The holidays are here and Christmas is right around the corner. If you’re struggling to find last minute gifts for the geeks in your life, here is a list of some of our favorite things this year.
1. iPad Mini – $299
Yea, I’m starting off with tablets and the iPad mini for the Goldilocks-esque geeks of the world. The iPhone is too tiny, the iPad is too big, and this thing is juuuuuuuust right. Greater portability with the ability to hold it with one hand so you can now hold your smart phone in the other. Excessive connectivity? Never!
If you’re looking for a new tablet to replace your 1st generation iPad, or for a new tablet altogether, this is a no-brainer. It weighs less than 1lb and is as thin as an iPod touch. Text isn’t as crisp as the iPad 4th generation, but you’re still getting resolutions sharper than iPad 2’s. Given it’s size, I wouldn’t recommend using this for heavy-typing, but at least you won’t look like a moron if you tote this and decide to take pictures.
2. Nexus 7 – $229
For the anti-Apple consumers, this is a great alternative for a tablet at $70 cheaper with the same amount of storage of 16GB. The nexus is about 15% narrower and lighter than the iPad mini, giving it a very different feel and look.
A minor annoyance is that resting your thumb on the edge of the screen may get registered as a touch. Huge downside is that you’ll typically get less battery time and a smaller display compared to the mini.
3. Das KeyBoard Model S – $135.00
For the keyboard warriors, this peripheral is no joke. There are no key cap inscriptions, so you have to be a no-look typer and greatly familiar with the locations of your symbols. Shortcut users may have a difficult time with this in the beginning, but it’s worth it. The keys are super responsive and feel great as you type. I can be a relatively hard-typist when I’m in my writing groove and have been known to annoy sound-sensitive coworkers. Das Keyboard helps soften the noise without being too squishy under the fingertips.
4. GridIt – Ultimate Organizer – $9.99 – $14.99
I tend to just throw all of my stuff into my bag and it can be a hot mess when I need to find something. Sure, I use certain pockets for various, but having to dig through to find a specific item can be a huge pain. These handy organization systems are awesome, especially for the tech OCD-types. You can buy them in 2 different sizes: 5.125″ x 10.25″ OR 5″ x 7″
The smaller one is great for smaller cords and loose items like pencils, erasers and SD cards. The larger version can neatly hold SD cards, earphones, USB cords, your phone and maybe a small portable drive or camera.
5. Sphero 2 – $129.99
It’s a remote-controlled ball that you can steer with your mobile device. What else do I have to say? It can reach rolling speeds of up to 7 feet per second, sports multicolor LEDs, it’s super responsive with accurate touch controls, and comes with a couple of ramps to help you snag some big air. Compatible with both Android or iOS devices.
6. AOC USB 2nd Monitor – Mobile Workstations – $129.99
I’m used to working on at least two displays in the office and it can be annoying when you’re relegated to a single screen while working remotely. I know, first-world geek problems. This portable monitor is perfect for mobile workstations and works great for laptops or Macbooks (drivers have to be installed manually). It comes with a neoprene sleeve for transport, has a loop-style arm stand so as not to interfere with the cable or block USB 3.0 port, and sports a 16″ display (1366 x 768). On a Windows system, it automatically detects screen rotation.
7. FitBit Force – $129.95
A great wrist-based health monitor that works with Android and iOS, and the Bluetooth compatibility allows for over-the-air data transfers. The FitBit force has a full OLED screen and doubles as a watch.
8. Ear Force XP300 – $169.95
Give the gamer in your life the ability to hear homosexual slurs, racist remarks, and derogatory comments about mothers in all of their high-pitched and whiny glory with a Turtle Beach wireless headset. 15 hours of play, dual-pairing Bluetooth technology for wireless chatting and the ability to answer mobile phone calls.
9. HackShield Backpack – $178.99
The Fort Knox of backpacks for those suffering from paranoia and fear that people are out to steal their data. This backpack is equipped with radio frequency-blocking pockets to defend against hacks and tracking. The single large exterior pocket’s zipper is hidden and fastens with a secure magnetic clasp, deterring any would-be pick-pockets and making it annoying to retrieve anything from the bag yourself.
10. “Pencil” for “Paper” – $49.95
Creators of the very popular “Paper” app have released a stylus aptly named, “Pencil,” to complement the drawing app. It functions as any stylus would, but when paired with the Paper app it will unlock all of the app’s brush tools. Draw with your dominant hand and tweak your work with the other by smearing the image like charcoal or zooming in quickly. Boom, multi-modal interaction.
11. iMak Ergo Beads – $16.99
These wrist cushions are designed by Orthopedic Surgeons to provide ergonomic wrist support and doubles as a squeezable stress relief. You can even freeze it for extra cooling relief.
12. Classic Video Game Ornaments – $19.99
What geeky Christmas tree would be complete without classic video game controller ornaments?
13. Toddy Gear Screen Cleaners – $9.99 and up
Stylish screen cleaners
14. V-Moda Remix Remote Buds – $79.99
A great alternative to the more expensive and flashier Beats style ear phones. Excellent sound with LOTS of bass packaged in a durable metal housing, Kevlar-braided cable and a 2-year warranty.
What other items would you buy? Not buy? Let us know.