The Best Essential Tech You Can Buy at Any Budget

There’s nothing more satisfying than buying a new piece of tech, whether for yourself or a loved one. However, you might not always be in a position to splurge on the top-of-the-line. Luckily, there are plenty of fantastic gadgets out right now at lower price points. Here’s our curated list of high-end and easier-on-the-pocket essential tech, all of which make a great buy.

TVs

The LG OLED evo G3 is a high-end 4K smart TV that will set you back $2,299 but one that you can easily think of as a long-term investment. It promises the “brightest OLED ever” powered by Brightness Booster Max and guarantees smooth and swift movement thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate.

As promised, we have a much cheaper alternative, too. TCL’s 43-inch Class S4 TV (right now $198) offers a smart LED display with 4K resolution and ALLM (Auto Low-Latency Mode) for the lowest possible input lag while gaming on it.

Gaming

The $650 1TB OLED Steam Deck is a good option if you have some bucks to spare. You get a vivid HDR OLED display, longer battery life than the original Steam Deck LCD, better thermals, and more repairability than the original LCD Steam Deck.

The Xbox Series S is a nice $300 (now on sale for $240) alternative for the gamer in your life. Apart from being fairly inexpensive, it includes a three-month Game Pass subscription, allowing you to access hundreds of games for just ten bucks a month. Apparently, it’s also as cute as a button.

Laptops

I think it’s pretty clear that the MacBook Pro is one of the best, most high-end options you can get your hands on, especially if it’s the latest 16-inch configuration with the M3 Max chip. You’re paying around $4,000 for a machine that can run even the most hardware-intensive programs.

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The alternative here is the $799 Gigabyte 15.6” G5 Notebook with a 12th Gen Intel core i5 processor and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU. Offering a display that maxes out at 144Hz. It’s a gaming laptop that really punches above its weight class and price.

Earbuds

Not to be extra, but we genuinely think Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II, priced at $300, might have the world’s best ANC. Apart from that, you get a snug fit, decent battery life, a well-designed companion app, intuitive controls that are easy to learn, and the kind of bass you feel in your chest.

The $99 Samsung Galaxy FE earbuds are a solid option. In fact, their ANC is quite good, considering the price tag. Coupled with a secure fit, simple controls, and a long battery life, we believe they’re the perfect entry-level buds to go for.

Phones

Just like Apple is acing the laptop game, it’s ruling the phone market, too. The $1,200 iPhone 15 Pro Max is undoubtedly a no-brainer option if you want the absolute best for yourself. It features the best battery of any smartphone we’ve ever reviewed, a lightweight Titanium build, and excellent satellite capabilities. The long-awaited inclusion of a Type-C port on it makes it even better. (Read our iPhone 15 Pro review here.)

Google’s Pixel 7a is a great mid-range option if you’re not looking to spend a lot. It offers wireless charging, a camera that is way too good for the price, and the same chip as its flagship counterparts. All that for $375. (Read our Pixel 7a review here.)

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Smart Speakers

The Sonos Era 100 is for you if you want to splurge. For $250, you get phenomenal stereo sound, really powerful bass, and easy integration with streaming devices. The volume controls and room tuning have also been upgraded, making this model an easy pick for us.

You can always go for the Apple HomePod Mini for less than half that price at $99. What we like best about the HomePod is that it delivers everything it promises. It offers excellent HomeKit support and extremely smooth compatibility with AirPlay 2 and other Apple devices.

Battery Packs

We possibly can’t find something more hardcore than the $1,399 Anker PowerHouse 767 Portable Power Station. This 67-pound device, Anker’s largest battery to date, is an absolute beast and can manage to keep your phone charged for weeks and larger appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and microwaves running for days.

If you’re on an Apple device with a Lighting port and are planning to hold onto it for a while, Anker’s Nano Power Bank for $30 is an economical (and really cute) option to go for. It boasts 5,000mAh of capacity, 12W charging speeds, a simple four LED charge level indicator, and a single USB-C port for recharging.

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