5 great tech brands you've probably never heard of

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

At Insider Picks we try to write about a mix of big and small companies — whether they’re the titans you’ve heard of or up-and-coming startups looking to disrupt an industry.

We’ve written about the products from the five companies below, but in case they have fallen under your radar, we’re calling them out again here. You’ll find out who they are, what makes them interesting, and which of their products are most worth checking out.

You might be surprised that a company you’ve heard of only once or twice is making the product you wish you’d bought months ago.

Monoprice

Who they are:

Monoprice has been a long-time friend of geeks looking to avoid high markups on cables from traditional big-box retailers.

Why you should know about them:

They're not just about cables anymore! For the past few years, Monoprice has started to enter different industries, but their mantra has stayed the same: cut out the middle step between the product and customer, and save the customer money. Their emphasis is placed on value, so in many cases, you'll be getting a Monoprice product that's comparable to a name-brand one, but without any extra bells and whistles.

Which products you should pay attention to:

5.1-Channel Home Theatre Speaker System, $US104.70, available at Amazon

28-Inch 4K UHD Select Series Monitor, $US350, available at Amazon

**Only available from third party sellers**

Large Paper Thin HDTV Antenna, $US10.98, available at Amazon

You can learn more about Monoprice's products here.

Pad & Quill

Who they are:

Pad & Quill is a retailer selling hand-crafted cases for Apple (and some Android) devices.

Why you should know about them:

If style and craftsmanship are two attributes you're looking for in a case for your tech, Pad & Quill should be your first -- and maybe only -- destination. Out of all the cases I've tried for my phone, none match the aesthetics of the company's Woodline Case.

I'll still try other cases for review, but Pad & Quill's continues to be the phone case I use on a daily basis. Many of their products are hand-assembled in the US, so if you're looking to support the domestic economy with an aesthetically peerless case, you should certainly check them out.

Which products you should pay attention to:

Woodline Case for iPhone 7, $US49.95, available at Pad & Quill

Woodline Case for iPhone 7 Plus, $US49.95, available at Pad & Quill

Contega Linen iPad Pro 9.7 Case, $US119.95, available at Amazon

Contega Linen iPad Pro 12.9 Case, $US129.95, available at Amazon

Cartella Slim Case for 2016 Macbook Pro 13, $US89.95, available at Pad & Quill

Cartella Slim Case for 2016 Macbook Pro 15, $US99.95, available at Pad & Quill

You can check out all of Pad & Quill's products here.

Mophie

Who they are:

As the original makers of the iPhone battery case, mophie has cemented their legacy as a key mobile-accessory maker.

Why you should know about them:

If you care at all about keeping your devices alive, mophie should be one of the first companies that you should think of. They're all about making batteries of all shapes and sizes, but their standout products are their battery cases. I've tried two of them: one for my iPhone 6 Plus and one for my iPhone 7 Plus, and both have impressed. They're relentless in their pursuit of making battery cases that keep bulk and weight down to a minimum, which I can appreciate.

Which products you should pay attention to:

Juice Pack for iPhone 6/6s, $US49.99, available at Amazon

Juice Pack for iPhone 6/6s Plus, $US122.99, available at Amazon

Juice Pack for iPhone 7, $US59.99, available at Amazon

Juice Pack for iPhone 7 Plus, $US69.99, available at Amazon

Power Capsule, $US29.99, available at Amazon

Editor's note: The charging pad comes bundled with the iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 6/6s Plus cases, but isn't bundled with the iPhone 7/Plus case. It can be purchased separately here.

You can check out all of mophie's products here.

YouTube / Anker

Who they are:

Anker is one of the largest mobile-accessory makers. Like Monoprice, Anker has a diverse portfolio of products, but they're centered around solving problems many of us have every day.

Why you should know about them:

Have you ever wished you could charge five devices at the same time without plugging up all of your outlets? Or wish you could find a charging cable that won't fray after a couple of months? I've been buying Anker products for years now, and their build quality has always been top-notch.

I consider their multi-port USB hub to be a must-have, and their external USB batteries to be very aggressively priced. I've also dealt with their customer support before (each of their products comes with an 18-month guarantee), and they were swift and courteous when solving my problem. The next time you think 'it's time for a new cable or accessory,' you'd be wise to check out what Anker has to offer.

Which products you should pay attention to:

PowerCore 10000 Portable Battery, $US25.99, available at Amazon

PowerPort 5-Port USB Charger, $US23.99, available at Amazon

Lightning Cable (3ft), $US5.99, available at Amazon

MicroUSB Cable (6ft), $US6.99, available at Amazon

You can learn about more of Anker's products here.

Amazon

Who they are:

OK, I'm sure you know about Amazon, but AmazonBasics is the online retail giant's house brand of electronics.

Why you should know about them:

Because of the sheer size of Amazon, they can afford to rebrand products they believe in, and sell them as AmazonBasics products. All of these products are covered by Amazon's A-Z guarantee, come with Prime shipping, and cover product categories that other companies don't. Like most of the other companies on this list, Amazon uses AmazonBasics to cut out the middle link between you and the products.

There are no unnecessary markups, and the products (in my experience) have held up rather well. Although what they sell overlaps with the products of other accessory makers, you'll probably find some exclusive products that make them stand out from the competition.

Which products you should pay attention to:

AA Rechargeable Batteries (4-Pack, Pre-Charged), $US8.99, available at Amazon

AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48-Pack), $US5.96, available at Amazon

AAA Performance Alkaline Batteries (36-Pack), $US8.54, available at Amazon

Laptop Stand, $US19.99, available at Amazon

Mini Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, $US17.36, available at Amazon

You can learn about more of AmazonBasics' products here.

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The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners, including Amazon. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is an investor in Business Insider, the US partner of BI Australia’s publishing company Allure Media, through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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This article originally appeared at Insider Picks. Copyright 2017. Follow Insider Picks on Twitter.

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