Everyone has someone they call when their PC throws up a strange error message or when they need their new printer installed — and there’s no better time to thank them than the holiday season.
Whether they do it as a day job or are just interested in computers as a hobby, this list of gift ideas includes things that your favorite IT support person will find useful, exciting, and fun, and we’ve covered prices for all budgets.
If you want to help someone in their job — or to help them fix your computer — check out these practical gifts.
Sometimes fixing a PC involves more than turning it off and turning it on again. Sometimes you have to open up the case and get hands-on with what’s inside. PC geeks love doing this sort of stuff, and they’d love it even more with the right tools for the job.
This set of 45 tools from Rosewill includes all of the essentials, from screwdrivers to an anti-static bracelet and even a soldering iron. If you’d prefer a different size, there are 15-, 90-, and 145-piece sets, too.
2. Make Your Own Tech Support Gift Basket
Here’s a different type of toolkit. There are so many different items that come in useful when working with PCs. Some can make great stocking fillers, or why not put a few together to make your own Tech Support Gift Basket?
A 4-in-1 charging cable enables four different types of device to be connected to a PC via the USB port. The Joy Fish 8” Cable ties will tidy up some of the clutter from newly installed peripherals. And a couple of USB Rechargeable AA batteries mean that power will always be on hand when it is most needed.
A USB flash drive remains one of the most useful gadgets for a PC user. You can never have too many of them, and the Connect Wireless drive from SanDisk isn’t any normal flash drive either.
It supports wireless connectivity so you can use it with a tablet or smartphone, and you can even stream the movies and music you’ve got stored on it to any of your devices.
Modern PC monitors — as well as laptop, tablet, and smartphone screens — emit a large amount of bright blue light that isn’t particularly good for us. It can cause eye strain, headaches, and disrupt our sleep. The longer we spend staring at screens, the worse the effects can be.
These computer glasses from Gunnar Optiks tackle the problem in a flash. They have amber-tinted lenses that reduce glare and filter out blue light to protect the wearer’s eyes.
It isn’t ideal to spend a large amount of time hunched over a computer. This laptop stand has versatility beyond its bargain basement price tag and brings real ergonomic improvements to any laptop.
It can be tilted between 12 and 35 degrees, reducing the risk of repetitive stress injury and helping the user improve their posture at the same time. It’s also ventilated, so there’s no danger of the laptop overheating.
There’s nothing more annoying than a phone battery that runs out before the end of the day. That will be a thing of the past with the Innogie portable charger.
It’s smaller than a can of Coke, yet holds enough juice to fully charge an iPhone 6 four and a half times (and a Galaxy S5 nearly three times) per charge. It works with any phone or tablet — just plug in your charging cable and you’re away.
7. Android Smart Watch
Smart watches are practical and desirable, so they make awesome gifts for anyone who is into technology, and there’re a huge number to choose from.
The Android Wear-powered Moto 360 is good looking and now quite affordable. The Pebble Steel plays nicely with both iPhone and Android phones. And the Samsung Gear S2 is a well-liked and more high-end watch that works with most Android devices.
Your PC support giftee will love an Android TV box for two reasons. First, it’s something cool and techie to play with. Second, it’s a really great way to stream TV and movies from services like Netflix or Amazon Prime to your big-screen TV.
The Beelink i68 is set up for all this right from the off. It runs an up to date version of the Android operating system, has the popular streaming app Kodi pre-installed, and can even play 4K videos, if your TV supports them.
If you want to really push the boat out, take a look at the Nvidia Shield, which does all the same and is great for gaming, too.
9. Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo is a hugely popular and cutting edge speaker system for the home. It works with all popular music streaming services, either directly or over Bluetooth, and has great sound quality.
Better yet, it’s internet connected and voice controlled. You can cue up tracks, set alarms, ask for the latest traffic and weather conditions, and even control your wireless lighting system all without even needing to get up from your armchair.
With constant updates adding new features all the time, Echo is a small slice of the future right there in the corner of your living room.
Fun Stocking Fillers
These stocking fillers combine quirkiness and usefulness in equal measure.
Ideal for a desk or office, this mini fridge keeps a single can of Coke or Pepsi cool to around 10 degrees, and can also keep a mug of tea and coffee warm at around 65 degrees. Best of all, it’s powered by the standard USB port found on every laptop and PC.
11. R2-D2 USB Car Charger [Broken Link Removed]
Is this the charger you’re looking for? For an in-car battery boost, who could resist a miniature R2-D2 that pumps out enough power to charge two phones or tablets at the same time? It’s a great gift for any tech fan that loves Star Wars (i.e., all of them).
Know someone who is forever losing their keys? They need Tile. Tile is a neat gadget that you attach to your key ring, and which then connects over Bluetooth to an app on your phone.
Whenever the keys are misplaced, a simple tap on the app will cause the Tile to play a tune, or you can see its last known position on a map so you can track it down. It works the other way, too. Pressing a button on the Tile causes your phone to sound, so there’s no chance of losing that either.
13. Witty T-Shirt
The uniform of the tech support person is the T-Shirt containing a sardonic slogan. From “Have you turned it off and on again” to the Blue Screen of Death to “I’m only here because you broke something”, there’s something here for everyone.
Your Favorite Gifts
These are our suggestions for gifts for the PC support person in your life. But what are your choices, or what would you love to receive? Let us know in the comments.