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Holiday Shopping on a Budget? No Problem. Spend $50 or Less on Gadgets and Gaming Gifts That Don’t Suck

Holiday 2020Holiday 2020Whether you're celebrating with your loved ones in person or from a distance, The Inventory staff is dedicated to spreading holiday cheer with the top gifts to ring in the season—and maybe a few good deals to snatch up for yourself. It's okay, your secret's safe with us.

Gadgets are often a great holiday gift idea, but you don’t have to spend a bundle to give someone a great present. For $50 or less, for example, you can snag a great pair of true wireless earbuds or even a tablet, wellness accessories like a fitness band or smart scale, or home aids like color-changing smart light bulbs or an LED ring light. We’ve collected those options and more on our list of the best budget gadget gifts, so if you’re on the hunt for unique gift ideas at reasonable prices, scope out our picks below.

Anker Soundcore Life P2 Wireless Earbuds | $36

Illustration for article titled Holiday Shopping on a Budget? No Problem. Spend $50 or Less on Gadgets and Gaming Gifts That Don’t Suck
Image: Quentyn Kennemer

Given the triple-digit price of Apple’s AirPods, opting for true wireless earbuds for $50 or less might seem like a questionable move. Not so fast: Anker’s Soundcore Life P2 wireless earbuds deliver a comparable experience at a fraction of the price, and our former writer Quentyn Kennemer digs ‘em, calling them “fantastic AirPods alternatives.” Amazon customers seem to agree, given the 4.3-star rating from more than 40,000 reviews.

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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (3 Months) | $45

Illustration for article titled Holiday Shopping on a Budget? No Problem. Spend $50 or Less on Gadgets and Gaming Gifts That Don’t Suck
Image: Giovanni Colantonio

If you have an Xbox One or Series X|S console, you should have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It bundles together the familiar Xbox Live Gold service—which enables online play for premium games and gives you free games each month to keep—along with Game Pass on both console and PC, with a rotating selection of 100+ games to play. Give someone the gift of gaming with a three-month plan, which typically sells for $45 but is sometimes available for less.

Eufy Smart Scale P1 | $30

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Image: Andrew Hayward
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Help kickstart a friend or family member’s health and wellness plans into the new year with the Eufy Smart Scale P1. This Bluetooth-connected scale pairs to your smartphone, putting its sensors to work to deliver measurements such as BMI, muscle mass, and more beyond just weight. It’ll also work with up to 16 different people per account.

Tiger Electronics Handheld Games | $12

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Image: Giovanni Colantonio
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Nostalgia can be a hell of a thing, and if someone in your life has fond memories of the janky Tiger Electronics handheld games that thrived in the ‘90s, there’s good news: some of them have recently been re-released. Amazon has the officially licensed X-Men and Transformers games, exactly as you remember them, for $15 each or less right now.

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Sylvania Smart+ Wi-Fi Bulbs (4-Pack) | $35

Illustration for article titled Holiday Shopping on a Budget? No Problem. Spend $50 or Less on Gadgets and Gaming Gifts That Don’t Suck
Image: Andrew Hayward

Color-changing, internet-connected smart bulbs are shockingly cheap these days. In fact, Sylvania offers a four-pack of its Smart+ Wi-Fi bulbs, which can be changed to a full range of colors using a smartphone app or popular voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, for just $41. They have a 4.2-star rating from 3,000+ reviews, too, so people like ‘em.

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Teenage Engineering PO-20 Pocket Operator | $59

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Image: Andrew Hayward
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This costs just a bit more than $50, but could be an all-time amazing gift for anyone you think would want to noodle around with a pocket-friendly synthesizer. Teenage Engineering makes a whole range of these compact Pocket Operators, which charm with their simplicity and exposed circuit board (you can add a silicone case if you please), and each delivers a distinctive set of sounds for making beats and synth symphonies using little buttons and dials. This one’s focused on retro arcade gaming bleeps and bloops.

PlayStation 4 Greatest Hits Games | $10

Illustration for article titled Holiday Shopping on a Budget? No Problem. Spend $50 or Less on Gadgets and Gaming Gifts That Don’t Suck
Image: Andrew Hayward
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Looking to get a great PlayStation 4 game for someone without shelling out $60 for something hot and fresh? Sony has an array of stellar games that have been dubbed Greatest Hits, each selling for just $10. Games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Gran Turismo Sport, and The Last of Us Remastered are can’t-miss picks at a fantastic price.

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Mactrem LED Ring Light With Tripod Stand | $19

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Image: Andrew Hayward
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Whether it’s for Twitch streaming, content creation, or just making sure you give a clear image for Zoom calls, an LED ring light can help you overcome crummy lighting conditions. Luckily, you can get a stellar one for cheap, such as this Mactrem light with tripod stand and multiple light modes, which has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Fitness Tracker | $37

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Image: Andrew Hayward
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You don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to get a capable and impressive fitness band. Xiaomi’s Mi Band 5 packs a color screen, heart rate sensor, and various fitness tracking capabilities, including running, cycling, and swimming. And it’s only $36, with Amazon customers giving it a very strong 4.6-star rating.

Amazon Fire Tablet 7 | $50

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Image: Amazon
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It’s crazy to think you can get a solid, functional tablet for just $50, but that’s exactly the case with the Amazon Fire Tablet 7. Sure enough, the performance isn’t inspiring and the screen won’t match the clarity or vibrance of an iPad. Still, this 7-inch tablet does just fine for streaming video and audio, web surfing, ebooks, apps, and some lightweight gaming, plus it has a battery life of up to 7 hours.

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Amazon Echo Wall Clock | $27

Illustration for article titled Holiday Shopping on a Budget? No Problem. Spend $50 or Less on Gadgets and Gaming Gifts That Don’t Suck
Image: Amazon

If your intended recipient already has an Amazon Echo device in their home, then this is a pretty neat add-on device. The Amazon Echo Wall Clock not only tells time in a traditional, analog format but also works with a paired Echo device to display timers using the 60 LED ticks around the clock. You’ll be able to see at a glance how many minutes are left, plus this 10-inch clock automatically syncs the current time via the Echo device.

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TIJN Blue Light Blocking Glasses | $18

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Image: TIJN
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Staring at screens all day can cause eye strain and headaches, but blue light-blocking glasses are an affordable way to counteract some of that everyday fatigue. These TIJN glasses come in a variety of styles and have a 4.4-star rating with more than 11,000 reviews, plus they’re not very expensive. There are even two-packs listed that only cost a few bucks more than the single price of one pair.

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