If you have around $75 to spend, you can get your hands on some pretty great tech. While you can buy some pretty nice practical items at this price point, there’s also some entertaining stuff that can make your day a lot more enjoyable.
Some of the more practical items we added to our list include a nice, ergonomic keyboard and mouse set, some great headphones, and even a driver kit you can use to fix your own electronics. As for the fun stuff? It’s all about the quality of life improvements. You can add a smart display to your bedroom, deck out your gaming console with some new games and accessories, and snap fun memories with an instant camera.
In a world where every room in your home can be smart, why not make it smart? Adding smart functionality to your home to make your daily routines easier is just awesome. The wonderful benefits these smart devices offer outweigh the associated risks.
- Smart Clock: This Lenovo smart clock does everything that a Google Nest Mini or other smart Google product can do in an adorable form factor. Once it’s connected to your Wi-Fi, you can use voice commands with Google Assistant to play or change your music, set alarms, check the weather, control other smart devices in your home, and more. What makes it unique as a smart clock is its display; it has a 4-inch IPS touch screen that displays the current time but can also be used for anything a tablet can, like streaming videos or browsing the internet.
- Echo Show 5: This Amazon gadget is similar to the Lenovo smart clock above but comes with more features. It has a 5.5-inch display and even comes with a built-in 2MP camera you can use for video calls. It lets you stream your favorite media, use voice commands with Amazon’s Alexa, and set schedules, alarms, or timers. Then, you can customize your own personal slideshow with Amazon Photos or Facebook photos to display when your Echo Show 5 is not in use. Alternatively, if you don’t need the display, you could opt for multiple Echo Dots to sprinkle throughout your house.
- Smart Scale: This is a smart upgrade to your bathroom that’ll make it easier to keep track of your health. This Withings scale can track your weight, obviously, but it can also track your BMI and other neat features in its companion app (Android/iOS). If you’re using the app’s built-in tracker, it’ll show you the weather and your step counts for the previous day. You can also connect the scale to an Apple Watch, Fitbit, Google Fit, and various fitness apps.
- Soundbar: If you’ve been using your TV’s built-in speaker, you probably think it sounds just fine. But as soon as you set up a soundbar, you’ll instantly realize what you’ve been missing. This Bluetooth soundbar from TCL uses Dolby Digital decoding to produce amazing sound that’s clear and capable of filling a large room. And while it might get the most use as a medium for your TV sound, you can also connect your phone and use it as a speaker during parties.
- Security System: Setting up a security system for your home can seem like an expensive investment, but luckily quality doesn’t always have a high price tag attached. Kangaroo offers an affordable security kit with a doorbell camera and four motion sensors you can place throughout your home. Once your system is set up, you can monitor everything through the Kangaroo app (Android/iOS). Plus, the kit comes with one year of Porch Protection, $800 of package theft reimbursement, and a 365-day rolling cloud storage feature.
- Bluetooth Speaker: Everyone needs a great Bluetooth speaker for their home. This one from Anker has an IPX7 rating and a 12-hour battery life when unplugged so that you can take it with you on trips. With Anker’s technology that analyzes and improves low frequencies in real-time; bass sounds come through well. Its titanium drivers also help boost treble sounds to round out your music. If you’re looking for a smaller, more portable Bluetooth speaker, this one from Sony is awesome; it has an IP67 rating and can last up to 16 hours between charges.
These items work well for almost all devices you use daily, like your smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, and more. Whether it’s practical—like a driver kit or a power bank—or something more fun—like headphones or earbuds—you’ll love adding these into your life.
- Headphones: These Anker Soundcore headphones have hybrid active noise-canceling tech that helps detect and deaden a wider range of frequencies. Inside, there’s also BassUp technology that analyzes low frequencies of your audio in real-time and strengthens the bass accordingly. They can last up to 40 hours at 60% volume on a single charge in wireless ANC mode. Wyze also has a great pair of ANC headphones with a 20-hour battery life, dedicated voice-isolating microphones, and built-in Alexa functionality. However, you can also use your device’s built-in voice assistant if your phone is nearby. Neither of these headphones has an IPX rating.
- Earbuds: Alongside Anker’s awesome Soundcore headphones above are the brand’s equally great Soundcore earbuds. The earbuds use Multimode hybrid ANC to help block out noise. They have six microphones and a noise-canceling algorithm that helps keep your vocals crystal clear on a call while blocking out wind or other background noises. These earbuds last for about seven hours on a single charge, but the charging case that comes with them can recharge them about four more times before the case itself needs to be recharged. The Anker Soundcore earbuds do not have an IPX rating, but if you’re looking for a great pair of workout buds, this pair from JLAB IP55-rated for sweat resistance and also uses ANC tech.
- Power Bank: There’s nothing worse than being away from home or an available outlet and having your phone’s battery flash at you. By having a power bank on you at all times, however, you can ensure that your smartphone, tablet, or even laptop won’t run out of juice when you need it most. This power bank from Anker has a 26,800mAh capacity, which can charge most phones over six times and most tablets at least two times. There are three USB ports, all equipped with Anker’s PowerIQ and voltage boost tech to ensure high-speed charging.
