While Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, there are still plenty of good deals out there for those of us who don’t want to spend too much but also don’t want to appear too cheap. What price range is that? That’s easy: $50-100. Sure, I may be a little biased because I rounded up a bunch products that cost between $50 and $100, but I also believe it.
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Bose’s smallest wireless speaker sounds excellent for its tiny size (yes, it fits in a pocket). Usually $99, it was as low as $69 during Black Friday weekend, but it’s been on sale since for $79. Hopefully, that price holds. It’s waterproof, too.
JBL’s Link 10 is its entry-level portable Wi-Fi speaker (it also has Bluetooth) and is voice-enabled with Google Assistant (Google’s version of Alexa). It lists for $150, but Best Buy has it on sale for a limited time for $60. That’s a very good deal.
If you’re shopping for someone who spends all day on a Mac or Windows PC, a top-notch mouse like the Logitech MX Master 2S is just the ticket. It’s the sequel to the original MX Master, which we quite liked. It lists for $100 but can be had on Amazon for less than $70.
If you don’t need battery power and prefer a smart speaker, Amazon’s second-generation Echo is a great first choice, especially now that it’s discounted for the holiday to $70. Its ubiquitous Alexa voice assistant handles a boatload of queries and smart-home controls, and the audio quality is better than that of the entry-level Echo Dot. And with seven plastic or fabric finishes, it can fit into any decor.
For students who want to relive their parents’ school-age gaming, the Super Nintendo Classic is the way to go. It packs 21 awesome retro games into one tiny box that hooks up to any HDTV, and it even includes a second controller for two-player matches in Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II. After being in limited supply for several months, this one is now easy to find at its normal retail price of $80.
The Fitbit Versa and Apple Watch are both great, but they’ll cost you $200 minimum. In the under-$100 category, you’re best off going with the Amazfit Bip. It somehow crams all the must-have smartwatch features into an $80 package that delivers marathon battery life. (The newer Amazfit Verge is available for preorder, but that costs twice as much.)
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus has been out for a while but still offers the best value in this category — especially considering that Roku is always updating the software, and the price was recently cut from $70 to $60. The plug-in design gives you full 4K and HDR compatibility, and a remote with both voice control and the ability to control your TV’s volume and power. Oh, and it streams every major video service out there (and hundreds of minor ones), including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, Movies Anywhere and HBO Go.
Not only does this fully waterproof speaker (IPX7) have improved battery life and better sound than the Clip 2, it’s more durable. That’s thanks to the integrated carabiner framing the entire perimeter of the speaker acting as a bumper, according to JBL. It’s one of the top speakers for its tiny size, Normally it sells for $60, but its price has dipped down to $50.
Speaking of Amazon: The company makes the only tablet priced under $100 that we can enthusiastically recommend. The 2018 version of the $80 Fire HD 8 tablet supports hands-free Alexa, which means you can issue voice commands without touching the screen by simply saying “Alexa.” The screen is “only” 8 inches, but stepping up to the 10-inch Fire HD 10 will almost double the price to $150.
The HD 8 was on sale for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It will go on sale again at some point, but we don’t know what, if any, discounts you’ll see on it before the end of the year.
Looking for more picks? Check out our complete list below.
Best holiday gifts for under $100
More holiday gift picks
The best tech gifts of the year: CNET’s top picks
CNET’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Gift recommendations at all price points.
JBL LINK 10
•JBL Link 10 review: An affordable, portable Google Assistant speaker
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