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The Best Tech Under $100

Amazon/Blue/Google

A hundred bucks is a lot of money, but when it comes to buying new tech it often barely makes a dent. Luckily, that’s not always the case. We’ve rounded up some awesome gadgets you can splurge $100 on that are well worth your cash.

There are plenty of items here for your home that’ll make it smarter and more modern—like classy LED lights and smart speakers and hubs—plus a variety of gets you can use to protect your home and car, including some security cameras and sensors. And there’s plenty of fun stuff here, too, like some awesome headphones, a fitness tracker, light bars, and an Amazon Kindle.

Don’t want to spend quite this much? No sweat. We have other terrific recommendations at lower price points, say, for under $75, under $50, and even under $25.

For Your Home

Google nest hub smart display on a desk
Yasin Hasan/Shutterstock.com

If you want to make your house look and feel smarter, you can’t go wrong with any of these gadgets. With options for a faster Wi-Fi setup, your home theater, and more, you can easily give your home a more modern touch and make it more functional.

  • Amazon Echo Show 5: The Echo Show 5 makes a great side table display and can go in any room in your house. You can do pretty much everything on it that you’d do on a tablet, but this gives you a nifty standing display with a good speaker. You can set alarms, check the news, stream videos, or make video calls with the built-in 2MP camera. And because it’s an Amazon device, Alexa functionality is built-in, allowing you to control your compatible smart devices.
  • Amazon Echo: The latest Echo comes with improved speakers that deliver deep bass and crisp highs for a great overall sound. If you have more than one Echo, you can synchronize your music across multiple rooms throughout your home. You can also tell Alexa to stream music, listen to podcasts, check the news or the weather, answer questions, play out customized routines, and more. And although you won’t be able to make video calls like you can with the Echo Show 5, you can still make regular calls through the traditional Echo.
  • Google Nest Hub: Similar to Amazon’s Echo Show 5, the Google Nest Hub has a video display and can stand on its own on any counter or side table. You can stream your favorite content through downloaded apps like Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, and more. There’s an enhanced speaker in this second-generation Nest Hub that delivers more powerful bass, and if you have other Nest speakers throughout the home, you can create groups and connect sound across rooms. You can even use hand gestures to control certain features like snoozing an alarm or playing and pausing a video. Plus, you can use voice commands with Google Assistant.
  • Google Nest Audio: This is Google’s powerful smart speaker that fills the room with awesome sound and answers your every voice command with Google Assistant. With a simple “Hey Google,” you can ask a question, check the weather, or play your favorite song. And your music adapts to your environment and knows when to turn the volume up or down based on surrounding sounds. Inside, there’s woofer, tweeter, and tuning software that helps everything sound crisp no matter what volume level you’re at.
  • Google Wi-Fi: This gadget from Google can work as a standalone router to replace yours or act as an additional Wi-Fi point. These are mesh Wi-Fi units that’ll help deliver reliable, fast speeds to all the far corners of your home. Each unit can provide coverage of up to 1500 square feet. Once everything is set up, which only takes a few minutes, you can monitor your Wi-Fi through the Google Home app (Android/iOS).
  • TP-Link AX1800 Router: A Wi-Fi 6 router can easily cost you hundreds of dollars, but luckily this one comes in at just under $100. TP-Link’s AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 router is dual-band and can provide speeds up to 1.8Gbps, with up to 1200Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. The four high-gain antennas on the router help provide more reliable, steady coverage throughout your home for over 40 devices. There are five Ethernet ports and one USB port to connect your gaming consoles, TVs, computers, and more.
  • VIZIO 2.0-Channel Soundbar: You might think that your TV’s speakers sound great, but when you get a soundbar, you’ll quickly realize how wrong you were. This Bluetooth VIZIO soundbar is compact and will fit in nicely with most entertainment centers. With digital processing, VIZIO is able to create a multi-dimensional sound that fills the room with clear audio. It makes for a simple—but powerful—upgrade for your home theater.
  • Govee Smart LED Light Bars: These Govee light bars instantly add a modern touch to any gaming or TV display. The light bars take minutes to set up and can easily be controlled through the Govee Home app (Android/iOS) or through voice control with Alexa or Google Assistant. You can choose from over 16 million colors and 12 preset modes to get the perfect experience. There’s also an option to sync your music to the bars, so the light moves to the beat of your music. If you’re looking for great LED lights specifically for your TV, check out Govee Immersion; these lights go behind your TV in a border and create a fantastic glow.
  • Kasa Smart Plug Power Strip: While a power strip may not be the most exciting purchase, it’ll prove itself incredibly useful for years to come. Kasa’s power strip has six individually controlled smart outlets and three USB ports. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana; it also lets you control connected devices through the Kasa Smart app (Android/iOS). And it has all important surge protection, so your electronics will be protected during power surges from storms.
  • JBL Flip 4: Having smart speakers is useful in more ways than one, but sometimes you just want a plain old Bluetooth speaker that won’t accidentally think it hears you talking to it. JBL’s Flip 4 speaker has a built-in 3000mAh rechargeable battery that can last for up to 12 hours in between charges, so you can take it with you on vacations or fun outings to the beach. Plus, it’s waterproof and can be submerged, with an IPX7 rating. If you have a little bit more money to spend and want a speaker with a little more oomph, try out the Bose SoundLink Color II.

