25 Awesome Tech Gift Ideas Under $250

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ELECTRONICS FOR PENNY PINCHERS

Got a lot of gadget-obsessed friends and family members to buy for this holiday season? The latest and greatest tech gifts don't have to empty your wallet. Here are 25 gift ideas that can satisfy a wide range of needs and interests, and make tech fans' lives easier. They'll also leave you enough cash to buy for the non-techies on your list, too. (Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.)
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POLAROID CUBE LIVE STREAMING CAMERA

Price: $137 | Buy it on Amazon
The Polaroid Cube+ is an easy-to-use (and cute) budget alternative to a GoPro. This weatherproof, shockproof camera is mountable and able to capture all the action in 1440p high-definition video. Users can also connect to their phone with built-in Wi-Fi and control the Cube from up to 30 feet away.

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FITBIT ALTA

Price: $104 | Buy it on Amazon
The Fitbit Alta is an undeniably sleek alternative to more utilitarian-looking fitness trackers. But it's not all looks: You'll get a tap-to-activate display with call, text and calendar alerts, automatic exercise and sleep tracking, movement reminders, and an impressive five-day battery life. Several good fitness trackers can be found for less than $100, as well.

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WEMO MINI SMART PLUG

Price: $30 | Buy it on Amazon
This sleeker-than-ever little WeMo lets you control lights and small appliances with your smartphone and even your voice, since it's compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Going on vacation? Use it to randomly turn your lights on and off just like you're at home, foiling would-be burglars.

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CROCK-POT WEMO SMART WI-FI ENABLED SLOW COOKER

Price: $104 | Buy it on Amazon
An integrated Wi-Fi connection makes this 6-quart slow cooker, already a staple for many busy families, even easier to use. Adjust cooking time and temperature using the WeMo app while you're still at the office, or put your meal on warm if it's already done. Worried you forgot to turn it off? You can use the app to do that, too. Good slow cookers are also available for less than $50.

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SONOS ONE

Price: $199 | Buy it on Amazon
These compact plug-and-play speakers use your Wi-Fi network to stream music in any room of your home. Different units can be paired for bigger sound, too. But the One's biggest claim to fame is that it has Amazon Alexa built right in, letting you control the speaker and any Alexa-enabled smart-home devices with simple voice commands.

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TOYMAIL TALKIE

Price: $57 | Buy it on Amazon
Cute, cuddly, and tech-savvy, Toymail Talkies let kids send and receive voice messages with trusted contacts, all by pushing a button on one of five plush friends. Adults can download the Toymail app on their smartphones and Kindles to respond to kids' messages or send their own. Kids can also "chat" with other kids with Talkies, too.

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KINDLE PAPERWHITE

Price: $120 | Buy it on Amazon
The 300 dpi Kindle Paperwhite provides a crisp, clean 6-inch display for your e-books at a hard-to-beat price. As always, you'll never have annoying glare on a sunny day, and the battery provides weeks of juice. There's also a built-in light that's adjustable for reading in any environment, no matter how bright or dim.

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TP-LINK AC750 DUAL BAND WI-FI RANGE EXTENDER

Price: $30 | Buy it on Amazon
Smart-home devices demand stronger-than-ever Wi-Fi, and this inexpensive TP-Link range extender can make sure that your home's dead spots disappear. A high-speed mode means you can stream media or play high-powered internet games without frustrating buffering, and the extender can be moved from outlet to outlet to ensure a stronger connection where you need it most.

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FUJIFILM INSTAX MINI 9

Price: $60 | Buy it on Amazon
The newest version of Fujifilm's colorful Instax Mini instant camera adds a selfie mirror -- no more accidental photos of your neck -- and a macro lens attachment that makes close-up shots easier than ever. It also automatically recommends the best brightness setting so you don't waste film on dim or washed-out photos.

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OLLOCLIP CORE LENS SET

Price: $100 | Buy it on Amazon
Traveling light doesn't mean you're condemned to amateurish smart-phone photos when you have Olloclip. This smartphone-ready lens set can take pictures from ho-hum to professional, whether you want a fish-eye view, a super-wide angle or extreme close-ups. The lenses attach quickly to your phone without the need for special glues or mounts.

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TILE SPORT

Price: $35 | Buy it on Amazon
Tired of tearing up your house in search of your keys, purse or other important items? Slap a Tile Sport on them. These Bluetooth trackers have a range of 200 feet -- double other Tiles -- and they're waterproof. Use the Tile app to ring any lost item with a tracker. Lost your phone? Pressing a button on any Tile forces it to ring, even when it's on silent.

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ROKU ULTRA

Price: $99 | Buy it on Amazon
Ditching cable is easier than ever with the Roku Ultra and its easy access to thousands of streaming channels, from Netflix and Hulu to YouTube and PBS Kids. It works with regular high-definition TVs and newer 4K Ultra HD, and a search feature lets you find specific programs across channels. The streaming box even has a lost-remote finder.

