walk past the convenience of the Echo Dot. [£24.99]
International Travel Adapter
Now here's a nifty little gadget. This little box is perfect for someone who travels often, or even for the sheer convenience of having so many USB ports on hand via a single outlet. The MyTravelPal International Travel Adapter claims to work in over 200 countries, and includes four different kinds of plugs. It's extremely portable, cheap and importantly, very useful. [£21]
While one could argue that plasma balls haven't been truly popular since the 80s, there's no denying their appeal. They're just plain cool, and make for the perfect desk accessory at home or work. They're also a nice little distraction when needed. We could all do with a cool little plasma ball in our office. [£15]
You can never have too many power banks. In fact, it's probably best if you have more than less. That's why a power bank gift is always very practical. This ROMOSS power bank even features a digital display that indicates how charged a connected device is. It also lists compatibility with a range of new phones, as well as the Nintendo Switch. You can't go wrong with a solid power bank. [£22]
Not everyone has discovered the awesomeness of VR, but for those unfortunate souls, there is a pretty simple, cool and cost-effective solution: Google Cardboard. This VR system is made completely out of (you guessed it) cardboard, and fits easily over a smartphone. For the tech-savvy, this won't be as much of a cool little surprise, but the first time someone experiences VR really should be considered a gift in itself. Plus, it definitely won't break the budget! Of course, there's also the far more expensive options.[£6.89]
If you've never heard of Sugru, you're in for a treat. This mouldable glue can be used to cover any surface, crack or cord and dries hard overnight. It can be used to repair any broken cables (particularly laptop cables, which have an expensive habit of fraying), and is a very practical gift for someone with mountains of tech. [£7]
Professional camera tripods are often exorbitantly expensive, but that doesn't have to be the case. Handheld tripods are a solid way to go for photo stability, and this bendy tripod from Fotopro is a cheap alternative that lets you flex and bend your stand in whichever way you need. [£18]
LEGO Gadgets is a neat little kit that may be a little too simple for your adult mates, but if they have kids, it would make for a wonderful little bonding present. The book teaches kids valuable STEM skills, including how to build working, practical machines. LEGO Gadgets is a great way to get kids interested in tech, and contains a heap of fun projects to work with them on. [£11.78]
Digital Meat Thermometer
The perfect meat is just a few moments away — and with this gift, you can make sure your friends never mess up a meal again. The tapered probe connects to the digital readout to measure the temperature of the meat, making sure the chef is always getting the perfect cooking temp. Never having to complain about overcooked meat feels like a pretty good Christmas gift to us. [£6.99]
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