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Buying on a budget? Here’s the best gear and gadgetry you can get for under $20

Twenty bucks might not sound like a whole lot, but you’d be surprised what you can get for such a small sum of money. We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 — so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gadgets for less than the cost of a cab ride. In this article, we’ve rounded up some of the best tech under $20, so you can ball out without breaking the bank.

If you can stretch your budget a bit further, we’ve also compiled lists for the best tech under $50, and the best tech under $100.

Amazon Dash buttons

Amazon Dash
Brad Jones/Digital Trends

To be perfectly honest, these things are completely unnecessary. You don’t need to own them — but they’re also pretty damn convenient. If you’re not familiar with Dash Buttons, here’s the scoop: they’re essentially physical, internet-connected buttons that you can link to your Amazon account and place around your house. When you press the button, a specific item is automatically added to your Amazon shopping cart. You can buy them for practically any product that you consume (and run therefore need to replenish) on a regular basis — so they’re great for thins like toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap, dog treats, toothpaste, diapers, deodorant, and even snacks like Goldfish or RedBull. You definitely don’t need these things, but damn if they aren’t nice to have!

Bondic Liquid plastic welder

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Forget super glue. Instead of haphazardly squeezing some adhesive out of a tube, Bondic allows you to join two materials together with liquid plastic that hardens under UV light. You know those little UV glue guns that dentists use to fill minor cavities before they get too serious? It’s basically the exact same adhesive technology, just tweaked a little and redesigned for a different purpose. The Bondic welder is a must-have if you’re prone to breaking sunglasses a lot!

Qi wireless charging pad

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Still plugging your phone in to juice up the battery like a caveman? Get with the times, brother! Snag yourself a Qi wireless charger and you’ll be free from the shackles of cord-carrying life. Put one of these suckers on your bedside table and just plop your phone on it before you go to sleep. When you wake up, you’ll have a fully-juiced phone that you can just grab and slip in your pocket — no unplugging necessary (because, you know, that’s so inconvenient!). Seriously though, wireless charging is one of those little things that just makes life slightly easier, and you don’t realize how awesome it is until you don’t have it anymore.

Cordless Dremel tool

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If there’s one power tool every person should own, it’s a Dremel. It’s basically the Swiss Army Knife of the power tool world. With the right attachments, these machines can do practically anything — cutting, sanding, polishing, carving, and everything in between. This set comes with a small assortment of attachments to get you started, and if that’s not enough, the tool is compatible with a gazillion more attachments that Dremel makes. Be careful though. Power tools are a slippery slope, and Dremel is a gateway drug. If you’re not careful, you could wake up a year from now with a table saw and a laser cutter in your garage, wondering where your life went.

Alexa-compatible smart plug

Ever wish you lived in one of those futuristic smart homes where you could shout “computer, turn on the lights!” and it would magically happen? If so, we’ve got good news for you. While setting up a voice-activated smart home used to be both difficult and expensive, these days you can rig one up cheaply and easily. Case in point? the GoSund Smart Plug. Despite the fact that it’s outrageously cheap, this nifty little IoT plug adapter is compatible with Alexa — meaning you can plug practically anything into it, and after some setup, be able to turn the device on or off just by shouting at your Amazon Dash/Echo/whatever.

Bluetooth stereo adapter

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Do you have an older stereo that isn’t compatible with all this newfangled streaming tech, and are fed up with leaving your phone tethered to an auxiliary port? Not to worry — this little dongle is here to save the day. Just plug it into the aforementioned auxiliary port on your  home or car stereo, and pair it with your smartphone. Once you’re all set up, you’ll be able to sling audio to your speakers from just about any app on your phone.

Sandisk 32GB MicroSDHC Card

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If you can expand your phone’s memory (sorry iOS users!) and want to do so on the cheap, SanDisk is your best choice. With 32GB of storage you can store more than 11,000 compress photos and 480 hours of videos shot with a standard 8 megapixel cell phone. Of course, you can use the SanDisk card for plenty of other things as well (action cams, DSLRs, etc.), but if you plan on shooting RAW photos or high-FPS video, you’ll probably want something with faster write speeds.

Google Cardboard

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Virtual reality is still relatively new, but with more than 10 million units sold, the Google Cardboard is one of the most popular VR headsets around. Don’t let the exterior fool you, either: a lot of engaging entertainment can be found inside that piece of cardboard. You can view live soccer matches, YouTube videos, and even stand next to Paul McCartney while he performs on stage. Best part is, all you need is an Android or iOS phone running the appropriate software and you are all set.

Sony ZX110 Headphones

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Decent headphones usually cost a bundle of cash, but Sony’s ZX110 headphones are a rare exception. Despite the fact that they cost just $11 bucks, these badboys pump out sound that’ll put your stock Apple earbuds to shame. The foam cushions add much needed ear comfort for those long listening sessions, while Sony’s Acoustic Bass Boosting technology gives you more low-end punch than most in-ear headphones can offer. For under $20, you will seldom see a headphone deal better than the Sony ZX Series.

Logitech K360 wireless keyboard

Logitech usually offers elite wireless keyboards, and the K360 is no different. The sleek keyboard is only compatible with certain versions of Windows, but is packed with versatility. It comes with six hot keys for play, pause, play previous, play next, adjust volume, and mute functions — all of which make interacting with media much simpler. You can also customize 12 programmable F-keys to give you quick shortcuts to your favorite websites, applications, and almost anything you want to access on your device.

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Drew Prindle
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Drew Prindle is an award-winning writer, editor, and storyteller who currently serves as Senior Features Editor for Digital…
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