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BEATS X

Price: $109 | Buy it on Amazon
Don't put off that trip to the gym because your wireless headphones are dead: Just five minutes of charging time will give you two hours of juice with the Beats X (full battery life is eight hours). Worried about getting a good fit? The earbuds come with four size options and wingtips that can keep your tunes flowing during tough workouts.

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PERFECT DRINK PRO

Price: $76 | Buy it on Amazon
Amateur mixologists can perfect their craft with the Perfect Drink PRO, an app-connected smart scale and cocktail shaker that take all the guesswork out of making your favorite drinks. There are more than 400 recipes, and there's no need to measure -- just start pouring until you hear the ding.

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MECCANO M.A.X.

Price: $120 | Buy it on Amazon
Grown-ups might find the interactive Meccano M.A.X. as fun as the kids. Build the 332-part, 12-inch robot and then program its personality: It can sing songs, tell jokes, and explore the surrounding world. The robot even has a built-in gaming platform that offers up more games as M.A.X. plays and learns.

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ROCKETBOOK EVERLAST

Price: $30 | Buy it on Amazon
Even pen-and-paper holdouts can go high-tech with the Rocketbook Everlast, which has pages that can be erased with a moist cloth and written on over and over again using a special kind of marker, pen or highlighter. Easily send your notes or sketches to a number of productivity apps including Dropbox, Slack, and Evernote to share them or keep them for posterity.

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AMAZON ECHO

Price: $100 | Buy it on Amazon
The voice-controlled Amazon Echo has never looked better: Now, it comes in six finishes including heather gray fabric, walnut, and silver. Echo uses Amazon's Alexa voice assistant to play music, control smart-home devices, call or message friends, read you the news, tell you the weather -- the sky's the limit.

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PHILIPS HUE STARTER KIT

Price: $138 | Buy it on Amazon
Feeling blue? A little green? With Philips Hue's color ambience starter kit, you can match your home's lighting to your mood wirelessly, using either your smartphone or voice controls through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Install up to 50 Hue lights just like regular bulbs, then pair them with the Hue bridge for easy app-based use.

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AMAZON FIRE HD TABLET

Price: $80 | Buy it on Amazon
Maybe the kids have broken one too many iPads, or you're looking for a cheaper way to play games and watch shows on the go. The Amazon Fire HD 8 delivers for under $100. It features Alexa voice controls, up to 12 hours of battery life, front- and rear-facing cameras, and access to Amazon FreeTime, which personalizes the Fire for pint-size users and allows easy parental controls.

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SAMSUNG T3 PORTABLE SSD HARD DRIVE

Price: $180 | Buy it on Amazon
Perfect for anyone who needs reliable access to more data storage on the go, this portable, shock-resistant hard drive has 500 GB of space and no moving parts, keeping your files safe wherever and whenever you need them. The 2-ounce drive is roughly the size of a business card, making it easy to stash in a briefcase, purse, or suitcase.

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LOGITECH POP HOME SWITCH STARTER PACK

Price: $98 | Buy it on Amazon
Love smart-home devices but long for old-school controls? The Logitech Pop untethers you from your devices, offering one-touch control of lights, music, locks, remotes and other devices. Mount it on the wall by your regular light switches or wherever you want quick access, then program each button with up to three custom commands.

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ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM

Price: $85 | Buy it on Amazon
Drop it, toss it in the pool, take it on a hike -- the waterproof, shock-proof Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker can go anywhere and provide great sound the whole time. It's about the size of a soda can, and two can be paired for even bigger sound. The 10-hour battery life means you have enough juice for any party.

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REVOLAR INSTINCT

Price: $80 | Buy it on Amazon
The 1-inch Revolar Instinct offers an elegant, unobtrusive solution for anyone who wants to let loved ones know they're safe -- or not -- with the press of a button. Customizable messages make it clear whether you're safe, in a potentially risky situation, or facing an emergency. It can even locate your keys and track your steps.

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LECTROFAN MICRO WIRELESS SLEEP SOUND MACHINE

Price: $35 | Buy it on Amazon
Compact and ultra-portable, the LectroFan is an ideal travel alternative to a bulky sound machine. It has a built-in rechargeable battery for up to 16 hours of sound, a swivel design to angle noise where you need it, and a Bluetooth-connectable speaker that lets travelers take conference calls or stream their music with ease. At night, choose from fan, white noise or ocean sounds to sleep like a baby.

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FURBO DOG CAMERA

Price: $249 | Buy it on Amazon
Pet parents who want to check in while they're away can talk to Fido with their smartphone via this wide-angle, high-definition camera with two-way chat. Check in at night, too, with integrated night vision. A barking sensor lets you know if your furry friend is getting restless, and a treat dispenser allows you to virtually "toss" a yummy morsel.