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10 great budget gifts for the holidays

by Brandon Russell | November 24, 2017November 24, 2017 1:00 pm PDT

Just because smartphones are breaking the $1,000 threshold doesn’t mean everything else you buy has to be expensive. That just isn’t sustainable. Luckily, there is a ton of great technology out there that won’t break the bank, from tablets to Bluetooth speakers.

Some of these devices might be cheaper than the listed prices below over Black Friday weekend. If you don’t manage to score a deal, many of these devices are still very affordable. Amazon’s Fire HD 8, for example, is just $80, while the Google Home Mini is $49 (with frequent price drops).

Moto G5 Plus

With a great design, powerful specs, and Motorola’s lauded approach to software, the Moto G5 Plus is an excellent smartphone, let alone one that’s so dang cheap. It makes you rethink the price tag of some of the device’s more expensive competitors. Price: $229

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Fire TV Stick

One of the more versatile streaming sticks taps directly into Amazon’s robust library of video content, while offering apps from third-party services such as Netflix and Hulu. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the Fire TV Stick has become a favorite among more vocal parts of the internet community. Price: $39

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iPad

This is affordable-ish—at least in Apple’s skewed, distorted ecosystem. Truth be told, the iPad is still the best tablet money can buy, and one of the easiest ways to keep young children occupied. How can you put a price on silence? Price: $329

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Fire HD 8

If you don’t want to live inside Apple’s ecosystem, Amazon has been making great tablets for years. You’ll get access to Amazon’s large online emporium along with the Google Play Store. What else do you need? And it keeps kids occupied all the same. Price: $79

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SNES Classic

If you can find one, the SNES Classic is one of 2017’s best devices. Sure, it takes advantage of our nostalgia, but it’s hard to say no to a machine with Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Just to spend more than the suggested retail price, pleaded Nintendo. Price: $79

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Anker SoundCore Boost

One of Amazon’s best-selling portable speakers is also among the site’s most affordable. The Anker SoundCore Boost offers a great balance of portability, design, and sound in a package that’s water and dust resistant and features a battery rated for more than 12 hours. Price: $79

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Logitech MX Master

The most comfortable mouse in Logitech’s stable is a steal at $65. It offers great customizability, ergonomics, and battery life—all while looking good to boot. I’ve been using one for the past few years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Price: $65

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Tile Mate

I can get pretty scatter-brained over the holidays due to seeing family and traveling, so Tile comes in pretty handy when I misplace my keys. The Tile Mate has saved me more than once, which is why I never go anywhere without it.

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Google Home Mini

Start off your smart home right with the Google Home Mini and get direct access to the search giant’s Assistant, arguably the smartest AI on the market. The Home Mini looks better than the larger Google Home and is much more affordable, making it the safe bet when jumping into the smart home game. Price: $49

Amazon Echo Spot

The Echo Spot is not your average Echo. Featuring an alarm clock-like design, small circular display and all the features of an Echo Dot, the Echo Spot will make a great bedside companion. It can play music from your preferred source, turn on your lights, and more. Price: $129

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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