X

Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Smart Home, Tablets, Displays & More Gifts Under $250 – Updated November 2021

Amazon Echo Show 15 2
Advertisement
Advertisement

Buying a gift for yourself or for the tech-lover in your life isn’t always easy. And that’s especially true when you know your budget but not what the latest, greatest tech is. This gift guide is here to help, whether you’re looking for a tablet, smart home device, speaker, or external monitor, for under $250.

Of course, this isn’t the full extent of what’s available in any of these categories. There are also plenty of other categories to consider. If you’re looking for a new Chromebook or laptop, for instance, you can find that here instead. But regardless of what you’re looking for, our gift guides can help.

So, without further ado, let’s dig into some of the best tech gifts that come in at under $250.

Advertisement
Product nameCostWhere to buy
Google Nest Hub Max$229.99Best Buy
Nest Doorbell (Battery)From $179.99Best Buy
Echo Show 15$249.99Amazon
ecobee SmartThermostatFrom $248.64Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FEFrom $129.99Samsung
Nokia T20$249.99Nokia
JBL Charge 5$179.95Amazon
Tivoli Audio Revive$249.99Amazon
ViewSonic VG1655From $249.99Amazon
Lenovo ThinkVision M14$246.99Amazon

Google Nest Hub Max

01 Google Nest Hub Max presser for holiday gift guide under 250

Google hasn’t yet updated its Nest Hub Max — as it has with its small Nest Hub. But that doesn’t mean this older device isn’t still a hit. With a 10-inch display and a brilliant built-in speaker, this is still arguably the best smart home hub on the market.

Of course, since this is a Nest display, it packs Google Assistant AI and all of the controls for managing other gadgets. For example, cameras, thermostats, and other connected things. And the inclusion of Assistant means it also serves as a helpful companion, whether for looking something up, keeping tabs on your schedule, video calls, or watching YouTube and Netflix. Or as a photo frame.

Advertisement

Those results, as would be expected, are personalized for synced accounts too. And Nest Hub Max recognizes multiple users, so it can be even more useful for the household. Making this sub-$250 gadget a perfect fit for this gift guide.

Nest Hub Max - Best Buy

Nest Doorbell (battery)

02 Google Nest Hello Doorbell battery presser

Advertisement

Now, if you or whoever you’re buying for already has a smart home setup but doesn’t necessarily have everything — or needs to upgrade — Nest also has you covered on smart, camera-enabled doorbells. The new Nest Doorbell (Battery) is, as its branding suggests, as good as the old doorbell and better. And it doesn’t need a constant power source either.

In fact, Nest Doorbell (Battery) is wire-free. So it also serves as a perfect under-$250 gift for those who aren’t great at following a complex installation guide. Or for those who live in an apartment. And with features such as package and people recognition, HD and Night Vision streaming, and more, it’s going to be hard to go wrong with this particular Google product.

Better still, the new model features four coloration options. So it can match or accent any home style.

Advertisement

Nest Doorbell (Battery) - Best Buy

Echo Show 15

03 Amazon Echo Show 15 presser for holiday gift guide under 250

  • Price: From $249.99
  • Where to buy: Amazon

For those who prefer Alexa, conversely, Amazon has a brand new smart home hub that takes things to a completely different level. The Amazon Echo Show 15 earns its entry in this guide as a near-perfect sub-$250 gift for those who want their hub to be larger and more immersive.

Advertisement

That’s because, at 15.6-inches, this FullHD (1080p) smart display does all of the things other Alexa displays do. But with far more space at your fingertips for keeping tabs on your smart home, calendars, notes, lists, entertainment, and more. Its 5-megapixel camera, conversely, helps keep friends and family connected.

The photo-frame stylings make this smart hub great for displaying Amazon Photos or Facebook albums. For a more natural digital photo frame aesthetic with all the smart features one might need. And best of all, it can be hung up or placed in stand mode in either portrait or landscape mode. While features such as Visual ID for Kids help keep the whole family safe.

Echo Show 15 - Amazon

Advertisement

ecobee SmartThermostat

04 ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control presser

  • Price: From $248.64
  • Where to buy: Amazon

Now, ecobee is the name in smart home thermostats. And its latest ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is on sale for $100 off. So it’s going to be a great gift that costs well under $250, although it would have earned placement in this guide regardless.

In terms of what this smart thermostat has to offer, one of its biggest perks is its wide-ranging compatibility. Namely, it supports both iOS and Android, as well as working with Apple HomeKit and Watch, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and even IFTTT. And, for the money, it allows precise control over home temperatures, including HVAC integration for pausing when a door or window is open. Although the latter feature requires ecobee SmartSensor for doors and windows as well as a Haven subscription.

Advertisement

Built-in Alexa and the potential for plenty of savings on energy thanks to AI-driven adjustments make this a great gift for those who need to upgrade their smart home.

ecobee SmartThermostat - Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE

05 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE presser for holiday gift guide under 250

  • Price: From $129.99
  • Where to buy: Samsung

Moving on to tablets, it may seem strange to see a flagship Samsung tablet on a gift guide that’s supposed to stay under $250. But that’s exactly what Samsung is offering in terms of pricing for its Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE, with a small caveat. Namely, with an eligible trade-in.

