Every year we roll out our annual gift guides here at 9to5Toys, and each December I’m left pondering what tech is actually essential in our lives. I’m going to guess you already have your fill of Bluetooth speakers, gaming consoles and other 9to5Toys favorites that we feature here each day. That’s why I’m recommending five low-cost tech essentials that everyone needs. You may have some, you may not. But here’s my claim that every person should have the following five items…
Belkin SurgePlus Swivel Surge Protector w/ 2 USB ports
Everyone — and I mean everyone — needs this product in their lives. Traveling can be a real pain in the ass, then you arrive at your destination to find that the charging situation is less than ideal. Solve those worries with the Belkin SurgePlus. For around $15 you get the best on-the-go surge protector out there. Why is it the best? It comes with three plugs, two 2.1A USB ports, and a swivel design. Want to complain about the charging speeds? Plug in a USB-C charger into the outlets. You can’t convince me that everyone doesn’t need this. Amazon reminds me that I bought this in November of 2014. I can’t name another piece of tech I’m still using regularly four years later. It’s the best out there and some 7,500 Amazon customers agree.
iOttie Easy One Touch 4
Yet another Trevor Daugherty Seal of Approval belongs on this iOttie mount. The folks behind this accessory have been cranking out solid car mounts for some time. I use my iOttie Easy One Touch 3 every time I get in the car. It keeps notifications and media controls at eye level. The quality is top-notch and I’m certain that iOttie has delivered again on the One Touch 4. Don’t just take my word for it, trust the 1,500 Amazon customers that have left stellar ratings.
Nomad Universal Cable
The GOAT of charging cables delivers everything you need on the road in one simple build. Nomad also uses some tough as nails material to ensure that this thing doesn’t fray or break apart. It includes Lightning, USB-C and microUSB. You can even get it in both USB-A and C versions, if you’ve already made the jump to the future.
Logitech K480 Multi-device Bluetooth Keyboard
Allow myself to follow-up the best-to-ever-do-it charging cable with its equal in the keyboard department. Logitech’s multi-device keyboards belong in every backpack, especially if you frequently change locations or devices during the day. The K480 can pair with three different iPhones, iPads, Macs and more. The built-in tray makes it a natural companion for iPad users, as well.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
Smart plugs are enjoying a renaissance of sorts given how many platforms now are supported. Wemo recently added HomeKit compatibility to the mix, making it my recommendation for this guide. I love this option because it only takes up one plug on your wall, making it easy to still utilize other devices at the same time. Buy one for that techie on your list, it’s sure to be a hit.