tech gifts

Despite vowing “never again” after last year’s disaster, here you are, frantically researching Secret Santa gift ideas for an office mate you barely know. Though you may be a liar, at least you’re a lucky one. By pulling the resident tech geek’s name out of the hat, you’ve unwittingly snagged the best person in the office.

Thank your stars we live in the time we do. The technology boom means we no longer have to spend a fortune to get something cool. You can impress your Secret Santa without breaking the bank just by wrapping up any of these items.

Amazon Dot Echo

Between text messages, group chat notifications, and calendar reminders, we live in a world of constant distractions. Anyone feeling a little fatigued by the constant chatter could stand to benefit from this smart home speaker.

The puck-sized version of the full Echo squeaks in at $49.99, making it an on-budget option for your office gift exchange. Despite coming in a much smaller package — in both size and price-point — the Echo Dot offers up most of the same features as the original.

Powered by Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, the Echo Dot responds to the user’s voice commands. With a few short words, they’recapable of controlling other smart devices and web-enabled apps, so they can bring a little order to their homes.

dbrand Device Decals

At $1,000, an iPhone X is definitively not a gift you’ll be wrapping up for your office Secret Santa. But you can give the gift of a brand-new device with a customized decal.

It doesn’t matter if your Secret Santa upgraded to the iPhone 8 as soon as it was possible or still rocks an iPhone 6s — if they’re a hard-core Note 8 fan or prefers a budget Android like the Moto G — if they talk about their latest Skyrim campaign — or if they come into the office sporting the latest smartwatch or tablet. Decal designers like dbrand create a huge inventory of decals (or skins, if you’re feeling frisky) tailor-made for each device.

Only an iPhone 8 skin will fit the iPhone 8. Likewise, only a Note 8 decal will fit Samsung’s flagship. To learn more about how these attachments should fit, check out dbrand for more details. A quick search for the device in question will lead you to a build-a-skin feature that lets you design the perfect decal for your Secret Santa’s gadget, whatever it may be.

Roku Streaming Stick

If your office mate is a serial binge-watcher, then the immensely popular Roku Streaming Stick is right up their alley. It’s a relatively small dongle that attaches to their TV HDMI port, but it delivers big on streaming content. With its quad-core processor and dual-band wireless capabilities, it streams over 4,500 channels and all the content available on their favorite streaming website.

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are just some of the subscriptions they can access on their TV once they plug in the Roku. Switching between each streaming site is easy with its Roku remote, or, if they’re feeling confident, the Roku app can control the service from their phone. With only a swipe of a thumb, they’ll be able to switch from Netflix’s Ozark to Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale to Amazon’s American Gods without any complications.

Skullcandy Grind Headphones

If your Secret Santa bobs away to music the second they begin any solo projects, a new pair of headphones would be a brilliant gift to wrap up this season. Be careful with which set you choose. Between Bose and Sony, two popular headphone brands, you could drop hundreds of dollars on this present.

Skullcandy, though renowned for its sound quality, has a budget-friendly on-ear model that would make both your co-worker and your wallet happy. They offer pretty balanced audio, and they come enabled with Skullcandy’s TapTech feature, which lets them answer calls and control tracks at a press of a button on the left ear.

And there you have it. Four easy gift ideas sure to impress the techie in the office, all for less than $50. Wrap up any of these gifts, and you’ll go down as the best gift-giver on staff without breaking your budget. Now that’s a Christmas miracle!