For Security

Close-up shot of Ring video doorbell installed at front door
BrandonKleinPhoto/Shutterstock.com

Protecting your home and making sure it’s safe is a top priority. With package thieves and the occasional stranger at the door, it’s incredibly useful to have a smart security system in place. And it’s just as important to add security to your vehicle too via a dash cam.

  • Wyze Home Security System Core Kit: This is a great home security starter kit for anyone wanting something affordable and easy to set up. With this kit from Wyze, you’ll get a hub, a keypad, a motion sensor, and two entry sensors for doors. Plus, you’ll get 6 months of 24/7 professional monitoring included; after, it’ll cost $4.99 per month. This system is easy to install yourself and easy to monitor via an app (Android/iOS).
  • Ring Video Doorbell: This video doorbell records in 1080p resolution and lets you see, hear, and speak to anyone at your front door through the Ring app (Android/iOS). Through the app, you’ll also receive notifications when someone presses your doorbell or when motion sensors detect something. You can pair your Ring doorbell with Alexa-enabled devices for announcements and easier two-way talking with visitors. And although you don’t need a plan for the doorbell to work, you can pay for a monthly  to allow you to save and share photos and videos; the Basic plan costs $3 per month or $30 per year and the Plus plan costs $10 per month or $100 per year. It’s powered by a built-in rechargeable battery or it can be connected to your existing doorbell wires for constant power, even in a storm.
  • Blink Outdoor Cam: If you’re looking for a weather-resistant outdoor camera for either the front or rear of your home, this one is great. Blink’s camera can also be used in your home as well, but because it’s weather-resistant, it shines best outside. It can record in 1080p resolution and is powered by a set of AA lithium batteries that should last for up to two years. Through the Blink Home Monitor app (Android/iOS), you can see, hear, and interact with visitors and get notifications sent to your phone. You can get an optional subscription plan that allows you to record, view, and save events in the Blink app; plans start at $3 per month per camera.
  • Rexing V1 Dash Cam: Protecting your car has never been easier thanks to dash cams. Many, including this one, have a built-in gravity sensor that detects when your car is hit which then automatically jumps into action to clip and save a recording of that event. This camera captures in 2160p resolution and has a 170-degree ultra-wide-angle lens, so it’s able to catch quite a bit while recording. You can view, save, and share recordings through the Rexing app (Android/iOS).

For Your Computer or Laptop

Logitech Mx Master 3 wireless mouse
Fadhli Adnan/Shutterstock.com

Many of us spend hours upon hours at our computer or laptop, so why not make the experience more comfortable? With an upgraded keyboard, mouse, microphone, and more, you’ll never want to leave your desk again.

  • Logitech MX Keys: Gaming or typing for a long period of time can leave your hand or arm tired or even sore—that is, unless you have an awesome keyboard that helps prevent some of that. Logitech’s MX Keys wireless keyboard has spherically dished keys that match the tip of your finger, which makes a world of difference in typing comfort over long stretches of time. With smart hand detection, the keyboard automatically lights up when your hand gets close. And it connects via USB, so as soon as you plug it in, it’s ready to go. If you’re not using back-lighting, the keyboard can last up to five months; with back-lighting, it’ll last up to 10 days between charges. If you’re looking for a smaller, mechanical keyboard, this one from ANNE PRO is also an awesome choice.
  • Logitech MX Master 3: A good mouse is just as essential as a good keyboard. The MX Master 3 from Logitech has a comfortable shape that feels natural under your hand. The scrolling wheel is electromagnetic, plus it’s faster, more precise, and super quiet. With a 4000 DPI sensor, it can work on almost any surface with extreme precision. On a single charge, it can last up to 70 days; though if it runs out of battery when you need it most, fast charging it for a single minute gives you up to three hours of use. If you’re looking for a gaming mouse that lets you customize programmable buttons, try out the Razer Mamba.
  • Blue Yeti USB Mic: If you need a microphone for gaming, streaming, or even just Zoom calls for work, this Blue Yeti mic is the best of the best for the price. Inside, there’s a custom three-capsule array that helps produce clear, crisp audio and enables four different audio pickup patterns, letting you capture audio in ways that would usually require more than one mic. You can easily tilt the microphone towards or away from you until you find the perfect sound. Plus, it’s a plug-and-play mic, meaning that as soon as you plug it into your computer, it’s ready to go.
  • PreSonus Eris E3.5 Speaker System: If you love listening to audio through connected headphones, then you might not need a speaker system. However, there’s something nice about not having to adjust headphones or deal with ear fatigue after a few hours of wear.  Inside, the 3.5-inch woven composite drivers help produce more powerful bass, while the 1-inch silk-dome tweeters get rid of tinny harshness and produce a more balanced overall sound. Having an excellent speaker system like this one, even as a backup, is a great investment.
  • Anker USB C Hub: This nifty device from Anker gives you seven additional ports for your laptop or computer. There’s a USB-C data port, two USB-A data ports, one HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a micro SD/SD card reader. It connects to your device via a USB-C power delivery input port. Through the USB-C and USB-A ports, file transfer speeds reach up to 10Gbps. Then, the HDMI port supports a display resolution of up to 4K at 60Hz.
  • Logitech C922 Webcam: If you like to stream games or constantly find yourself on Zoom calls, investing in a quality webcam is a smart move. Logitech’s C922 webcam records in 1080p at 30 frames per second. Its 2MP sensor helps sharpen images, even in low light conditions, and its two omnidirectional microphones help capture audio no matter where you are in relation to the webcam.

