Product Reviews

The 9 Best Gifts All Techies Want

Dan Price 04-12-2015

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 OnHub

Google and TP-LINK have joined forces to try and reimagine the traditional home router Google Announces New OnHub Multi-Protocol Wireless Router Google unveiled its answer to the Smart Home market in the form of a Smart Home hub called OnHub, a standard wireless router also capable of the most popular smart home network protocols. Read More , 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.

OnHub Wireless Router from Google and TP-LINK, Color Blue OnHub Wireless Router from Google and TP-LINK, Color Blue Buy Now On Amazon $115.99

TP-LINK Wireless N Nano Router

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 This Simple Hack Helps You Find the Best Films on Netflix There are so many movies that finding the right one can take hours. Let GoodMovies help you narrow it down. Read More , 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.

TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Travel Router, Nano Size, Bridge/Repeater Modes TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Travel Router, Nano Size, Bridge/Repeater Modes Buy Now On Amazon $49.95

MMT Monitor2Go

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 How To Use Your iPad (or iPhone!) As A Second Monitor [iOS] Productivity pros swear by multiple monitors, but we don't all have the luxury of carrying around huge screens and endless wallets. On the other hand, the iPad has become pretty ubiquitous, and it can really... Read More , 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.

MMT Monitor2Go FHD 15.6" HDMI & USB Portable Monitor MMT Monitor2Go FHD 15.6" HDMI & USB Portable Monitor Buy Now On Amazon

Arduino Starter Kit

The techie in your life might already have loads of computer-orientated gadgets, but will they have a DIY Arduino Getting Started With Arduino: A Beginner's Guide Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Read More 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 15 Great Arduino Projects for Beginners Interested in Arduino projects but not sure where to begin? These beginner projects will teach you how to get started. Read More 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).

Arduino Starter Kit for beginner K000007 [English projects book] Arduino Starter Kit for beginner K000007 [English projects book] Buy Now On Amazon $74.85

Nest Learning Thermostat

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 Looking to Buy a Smart Thermostat? 5 Nest Alternatives When it comes to controlling the temperature of your home, the Nest smart thermostat is king, but there are plenty of options out there. Here are 5 you should consider if you're looking to buy. Read More 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.

Google, T3007ES, Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen, Smart Thermostat, Stainless Steel, Works With Alexa Google, T3007ES, Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen, Smart Thermostat, Stainless Steel, Works With Alexa Buy Now On Amazon $219.99


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.

PowerA MOGA Hero Power - Electronic Games PowerA MOGA Hero Power - Electronic Games Buy Now On Amazon $28.98

Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard

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.

Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard Buy Now On Amazon

SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick

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.

SanDisk 64GB Connect Wireless Stick Flash Drive - SDWS4-064G-G46,Black SanDisk 64GB Connect Wireless Stick Flash Drive - SDWS4-064G-G46,Black Buy Now On Amazon $185.00

USB Finger Mouse

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 5 Reasons Working With Computers Is Bad For You & How to Stay Healthy Working on the computer may sound like the most relaxed job in the world, but it's quite the contrary. It's very tough on your body, which is not used to this modern type of work.... Read More such as repetitive strain syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome.

USB Finger Mouse Optical Laptop Notebook PC 1200DPI USB Finger Mouse Optical Laptop Notebook PC 1200DPI Buy Now On Amazon $37.00

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.

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  1. Anonymous
    December 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    The Sandisk Connect wireless stick is like wow.Defiantly need it soon.Thanks for the list

  2. Kyle Sylvester
    December 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    No tech in his right mind should get a OnHub, just had one for 3 days and couldn't take it. Port forwarding options are terrible. no DDNS options or if there is good job google on hiding it. It was anything but an easy set up with it trying to default to a static IP instead of DHCP to connect to my Modem. The set up requires you to have and iPhone or Android so WP users beware you CAN'T and I Mean CAN NOT IN ANY WAY, set this up from your computer unless you are running an android emulator of some kind to download the ridiculous OnHub app. Then to top it of it WOULD NOT set up from an ANDROID phone. kept freeze, had to use my company iPhone to get it to work. It also ONLY HAS 2 ETHERNET ports. on for intertnet and one for something else. The only thing you are paying so much money for is the 13 antennas and its channel switching, which oh by the way, when it does channel switch, IT DROPS YOUR DAMN NETWORK! failed product by any standards even its app interface is bad, pretty... but very bad! -1/5 stars.

    No tech should get this nor want this.

  3. Anonymous
    December 5, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Not much on this list to say that I want any of the items. Maybe that's just me.

  4. Anonymous
    December 4, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Techies don't want a Google OnHub. That's basically giving Google open access to all your network traffic, instead of just what you're doing on Android and Chrome. Not good. Not wise.

    Similarly, a decent techie will know how to make a mobile device talk to a file server without the shortcut of a weird wireless disk drive