True techies are some of the hardest people to shop for at Christmas time. Much like trying to buy a new camera for an experienced photographer, the chances are they know exactly which piece of kit they want, and wouldn’t be truly satisfied if you got them a different brand or model.
But, that’s not to say that it’s impossible to buy for them, or that you should just leave them off your Christmas shopping list altogether – we’ve some great ideas to try and help you out.
Here’s our list of the nine best gifts for true techies.
Google and TP-LINK have joined forces to try and reimagine the traditional home router, making it more relevant to the way that most people use their home Wi-Fi networks.
For example, it uses smart software to find the best Wi-Fi connection available, it lets users prioritize devices to ensure the fastest Wi-Fi is supplied to the activities that need it most, it has an accompanying smartphone app that allows the network to be controlled from anywhere in the world, and receives regular updates that frequently add extra functionality.
This is another router, but with an entirely different purpose.
We’ve all been there – you check into your hotel or hostel and collapse into bed, hoping to drift off while watching something on Netflix, only to discover that that the sole Internet connection available is an Ethernet port on the wall.
The Wireless-N Nano Router aims to solve this problem. It plugs into the Ethernet point to create a secure Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared with any fellow travelers or roommates. It supports AP, client, router, repeater, and bridge modes, and can provide speeds of up to 150Mbps.
It’s a perfect gift for a travelling techie.
It’s safe to say that you can never have enough screens in your house. Whether you want to make your smartphone screen larger for gaming purposes, you need a second monitor for your laptop, or you’re trying to watch two sports matches at the same time, it’s always a case of more-is-better.
The MMT Monitor2Go is primarily aimed at iDevice owners. It can support the iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPad 4, all recent iPhones, iPad minis, and Apple TV, and can also connect to any laptop or desktop via either USB or HDMI.
Weighing in at just 1.5 kilograms, it’s highly portable, and it also comes complete with a stand to securely hold it in place while in use.
The techie in your life might already have loads of computer-orientated gadgets, but will they have a DIY Arduino set?
For those who don’t know, Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform that allows its users to create interactive electronic objects. In practical terms, this means you can create anything from a home alarm system to a tree-climbing robot and from a retro video game to self-tying shoelace – in fact, we’ve covered lots of cool Arduino projects here at MakeUseOf.
The starter kit comes with enough components for 15 projects, 200 electronic parts, a 170-page manual, and an Uno R3 (the main microcontroller).
Sticking with the theme of non-traditional tech gifts, have you considered a Nest Learning Thermostat? Like the aforementioned Arduino, it’s guaranteed to give any techie hours of fiddly enjoyment.
The smart thermostat aims to optimize the heating and cooling of homes and businesses to conserve energy, with research suggesting it can save owners as much as 12 percent on their heating bills. Temperatures can be adjusted via the accompanying smartphone app, and the device syncs with the rest of Nest’s range of gadgets as well as lots of third-party products.
It costs $249 on Amazon.
Being a techie and being a gamer are often two sides of the same coin, so why not appeal to both parts of their personality and buy them a POWER A MOGA Hero Power?
You clip your phone into the controller and instantly have a Nintendo DS-esque set-up, with the phone becoming the gaming screen.
Several games on both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store are now being MOGA-optimized, and recent updates also allow users to map the keys of the controller to emulators that they have installed on their phones.
Who needs a real keyboard when you can be the envy of all your friends by using a laser-projected virtual keyboard?!
It will pair with any smartphone, laptop, or tablet via Bluetooth and will work on any flat surface. The projector itself is battery-powered, with a single charge lasting for about two hours of solid typing.
Every techie knows they need to carry round a wealth of files, data, and programs with them at any given time.
USB flash drives have traditionally been the most common way to do this, but technology is now moving forward and the next generation of USB sticks will connect wirelessly to your device.
The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick will let you stream content to three devices at the same time over the local network, and comes in 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB versions.
The prices on Amazon are $24.99, $39.99, and $99.99 respectively.
This is the perfect stocking filler for any techie.
The Finger Mouse is exactly how it sounds – you strap the device to one of your digits and control the on-screen cursor by pointing instead of moving a traditional mouse. It’ll help the user cut back on computer usage-associated injuries such as repetitive strain syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Are You Buying?
What nifty gadgets and devices will you being giving to the tech lover in your life this holiday season?
Have you been inspired by our ideas or do you think you can do better? We’d love to know – you can leave your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions in the comments box below.