Digital Crave

Top 10 ten-dollar tech

Geek penGeek penNeed to scratch the itch for a new toy but barely have money for lunch? You'd be surprised how far a little bit of cash can go these days when you're looking for a cool, new piece of technology. Ignore the eye-catching garbage a lot of tech stores pile up on their check out lines and steer clear of anything "Seen on TV." Look to the web, and you'll find some tiny tech toys for less than ten bucks.

1. Geek pen

Thinkgeek.com has become a go to site for nerds of all ages looking for cool stuff such as Han Solo Carbonite Ice Trays to Unicorn Chopsticks. If you've only got a few dollars to spare, this is your site. Their Ultimate 5-in-1 Geek Pen is a great example.

This fashionable silver pen features a lot for under $10: A replaceable ballpoint pen, a stylus, a bright white LED flexible shaft flashlight, a UV light and a red laser pointer. The batteries are included. If you lend this pen to someone in the office, be prepared to never see it again.

RC carRC car2. RC car

The Top Speed 612 Electric RTR RC Car can be yours for the low price of $7.95.

It features a full function remote control that lets you steer the little racer in any direction — none of the "forward and turn in reverse only" business you see in a lot of cheap RC cars. You'll need to buy 5 AA batteries but after that you'll be ready to intimidate the neighborhood Matchbox fleet with this car's high gloss finish, rubber tires and working headlights.

Water-powered clockClock3. Water (or beer) powered clock

Everything has a clock on it these days. Either on your phone, your computer, your car, you name it. But how many of them run on water? Or beer?

For $3.71 this tiny trinket is a fun conversation starter for your office cubicle or kitchen.

Instant starsStar master4. Instant stars

The Star Master Mini Star Projector clocks in at only $6.70 (with free shipping!) and can turn a small room into a light show by instantly throwing colorful stars in the immediate vicinity.

Not only will it turn your ceiling into the heavens for less than the cost of a typical album download, but it also makes a nice nightlight for the kids.

USB aquariumAquarium5. USB Aquarium

There is no limit to the amount of cool USB gadgets you can find out there, and nearly all of them are cheap. But the whimsy of the Illuminated USB Aquarium with Fish is hard to ignore.

This one comes in at $10.59, but it deserves a spot on the list. The aquarium comes with 2 tropical fish and a high intensity blue LED light to illuminate the tank from above.

Star Wars Chop SabersChop sabers6. Star Wars Chop Sabers

Want to eat your sushi like a Jedi? The Force has answered your prayers.

These chop sticks will reawaken your inner geek with their attention to detail as they recreate an ancient, elegant weapon.

They do not, however, light up, make noise or slice through flesh.

Cassette tape iPhone caseiPhone case7. iPhone cassette case

This was bound to happen sooner or later. Take a healthy dose of iPhones in the general population, mix it with the hipster desire to flaunt nostalgia in every way possible, and you have the many iPhone cassette cases that are now all over the market.

Some of these can get pricey — over $50 — but some are well within our $10 price range. And they never get stuck in your car's stereo system.

Parrot doorbellDoorbell8. Wireless Parrot Doorbell

This cute little fella sounds a birdcall chime of 2 watts whenever someone presses the transmitter — which can be placed up to 60 feet away. It takes 1 AAA battery in the transmitter and 3 AA batteries in the bird, sits nicely on its own little branch, and can be yours for $8.93.

Solar powered grasshopperSolar grasshopper9. Solar powered grasshopper

This little dude is tiny, entertaining, and uses solar power. Not too shabby for $4.45.

When exposed to sunlight the Solar Powered Insect Bug Grasshopper will shake itself and move around as if looking for food. It's a fun demonstration of solar power, and it's cute.

Annoy-a-tronAnnoy-a-tron10. The Annoy-a-tron

We're going to end this list where we began, with the whimsical and mischievous folks over at Thinkgeek.com.

Their Annoy-a-tron represents the best tech office warfare a little bit of money can buy. Easy to hide and a little more mature than an electronic fart machine (though not on this list, those can be found everywhere) this tiny device will have your least favorite officemate scratching his or her head for months.

Simply turn it on, hide it, and wait for hilarity. The device generates a short — but annoying — beep every few minutes. The beep sequence is always changing, making the device unpredictable and hard to find.

For $9.99, it's an easy way to get revenge on the colleague who keeps stealing your cherry yogurt from the shared fridge.

Note: This was written by Victor Paul Alvarez, a Digital Crave contributor.
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