For the time being, and just in time for holiday shopping, if you do happen to trade something in, in exchange for the new tablet, you’ll be getting a lot of bang for your buck. The company’s 12.4-inch S-Pen-enhanced tablet comes at just $179.99 for the 64GB variant. And for just $249.99 for the 128GB version. Powerful performance, great cameras, long-lasting battery, and more are to be expected from this Samsung Gadget.

Galaxy Tab S7 FE - Samsung

Nokia T20

06 Nokia T20 Presser

  • Price: $249.99
  • Where to buy: Nokia

If you happen to be outside of the US and need a budget-friendly tablet, this next gift guide item costs under $250 and could be just what you’re looking for. That’s because the Nokia T20, only the second Nokia tablet and the first from HMD Global, doesn’t read like it’s for the budget market.

To begin with, the company started with a sandblasted aluminum frame with an IP52 rating. Effectively protecting it from light rain, at least without diminishing style. And it embedded that with a polished 3D display frame around a 10.4-inch 2K resolution display.

From there, it packed in Android 11 with two OS updates and three years of regular security updates. With Android OS powered by an octa-core T610 chipset. That’s two A75 cores and six A55 cores, for the record. Backed by 3GB or 4GB RAM and up to 64GB of expandable storage. That’s 4GB for the US market, where this will land in mid-November. It’s already up for pre-order elsewhere.

Amplified stereo speakers, WiFi and Bluetooth 5, reasonable cameras, and an all-day battery are just icing on the cake for this premium budget tablet.

Nokia T20 - Nokia

JBL Charge 5

07 JBL Charge 5 presser for holiday gift guide under 250

  • Price: $179.95
  • Where to buy: Amazon

Moving on to audio, the JBL Charge 5 is arguably the best available as of this writing. Or at the very least, it’s the best gift-ready portable Bluetooth speaker for this under $250 guide. As might be expected from JBL, this speaker packs a serious punch at 40W. And it utilizes that power well via JBL Pro Sound across an optimized long-excursion driver, separate tweeter, and dual JBL bass radiators.

Setting aside the many available color configurations for personalization, this speaker also has a hidden feature or two too. Namely, it works as a charging bank via built-in output ports. And it can be linked with other JBL speakers in stereo for even more depth and volume. Although the volume here is going to be more than enough for most users.

As an added bonus, JBL Charge 5 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof rated. So it won’t get damaged if you take it camping, to the beach, or leave it out in the rain.

JBL Charge 5 - Amazon

Tivoli Audio Revive

08 Tivoli REVIVE Presser

  • Price: $249.99
  • Where to buy: Amazon

For audio around the home, however, Tivoli Audio has what may be the most unique multi-function Bluetooth speaker you’ll find. Dubbed the Tivoli Audio Revive, this device gives you a lamp, wireless charging pad, and high-fidelity Bluetooth speaker all-in-one for under $250.

Better still, Tivoli built Revive from furniture-grade and eco-friendly materials. And in three colorways.

Additionally, the speaker cabinet can swivel up to 30-degrees and Tivoli Audio includes both an Aux input and USB-A port. So you can listen and charge even if your source device lacks Bluetooth or wireless charging. Conversely, the built-in lamp — residing above the speaker — can be adjusted just like everything else. At a tap. And there are four brightness levels to switch between.

So this is one gift that is as versatile and useful as it is fashionable.

Tivoli Audio Revive - Amazon

ViewSonic VG1655

09 ViewSonic VG1655 presser for holiday gift guide under 250 

  • Price: From $249.99
  • Where to buy: Amazon

Finding a portable display at under $250 that’s worth the cost can be difficult. Luckily, we have two models on this year’s gift guide whether it’s for yourself or somebody else.

The first up is the ViewSonic VG1655. Priced at $249.99, this ViewSonic gadget is a 15.6-inch portable monitor that comes with a built-in stand cover. So it can be taken around without screen damage simply by closing the cover. And, at under 2lbs, it won’t take too much effort to do so either.

While this 60Hz, 1080p monitor should work well for most gaming and entertainment applications, it’s also great for work. Not least of all, that’s because it features one 2-way powered USB-C port. That means it can be plugged into a laptop and then USB peripherals can be plugged into the monitor. And the included Type-C to Type-C, Type-C to Type-A, and mini-HDMI cables make that all the easier.

Best of all, for those who want to spend a bit more for a touch-enabled variant. That can be had for just under $300 via the link below too.

ViewSonic VG1655 - Amazon

Lenovo ThinkVision M14

091 Lenovo ThinkVision M14 Presser

  • Price: $246.99
  • Where to buy: Amazon

The second monitor, and final item on this sub-$250 gift guide, is Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14. At 14-inches, this display packs the same number of pixels in a smaller space and packs two USB Type-C ports with support for  DisplayPort 1.2 Alt Mode and Pd2.0.

Summarily, despite its 4.4mm slim stylings and weight of just 570g, ThinkVision M14 can connect to just about anything. And is more portable than most monitors with a 60Hz refresh rate. Including devices that require an HDMI to USB-C adapter cable. Although that isn’t included in the box.

Although it doesn’t include a cover, ThinkVision M14 does include a USB-C cable in the box, as well as a sleeve for the monitor when not in use. Additionally, it comes with a built-in adjustable “foot.” And that can be angled much more than typical monitors. From -5 to 90-degrees, in fact, for more comfortable viewing. Regardless of whether it’s used for gaming, entertainment, or productivity.

Lenovo ThinkVision M14 - Amazon