- Driver Kit: This kit is a lifesaver when it comes to any electronics emergency. It has 112 precision drive bits included for the perfect fit, alongside two drive screwdriver handles. Everything comes in a sturdy case, so you’ll (hopefully) never lose one of the many pieces inside. Aside from the more obvious smartphone, computer, tablet, or laptop repair, you can also use this kit to fix kitchen appliances, cameras, game consoles, smartwatches, and pretty much anything else with smaller screws.
Whether you use your computer or laptop for business or pleasure, all of these items will prove useful. A good keyboard and mouse combo will keep you comfortable for longer, a good mic makes you sound crystal clear to your colleagues or gaming buddies, and a portable HDD gives you extra security and storage.
- Keyboard: If you sit in front of your computer for long periods of time, a quality keyboard can help you stay comfortable. The Logitech MK735 has a cushioned palm rest, and the keys have a concave design that matches your fingertips and feels super comfortable. There’s an ergonomic mouse to match, too. This duo is easy to set everything up, too; plug in the USB receiver to your device, then both the keyboard and mouse are ready to go.
- Gaming Mouse: Long gaming sessions at your computer can be pretty uncomfortable (and annoying) if you don’t have a good mouse. On top of a contoured shape that’s comfy beneath your hand, the Corsair Nightsword mouse also has accurate tracking and sensitivity customization. There’s a custom PixArt native 18,000 DPI optical sensor inside that you can adjust to your liking. And as any good gaming mouse should have, there are ten fully programmable buttons you can customize with macros and key remaps.
- Microphone: Blue USB microphones are probably the most well-known, and for good reason. The Snowball iCE mic and the Yeti mic offer awesome audio clarity, but the Snowball mic is more affordable. Inside the Snowball iCE mic, there’s a custom condenser capsule that helps capture crystal clear audio for Zoom calls, video voiceovers, or casual voice servers in Discord with friends. Plus, the setup is simple. As soon as you plug it in, it’s good to go; no drivers are needed.
- Portable HDD: If you frequently find yourself running out of storage on your laptop or desktop, you should look into a portable HDD that’s compact and easy to carry with you. This WD Elements HDD has a whopping 2TB of storage. Although it comes formatted for Windows OS, it can be reformatted to be compatible with macOS and other operating systems. It’s compatible with USB 3.0 or 2.0 and can transfer data quickly at up to 5Gbps. If you don’t need the extra storage, you can also use a portable HDD to have a physical backup of everything on your device.
For anyone who games primarily on a console, these items will come in handy. Most items—like the streaming subscriptions, gaming headset, and even the controllers—can also transfer over to your PC if you game there as well.
- Controller: A new controller is always an awesome investment, especially if you’re into playing local co-op games. If you’ve managed to snag a PS5, definitely invest in another DualSense Controller; if you still have a PS4, go for the DualShock 4. If you have an Xbox—whether it’s an original Xbox, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X/S—you can add another Core Controller to your collection. And if you have a Nintendo Switch, you can invest in an official Pro Controller or a PowerA Controller with a more fun design.
- Streaming Subscription: Paying for a streaming subscription means you get access to many games for a good price. Most services only allow you access to the games while you’re currently a paying subscriber, so keep that in mind if you’re in the middle of a game and thinking about not renewing. The most popular video game streaming services right now include PS Now, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and Google Stadia. With PS Now and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can access the games on your console or your computer or laptop.
- Games: A new game is a great place to put your money because you get countless hours of enjoyment and replayability out of it. Most new AAA games range between $60-70, no matter which platform you’re buying for, so plan for that (and hope for less). You can buy Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Yakuza: Like a Dragon for PlayStation and Xbox consoles. A great PlayStation exclusive for either the PS4 or the PS5 is Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Or, if you’re looking for a new Switch game, try out Paper Mario: The Origami King.
- Gaming Headset: Although a gaming headset is really nice for console gamers, it can be a good addition to a PC gaming setup. The SteelSeries Arctis 3 10-foot wired headset is compatible with all consoles and PC and has a Discord certified microphone with clear audio and background noise cancellation. The ear cushions are covered with a fabric air weave that’ll keep your ears cool and dry during long gaming sessions. Logitech’s G432 headset is another great option that’s compatible with all consoles and PC. With X v2.0 surround sound, these headphones sound amazing.
While these items certainly aren’t necessary for your quality of life, they’re just fun and nice to have. What’s not to like about that?
- Instant Camera: Having an instant camera handy on vacations or weekend outings with friends brings a new element of fun to the experience. Snapping pictures and seeing a physical print right away gives you that instant gratification most of us love. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 has a selfie mirror so that you can take selfies in addition to beautiful group or landscape pictures. Then, you can go for plain film or film with special prints like confetti, macaroon, and candy pop.
- Fitness Tracker: For the price, the Amazfit Bip U Pro does quite a bit. You can track your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, stress levels, sleep quality and patterns, and daily steps. Working a fitness tracker into your daily routine helps you be more conscious of your health and fitness decisions. It can last for up to nine days on a full charge, even with a built-in GPS and Alexa functionality. You can also see notifications from your phone, like incoming calls, texts, alarms, and more.