Product Reviews

10 Awesome Last-Minute Gadget Gift Ideas Under $50

Joel Lee 20-11-2015

Whether there’s a birthday or a holiday coming up, it’s easy for time to sneak up on you — and even easier to be left scrambling for a last-minute gift that doesn’t feel like a last-minute gift.


And it’s even worse if you don’t have a big budget to work with.

Fortunately, there are plenty of cool gadgets and devices out there that are sure to surprise anyone and everyone. Not only will the recipient love the gift, they’ll love you for gifting them something as awesome as one of the following ideas.

1. iClever 3-Port USB Car Charger

USB car chargers are a must-have for two kinds of people: those who are always on the go and can’t risk having a dead device, and those who always forget to charge their devices overnight. By having a charger right in the car, life becomes so much easier.

What’s awesome about the iClever 3-Port USB Car Charger is that it can charge up to three devices at once, making it great whether you have a large family or just a lot of friends. It has built-in protection against overheating and overcharging.


2. Google Cardboard Kit

D-scope Pro Google Cardboard Kit with Straps 3D Virtual Reality Compatible with Android & Apple Easy Setup Instructions Machine Cut Quality Construction 45mm Lenses HD Visual Experience D-scope Pro Google Cardboard Kit with Straps 3D Virtual Reality Compatible with Android & Apple Easy Setup Instructions Machine Cut Quality Construction 45mm Lenses HD Visual Experience Buy Now On Amazon $12.35

For virtual reality enthusiasts, there’s no excuse to not own a Google Cardboard headset. It can turn almost any modern smartphone into a virtual reality device, and even though it has its limitations, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Is it as awesome as the Oculus Rift How the Oculus Rift Works and Why You Need One Why is there so much excitement over the Oculus Rift? Because it's a technological marvel. Here's how it works and why you're going to love it. Read More ? Of course not. But is it still awesome? You bet. “Worth it” would be an understatement. Google Cardboard is the only device Meet Google's Next-Generation Virtual Reality Platform Read More that’ll give you a satisfying virtual reality experience for under $20.

Note: Make sure to check if the recipient’s smartphone is compatible with Google Cardboard before gifting them. The newer the smartphone, the more likely it’ll be compatible.


3. AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank

With the AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank, you’ll never have to worry about running out of battery life again. It’s a backup battery that allows you to charge any USB-charged device even when there aren’t any outlets around Survive An Apocalypse: Setting Up A Complete Emergency Survival Kit The apocalypse will need to be documented with Facebook updates and Twitter hashtags for future generations to fully enjoy - so how are you planning to do that with no power or Internet connectivity? Read More . As a gift, it has universal appeal.

The power bank has two USB charging ports and built-in overload protection, and the 10,000 mAh model holds enough energy to charge an iPhone 6s up to six times before the bank itself needs to be recharged. USB charging cable and carrying pouch are included.

4. Jawbone UP MOVE Activity Tracker


For those who struggle with fitness and wellness motivation, the Jawbone UP MOVE is one step in the right direction. It’s a portable clip-on device that fits anywhere — pocket, lapel, cuffs, and even on bag straps — and tracks your activity throughout the day.

What counts as “activity”? How many steps you take, how many calories you’ve burned, how many hours you sleep, what kinds of food and drink you’ve consumed, etc. Using it requires installation of the free Jawbone UP app for Android and iOS.

If you buy one for yourself as well, you can “compete” with your friends (e.g. see who takes the most steps in a day). It’s a fun way to encourage exercise and physical health.

5. Cuisinart EasyPop Popcorn Maker


Kitchen aficionados tend to rag on tools and appliances that specialize in one thing — such as waffle tongs, pancake pans, lettuce knives, etc. — but for someone who makes a lot of popcorn, the Cuisinart EasyPop Popcorn Maker is a godsend.

In just three minutes, this device uses hot air to pop up to ten cups of ready-to-eat popcorn. It disassembles for easy cleaning in the dishwasher and for easy long-term storage. Quite useful for hospitable folks who often entertain company.

6. Pyora Electric Wine Opener

MiToo can Opener MiToo can Opener Buy Now On Amazon $49.58

If you’re looking to gift a wine lover, then look no further. The Pyora Electric Wine Opener is an easy way to uncork wine bottles — just place it over the neck of the bottle and press down. Much easier than manually turning a corkscrew.

But this bundle also comes with a foil cutter, an aerating pour spout, and a vacuum stop that keeps wine fresh whether stored in or out of the refrigerator. On one charge it can uncork up to 40 bottles, and it recharges within hours.

