Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

In today’s tech-saturated world, $100 can get you pretty far. Thanks to the advent of smartphones, things like processors, accelerometers, and lithium-ion batteries have, over the years, become ridiculously cheap and accessible for electronics manufacturers. This has ultimately resulted in a flood of inexpensive but highly capable gadgets. Nowadays, you can get damn near anything (laptops, fitness trackers, tablets, cameras, etc.) for less than the price of a parking ticket.

Sure — you won’t be able to score a 4K TV or the latest gaming console, but there’s no reason you can’t find something to satisfy your tech cravings without breaking the bank. To help you wade through all the great gear out there, we put together this guide to the best tech under $100. Enjoy!

Roku Streaming Stick + ($70 or less)

roku streaming stick+ review full

If you haven’t already invested in a set-top streaming device, it’s high time you jumped on the bandwagon. Even if you’re not ready to cut your cable subscription and go all-in on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, these gizmos will provide you with easy access to a massive range of different streaming platforms. Now that giant companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and others have thrown their weight behind the streaming revolution, there are tons of these devices choose from — and they get better and better with each passing year.

If we had to pick one, we’d say that the best streaming device you can get right now is undoubtedly the new Roku Streaming Stick+. In the words of DT’s resident A/V guru Caleb Denison, “The Roku Streaming Stick+ is the most sensible streaming TV device available this year. At $70, it delivers 4K HDR video with up to Dolby Atmos Audio, all through a user interface designed to appeal to a wide range of users, from tech novices to tech wizards. Thanks to an app-agnostic approach, Roku makes finding the best place to watch the content you want easier than its competitors, and its handy app is icing on an already delicious cake.”

Buy one now from:

Anker 20,000 mAh portable charger ($44)

Best portable battery chargers - Anker PowerCore II

Smartphones have come a long way in the past few years, but no matter how advanced they seem to get, they never seem to have enough battery power. Show me the most advanced smartphone we’ve got, and after 8-10 hours, i’ll show you a really expensive paperweight. But not to worry — that’s where Anker’s PowerCore 5000 comes in. Despite being small enough to fit in a pocket, purse, or backpack pouch; it can store enough juice to fully recharge most smartphones seven times.

But that’s not all. This charger not only charges your devices, it does so quickly and safely. It features PowerIQ technology that intelligently identifies all connected devices and delivers the optimum high-speed charge. Combine that with Anker’s Voltage Boost technology, and you’ve got a charger that really speeds things up. Voltage Boost is smart technology that determines when charging output is encountering resistance and automatically compensates for this to ensure charging speeds remain fast, regardless of your cable or device.

Buy one now from:

BlueDriver OBD2 Dongle ($99)

best tech gifts under 100 bluedriver

Spend it on an OBD2 dongle. Your car will thank you. OBD2 is short for On-Board Diagnostics, version two. It’s a system that’s been built into just about every car made in the US since the mid 80’s, and it basically allows you to tap into your car’s on-board computer and get detailed information on what’s going on with it at any given moment. The Automatic Link plugs into your OBD2 port just like any other dongle, but unlike others, it uses a low-power Bluetooth signal to wirelessly beam information to your smartphone in real time. This way you’ll always know exactly why your car is acting up, and then be able to address the problem before it gets worse.

If your check engine light pops on, BlueDriver immediately shoots a notification to your phone to explain what caused it. For simple problems, the app offers suggestions on how to resolve the issue yourself. For stuff that’s more complicated, it automatically suggests mechanics in the surrounding area and offers directions. And to top it all off, the app even monitors your driving habits and suggests ways to boost your gas mileage. It doesn’t matter if you’re a gearhead or completely clueless when it comes to cars – this thing is useful no matter who you are.

Buy one now from:

Audio Technica AT-LP60 ($100)

The second vinyl renaissance is surely upon us. You could easily spend $1,000 on a quality turntable, but Audio Technica’s AT-LP60 is perfect for the amateur audiophile, built with automatic operation in mind and catering to two speeds (33½ and 45 rpm). It has a built-in phono amplifier, a replaceable stylus, and smooth performance. All you have to do is place a record on the aluminum platter, press play, and listen to the iconic fuss and pops that defined a generation years before Apple was a tech company.

Buy one now from:

Walmart

Amazon Echo Dot ($50)

Amazon’s Echo Dot is a miniature voice assistant speaker that can connect to a number of apps, allowing it to control your home’s lights, fans, garage door, and thermostat. Not to mention, it can also play your favorite music and get a pizza delivered straight to your house. It uses far-field voice recognition so it can hear you from across the room, regardless of where it’s placed, and can learn your preferences, too. It will start to pick up on your speech patterns and vocabulary. For $50, it’s a cheaper alternative than some of its competitors.

