The Best Christmas Gifts Under $100
GIFTING| By Alex Greig | October 27, 2020
We’ve found the best gifts under $100 for everyone in your life this Christmas, from tech-savvy kids to coffee-loving adults.
A $100 budget puts you in some pretty sweet gift-giving territory at Christmas, with everything from a smart speaker to a robot to a coffee machine well within the price range. Of course, there are so many excellent Christmas gifts at or under $100 that you may be overwhelmed by choice. We’ve done the hard work and narrowed it down for you – but you'll have to do the wrapping yourself.
A Reliable Small Speaker, $88
Bass junkies need not cart around a gigantic subwoofer to satisfy their need for some big, deep beats. This petite Sony speaker has been designed to provide an impressive hit of extra bass – and it doesn't disappoint. It’s water- and dust-resistant, eminently portable, and if your budget stretches to two, you can create a very impressive surround-sound effect. The battery provides up to 16 hours of playback before it needs a charge, so it's a great option for camping, the beach or pool parties.
An Actual Robot, $99.99
A New BFF, $78
Meet Alexa. She turns on the lights. She plays music. She answers obscure questions (correctly). She’ll remind one to remove the cake from the oven. Multitaskers will be won over by the diminutive Echo Dot Smart Speaker. There are four field microphones so Alexa can hear her owner/friend from across the room, and she can handle multiple requests in one command – “Alexa, turn on the lights, turn off the TV and tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow!” She’s your loved one's new best friend. Try not to be jealous.
A Switched-on Personal Assistant, $78
Or give the gift of a Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation and you’re really giving more than one present. As a voice-controlled music player, it’s topnotch – simply say, “Hey Google” to play favourite tunes from Spotify, YouTube or stream from a smartphone. As a flatmate, it shines: lights will be dimmed, favourite TV shows cued and it can even open the garage door. And as a personal assistant, it’s pretty good, too. Sure, it won’t pick up a dress from the dry-cleaner, but it does know the weather forecast, reminds you of your 10am meeting and predicts how long the commute will be.
An At-home Barista, $79
This Italian-designed coffee machine is small, sleek and quiet. It never fails to serve a perfect espresso from a pod, won’t interrupt after-dinner chatter as it works and its removable components are dishwasher safe. All you have to do is press one button (and maybe add a biscotti on the side) for a perfect brew. As far as Christmas gifts under $100 go, it’s got to be up there as one of the most appreciated for any caffeine-fiend.
A Practical 14-inch Laptop Sleeve, $24.95
If your Dad is liable to throw his computer in a bag along with his lunch, consider helping him keep his laptop safe, clean and dent-free with a sturdy case. This Nifteen Osaka Taffeta 14” one , made to hold a 14-inch laptop, is soft to the touch, lightweight, and has a pocket for Dad’s phone, pen and cards. Perhaps consider getting him a lunch bag, too!
A Memory Keeper, $98
Know a kid who could swipe their way around an iPhone before they could speak and has a formidable digital footprint of photos, videos and social media accounts? Take them back in time – and offline – with a Fuji Instax Mini 11 camera. Photos develop in 90 seconds, so they’ll have to be patient and, because it's 2020, there’s a selfie mirror so they can still work on their self-portraiture.
A Set of Quality Headphones, $64
This set of Sony headphones comes in at well under $100, which is remarkable when you consider just how much they do. With their crystal clear sound and impressive bass, they’ll satisfy the ears of any audiophile, but they’re also ideal for gamers (they have a built-in mic), travellers (the earcups swivel flat for compact packing) and commuters (the clever design keeps exterior noise to a minimum).
A Nifty 14-inch Messenger Bag, $69
Someone who gets around with tech in tow needs a proper carry-case. A regular satchel can hold a laptop, but a few bumps and knocks during transport could damage the delicate machine. This sleek Kensington messenger bag has space for a 14-inch laptop and a 10-inch tablet, so those who travel with more than one screen can make sure each device receives its due protective padding. There’s also expandable storage for a smartphone, padded handles and straps for comfort and a band to attach it to a retractable suitcase handle when travelling.
And Also Under $100....
A Wire-free Listening Experience, $99
For aural enthusiasts who like to switch between mediums – podcast to music to phone call – these Sony headphones are a perfect gift. They're wire-free, so there's no cables impeding movement, and the padded ear-cups are extremely comfortable for extended wear. And if they are worn all day long, it’s no problem for the battery, which gives 35 hours on one charge.
A Family Treasure, $69.95
Do you know someone who has never had their wedding photos developed, or printed the pictures from the family’s grand tour of Europe in 2008? Create a bespoke photo book of up to 100 premium 200gsm pages with a padded, personalised cover to commemorate a special event – or just a year in the life. It’s a beautiful memento, and it also means they can tick “print wedding pics” off their to-do list.
A Super-fun Kids' Smart Watch, $64
This Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 watch is a gift for kids, but parents might get a little something out of it too. It encourages little learners to get moving and set goals and rewards them for completing tasks. It tracks steps, sleep and activities, and best of all, it has alerts to keep kids on track with chores – upon completion they’ll get access to new games and adventures.