Finding A Gift For Your Most ̵
That's why we come to Ars: we spend year round testing electronics, with prices spanning everything from "luxury" to "dirt-cheap". And so recently, we poured our notes to find some of the best tech gifts you can buy that are under $ 50. All of the following devices have been tested and tested regularly or for personal use. Instead of shooting in the dark or outperforming when it comes to technology gifts this year, consider the following devices that we know will make any recipient happy.
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Anker PowerLine II Lightning and USB-C cables for $ 12.99 (and up)
Here's a simple one: If your loved one has bought a smartphone in the last few years, this phone probably maintains some level of fast charging. If they have an iPhone other than the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, they need an external charger for USB-C power and a USB-C to Lightning cable for this to happen. If they have a newer Android phone, the materials most likely needed are in the box, but the things about a good charging gear are that you can never really have too much of it. Either way, this quick charge can prevent your loved one from spending any number of hours stuck near the socket.
There are many chargers and portable batteries that can do the trick here – for smartphones, just make sure you get at least 18W of power – but for cables, we found the Anker's PowerLine II series to be particularly reliable. Its USB-C to Lightning cable is MFi certified by Apple to work safely on iOS devices and costs significantly less than Apple's own alternative. Its USB-C to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 cable supports up to 5 amps / 100W charge and up to 10Gbps data rates so it can charge newer USB-C laptops like the 15-inch MacBook Pro as fast as possible (again with a powerful enough charger) and quickly move videos and other large files. Meanwhile, the more affordable USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable supports up to 60W charging, which is fast enough to charge new USB-C phones and tablets at maximum speed. Both USB-C cables are certified as compatible with USB-IF, a non-profit body operated by Apple, Microsoft, Intel and other large technology companies, which reviews the USB specification.
In any case, every PowerLine II cable we tested is properly tested and shows no serious signs of wear after months of travel and regular use. If anything goes wrong, Anker gives each cable a lifetime warranty. It's not the sexiest gift, of course, but connecting multiple cables together based on the devices your loved one has can make their everyday life a little more comfortable.