Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The Best Tech Gifts Under $250

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Don’t break the bank, when gifting technology to your loved ones. You have some really cool options this year.

Epson’s ET-2400 EcoTank ($249) Maybe not the sexiest holiday gift, but this is something ideal for young families because of its relative affordability. The three ink tanks provide enough ink for at least a year, and they’re relatively inexpensive when it’s time to buy new ones. It prints store-quality 4”x6” photos, as well as all the homework assignments and papers that the kids may need for school. It also works great with a companion sister app, for cool art projects and effects. Best of all, it’s quiet and reliable.

King C. Gillette Beard Trimmer ($35) If the man in your life is bearded, this cordless trimmer features three interchangeable combs that let him trim to different lengths – using long-lasting sharp blades. A fully charged battery provides 50 minutes of trimming time. And the device is easy to clean with water. Definitely complement the trimmer with the amazing-smelling beard and face wash, as well as the soothing soft beard balm that are available from the brand. It’s all super easy to use, and he will appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Treblab WX8 True Wireless earbuds ($50) I’ve been using these affordable earbuds since summer. Love the sound quality, especially the deep-ish bass. You get up to 28 hours of playing time, and it recharges quickly via the included USB-C cable. They’re comfortable in my ears for the hour I typically wear it on morning jogs, they stay snugly in place, and they’re waterproof. I wish they had better bluetooth reception – when the phone is in my back pocket the sound goes away yet it’s fine in my front pocket. Go figure.

Cleer ARC Open-Ear True Wireless earbuds ($130) Replete with a flexible earhook design, these are meant to stay securely and comfortably in place. Instead of covering your ear canal, they channel audio directly into your ears – it’s a unique no-pinch design. Meaning you can stay aware of your surroundings while listening to a podcast or music. Battery life lasts seven hours. And convenient touch controls make it easy to adjust volume, skip tracks, play, pause, answer, and end calls on the go. The Cleer+ App lets you adjust the equalizer to your preference.

Twinkly Squares ($250) This smart LED wall panel is made up of 64 individual mini-LEDs per tile (8 rows by 8 columns) with 16+ million colors to choose from. The sleek and modular system lets anyone quickly make a unique, customizable art in their space by physically connecting the squares with the included connectors. Then you simply pair it with the companion app, and can create light patterns, moving light displays, etc. It’s supposed to let you also make light pixel versions of images, although I personally couldn’t figure that part out. But creating cool art in motion, and then hanging it on the wall, was super easy.

Jabra Elite 5 earbuds ($149) With hybrid active noise cancellation, you get great sound from these. Plus you’ll experience high-quality calls with 6-mic call technology and wind noise reduction. It provides seven hours of play time, and up to 28 hours with the included wireless charging case. Plus it connects two devices at once with Bluetooth Multipoint connectivity. And it works hands-free with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. They’re pretty comfortable, relative to other pairs I’ve tried. I also downloaded Jabra’s Sound+ app, to customize an equalizer so that my music plays with the right balance of treble and bass.

Amazon’s 3rd-Gen Fire TV Cube ($140) is the first streaming media player bearing an HDMI input port . Its octa-core 2.0 GHz processor makes it 20 percent more powerful than the previous generation — boosting app launch speed and fluidity. It’s the first streaming media player with an HDMI input port — letting you directly connect it to compatible cable boxes, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles — and Wi-Fi 6E support. Plus it has a built-in ethernet port. Best of all, it offers an Alexa-driven hands-free voice experience.