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10 Tech Toys Under $50

A little tight on cash this year? No worries, here’s a top 10 list of tech toys under $50!

Have you ever left the house and then realized you need an important computer file, such as a document or presentation? Or wish you could access your entire music or photo collection on your smartphone?

 ($49.99) is a small device that connects your external hard drive to your broadband connection, allowing you full access to your content wherever life takes you.

Supersize your video chats with a high-definition webcam. The

 ($49.99) lets you video call in 720p high-def video (at 30 frames per second) with friends and family around the world – perfect for blowing kisses to overseas relatives during the holiday season. This PC peripheral works with the free Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and more.

What to buy a smartphone owner for the holidays? Give the gift of music – or rather, enough capacity for more than 4,000 songs – with the

 ($49.99). Compatible with most BlackBerry, Android, Nokia and Windows Phone 7 devices, this fingernail-sized flash memory card can store plenty of media and files – and includes an SD card adapter to make it easy to get content on the card via a computer.

If you’re shopping for an Xbox 360 owner who picked up the Kinect controller-free system, the “must-have” family-friendly game for the season is

 ($49.99). From the same folks who brought us Guitar Hero and Rock Band comes this fun dancing game that challenges players to master more than 600 dance moves. Your body is monitored in real-time and your progress is matched, and scored, against the onscreen avatars.

You don’t need to be tethered to the wall to access the Internet when you can pick up the

($49.99) and surf wirelessly on laptops, tablets, smartphones or game consoles. This “N”-speed Wi-Fi router is much faster than the previous “G” routers – ideal of streaming video – plus it offers a greater range, too, therefore, you can surf virtually anywhere in or outside your home (such as a porch or backyard deck).

Go hands-free with the

($44.99), a Bluetooth headset and car charger combo, designed to keep you safe while using your phone in a vehicle (and in compliance with your provincial laws). This small, black headset, for the left or right ear, wirelessly communicates with your Bluetooth-enabled phone, plus it offers handy extras such as a three-colour battery level meter, dedicated on/off switch and dashboard headset holder.

Don’t watch your friends, siblings or coworkers struggle with a laptop’s finicky touchpad when you can buy them a comfortable and fashionable wireless mouse. Available in one of five colours, the ergonomic

 4000 ($39.99) ships with a tiny USB transceiver that snaps into an available port on the netbook, laptop or desktop. Now surf, play or work in comfort, on virtually any surface, wirelessly.

Whether it’s for work, school or regular home use, an “all-in-one” printer is a versatile machine that won’t take up too much space. The

 ($49.99) lets you print photos and documents, as well as scan and copy, too. It produces photo lab-quality prints (on premium paper) and laser-quality text – at up to 26 pages per minute for black ink and 20 pages per minute for colour.

Breathe some new life into your aging DVDs with the Fluid 1080p progressive scan DVD player ($34.99). When used with a HDMI cable (not included), this black machine can up-convert your DVDs to near-HD quality on a high-definition television – giving you more detail, richer colours and better contrast. This DVD player, with remote, also includes support for CDs, recordable media and JPEG discs.

Whether you’re shopping for a music lover or fitness fiend, the colourful Sony PIIQ Qlasp Series M Multi earbuds will likely appeal to both types. Why, you ask? They’re great-sounding headphones (with 9mm drivers) designed for smartphones, laptops and media players – and are engineered to stay snug in your ear, comfortably and securely, no matter how active you are. Is your interest “piiq’d”?

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