For All Your Devices

Anker powerbank against black textured surface
artbase/Shutterstock.com

Having a good pair of headphones or earbuds (or both) makes a world of difference in your day-to-day. From listening to music for fun to tuning noise out at work, it’s borderline essential to have a good pair. Then, of course, you’ll need a power bank to keep everything charged if you ever have to be away from an outlet all day.

  • JBL Tune 600BTNC Headphones: These headphones have active noise-canceling technology, helping you block out noise on your commute home or when you’re trying to study. They have a pretty good 16-hour battery life. And when they do run out of battery, they’ll fully recharge in two hours or you can charge them for five minutes for an hour’s worth of use. These JBL Tune headphones are not currently IPX rated.
  • Pixel Buds A-series: These wireless, in-ear Bluetooth headphones from Google have custom-designed 12mm dynamic speaker drivers, making your music sound pretty dang good. The Adaptive Sound feature automatically adjusts the volume as you go from quiet to noisy environments and vice versa. On a single charge, you can get up to five hours of listening to music or a little over two hours of talk time. They come with a charging case, too, that gets you up to 24 hours of listening time. These earbuds are water- and sweat-resistant, with an IPX4 rating. For a slightly more affordable alternative, check out these Bluetooth, noise-canceling buds from Anker (IPX5 rated).
  • Anker PowerCore III Elite: Even though we’re often close enough to an outlet to charge our devices, that’s not always the case. Having a power bank on you—especially a beefy one like the PowerCore III Elite—ensures you’ll never run out of battery when you need it most. This power bank has a massive 25,600mAh cell capacity, enough juice to keep multiple devices charged for multiple days. There are dual USB-C ports that can deliver up to 87W to a single device or high-speed charging to two devices at once. Then, you can charge two extra devices via USB-A ports. If four devices are charging at once, you’ll get a combined output of 78W.

Other Fun Tech Items

Person reading a novel on a Kindle and drinking coffee.
Erlo Brown/Shutterstock.com

Although these items may not be the most practical, they sure are fun. And life isn’t meant to be all work, right? These gadgets add a nice play element to a busy life.

  • Fitbit Inspire 2: It’s easy to monitor your health and fitness with a smart tracker on your wrists at all times. The Fitbit Inspire 2 tracks your daily steps, calories burned throughout the day, heart rate, and even your sleeping patterns. It’s water-resistant up to 50 meters, so you could keep it on while swimming if that’s your exercise of choice. Plus, you’ll get a free year trial of Fitbit Premium to help you hit your goals and start great new routines.
  • Fire HD 8 Tablet: While this is one of the least expensive tablets you can get your hands on, it doesn’t lack quality. Inside, there’s 32GB of storage (or you can spring for 64GB) plus an option to expand up to 1TB with a microSD card. On a single charge, this Fire tablet will last you about 12 hours. You can watch all your favorite shows and movies through downloaded apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. You can also scroll through social media apps too, like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
  • Amazon Kindle: Reading on a Kindle can never fully replace the feeling of reading a physical book. But it’s extremely handy to take on vacations or just have in your home to cut down on book clutter. The 167 ppi display looks like real paper to your eyes, even if you’re reading in the sun. With 8GB of storage and a battery that lasts for weeks, you can read to your heart’s content. If you want to save a little money, you could go for the ad-supported version, but for the small increase in price, we think it’s worth it to nix the ads.
  • Ember Smart Mug: If you drink coffee or tea on the regular, this mug will change your life. Well, okay, if you’re the kind of person who downs their drink before it starts to cool off, then maybe you don’t need this mug. But if you find that you can’t drink your whole drink before it starts to get lukewarm, Ember’s smart mug will keep it hot (at your perfect custom temperature) until you’ve finished it. On a full charge, the Ember mug can keep your drink hot for up to one and a half hours. And through the app (Android/iOS), you can customize the temperature you want your coffee or tea to stay at.

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