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The best Father's Day tech gifts under $50

Tech gadgets can make your dad's life better, and they don't have to cost a fortune. The best cheap tech gifts under $50 are sure to impress this Father's Day.

Shopping for the dad in your life isn't always easy or budget-friendly, especially when it comes to traditional "tech" gifts. 

After asking the experts on the ZDNET team, scouring through customer reviews, and researching the best value gadgets out there, we've rounded up the best tech tools for your father figure ranging from productivity to sentimentality -- all under $50. 


  • Price: $48
  • Features: 8-inch screen size | USB or SD flash connection | 4:3 aspect ratio

My parents have more photos than they know what to do with -- my dad, especially. If yours is the same way, a digital photo frame is a great solution -- and not just for a boomer audience. The Aluratek Digital Photo Frame is a practical, personalized, and sentimental gift for your dad to display fun memories. 

For photos to cycle through the frame, simply insert a USB or an SD card into the frame's back slide slots. The Aluratek features true digital LCD panels that display vibrant, defined photos for everyone to enjoy. 

Also: The best digital picture frames

  • Price: $28 (currently 10% off) 
  • Features: Magnetic, wireless charging | Fast charging mode for iPhone and Samsung | Case friendly 

If your dad wants a wireless charger that quickly powers his phone and still allows him to see his notifications, FaceTime, and keep his protective case on, this wireless charging stand from Anker is a great option. The stand allows users to charge their phones in landscape or portrait mode for ultimate multi-functionality. Currently, you can get two for $28 so that he can keep one on his nightstand and one in the office. 

Epicka Universal travel adapter

Best cheap tech gift for dads on the go

Epicka Universal Travel Adapter
  • Price: $23
  • Features: Charges six devices simultaneously | 240 max voltage | Multiple socket types 

If your dad is traveling abroad this summer, give him the often overlooked gift of battery life. This travel adapter from Epicka is ZDNET's top pick thanks to it's multi-country compatibility, lightweight form factor, 240 voltage output, and ability to charge up to six devices. 

  • Price: $45
  • Features: 360-degree rotation | Compatible with all smartphones | Nesting cups for universal fit

WeatherTech is one of the most renowned brands in the car accessory market, and the CupFone Cup Holder is perhaps its most popular product. It fits into your car's cup holder and has a tilting function so users can tilt their phone to the optimal map viewing angle or safely initiate hands-free calls. WeatherTech promises the CupFone will fit "all known smartphones," including those with normal-sized protective cases. 

Also: The best car gadgets of 2023: Expert-picked car tech 

  • Price: $37
  • Features: 9 color options | 42 pages | 7 different page styles

If your dad is always making and carrying around lists, the Rocketbook Fusion Smart Notebook scratches the itch to physically put pen to paper while promising the convenience of digital, portable notes. Using synthetic paper, users can write with the includedPilot FriXion pen, save the pages to Rocketbook's app cloud, and then wipe the page clean with a damp cloth to reuse again and again. 

Also: The best smart notebooks

  • Price: $39
  • Features: 6 color options | Built-in Tile technology | IP55 rating

Sadly, you can't snag your dad AirPods for under $50, but you can still pick up a set of quality wireless earbuds. The Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless In-Ear earbuds offer great sound, are IP55 rated to resist sweat as well as water and dust resistant, which is fantastic for dads looking for workout-compatible earbuds. Like the 2nd-generation AirPods, Skullcandy offers 24 hours of total battery life, allowing for long listening sessions at a fraction of the cost. 

Also: The best wireless earbuds 

  • Price: $50
  • Features: 12 different color options | 10 hours of battery life | 4 ounces

Give your dad the gift of music with the JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth speaker. It delivers a clear, loud, and booming sound perfect for any party. He can bring it anywhere to listen to his favorite tunes -- even to the pool or beach since it is completely waterproof and has a convenient clip to attach onto a backpack, cooler, or another object. It also allows for users to take calls thanks to a noise-canceling speakerphone built into the speaker. 

Also: The best portable speakers

  • Price: $29
  • Features: 1 year of battery life | Connects via Bluetooth and Apple's Find My Network | IP67 waterproof rating

Does your dad need some help keeping track? If he's an iPhone user, AirTags are a great solution, using an Ultra Wideband in newer iPhones to integrate perfectly into the Apple ecosystem and FindMy system to pinpoint items. 

Rreview: AirTags

  • Price: $35
  • Features: Wirelessly transmits in-flight audio entertainment | 20+ hours of battery life | Automatic pairing mode

With the cultural transition from wired to wireless headphones, most travelers face a dilemma when it comes to in-flight entertainment -- I know I do. The AirFly Bluetooth Audio transmitter works with any 3.5 audio jack, automatically kicks into pairing mode, and lasts over 20 hours so your dad can enjoy his in-flight movie via the comfort of his own wireless earbuds. 

Also: The best travel gadgets of 2023: Expert travel tech 

  • Price: $40
  • Features: 2.14 lbs | 6 color options | Left or right-hand setup

For the dad who loves to work from home, the LapGear Home Office Lap Desk is a ZDNET favorite because it has everything you need for a fantastic workspace. It is large enough to hold laptops up to 15.6 inches in size, and there's also a phone slot to hold your phone vertically while you work. 

The included 5 x 9-inch mouse pad can come in a left or right-handed configuration. The lap desk includes a dual-bolster cushion that forms itself to your lap for a more comfortable fit.

Also: The best lap desks 

How did we choose these cheap tech gifts?

My process in choosing these products involved extensive research into each product, including reviews (both good and bad), pricing, category of the gift, and trusted brands. I considered different gift options in various categories so gift givers would be able to find a gift for anyone on their list for any occasion. But for this Father's Day, we specifically chose gifts that would be fitting for every kind of dad.

When is Father's Day 2023?

Father's Day is on Sunday, June 18, 2023. 

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