I get asked quite a bit what my favorite tech products are. And because I have access to all the best stuff for testing as a tech journalist, sometimes my choices are a little beyond the reach of most consumers, such as a $4,000 UHD TV set or a $1,500 dSLR.
But when I look at the stuff I’ve actually paid money for, the items are definitely more reasonable price-wise. That doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable, though. In fact, they’re often the items I use every day and take wherever I go. And these are my top picks for tech products under $50 that everyone should own.
Backup battery charger
Anyone who owns a smartphone knows it can run through a battery in less than a day. So I carry a backup battery charger everywhere. The Digital Treasures ChargeIt Universal 3600mAh Power Bank ($29.99 on Amazon) has built-in Lightning, microUSB and legacy 30-pin Apple device cables, so you won’t ever forget yours. And its 3600mAh battery provides plenty of backup power for even the most power-hungry cell phones.
Electric toothbrushes work better than manual ones. Not only does brushing with an electric toothbrush leave your teeth feeling cleaner, according to a report by The Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group, it also reduces plaque and the risk of contracting gingivitis, an early stage periodontal disease that affects 50 percent of adults.
Not just any electric toothbrush will do, though. Go for a model with a head that rotates and oscillates, like the Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep Triaction 1000 ($39.97 on Amazon) or a sonic model like the rechargeable Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush ($49.95 on Amazon)
Cloud-based file storage
Imagine losing every picture, every video, every memento of the important events in your life due to a fire, flood or theft. And why risk it when cloud-based storage options are so widely available and cheap? One of the best bargains is Google Drive, which is free for the first 15 GB of storage and $1.99 per month ($23.88 per year) for up to 100GB. (You can also get 1TB for $9.99 per month or $119.88 per year.) You can use it to sync files between all of your devices and access your files from anywhere. We even trust it at Techlicious to store and share all of our business files.
Pod-based single serve coffee machine
Every minute counts during my morning rush, so I rely on a single-serve coffee machine to give me that initial jolt, with a minimal amount of effort. There are certainly fancier options out there than the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Personal Cup Pod Coffeemaker 49990Z ($29.99 on Amazon), but for $30, you can get a very good cup of coffee in no time. You can buy pre-made Senseo pods or make your own pods, filling them with your favorite coffee or tea. The coffeemaker is built to accommodate tall travel mugs and has a built-in stand for regular cups.
Instant tire repair
Changing a flat tire is messy, difficult and can be downright dangerous. With just the push of a button, though, the Slime Safety Spair ($38.97 on Amazon) injects a special sealant into your tire, plugging punctures up to a quarter inch, and quickly re-inflating the tire with its built-in compressor. All in 7 minutes…er…flat. There’s also a safety light for night use making it an essential part of your car safety kit. The inflator can also be used to top off a low tire or inflate sports balls without injecting the repair sealant.
This article was written by Suzanne Kantra and originally appeared on Techlicious.
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