Ssshhhh, they don’t have to know what you spent and will probably think you spent more on these gadgets.

You probably expect to spend hundreds on tech gadgets but you can impress people on your list with how cool you are, for at or under $30.

note: some of the products on this page were at or under $30 when I checked. Some have gone up in price.

Rocketbook notebooks bring high-tech to old school note-taking. Take notes as you would with any old paper notebook, then using the Rocketbook app, scan the pages to save them in Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, email them to yourself, there are plenty of options. 

   With the Everlast notebook, just wipe the pages with a damp cloth to erase it all and start over. The Everlast notebook is $29. The Rocketbook Wave is even more ‘techie’, to erase it just toss it in a microwave with a cup of water and in a few minutes the pages are wiped clean. 

  There’s also a coloring book for kids. You can save their artwork or print it out, wipe it down and they can do it all again.

The notebooks require a certain type of ink pen, the Pilot Frixion that comes with the notebook and you can buy extras separately at just about any retailer that sells school supplies. The surprising part of the Rocketbook notebooks though is that it seems like you’re writing on plain old paper. 

Give the gift of power

Wireless charging a phone is the way to go with most newer smartphones. Put an Anker Powerwave stand on a desk to keep your phone on charge all day long. It has a built-in fan to keep the phone from overheating. It’s a fast charger too, for just $20 when on sale, $30 when it isn’t.





Everyone and I mean everyone can use a portable smartphone battery. Lots of choices under $30 but I like the Ventev Powercell battery. At just $30 it has a built-in charging cable so you always have what you need to charge your phone. 




Smart assistants the Echo Dot and Google Home mini first edition are both on sale during the holidays for $25. They’ll control smart home devices, play music, games and answer your questions.


For wanna be cord cutters, a streaming media device

Everyone’s thinking about cutting the cable cord, and even if they haven’t thought about it, a Roku is good to have on any TV. The Roku Express is only $24. Even if they don’t have Netflix there’s still lots of free TV shows and movies to watch. 


You can spend lots of money on tech gadgets but you don’t necessarily have to go over budget. These tech gifts will bring a smile for a fraction of what they think you spent.

note: purchasing any products from a link on this page earns What the Tech? a small commission. 


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