9to5Toys Gift Guide: Simon’s space-saving tech upgrades from $25

From $25

With Christmas less than two weeks away, time is of the essence when it comes to gift shopping. While you may have already checked most of the people off list, the few that remain may be left over because they are the most difficult to shop for. Technology lovers can often fall into that category. So what do you give someone that loves and already owns a bunch of gear? Space-saving tech that allows them to enjoy it no matter where they’re headed. Continue reading to find my top recommendations, each of which I personally own.

TYLT Portable 7X Smart Charger

First on the list is an item I use multiple times each week. It’s TYLT’s Portable 7X Smart Charger. Not only is it a charger, it’s also a battery pack. Even better, this unit even has a built-in USB-C cable and AC plug. When using the Type-C cable you’ll refuel compatible devices at 45-watt speeds. One of these is powerful enough to almost entirely top off my iPad Pro and 40-50% of Apple’s new M1 MacBook Pro.

For devices that are not USB-C powered and therefore cannot take advantage of the built-in cable, USB-A and Type-C outputs are also in store. This unique power adapter and battery pack combination allows me to head outdoors and travel freely without needing to fuss over a potential lack of external power. Having a built-in AC plug and USB-C cable helps reduce the amount of extra cables I need to take with me. Amazon currently has this handy piece of space-saving tech listed for $110.

CHOETECH Dual Wireless Charger

I’ve had this AirPower-like device for about a year now. The CHOETECH Dual Wireless Charger is powered by a USB-C cable and features five Qi coils that allow me to top off my iPhone 12 mini or AirPods with Wireless Case wherever I’d like. I’m not kidding either, it’s very difficult to miss one of the Qi coils, just like Apple wanted to deliver with AirPower. It can be purchased at Amazon for $25.

Tribit StormBox Micro Bluetooth Speaker

Truth be told, built-in smartphone audio is terrible. For this reason, a multitude of Bluetooth speakers exist on the market, but with so many out there it can be hard to find the right one. For me, Tribit StormBox Micro has been perfect. While not as high-end as Marshall Kilburn II or something similar, this offering can go places larger ones cannot.

This is thanks to a tear-resistant silicone strap that’s easy to attach to a backpack, a bike’s handlebars, and more. Unlike many solutions out there, this offering is refueled by USB-C, making it an option that helps eliminate micro-USB from your life. It retails for $50, but has been known to go on sale from time to time.

Cocoon Slim S 13-inch Backpack

Anyone that’s traveled with me in the past knows how much I like Cocoon gear. It took more than five years, but I finally decided to retire my first Cocoon backpack a few months back as it was starting to show a bit more wear and tear than I would like. I had been using a Cocoon Slim 15, but this time around I downsized to Cocoon Slim S.

It’s perfect for toting my 13-inch MacBook Pro and I love it’s compact design. Arguably the best feature is its unique GRID-IT! organizational system hidden inside of the front pocket. There you’ll find a boatload of varying elastic strap sizes ready to snugly hold some of the other space-saving tech ideas above. Everyone I show this backpack to really likes it, helping solidify it as a standout gift idea. It can be had for around $60 at Amazon.

ElevationLab Cord Dock V2

After seven years with my last vehicle, I’ve finally upgraded. Unfortunately, Wireless CarPlay is not onboard, but using a Lightning cable results in a delightful experience. Since both my wife and I go to painstakingly great lengths to keep a tidy vehicle, it didn’t take long for me to start thinking though how I could simplify and declutter the plug-in process required for activating CarPlay.

I decided to buy a dock of some sort, but needed something as compact as possible. ElevationLab Cord Dock V2 was my first attempt and it has turned out to be a slam dunk. Along the bottom you’ll find integrated 3M tape that makes it a cinch to lock onto a surface. Even better, an ingenious design allows you to undock your iPhone without detaching the cable.

It’s decluttered our new vehicle and is the most recent piece of space-saving tech I’ve added to my collection. This dock can be purchased at Amazon for $30. Not only can it be used in your car, but also on a desk, night stand, and the list goes on.

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