Holiday Gift Guide: best stocking stuffer ideas under $20 for Mac fans
With the holidays fast approaching, here are some great value gifts for Mac users that you can purchase for $20 or less.
The end of 2022 is coming up rapidly, and you have a few weeks left to buy gifts for loved ones, friends, and family. With budgets tightening all round, more people will be looking at the value end of the gift spectrum.
If the people you are buying for happen to be Mac and MacBook users, there's still a lot of choice out there for you. Sure, you could spend a lot, but everything listed here by AppleInsider can be bought for $20 or under.
Ugreen USB-C to USB Adapter
USB-C docks are a growing market, especially if you want to add a lot of ports to your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. But if you just want to add a USB-A port or two to your MacBook Air without much extra weight, consider this adapter from Ugreen.
Measuring 2 inches long, an inch wide, and a third of an inch thick, this adapter is highly compact and easily kept in your pocket, and durable too with its aluminum alloy construction. It has a USB-C connector on the top and two USB-A 3.0 ports on the base, with each operating at up to 5Gbps per second.
If you need to occasionally plug some peripherals into your MacBook Air and they're not USB-C, this will do the job.
The Ugreen USB-C to USB-A Adapter is available from Amazon for $13.99.
Netgear N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender
It's likely that the holidays for some readers will be spent at a family's household, rather than their own, and there's a good chance that the place will have insufficient Wi-Fi coverage. If you know it will be bad, this Netgear Wi-Fi Range Extender could help retain your sanity under the guise of well-meaning kindness.
Compactly plugging into an outlet and with two adjustable antennas, the N300 can extend the coverage area for Wi-Fi by up to 800 square feet. While it connects using 802.11n, it still runs at up to 300Mbps, which is enough for power users to enjoy Netflix from their temporary lodgings.
Supporting WEP and WPA/WPA2, there's also WPS support for people to quickly add devices to the network. As well as supporting up to ten devices on Wi-Fi, it also has a wired Ethernet port, so non-Wi-Fi hardware can benefit from the extended network reach.
The Netgear N300 Wi-Fi Extender is available from Amazon for $17.97.
House of Marley Smile Jamaica Wired Noise Isolating Headphones
If you're looking for a cool and more unconventional gift for music lovers, try these House of Marley earphones. Balanced with 9mm dynamic drivers for maximum bass, they offer noise isolation from their design, by using silicone ear canal inserts.
The more unusual element is that they're sustainably made, with the enclosure produced from FSC-certified wood and recyclable aluminum. That's a bit different from the usual white bundled Earpods that people usually see.
The House of Marley Smile Jamaica Wired Noise Isolating Headphones are available from Amazon for $19.99.
SanDisk 128GB Ultra Dual Drive Go USB-C Flash Drive
Freeing up storage in the compact drives of some Mac and MacBook Pro configurations means you have to offload some of it to the cloud or, more practically, externally. A decent and cheap option for this is the SanDisk 128GB Ultra Dual Drive Go USB-C Flash Drive.
Yes, it's a USB thumb drive (or flash drive), but it does offer the very handy feature of including both USB-C and USB-A connectors on it. If you're transporting data between devices, such as a Mac and an iPad Pro, this can be a useful go-between.
While its connective speed of up to 150MB/s isn't lightning quick, the fact that it's 128GB in capacity and this well priced makes up for it a long way.
The SanDisk 128GB Ultra Dual Drive Go USB-C Flash Drive is available from Amazon for $14.89. Alternatively, B&H Photo has it for $15.49.
Logitech M170 Wireless Mouse
A trackpad is handy, but many people prefer to use a mouse for their computing needs. With the Logitech M170 Wireless Mouse, you have one that you can throw in a bag with a MacBook Pro.
Equipped with two buttons and a scroll wheel, this optical mouse is wireless, shipping with a small USB-A dongle. Running on 2.4Gz, it can be used at a range of up to 33 feet if you wish, with the dongle able to be stored inside the mouse for transport.
Powered by a single included AA battery, it has a battery life of up to 12 months before needing replacement. It also doesn't need drivers, so it's an easy-to-set-up peripheral that's up and usable within seconds.
The Logitech M170 Wireless Mouse is available from Amazon for $12.99.
HideIt Mounts MiniU Mount for Mac mini
If you know that your potential gift receiver has a Mac mini but not much desk space, the HideIt Mounts Mini U Mount could be a space-saver for someone. Instead of keeping the Mac mini on the desk, they could take it out of view.
You can install this mount onto a wall or under the desk, so the Mac mini is out of view but still accessible. There's even the option to use the VESA mounting points to attach it directly to the back of a monitor.
The HideIt Mounts MiniU Mount for Mac mini is available from Amazon for $19.95.
Uniwit Foldable Laptop Stand
While most people will use a MacBook Pro flat on a desk, some could prefer to have it angled up on a stand. The Uniwit Foldable Laptop Stand provides a way to raise the angle of the notebook or tablet, propping it up at six levels between 2.36 inches and 6.3 inches.
The aluminum alloy stand is also extremely portable, with it able to fold down to a very small 9.8-inch by 1.77-inch by 0.6 inck package. It even has silicone pads on the top and bottom, as well as rubber anti-scratch pads, to minimize sliding and scratching.
The Uniwit Foldable Laptop Stand is available from Amazon for $11.99.
Anker SD Card Reader
While the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro both offer SD card slots, you can't read memory cards on a MacBook Air without a dongle of some kind. Enter the Anker SD Card Reader, which in this version consists of a compact thumbdrive-like device that plugs in via USB-C.
At 1.97 inches by 0.67 inches by 0.39 inches, it's tiny enough to pack in the notebook bag at all times. As for what it supports, it can handle SD, SDHC, SDXC, Micro SD, Micro SDXC, Micro SDHC, MMC, and RS-MMC cards.
The Anker SD Card Reader is available from Amazon for $19.99.
Apple Polishing Cloth
Arguably the best response to the question "What do you get someone who has everything?" is the Apple Polishing Cloth. A genuine Apple product, it is produced with a soft-nonabrasive material and is designed to clean any Apple display, including those with nano-texture coatings.
Compatible with all of Apple's hardware, the Apple Polishing Cloth isn't necessarily at the top of many people's wishlists, but as a gag gift between friends, it's a good option.
The Apple Polishing Cloth is available from Amazon for $19.