10 luxury gadgets and their affordable counterparts

Whether it’s a $30,000 laundry folding robot or a 4K projector, luxury gadgets certainly have a wow factor. While out of budget for most of us, it doesn’t mean you can't access such smart technology. Finding the affordable counterparts lets you test the waters before committing to big purchases.

10 luxury gadgets and their affordable counterparts
  • Is a $30k projector really worth it? Short throw laser projectors are the latest thing to replace your TV. But dropping $30,000 on one is a little excessive.
  • Would you buy a robot for $16K to fold your laundry? Although folding laundry might be the most boring chore, buying a robot to do the job is going to cost you.
  • Is any expensive gadget worth the price? Absolutely. The price of consumer technology has always had an interesting trajectory over the years. A lot of technology starts off pricey depending on the concept, while some devices are always designed to remain affordable for consumers.

No matter how much you yearn to own a high-tech personal robot or an exclusive smartphone, the price tags on these smart gadgets are getting bigger with each release. It’s not that we don’t want to treat ourselves with luxury tech gadgets. While the luxury gadgets are truly incredible and often feature state-of-the-art technology, we have to be realistic about purchases. So, we found the affordable counterparts for the pricey gadgets we’d love to own.

Retro keyboards need not break the bank

For the last year and a half, we’ve seen a surge in retro keyboard designs. The juxtaposition of modern technology and vintage style is just irresistible. Now, while the Sojourner Keyboard looks straight out a vintage explorer’s work desk, dropping $1000 just to type is a little overboard. We’d recommend:

Penna Retro Bluetooth Keyboard
Priced at just $139, this keyboard achieves a nostalgic aesthetic. It connects via Bluetooth 4.2 and is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices. In addition, it has macro bars to enable frequently used keys.

Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

Retro Bluetooth Keyboard

Digital art frames are the modern way to display art

Thanks to the digital design, you can pick and choose the artwork you want to display and change it whenever you want. The stunning Depict Digital Artwork Fame has a 49-inch museum-quality display. But, it’s priced at a whopping $899. Our suggestion:

Digital Art Display by Electronic Objects
Change your art with the seasons or even just according to your mood for only $274. Complete with a bold black or white frame and an internet connection, you’re able to upload and change the image and display using your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

A short throw projector at an affordable price

Short throw projectors are the new-gen projectors that won’t make you miss your TV. But having to remortgage your home for one doesn’t seem worth it. While the Sony 4K ultra short throw laser projector does use advanced SXRD projection technology, the $50k price tag make us do a double take. We recommend:

Sony Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector
Coming at a price of $999.99, this projector of the same brand is compact and powerful. It can produce images up to 80 inches with impeccable detail. Use it on the floor, the wall, or anywhere else you see fit.

Smarter sleep is more achievable than you think

What’s a great night’s sleep worth? For some, it’s priceless and spending over $2K on a smart bed is worth it. But, if you go for a smart mattress instead, you can still enjoy a smart sleeping experience without breaking the bank. Here’s a great alternative:

The Eight Smart Mattress
This smart mattress provides the perfect comfort and support and it’s designed to a T. In fact, the app even tells you about the quality of your sleep. At only $699, it’s not far off the price of a traditional mattress.

Eight Smart Mattress

Eight Smart Mattress

Personal robots to make life easier

Having a personal assistant with a super smart brain is certainly a treat. From monitoring your home to syncing with your smart home devices, personal robots are capable of more than you can imagine. Misty Robotics recently released an updated version for $1599. If you’re looking for a more affordable stride into the robot world, consider this:

Kuri Adorable Home Robot
Complete with a delightful personality, Kuri brings a unique spark of life to your home. Saying “Hey, Kuri” enables her to respond to a variety of voice commands thanks to a four-microphone system. In response, Kuri lights up and makes an adorable “beep boop” noise to confirm your command. Plus, it’s only $799.

VR is now accessible for everyone, no matter your budget

Virtual reality is some of the most astounding technology we have today. Just take the Royole Moon – 3D Virtual Mobile Theater as an example. But, at nearly $800, it’s hard to justify this headset. Thanks to Oculus Go, you can now experience proper VR starting at $199.

Note: VR headsets differ in the experience they bring based on the price, so it’s always good to upgrade to better versions if you want to explore even more in the virtual world.

Oculus Go VR Headset

Oculus Go VR Headset

Learn to play guitar in a wallet-friendly way

We really like the Fusion Guitars because of their portable form factor and mobile apps. As a beginner who may not stick to the hobby, spending over $1K on a smart guitar might not seem like the best thing to do. Instead, here’s a guitar to get you started:

jamstik+ Smart Guitar

It connects wirelessly to your iPad, iPhone, and Mac and works with a multitude of music apps for beginners and pros alike. The jamstik+ senses where your fingers are before you even pluck a string which makes learning incredibly intuitive via the included guitar teaching curriculum. And, it’s available for only $299.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most affordable of all?

Wouldn’t it be great to have your calendar displayed right on your mirror as you get ready in the morning? If you’re looking to spend $2K for this luxury, go right ahead. However, we have the perfect alternative:

Mango Mirror Smart Mirror

Offering health-related data like your steps, sleep, weight, exercise, calories, and hydration, Mango Mirror makes it easier to make healthy decisions to start your day off right. Simply track your data using Apple Health or FitBit to display your data in the mirror. Starting from $499.

Barista-quality coffee right at home

As they say, you can save thousands by forgoing your daily Starbucks run. But, a $4.9K espresso machine would take a while to deliver a ROI. What if we say you could spend a fraction of that?

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
Complete with a 15-bar Italian pump and a 1600W thermo coil heating system, this high-tech machine delivers your espresso in just seconds. The Barista Express has a 67-ounce removable water tank as well as a specialized Purge Function which automatically adjusts the temperature of the water. You can grab one for just $568.

Standing desks that are kind to your back (and your wallet)

While a standing desk has a multitude of benefits, spending all your savings on one does not. Of course, expensive standing desks look incredible and perform the best. But, when it comes to affordability, we’d recommend:

Stand Desk
The purpose of this affordable sit-to-stand desk is to help you break up the sedentary posture while you’re at work and live a healthier life. It uses just a third of the parts most sit-to-stand desks use which is how the price remains so low. Don’t worry, you still get all the benefits for only $538.

Have you found an affordable counterpart for a luxurious device? Let us know in the comments below.

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe ➜

Ashley Timms is an editor at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.
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