5 Great Stocking Stuffers (under $60)

Dave Zatz —  November 22, 2016

roku-streaming-stick

Roku Streaming Stick ($50)
While both Amazon and Roku updated their streaming sticks this year, I give a slight edge to Roku’s offering. And, during the holiday deals season, we’ve seen it as low as $35.

echo-dot

Amazon Echo Dot ($50)
The refreshed Echo Dot brings Amazon’s always-on Alexa voice assistant into homes at a compelling price point with two enclosure color options. The integrated speaker is merely sufficient, but perfectly suitable for broadcasting news (Alexa, play CNN on TuneIn) or music (Pandora, Spotify, etc) in smaller rooms. We expect the Dot to drop to $40 on Black Friday. However, should your budget be larger, both Google Home and the full-on Echo will be $30-40 off later this week.

anker-powercore

Anker PowerCore ($25)
I’ve long relied on Anker as preferred backup battery. Their latest PowerCore line comes in a variety of sizes and capacities to meet every mobile juicing need. I’ve got ahead and linked the 10000 version, which provides a single USB jack and a large enough reservoir to recharge your smartphone three times.

jbl-clip2

JBL Clip 2 ($60)
Think of a JBL Clip 2 as the slightly smaller, slightly less stylish version of the Logitech UE Roll. The highly regarded, compact, water-resistant Bluetooth speaker is often found for under $50 and comes in multiple colors.

logitech-keyboard

Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard ($40)
When I recently needed a new keyboard to augment my mobile arsenal, I went with Wirecutter’s top pick and could be more pleased — it’s not too bulky, nicely clicky, and toggles between three devices. Bonus: Amazon offers four hues.

10 responses to 5 Great Stocking Stuffers (under $60)

  1. Gift cards are great too – I’ve given Netflix, iTunes, and Spotify credits before. iTunes cards can sometimes be had at a discount.

    For a massive and updated list of Black Friday techie deals, check out Liliputing:
    https://liliputing.com/2016/11/mobile-tech-deals-black-friday-2017.html

  2. Do any of the Roku sticks come with the voice search remote?

  3. Nope – and of the new 2016 models, only the high-end, tricked out Roku Ultra (MSRP $130) includes it :/ However, they did port that feature into iOS and Android apps if that helps. Otherwise, I’d look for a deal on the discontinued 2015 Roku 3. It runs about $70: https://www.roku.com/refurbished-deals

    The updated Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote will be on sale for $30 on Friday.

  4. “While both Amazon and Roku updated their streaming sticks this year, I give a slight edge to Roku’s offering.”

    Obviously Dave is missing the crucial factor of Filmstruck being available on Fire TV now, but not on Roku until “Early 2016”.

    I’m not sure how this major oversight happened.

  5. $50 represents a medium-sized gift in our house. Out stockings have things that are no more than $10.

  6. Mine too. Well, if we had stockings. However, ‘small to medium priced holiday gifts’ isn’t a great headline. :) Not to mention I was also referring to size of the gift and these are also the sorts of gifts that transcend stockings as I’ve picked up for the extended family.

    Not too many great primary tech gifts in the $5-15 range – most are accessories, like Amazon Basics HDMI cables, decent replacement earbuds, clean cord holders, or Blu-rays. Or the aforementioned gift cards – Best Buy has a buy $15 iTunes card, get a second 30% off. Often interesting stuff at the Dollar Store and Five Below, but it’s not really bloggable given the rotating inventory and lack of reviews.

  7. Be sure to check all hues on the K380. I got the pink one for $20 a few weeks ago!

  8. Tivo Thanksgiving sale on now.

    I just picked up a refurbished (I presume 500GB drive) Roamio OTA w/ lifetime for $199.

  9. I feel like Anker lost their edge. They completely missed the USB-C boat, so if you have a USB-C phone or want one in the future, you might want to look elsewhere. Consider this, if you have a USB-C phone, but don’t have a battery with USB-C, you need to carry the following extras (in addition to the battery):
    1) USB-A -> Micro USB cable to charge the battery
    2) USB-A -> USB-C cable to charge the phone from the battery
    3) A/C adapter with a USB-A port

    If they had simply put out a battery with USB-C for input and output, the 1 – 3 can go away.

    Secondly, their USB-C chargers don’t work with Power Delivery unless you get their giant 5-port charger which is an overkill and even then, only has a single USB-C port. Aukey and Tronsmart make better chargers, although I don’t know yet about quality.