If you're on a tight budget, no worries, as there are plenty of great tech gift items you can get for someone special on your list for under $150.
Satechi Type-C Mobile Pro Hub Adapter
For someone who just forked over dough to buy a new iPad, this adapter is compatible with it, as well as other Type-C devices, including smartphones and tablets. For US$60, they can easily connect peripherals to the tablet (or phone) using the four expansion ports per single USB-C connection. A 4K HDMI port allows for seamless presentations, conference calls and video streaming on-the-go. The USB-C PD 3.0 Charging port keeps the iPad Pro and other Type-C compatible products powered, while running high-performance applications. It can also be used as a power bank to charge other USB-C devices while away from an outlet. The 3.5mm headphone jack restores the ability to connect to a favourite pair of 3.5mm wired headphones; and the extra USB 3.0 port affords fast data transfer (up to 5Gbs), or can be used to connect a USB keyboard. It's available starting mid-December, in space gray.
At $140 for the entry-level 8GB model, the avid reader on your list can fit a library's worth of books in this convenient e-reader, which is ultra-thin, lightweight, and waterproof, to boot. They can read using the 6" 300ppi high-resolution screen that boasts anti-glare technology for easy reading in even direct sunlight (try doing that with a smartphone or tablet!) The back is made of soft yet grippable material for easy handling, whether the person is catching up with a business book on the plane, or immersing himself in a great mystery novel poolside. And the battery runs for weeks per charge.
Retro Games THEC64 Mini
If you don't have big bucks to spend on a gaming system like an Xbox, PS4, or Nintendo Switch, consider going retro with this cool and simple computer, which is a 50% replica of the best-selling original that debuted in 1982. It comes loaded with 64 classic games like California Games and Boulder Dash, and a joystick. Program your own games by adding a keyboard, and plug in a second controller via USB to duke it out with a friend. With a keyboard, it can also be used as a full-fledged computer, running C64 Basic to give anyone who grew up in the ‘80s or prior a twinge of nostalgia. Cost? $100.
House of Marley No Bounds Sport All-Terrain Speaker
Anyone could find use for a good portable Bluetooth speaker, and this one will appeal for many reasons beyond its sub-$150 price of $120. It's environmentally-friendly, made from sustainable harvested cork and the brand's signature Rewind fabric, non-toxic Regrind silicone, and recyclable aluminum. Plus, it can float, which means you can take it not only poolside, but actually inside the pool as well. You'll get 360 degrees of sound, and it will play for up to 12 hours per charge. Tuck the cable away in the neat twist-bottom cork base, and pair two for stereo sound. It comes with a carabiner clip making it easy to latch onto your backpack and bring with you.
Ikea Eneby Bluetooth Speaker
Someone on your list is probably a huge IKEA fan, with furniture from the retailer all over their home, gadgets in the kitchen, and more. This Bluetooth speaker isn't going to win awards for sound quality, but it's a cute option to put on your desk at work, or in a secondary listening area. It comes, as expected, with an Allen key and cute visual instructions. But don't worry, it's just for attaching the convenient carry handle. It can play back tunes wirelessly via Bluetooth, or through 3.5mm Aux-in. Sync up to eight together, and grab it in one of two sizes: 20 x 20 or 30 x 30, and in black or white. It can be mounted on a stand, wall bracket, or placed in IKEA (or other branded) storage units; or use the handle to hang it wherever you like, powering it wirelessly with the add-on battery pack. The mesh fabric front can be removed from a more minimalist look. $60, $99; battery pack $20, Eneby stand $10. Grab the large model, a battery pack, and the stand, all for under $150.
Kobo Clara HD E-Reader
Like the Kindle Paperwhite, the Clara HD is an entry-level e-reader that sells for the same price of $140. Small and lightweight, it has a 6" 300ppi HD Carta E Ink touchscreen, and ComfortLight Pro with blue-light reducing technology that allows for reading in direct sunlight as well as at night. Other valuable features include adjustable font sizes and a built-in dictionary.
Wemo Insight Wi-Fi Smart Plug
For $60, you can introduce someone to the concept of the smart home with one of these smart plugs, which plug into a wall outlet. Then, plug a basic device into it, like a lamp or coffeemaker, and voila! It becomes smart, controllable via the app to turn it on or off. The app can also provide reports about the energy consumption of your devices, and send push notifications to your phone to advise when something like a lamp has been turned on or off.
Beyerdynamic Beat Byrd In-Ear Headphones
These headphones come in an ultra-flat housing for added comfort, even when you're lying on your side, a unique Y signet, and a bright orange cable that makes them stand out - great if you throw them into a purse or backpack and need to dig to find them! With a name inspired by jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker, who performed in his legendary club "Birdland" in New York, they come with three soft silicone ear tips in small, medium, and large, and can be used with Comply (Series 400) ear tips for better shielding against ambient noise. Ear tips can be easily cleaned and replaced if necessary. MSRP US$25; even with Canadian conversion, you're well within sub-$150, and even stocking stuffer, territory.
Crystaltech Nano Screen Protector
Take it from someone who just shattered her smartphone screen: a screen protector and/or protective smartphone case is a gift anyone can appreciate. And this one, available for $25, is made of liquid, making it invisible and easy to apply without having to worry about bubbling, peeling, and needing to position it just right. Once applied, it makes the screen resistant to fingerprints and smudges, and even repels water. It's also universal, which means you don't need to know what phone the person has. It can be used for other screens beyond phones as well, including tablets and even smartwatches.
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
I've been using Tile Bluetooth trackers for the past year, and just recently, I received notice that the batteries were running low. In the past, that meant chucking the old Tiles aside and buying new ones at a discounted upgrade price. Now, the company has made a significant change: new Tiles use coin cell batteries that can be easily replaced. When a Tile tracker is attached to an item, like car keys, backpack, or camera, or slotted into a wallet or purse, it pairs with the app, and you can locate your items with the quick push of a button on your phone. The tracker buzzes so you can follow the noise if it's wedged beneath the couch cushions, or use the app to confirm a location and see that the item is indeed somewhere in the house. If you forgot the item somewhere, you can locate it as well, thanks to the network of Tile users from around the world. Tiles also work in reverse: if you can't find your phone, press the button on the Tile twice and it will make your phone chime loudly. The Tile Pro ($40) has a range of up to 300 feet, and the Mate ($30) can go up to 150 feet. A two-pack that includes both black and white versions of the Pro is $70; $110 for a four-pack, and $70 for a Mate/Slim combo four-pack.
Wallet Ninja 18-in-1 Multipurpose Credit Card-Sized Pocket Tool
If you're looking for a gift to use as giveaways, or stocking stuffers, this handy multi-tool is a neat option. It's shaped like a credit card for easily fitting in a wallet, and functions sort of like a Swiss Army knife tool. Alongside things like a bottle and can opener (super handy), it also includes a flathead screwdriver and eyeglass screwdriver (for tightening loose frames), ruler, and nail puller. Plus, there's a clever built-in cell phone stand so you can use it along with any card to prop a phone up and watch movies on the plane, or at the coffee shop. Made from 4x heat-treated steel, it won't rust, bend, or dull. They're about $12 ea.
Moshi VersaCover for the iPad Pro
If your guy has already picked up one of the new iPad Pros, or you know he will, grab him a stylish cover he can use to protect it. This one is inspired by origami in its design, and keeps the tablet positioned at the right angle for typing, reading, and browsing the Web. It retails for US$60. Combine it with Moshi's iVisor AG screen protector (US$30) and the vegan leather magnetic Apple Pencil holder (US$15) for a thoughtful gift package that's under $150.
Want more gift ideas? Check out our other themed gift guides.