If you’re anything like me, you have an obsession with tech, and perhaps problematically, an obsession with buying tech. Unfortunately, technology is expensive. Even some tech accessories are expensive. Take for example the Henge Horizontal Docking Station. That’ll set you back an astronomical $500. It’s a dock. A $500 dock. Today we’ll be rounding up the best tech for a tenth of the price. All of the items in this list as of May 2017 are under $50.
#1 Gmyle 2500mAh Card Sized Power Bank
We all know how useful power banks are when you left your charger at home, or if you’re going to be out late. Usually, power banks are about the size of our phones and triple the thickness. If you don’t have a bag, they look unwieldy to carry in your pocket while you charge your phone, and they weigh you down. The answer is the Gmyle 2500mAH Card Sized Power bank. As the name suggests, it’s the same width and height of a normal card, and about triple the thickness. This means that it’s extremely compact, and fits perfectly into my wallet, which I keep in there no matter what.
The only drawback of having such a small power bank is that it’s also got a smaller capacity. At 2500mAh, it’s got just enough juice to charge an iPhone 6s from 0-100%, an impressive feat for such a small power bank. The connector has a flippable micro USB and Lightning side, so you can charge all manner of devices. With the help of an included adapter, it can also charge USB C devices, though I wouldn’t use it to charge a MacBook. The best part of this power bank? It’s $11. That’s right, it’s just $11 from Amazon. At this price, it’s a no-brainer, and provides peace of mind, for those times when you don’t know how far away you’re going to be from a charger.
#2 Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker
Xiaomi is known for making quality tech for low prices, and this is no exception. The Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker houses two 3W speakers, and it’s pretty loud. At maximum volume, the sound can travel around 70 metres, before being drowned out by ambient noise. It’s got a tonne of bass too, much more than you’d expect from a speaker so small. Although it’s technically stereo, the separation is so small it’s barely noticeable, but the fact that there are two drivers inside is a welcome addition anyway. It comes in a variety of colours: Gold, Pink, and Blue. In the box, you also get a microfiber carry bag, which I’ve found to be superb at cleaning phone screens as well. At around $50, it’s a good deal, and a much more economical and attractive option than many of the more expensive speakers, like the UE Roll.
#3 Apple Lightning Dock
The Apple Lightning Dock is of course a dock, for Lightning devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and iPods. It doesn’t seem that exciting, but once you buy one, you’ll never be able to go back to lying your phone flat on your desk again. By placing double sided tape on the underside of the dock, I’m able to dock and undock my iPhone easily, with one hand. While it’s charging, the phone lights up whenever there’s a notification, and I can see exactly what’s there, without having to pick it up. The Apple Lightning Dock also features a 3.5mm jack on the backside. The Apple Lightning Dock is $49 and comes in six colors, Black, Silver, Space Gray, Gold, Rose Gold, and the $39 white polycarbonate version.
Link (Metal, Colored) : https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MNN62AM/A/iphone-lightning-dock-black?fnode=ac9512335729b01226131d8cd06d209921bfef7dd26e822615b8b8c298681b436b41d9f8bbde3d597ef80534955574f53d333f72b6930317aeb68e66d19678c9b93856cfabb360e7c662198796bc896480864ad41c9d8abf33b2368f9c991f83
Link (Polycarbonate, White): https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MGRM2AM/A/iphone-lightning-dock-white?fnode=ac9512335729b01226131d8cd06d209921bfef7dd26e822615b8b8c298681b436b41d9f8bbde3d597ef80534955574f53d333f72b6930317aeb68e66d19678c9b93856cfabb360e7c662198796bc896480864ad41c9d8abf33b2368f9c991f83
#4 Xiaomi Yeelight
Xiaomi earns another spot on this list, for the Xiaomi Yeelight. The Xiaomi Yeelight is an awesome, low-cost smart lightbulb by Xiaomi. It features dimmable RGB color, as well as dimmable white light, which you can change the temperature of the bulb. This is especially useful for late night reading, as you can both dim and yellow the bulb to make it easier on your eyes. In addition to the color and white customisation features, there are a plethora of automation options available for you to tinker with, with the help of the Xiaomi Home app, or the Yeelight app. The apps are available for Android and iOS only, so you can’t control the lightbulb from your computer. The Xiaomi Yeelight is a steal, at just $22 for the RGB bulb, and $16 for the white bulb.
Link (RGB): http://www.gearbest.com/smart-lighting/pp_361555.html?
Link (White): http://www.gearbest.com/smart-light-bulb/pp_278478.html?
#5 Logitech Z213 Desktop Speakers
The Logitech Z213 Desktop speakers are a set of low cost, but good quality speakers. It’s a 2.1 setup, so there’s plenty of bass, and decent mids and highs. Although they won’t replace your HiFi set, they’re a perfectly acceptable space-saving set of desktop speakers. They have a sleek modern design and a handy volume controller. The Logitech Z213s are available for a pretty good price of just $28 from Amazon.
#6 Audio-Technica M30x (Certified Refurbished)
If you’re okay with them being certified refurbished, the Audio Technica M30x is an absolute steal. They’re just $47 on Amazon, and they sound great. They have a pleasing warm tone, and they fit comfortably over your head. The pads are comfy, and they don’t look too bad, especially for a $47 set of headphones. The Audio Technica M30x has a collapsible design, so it’s easy to fit into it’s included carrying case. It’s bigger brother is the ATH-M50x, is widely touted as the best affordable headphone set. The Audio Technica M30x has a non-removable 3 metre (very long!) 3.5mm cable, so you’re out of luck if you want to use it with your iPhone 7 unless you use the adapter. At $47, they’re a bargain, and I’d recommend these to anyone in need of a good set of budget headphones.
#7 Xiaomi Pro HD Earphones
I’ve written a favourable review on these before, but they’re a really good set of earphones, so I thought they deserved a spot here too. It’s RRP is $40, but as of 05/28/2017, they’re available for just $23 at GearBest. For $23, and perhaps even at $40, they’re hands down the best bang-for-buck earphones you’ll ever buy. They sound amazing. The bass is rich, and the highs are clear, with the only thing lacking being the mids, which are only slightly subdued. There’s a plethora of different accessories in the package, something you don’t usually find on earphones in this price range. They also look spectacular, with an all aluminium design, and a nice, contoured shape.
#8 Kingston A400 Internal SATA Solid State Drive
If you’ve got an older PC at home, with just an HDD, you might find that an SSD could drastically reduce your boot times, as well as speed up your PC considerably. Unlike an HDD, the Kingston A400 Internal SATA Solid State Drive has no moving parts and has read/write speeds magnitudes faster than those of an HDD. For a SATA3 drive, the Kingston A400 has very quick read/write speeds, at 500/450MBps respectively. In addition to being fast, it’s also relatively cheap, at $47.99 at Best Buy for the 120GB version. If you combine it with a SATA3 to MicroB or USBC enclosure, you can also use it as a cheap external SSD.
#9 Baseus USB-C To Lightning Cable
Got a new Macbook or Macbook Pro? In order to charge your iOS device, you’ll need a new cable. One that Apple sells for a ridiculous $25. The Baseus USB-C to Lightning Cable is both cheaper and better looking than the $25 luxury item Apple sells. Although it isn’t MFi certified, in my usage, it hasn’t failed me once. It’s available on amazon for just $6.99.
So there you have it, the top tech under $50. Buy these as gifts for your friends and family, or just buy them to enjoy yourself. If you enjoyed reading that and would like us to write more articles like this, or with different price brackets, let us know in the comments section below!