The 10 Best Tech Gifts to Buy for Under $200

Shop for your family and friends without spending a fortune

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III 2.1 Channel Multimedia Speaker System with Subwoofer
Photo from Amazon

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If you're not super strapped for money, but you don't want to fork over an entire paycheck for a gift, then the under $200 category is really your sweet spot. The products here offer a slight edge over our under $100 round-up in terms of quality and functionality (like for example, the revolutionary digital assistant Amazon Echo or the Philips Hue Starter Kit, which is a lighting system that can be controlled from your smartphone). So if you're unsure about what to get the tech guru in your life, this guide has everything you need to hit it out of the ballpark when it comes to buying the perfect gift.

Our Top Picks

Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

The latest generation of Paperwhite is Amazon’s highest resolution e-reader available at 300 ppi. That, in combination with its crisp, stark white background will be a dream for the eyes during long-term reading.

But the brilliant, glare-free, backlit display isn’t the only feature in favor of this gift. It’s ultra-light at only 7.2 ounces, so not only is it easily readable with one hand, but it will also slip into a travel bag with little unnecessary weight. The footprint of the device is super tiny, sporting dimensions of 6.7 x 4.6 x 0.36 inches, meaning it’s super slim, adding to the overall portability. The battery is ultra-resilient and impressive, and Amazon promises that you’ll only have to charge the device on a monthly clip, rather than the expected weekly frequency. With 4 GB of onboard storage, you’ll be able to hold hundreds of books on the go. They’ve even brought forward a new font called Bookerly, which is designed to look both warm and folksy while also maintaining the layout of pages intended by the original printed books.

Check out our other reviews of the best e-readers​ available on the market today.

Best Bluetooth Speaker: Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II

Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Bluetooth speaker market is clogged to the brim with cheap, low-quality devices that aren’t likely to last well into the future. If you really want to surprise the music lover in your life with something that’s sure to deliver long-lasting, high-quality sound, you need to check out the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II. The battery offers up to eight hours of continuous play; it features voice prompts for simple and easy control; and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best bluetooth speakers

Best VR Headset: Oculus Go

With an affordable price tag, the Oculus Go is the headset that’s going to bring virtual reality into homes and dorm rooms far and wide. The device is the standalone, wireless alternative to the Oculus Rift, and is nearly comparable to its older sibling, ideal for those who don’t want to spend the extra money or are looking for a more casual VR experience. The Oculus Go secures to your head with soft, adjustable straps and boasts a plush inner lining for comfort, although wearing it for long periods of time can be fatiguing. It comes equipped with an intuitive 3DoF controller and hidden speakers built into the straps for more immersive, dynamic audio. Expect high-quality graphics thanks to wide quad, fast-switch LCD for sharp visual clarity, and the next-generation Oculus lenses will reduce glare. The Oculus Pro is available with memory options of 32 GB and 64 GB, and while it has received some criticism for light leakage, the engaging audio and visual distract from this minor drawback, especially as you are able to dive into your favorite film, app, or game for an accessible price.

Best Adventure Cam: GoPro HERO Session

GoPro Hero Session
Courtesy of Amazon.com

But when it comes to GoPro’s, the HERO Session is the simplest of all. Weighing just 2.6 ounces, it’s designed for basic, grab-and-go shooting, but still manages to deliver some robust features: it’s waterproof up to 33 feet, and can shoot 1440p video at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps and 720p at 100 fps. The still image camera features an impressive sensor (8 megapixels) for its size, and the 10-fps burst photo mode, time-lapse functionality, and simple user experience all drive the deal home. A solid gift idea for any adventurist in your life.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best adventure cameras

Best Digital Assistant: Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Amazon Echo is the closest thing to a personalized A.I. Through Alexa Voice Service, you can control a suite of apps and automation products to give your home that smart, futuristic feel. It syncs with your music systems so you can simply instruct Alexa to begin playing whichever song you like; performs web searches; controls lights, switches and thermostats; reads audiobooks, schedules and news reports. It’s like Rosie the Robot, only immobile.

Best Streaming Device: Roku 4

Roku 4
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The first thing you need to do when you decide to finally and permanently cut your cable TV subscription is to choose a streaming media device. Your best bet is to go with a set-top box, like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Roku. We recommend Roku. The newest generation Roku 4 connects seamlessly with all your favorite apps (Netflix, Amazon, HBO GO, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, etc.). It’s quick and easy to install, and it even features a USB drive, allowing you to play personal files from hard storage. An awesome gift for anyone who is just about fed up with their cable company.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best streaming devices

Best Wireless Headphones: BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Courtesy of Amazon.com

In addition to being some of the most stylish over-ear headphones we’ve come across, the BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are among the coolest and best sounding. With two, high-end stereo drivers, you can expect some quality sound with a heavy bass presence. They include a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 18 hours, an in-line remote and light leather ear cups with a soft headband for stress-free listening. They’re also Bluetooth compatible, so you don’t have to worry about whether they’ll work with the new iPhone 7.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best wireless headphones

Best Speaker Design: Harman Kardon Soundsticks III

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III
Courtesy of Amazon.com

These are some speakers out of Minority Report or something — they look more like chemistry equipment rather than computer speakers. But don’t be too distracted by the futuristic look. The Harman Kardon SoundSticks are some awesome-sounding speakers. They include four, 1-inch full-range transducers per channel powered by a 10-watt amplifier, as well as a one 6-inch low-frequency transducer with a 20 watt amp for room-filling bass response. With the 3.5 mm stereo connection, you can connect the speakers to virtually any device. This is a great gift idea for design-conscious music nerds.

Best Watch Design: Pebble Time Round 14mm Smartwatch for Apple/Android Devices

Pebble has been in the smartwatch game for a few years now, giving them ample time to perfect stylish, intelligent watches that can compete with offerings from Apple and Samsung — and at a better price. The Pebble Time Round might be the most elegant Pebble watch to date. It features the full suite of Pebble Features, including calendar alerts, notifications, silent alarms and even a built-in activity tracker. It’s super light, very thin and it’s all captured in a minimalistic design with some variations depending on personal taste. Without doubt, a great gift idea.

Best Turntable: Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable

Audio-Technica AT-LP60-USB Fully Automatic Belt-Drive Turntable
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Vinyl is back, and it’s better than ever. Audio-Technica is most often associated with headphones, but the company has actually been producing turntables for decades. And there are few better options than the AT-LP60. It offers the best of both digital and analog worlds, with both USB and RCA outputs, a die-cast aluminum platter, a Dual Magnet phono cartridge, as well as Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity software for digitizing your vinyl records. This is a great turntable for any vinyl enthusiast — whether they’re old school or new school.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best turntables