All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, we can earn an affiliate commission.
We kids know how hard it is for parents to buy gifts. It’s either they don’t want anything or they have already gone out and bought the product you saw without telling you. Especially technically savvy fathers. But there are some frequently forgotten, inexpensive gifts that can work without breaking the $ 50 barrier. From console controllers to tracking tags, to smart lights charging accessories, our ideas will tick to the list of the hardest-to-buy dad personality in your life.
8BitDo Pro 2 controller
It may look a bit retro, but make no mistake, 8BitDo’s Pro 2 controller is full of tech. The Bluetooth handheld connects to your switch, PC and mobile device, providing familiar thumbstick and D-pad layouts, as well as back paddles and profile switchers. This means parents will be able to use the controller in switch or Android mode or connect as an X-input or D-input device. Great for gaming while on the move.
Amazon – Buy 8BitDo Pro 2 for 50
Roku Express 4K +
Now that we are really in the age of streaming, it is very easy to find TVs built into Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, etc. But we both know that your dad probably doesn’t have at least one television (and can use a little help in modernization). From there comes the Roku Express 4K + streamer. With support for all modern streaming services, Express 4K is easy to set up and only with its simple remote Works
Buy Roku Express 4K + on Amazon – 40
Does your dad have at least one password with “123456”? Instead of embarrassing him, consider making him a password manager. While most browsers come with their own built-in password tools, LastPass Premium subscriptions operate on a variety of devices, browsers and operating systems. This will save you all of your passwords and suggest strengths throughout the day, but it’s not limited to this: feed it addresses, card details and other important information and it will reduce the time and effort required to fill out. Those pesky online forms.
Buy LastPass Premium starting at $ 3 / month
We’re big fans of ThermoWorks’ Thermapen Mk4, but spending $ 100 on an instant reading thermometer may not be within your budget. Fortunately, you can still upgrade your dad’s cooking toolkit with a $ 35 ThermoPop, compact, lollipop-like thermometer that’s perfect and easy to use. It has a button that opens it and rotates its backlit digital display so that you can always read it carefully if you are holding it. Temperature readings pop up in about 3-4 seconds, so it doesn’t take long for Dad to find out if his brisket is fully cooked. With a temperature range of -58 to 572 ° F and a splash-proof design, ThermoPop could be Dad’s new favorite kitchen appliance.
Buy ThermoPop at ThermoWorks – 35
Anchor Nano II GAN Charger
In this day and age, gadgets are getting better at holding their charge for most of the day – if not all – but sometimes Dad’s smartphone (complete with folding case and belt clip) needs a quick top-up. The good thing about Anchor’s Nano II GAN charger is that it’s not just a phone charger; You can connect it to a MacBook (Air or Pro) and charge it at any time. Anker says it will charge the iPhone 13 three times faster than the original 5W charger and will juice Samsung phones at full speed via super fast charging. It’s also compact, saving space at its outlets, but makes it a great accessory for those who throw it in a backpack or store it in a coat pocket to recharge on-the-move.
Amazon – Buy Anker Nano II (65W) for 50
Rocketbook Eco-Friendly Reusable Notebook
If the dad isn’t one for work lists or electronic note-taking and prefers to write things down for later, the Rocketbook line of reusable notebooks is a solid option. It works in two ways: The 32-page notebook contains special pages that allow the pilot to write like a regular pen. However, after fifteen seconds, you can use a microfiber cloth to erase any errors or to leave a completely blank page. Before Dad did that, however, Rocketbook’s AI app could digitize any writing or drawing, saving them on the phone or tablet for later reading.
Buy Rocketbook Notebooks on Amazon – 34
Nintendo $ 50 eShop Gift Card
If Dad has a Nintendo Switch (or one of the company’s handhelds), then he’s already on Nintendo Eshop. Each time, the company will reduce the wide range of first-party and indie games, allowing you and Dad to build your collection into much less. The good news is that throughout the year, retailers will often offer discounts on eShop credits, which, when combined with existing sales, can lighten the overall cost of daddy games. Deals are usually about 10 percent off, meaning you’ll be able to secure a $ 50 card at $ 45.
Buy Nintendo eShop Gift Cards on Amazon – 50
Blink mini camera
From unwanted intruders to porch pirates, security cams are not only a deterrent, but also a very useful tool for capturing irrefutable evidence of error. Blink (from Amazon) has a wide range of indoor and outdoor home security products, but its basic 1080p indoor plug-in camera is a solid choice for keeping an eye on pets, but also for guests reluctant to die at night. It comes with two-way audio, allowing the father to secretly surprise a friend or family member and detect motion, allowing him to focus on specific areas of the home. The Blink Mini is also closely related to Alexa, so it’s a solid choice for families who already own an Echo device.
Buy the Blink Mini on Amazon – 35
Not every dad can work with tools, but if you want to separate things, be able to put them together again. Or Preferring to fix things instead of buying new ones, iFixit’s essential electronics toolkit may come in handy. With a bunch of precision bits, tweezers, suction handles, SIM eject tools and sorting trays, this kit is perfect for DIY screen replacement or fixing tired components for opening a tablet or laptop. It is also suitable for glasses, if the father has to repair them too.
Buy Essentials Toolkit on Amazon – 25
JLab Go Air Pop earbuds
Listening to on-the-go music doesn’t have to be expensive. JLab’s Go Air Pop wireless earbuds are a prime example. For just 20 (sometimes less), these tiny but colorful Bluetooth headsets offer on-board touch controls, the ability to use earbuds freely, EQ presets and IPX4 wet resistance (meaning they can withstand low-water spray water). They’re also really solid in the battery life department: Go Air Pops will provide Dad with up to eight hours on charge but Case will charge you three extra charges before you plug in the entire set.
Buy JLab Go Air Pop on Amazon – $ 20
Fitbit Aria Air Smart Scale
No one is saying that dad should lose or gain weight, but smart scales can help if he is looking for a good way to track his body measurements. Make no mistake: Aria Air is not as fancy as some of the smart scales on the market – the body composition is complemented by metrics – but it is a very accurate and good looking scale that tracks body weight and BMI. If Dad already has a Fitbit smartwatch or tracker, it will keep him up to date with his existing exercise data, giving him a good snapshot of his overall fitness and body health.
Buy the Fitbit Aria Air on Amazon – 50
Amazon Smart Thermostat
No smart home is complete without a smart thermostat that handles all the household heating and hot water needs. Everyone can make their own arguments about indoor temperatures, but Dad can control the thermostat remotely with Amazon’s cheap smart thermostat. Sure, its normal retail price is usually a little higher than the $ 50 limit we set here but we’ve seen it regularly fall below $ 48, which you should probably jump into. The smart thermostat itself is powered by Honeywell and is well-connected to Alexa, who can speak for him as a father (whether it’s through an eco-smart speaker, display or app).
Buy Smart Thermostat on Amazon – $ 60