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  • The Chargerito is the smallest phone charger.

    Courtesy photo

    The Chargerito is the smallest phone charger.

  • The Roku 3 is a great holiday gift for the...

    Ron Harris / Associated Press

    The Roku 3 is a great holiday gift for the tech-savvy on a budget.



This no-pretense holiday tech guide does not discriminate against modestly sophisticated technology. Spending limit is $100, but watch for the tightwad specials.

Roku 3 Streaming Media Player


The perfect get-with-it gift for 2014. Is there any doubt after HBO recently announced it would start a streaming-only channel that even more people will join the jailbreak from traditional cable/satellite/pay television?

The Roku 3 is the king of content, with more than 1,000 channels, but be sure to get the right streamer. Roku, for example, supports only two audio formats for streaming music (AAC, MP3).

•For streaming music, videos and photos from a computer or app, you’ll want AirPlay in Apple TV ($99, ).

•For Amazonoholics who also like gaming, choose Amazon Fire TV ($99,

•For streaming on the cheap, try Google’s streamer on a stick, the Chromecast ($35,

• For Amazonoholics who also like gaming, choose Amazon Fire TV ($99, ).

•For streaming on the cheap, try Google’s streamer on a stick, the Chromecast ($35,

• For streaming on the cheap, try Google’s streamer on a stick, the Chromecast ($35, ).

Black & Decker LSW20 20-Volt Lithium Sweeper

$88.97 at ;

A quiet, lightweight (3.7 pounds), one-speed cordless sweeper/blower for clearing off the back porch, front steps or driveway. The 20-volt lithium battery doesn’t generate enough power to clear piles of wet leaves, but it’s great for quickie cleanups and daily property preening. The battery lasts 15 to 20 minutes on a charge.

Outlaw Audio BTR-100 Bluetooth Music Streamer


An audio-only, Bluetooth-only streamer that connects to any sound system and delivers wireless sound from a mobile device. Connects with a simple tap from an NFC-enabled device — Near Field Communication is the same technology behind Apple Pay — and supports aptX-compatible phones for CD-quality sound.

Presto 08800 EverSharp Knife Sharpener

$25.99 at ;

An inexpensive but effective two-stage sharpener for foolproof maintenance of kitchen knives. This machine first grinds and sharpens the knife before honing it.

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2-Terabyte Portable Hard Drive


It’s ultrathin, 2TB, USB 3.0-compatible and runs on USB power. What more would anyone want in a portable hard drive? Available in blue, black, red and silver. Also: a 1-terabyte version for $79.99.



The world’s smallest phone charger — the plug-in type, not a battery pack — fits on a keychain. It’s no bigger than a car-key fob. Available in micro-USB and Apple Lightning. Order now, but it won’t arrive until January. Make this a Happy New Year gift.

Eton Blackout Buddy H20


A water-activated emergency light, no batteries or electricity needed for charging. When the power goes out, drop the Buddy in water and watch its three LEDs shine relentlessly for 72 hours. (Enjoy the moment of science in a blackout.) After the water interacts with the magnesium oxide battery module, don’t bother trying to dim or turn off the lights — the Buddy has no controls. One-time use only.

D-Link DIR-510L Portable Router/Charger

$99.99 at ; information:

A travel router that turns a hotel’s wired broadband connection into a Wi-Fi hotspot and adds security to public Wi-Fi. It also works with 3G/4G cellular networks. Two more for the road: It’s the first portable router to support the fastest standard (802.11ac) and it includes a 4,000 mAh rechargeable battery that powers the router or charges a smartphone.

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