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The best holiday gifts and gadgets under $30

Get some great tech without breaking the bank.

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
    4K HDR streaming with Alexa voice control
    $40 at Amazon
  • Tribit XFree Go wireless headphones
    Big wireless headphones for a small price
    $25 at Amazon
  • Lenovo Smart Clock Essential
    A smarter alarm clock
    $50 at Best Buy
  • Tranya Rimor true wireless headphones
    True wireless earbuds that sound good for less
    $30 at Amazon
  • Lodge Grill Pan
    Bring your grilling indoors
    $25 at Amazon
  • Echo Dot (3rd-gen)
    Ultra-affordable smart speaker
    $40 at Amazon
  • Roku Express HD
    Stream almost everything for under $30
    $30 at Amazon
  • Wyze Cam v3
    Alexa-compatible security camera
    $20 at Wyze
  • TP-Link Kasa HS105 Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini
    Turn any outlet into a smart outlet
    $13 at Amazon
  • Anker PowerCore Lite 10,000-mAh battery pack
    Compact power bank
    $22 at Amazon
  • SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive 128GB
    Easy data backup
    $20 at Amazon
  • Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit
    Start a quest for under $20
    $16 at Amazon
Show more (7 items)

It's an understatement to say that many people are struggling to make ends meet this year, so remember it's more than possible to give the perfect gift without going into debt. Even when it comes to tech, there are tons of unique and thoughtful gift ideas that won't break the bank, from wireless earbuds to a Bluetooth speaker to smartphone power banks. So if you're on the hunt for a gadget that brings something extra to your loved one's favorite device, or just makes a great gift, we've rounded up some top tech options available for $30 or less, all of which we've personally tested.

On Nov. 1 we added some updates that include early Black Friday deals. Note that pricing and availability of this tech under $30 gift guide were accurate at time of publication, but both are subject to change without notice.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon's top-of-the-line video streamer usually costs $50, but since Prime Day, this device has been hovering at $30. In addition to 4K HDR video quality and excellent integration with the Alexa voice assistant, this model also includes a remote that can control your TV's volume and power.

Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review.

 

$40 at Amazon
$40 at Best Buy
$40 at eBay
Sarah Tew/CNET

Buying for someone who prefers full-size headphones? Priced at around $33, the Tribit XFree Tune has long been our go-to affordable full-size wireless headphones. But there's now an even cheaper model, the XFree Go, that can be had for as little as $21. At the lower price, you get plusher, more comfortable ear pads, Bluetooth 5.0 and 24 hours of battery life, and a 10-minute charge gives you four hours of playback time. The sound is a little more bass-forward than that of the Tune, but at this price, it's really hard to complain about what you're getting. 

$25 at Amazon
Lenovo

The Lenovo Smart Clock has long been among one of our favorite "cheap but good" smart btcc比特币交易所国际_以太坊home devices when it's on sale (this season, the price seems to be hovering between $35 and $40). But if you want to save even more, the new Smart Clock Essential opts for something of a dumbed-down monochrome screen, but this device still delivers the time, temperature and weather, along with full access to Google's voice assistant. The USB-A port in the rear makes it easy to charge devices on your bedside table, too.

Read our Lenovo Smart Clock Essential review.

 

$50 at Best Buy
$49 at Walmart
$39 at eBay
David Carnoy/CNET

Surf around on Amazon, and you'll see countless no-name true wireless headphones available for $50 or less (see our Tranya T3. For a few bucks more, you can also check out the Tranya T10. 

$30 at Amazon
Lodge

We're all cooking at btcc比特币交易所国际_以太坊home a lot more these days. And the Lodge Grill Pan is a cheap and easy way to bring the essence of the grilling experience to your stovetop. (Mine gets used at least two nights a week.) 

$25 at Amazon
Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

For 2020, Amazon has introduced a spherical Echo Dot, but we haven't yet seen it on sale below its list price of $50. That may or may not happen by Black Friday, but in the meantime, its third-generation predecessor has been selling for just $19. (If you want even cheaper, grab the Echo Flex for just $10.)

Read our Amazon Echo Dot (third-generation) review.

 

$40 at Amazon
$40 at Best Buy
Sarah Tew/CNET

It's tough to beat Amazon's Fire TV Sticks when they're on sale. But the Express HD remains the cheapest entry-point to the Roku smart TV system, which we still think edges out Fire TV by a nose. Roku also has NBC's free Peacock streaming service, which remains a no-show on Fire TV. 

This tech gift was selling for $22 to $24 during Prime Day week in October, but has returned to its normal price of $30. Note, however, that 

Read our Roku Express (2019) review.

 

$30 at Amazon
Sarah Tew/CNET

Need an easy way to keep an eye on the dog, the baby's nursery or a dozen other far-flung corners of the house? Newly updated for 2020 and compatible with Amazon's Alexa, version 3 of the Wyze Cam adds better nighttime image quality and a wider field of view. Wyze has also rolled out several software updates in recent months to tighten up this smart device's privacy and security controls. But despite all those upgrades, this camera maintains its predecessor's insanely low price of $26 (including shipping).

Read our Wyze Cam (2020) review.

 

$20 at Wyze
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

There are plenty of cheap smart plugs out there, but the TP-Link Kasa HS105 is our two-pack of the step-down HS103 for the same price.) Buying gifts for someone with a Siri-powered smart btcc比特币交易所国际_以太坊home? Opt for the Belkin WeMo Smart Plug instead. 

Read our TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini review.

 

$13 at Amazon
Anker

This handy Anker 10,000-mAh battery pack is about the size of a big smartphone, and this portable charger can charge your smartphone and most small USB devices (like wireless headphones) several times over.

Read our list of the best portable chargers and power banks.

 

$22 at Amazon
Sarah Tew/CNET

True story: In my collegiate days, 3.5-inch floppy disks were a thing, and they stored a whopping 1.44 megabytes of data on them. This flash drive costs under $21, and it stores 128GB, the equivalent of almost 89,000 of those floppy disks. This model sports both USB-A and USB-C connectors, so it'll work with any computer out there as well as newer iPad Pro models.

$20 at Amazon
Wizards of the Coast

OK, this posits an optimistic future where we can gather together and play traditional games in the same room. But if you're buying for a quarantine pod that already has a quorum of tabletop-gaming fans, some old-school D&D is a nice face-to-face break from the virtual world of video games. The Essentials Kit gives you everything a group of pencil-and-paper adventurers need to get questing, but true beginners can opt for the equally affordable Starter Set instead. (Those already bored with D&D can dip their toes into the world of Gloomhaven with the new $50 Jaws of the Lion set instead.)

$16 at Amazon

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