7. Neewer Studio Microphone Kit

Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone & NW-35 Adjustable Recording Microphone Suspension Scissor Arm Stand with Shock Mount and Mounting Clamp Kit Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone & NW-35 Adjustable Recording Microphone Suspension Scissor Arm Stand with Shock Mount and Mounting Clamp Kit Buy Now On Amazon $40.47

Neewer produces pro-quality equipment for aspiring amateur creatives at affordable prices, and the Neewer Studio Microphone Kit is representative of what they do. It includes a condenser microphone, a scissor arm stand, a microphone mount, a pop filter, and a microphone cable.

Basically, it’s everything one would need to record audio on a prosumer level, making it the perfect gift for friends who want to record YouTube covers, create a podcast series, commentate on video game matches 5 Tips to Help You Get Started Casting eSports Wouldn't you love to earn a salary by playing and talking about games? Well you can, by becoming an eSports commentator. Read More , or just improve Skype voice quality.

Note: The scissor arm stand needs to be mounted on an actual microphone stand, which isn’t included in the bundle.

8. Syma X5C Quadcopter w/ HD Camera

Syma X5C 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Explorers Quad Copter w/ Camera Syma X5C 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Explorers Quad Copter w/ Camera Buy Now On Amazon $39.99

The Syma X5C Quadcopter is a consumer-grade drone that takes remote-controlled toys to the next level. It has a built-in stabilization system, works indoors and outdoors, and can fly for up to seven minutes at a time (the battery recharges in under two hours).

It also has a 720p HD camera with a slot for a 2 GB MicroSD card, making it great for friends who are into aerial photography and videography.

And just so you know, we reviewed the X5C quadcopter Syma X5C Quadcopter Review and Giveaway If you've any interest in drones but have been put off by the steep prices, buy the Syma X5C. It's a hell of a lot of drone, and just as much fun. Read More and absolutely loved it, so you can be positive that whoever you end up gifting this to will indeed love it too. You won’t find another quadcopter that offers this kind of value.

9. Huion 580 Drawing Tablet

HUION 8'' x 5'' Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet - 580 (Black) HUION 8'' x 5'' Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet - 580 (Black) Buy Now On Amazon

The Huion 580 Drawing Tablet is one of the best gifts for a budding digital artist 16 Incredible Gift Ideas for a Digital Artist (They'll Love You For It) Having trouble thinking of gifts for a digital artist? Here are several excellent ideas that they'll surely love. Read More because it allows an artist to draw on their computer with a stylus instead of a mouse. It’s even more important than these Lynda digital art courses Learn Digital Art from Scratch With These 22 Lynda Courses With hundreds of online courses to choose from, is the fastest way to mastery of digital art. Here are a few courses to get you started. Read More .

Wacom is the industry standard for drawing tablets but they can be quite expensive. Huion’s reputation isn’t anywhere near as good as Wacom’s, but it’s still a solid choice — especially because you won’t find another drawing tablet at this price point with the same size and build quality.

10. Roku TV Media Streaming Stick

Roku Streaming Stick (3500R) (2014 Model) Roku Streaming Stick (3500R) (2014 Model) Buy Now On Amazon $94.99

If you have friends or family who struggle to make ends meet, consider buying them a Roku TV Media Streaming Stick. It’s a tiny device that plugs into any HDMI slot and allows immediate streaming from services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

Roku is so useful that it lets people slash household expenses How to Slash Your Household Expenses in 7 Easy Steps Tired of seeing all of your income go towards bills and expenses? You aren't alone. We show you some of the best ways to slash your household expenses. Read More by cutting the cable cord Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting the cord? We do the math involved with cancelling cable in favor of Internet services. Read More and relying on streamed entertainment instead. It’s one of those products where once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

There are also a few alternatives to Roku Chromecast vs. Apple TV vs. Roku: Which Media Streamer Suits You? Media streaming devices are simply awesome. Those little boxes that connect to your TV can add a wealth of entertainment options to your living room. But which device is best for you? Read More you can consider, like Chromecast, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV, but read our review of Roku Roku Streaming Stick Review and Giveaway All the features of a full Roku experience, in a small form factor that plugs straight into HDMI - does the Roku Streaming Stick deliver? Read on to find out and win one for yourself. Read More to see why we think it’s the best.

Got Any Other Gift Ideas?

I’d certainly be happy receiving any of these items as a gift. They’re all modern, trendy, and intensely practical — but best of all, they’re all light on the wallet. Who says you need to break the bank to find gifts worth giving?

If you can think of any other awesome gift ideas under $50, we’d love to hear them. Share with us by dropping a comment down below!

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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