You Don’t Have to Be Bill Gates to Afford Great Tech Gifts


With the holidays upon us, people are once again scrambling to think of the perfect gifts for everyone on their lists. Since the economy has been in such poor condition, many have decided against buying bigger ticket items in favor of less expensive alternatives. But before you go off and give everyone on your list a macaroni necklace, consider some of the other possible options for cheap and practical gifts. While many people see tech gifts as expensive and impractical, there are many low-priced tech toys if you know where to look. Here’s a list of frugal electronics that any gadget lover on your list would want to have:

HYmini Portable Power Generator

The HYmini Portable Power Generator is like a mini power plant for your pocket. The main unit is a device that looks like a fan but is really a battery pack designed like a small windmill that builds up a charge when the wind blows. It connects to several different kinds of cell phones or USB powered devices. In addition to the windmill portion, it also comes with a solar-powered device that collects extra energy on a sunny day. This is a great gift for anyone who likes to take his mp3 player on long walks or someone who is addicted to her Blackberry.

Micro Spy Remote

This is the gift that you give to someone who has trouble living with other people because he likes to watch TV with the volume turned all the way up. The Micro Spy Remote is a small remote that can fit on a keychain and controls the power, volume and channel of most major brands of televisions. The small size ensures that whoever uses it won’t be caught by the disgruntled roommate who can’t understand why the TV that he was watching the hockey game on is now tuned into the most recent episode of Gossip Girl. An ideal gift for spies, ninjas and pranksters alike!

Kingston DataTraveler Mini Slim 2GB Flash Drive

Every year technology gets smaller and faster, and the Kingston DataTraveler Mini Slim 2GB Flash Drive is a great example. Smaller than most thumb drives, it is half the size of the average USB thumb drive and sports a sleek design. As the name suggests, it comes with 2GB of memory, which is more than enough to save your class documents or some music and videos. The small size makes it ideal for your key chain but is also small enough to fit in your wallet.  It’s a good gift for anyone who is compulsive about backing up his or her data.

Gametap Account
$9.95 for one month

Don’t forget about the gamer on your list! While many new mainstream games can cost up to $60, there are other ways to give the gift of gaming. Gametap is an online gaming service that provides users with over 1000 games that they can play as long as they have memberships. There is the one-month option (for $9.95) where a gamer is given unlimited access to play any of the games on the site. A month may not seem like a lot, but most gamers can play through a few games in that time span, especially during the winter break. Games on Gametap range from relatively recent titles such as Tomb Raider Legend and Hitman Blood Money, all the way back to classic Atari games from the ’70s.

Best Buy Speaker Gift Card

While it may not seem like the most original idea to get someone a gift card, Best Buy was able to sweeten the deal by making the card also function as a speaker for mp3 players. The cards come in a variety of dollar amounts, but the cheapest is $15. Obviously, this is a great gift for any music fan who wants a small speaker for his or her mp3 player in addition to some money for a new CD.

Retro Web Cam

Urban Outfitters Retro Web Cam is a great gift for those who love film or photography. The Retro Web Cam is not only a 1.3 megapixel Web cam with a built in microphone, but it also looks like an old-fashioned camera. The plastic camera is mounted on a tripod, which makes it perfect to capture one’s good side when having a conversation on Skype. But do make sure that the person who gets this gift has a PC because the Retro Web Cam doesn’t work with Macs.