The best tech gifts for non-techies in 2020

The best tech gifts for non-techies in 2020


It may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but not everyone out there is as in love with technology as we techies. But that doesn’t mean non-techies won’t find tech gifts useful. And, who knows, next year they too may be converted into a stalwart tech-head!  

Here is a selection of tried and tested gadgets that are not only super useful but also not overwhelming for the non-techie.

Emergency power without the gasoline generator

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240

This is the perfect way to get emergency power without needing a smelly, noisy gasoline generator! Not only is the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 small, not smelly, and silent in use, it doesn’t need maintenance and can’t burst into flames if you spill gasoline around it!

The Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 perfect for keeping laptops, mini-cooler, drone, and other outdoor electronics charged up and ready for action. It features a single AC outlet (110V 200W 400W Peak), twin USB-A ports, and a DC car port.

Need total off-grid power? The unit can be recharged using a separate Jackery Solar Saga 60W/100W solar panel array (sold separately).

$249 at Amazon

Charge your devices using only the sun

Jackery SolarSaga 60W Solar Panel

The perfect accessory for keeping your Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240 charged up and ready for action. Not the sort of thing that everyone wants, but for total off-grid power, the combination is hard to beat.

$179 at Amazon

The perfect starter package for someone first setting up a “smart home”

Philips Hue White and Color LED Smart Button Starter Kit

This is the perfect starter kit for those wanting to take their first steps into home automation. 

Each kit contains:

  • Three Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 60W LED Smart bulbs (able to fit most lamps, overhead lights, and 4-inch recessed cans)
  • Philips Hue hub that can reliably control up to 50 Hue lights without slowing your Wi-Fi
  • Smart Button with mounting plates.

$179 at Amazon

A perfect power bank that’ll fit in a pocket or purse

Zendure Ultra-Slim 10000mAh Portable Charger

The Zendure Ultra-Slim 10000mAh Portable Charger has been designed with portability in mind. Packing a 10,000mAh battery in a slimline (0.59 inches thick), lightweight (8 oz.), and durable frame that matches your iPhone’s thin size. 

Thanks to Power Delivery, this pack can recharge an iPhone X, iPhone 8/ 8 Plus from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes. 

Approved by the TSA for transportation in carry-on bags on a plane.

$30 at Amazon

Great choice for those deep in the Apple ecosystem

Apple TV HD

This is probably one of the easiest and best entertainment and home automation hubs, especially for those who already use iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It’s small, discreet, yet offers a window into a massive entertainment and app ecosystem that Apple has to offer. And now, you get a year of Apple TV+ subscription service.

$149 at Apple

Rock solid backup made simple


Backblaze is a powerful and reliable backup made easy. It’s the perfect gift for someone who either doesn’t feel there’s value in backing up their data (but would be devastated if they lost data) or who needs a simple solution that sits in the background and just works.

$6 at Backblaze

Because car batteries do fail!

NOCO Boost HD GB70 UltraSafe Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Pack

Dead batteries still happen, and when they do, the NOCO Boost HD GB70 is the perfect tool to have to hand. This compact 2000-amp portable lithium car battery jump starter pack can deliver up to 40 jump starts on a single charge and can start gasoline engines up to 8 liters and diesel engines up to 6 liters.

It’s also very safe in use, and even if you do hook it up incorrectly, there won’t be any sparks or engine damage, which is always good!

But there’s more to this pact than a jump starter. The NOCO Boost HD GB70 is also a portable power bank, LED flashlight, and 12-volt portable power. 

And since this is going to live in the trunk of a car and outdoors, it has been designed to the rugged and water-resistant enclosure rated at IP65. 

$199 at Amazon

Never lose keys again!

Tile Pro 2020 (2-pack)

Never lose your keys again! Yes, it’s really that simple. Pop this on your keys and you can use your smartphone to find them when you’ve put them down in that safe place and forgotten where they are.

The Tile Pro features replaceable batteries, so they are kinder to the planet than the type your toss away when done.

$57 at Amazon

Need more gift ideas?

Check out our ZDNet Recommends directory or Holiday Gifts hub for some more inspiration. 

Our sister sites also have the following gift guides: 

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