Read our full Amazon Dot review

Buy one now from:

Amazon Kindle ($80)

It may not come loaded with 10 LEDs or the luxury of page-turning buttons like the Kindle Oasis; but if you’re in the market for an ebook reader, it still rocks. The most recent Kindle boasts more than enough memory and an updated processor, as well as a fantastic touchscreen display that lets you browse thousands of books with ease. Its software includes Goodreads integration and a vocabulary builder, only complimenting its marathon (30 day) battery life and comfortable design.

Buy one now from:

Google Daydream View VR Headset ($79)

google-daydream-view-0021-720x720

Virtual reality headsets are evolving each and every year; for an affordable, high quality device, you’re no longer limited to just Samsung’s Gear VR. Daydream View requires a compatible phone to use the headset. Right now, that means this will only work if you have a Google Pixel phone. Regardless, Daydream View stands out among the rest for its comfort and wearability. Made out of breathable fabric, the headset is lightweight — something that’s important for long wear. The Daydream software is simple and easy to use with the wireless controller, and new apps are added all the time. For those with a compatible phone, this is a great option for VR.

Read our full Google Daydream review

Buy now from:

Best Buy

Advanced Sound Model 3 convertible earphones ($80)

ADVANCED Model 3 earbuds inearCU

Cables are so 20th century. Thankfully, the Advanced Sound Model 3 help bring your audio game into the 21st century, even if your playlist is still stuck somewhere in the mid-’90s. There are better wireless ‘phones on the market, but for under $100, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Model 3 manage to produce clear, full-bodied sound with powerful bass response, allowing you to enjoy everything from Flume to Steve Wonder to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole — you know, the ukulele guy — in equal measure. We’re not huge fans of the included foam tips, but features like the detachable MMCX connection, which allows you to switch between wireless and wired modes, makes it worthwhile.

Read our full Advanced Sound Model 3 review

Advanced Sound

Parrot Mambo ($100)

Parrot Mambo best drones under $500

New to flying? Then the Parrot Mambo is the drone for you. This drone has solid stability, is outfitted with a slew of motion sensors, and includes several attachments that make flying more enjoyable — including a foam ball launcher and a grabber designed to ferry snatch small objects.. You can also pilot this kid-centric craft using your smartphone or an optional dual-joystick controller — though the latter component will run you and extra $40. The miniature drone is also incredibly easy to control. If you’re looking to spend a little more, we’ve also put together a comprehensive guide outlining the best drones on the market.

Buy one now from:

Parrot

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom ($80)

Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom may be better suited for the summer — after all, the pint-sized Bluetooth speaker floats and features IPX7-rated waterproofing — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable during the rest of the year. Besides the fact it sports an attractive build, it has everything you’d want in a portable speaker, including a 30-foot range, solid sound, and up to 10 hours of battery life. The Wonderboom is also compatible with both Android and iOS devices, and you can pair the speaker with two devices simultaneously, allowing for stereo sound. It’s small, durable, and really cute. You’ll want to bring this little guy with you everywhere.

Read our full UE Wonderboom review

Buy one now from:

Brookstone

Biolite Cookstove ($80)

best tech gifts under 100 biolite cookstove

A good stove is essential if you plan on going camping or backpacking — but not all camp stoves are created equal. The vast majority of them run on fuel canisters that, while relatively cheap and easy to obtain, add to the cost of the device over time. But what if you didn’t have to purchase fuel for your stove, and could whip up a smokeless cooking fire with nothing more than a handful of twigs?

That’s exactly what the Biolite Cookstove aims to provide. It’s a pared-down version of the company’s popular Campstove, and uses the same fan technology to boost airflow and generate a piping hot wood fire in minutes. “The streamlined CookStove provides 30 hours of clean wood cooking on a single charge of the USB-rechargeable airflow system,” the company claims on its website. “Four fan speeds control flame size, enabling you to boil rapidly or enjoy a campfire feel. Leave the gas canisters behind and cook meals using the sticks around you.”

The only difference between the Cookstove and the Campstove (aside from their names and prices) is the fact that the Cookstove doesn’t have the ability to harvest and store waste heat electricity from the fire — so you can’t use it to charge up your gadgets. If you want that functionality, you’ll need to dish out an extra $50 and get the Campstove.

Buy one now from:

Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.