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12 Perfect Gifts for a Tech Geek

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Do you have someone on your shopping list that thinks of Best Buy as their mall? Do you avoid getting into tech-centric conversations with a certain someone because you won’t understand half of what they’ll say? Then you may have a techie on your hands.

You may be tempted to get them a Best Buy gift card and call it a day, but isn’t it infinitely more fun to give an actual gift? I’d like to help you with that gift-giving endeavor by offering up this list of some of my favorite tech products, along with a few that I haven’t tried but have caught my eye.

1. iPad

This is my absolute favorite gift I have ever received.  My husband surprised me with it on my birthday after surprising me with an afternoon at the spa. I couldn’t even talk I was so excited. To make it even more special, he created a special wallpaper for it with family pictures, so I got to see the faces of my darling boys every time I used it.

We’re not into spending extra money on data plans, so we both have wifi-only iPads. We find that this works out for us since we mostly use them at home or somewhere with a wifi connection. A techie that does a lot of traveling might prefer an iPad with 3G. I also always recommend that you spend as much as you can afford on data storage since you’d be surprised how much space you can fill up with videos, pictures, and music.

2. Amazon Kindle

My second favorite gift that I have ever received was an old-school Kindle my husband got me for Valentine’s Day a couple years ago. Who needs flowers, right? Yeah, that’s what makes me a geek. Anyway, there are several things that I love about my Kindle:

  • I can read it in bright sunlight like it’s paper. (Only the Kindles with E-Ink technology.)
  • I can download a new book anywhere without a data plan.
  • Everything I read on it synchs up with the Kindle Reader on my iPhone and iPad. So I can stop reading on one device and continue reading the same thing on another device from where I left off.
  • I love to highlight, so everything I highlight on the Kindle or in a Kindle Reader gets saved to the Amazon cloud.

My mother has a Kindle Fire that she really likes since it’s so versatile. She even watches movies on it via Netflix. Impressive, right?

3. MacBook

MacBooks ain’t cheap, so you really need to love someone to even think about getting them one of these babies. But maybe you have a techie spouse that needs a new laptop or a student in the family that gets reeeeeeeally good grades and deserves one. So who am I to judge.

I got mine as a surprise gift from my husband when I decided that I wanted to learn app development. Wow, the more I work on this post, the more I realize that I have an awesome husband that spoils me. I better hang onto him.

The thing with laptops is that people can be pretty picky about whether they use a Mac or Windows system. I was a Windows driver developer that was ready to make the jump to iOS development, so it made sense for me. But another techie might be a die-hard Windows user that doesn’t want to learn a new operating system or replace their pricey software collection. So don’t get that dearly loved one a Mac unless you know that’s what they want.

4. Printer that supports AirPrint

This is one of those items that I don’t have but want. I can’t justify the purchase yet since we already have two printers (one laser, one inkjet) that work just fine. But once the inkjet bites the dust, we’ll be in the market for a printer that supports Apple AirPrint. AirPrint allows AirPrint-enabled apps on your iPhone and iPad to print right to your printer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished that my inkjet would die so that I could begin a new life with a printer that supports this technology.

5. WiFi Blu-ray Player with Streaming Video

We are one of those families that has dumped cable TV in favor of streaming video over the internet. So we bought a blu-ray player with the capability of streaming video from Netflix and Hulu to meet our entertainment needs. We actually don’t watch too many blu-ray movies on it, so I have no opinion on how much better blu-ray is than plain DVD. But blu-ray is the next thing that everybody has to have, right?

6. Roku Streaming Player

We had a couple of Roku players before we ever got a blu-ray player, which is how we knew we could live without cable. We still use them in the bedrooms to watch stuff on Netflix and Hulu. I love how small these things are. I also like the simple remote, and you can get an app that provides remote functionality over your wireless network. Pretty nifty.

7. iPod/iPhone Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speakers

This is a great gift for your techie friend that does a lot of traveling or just wants a set of speakers to play their favorite tunes while they’re at home cooking, folding laundry, cleaning…you get the idea. You can get speakers without bluetooth and with a remote, but bluetooth might be necessary if your techie loved one has their iPhone in a case like the Otterbox (which isn’t the easiest thing to open, let me tell you).

8. Tablet Case

If you have a friend or loved one who has a tablet and also has a child, or knows a child, or might ever be in the general vicinity of a child, they need a protective case. When my awesome husband gifted me with my iPad, he already had it installed in a brand new Otterbox Defender case. My one-year-old has dropped my iPad in the case onto a tile floor a couple of times, and it has survived, praise Jesus. But I don’t know how well the case would protect my iPad from a serious throw or fall. And I don’t want to find out.

I love the Otterbox case because it has a cover with a built-in stand, which I use all. the. time. Couldn’t live with out it.

My husband has a Survivor case for his iPhone which is heavy duty protection, so the iPad version of it might be worth checking out.

Correction: My husband actually has a Lifeproof case. And you know what? It’s waterproof!

9. Tablet Stand

You know what’s not cool? Leaning a cool-looking tablet against something significantly less cool-looking so that you can use it hands-free.

As I mentioned above, my Otterbox iPad case has a built-in stand that I use when I’m eating or cooking or feeding the kids or even sitting on the couch while my kids watch Yo Gabba Gabba sporting a look that says they both love and hate what they’re watching (I just hate it). I wouldn’t love my iPad nearly as much without it, and I certainly wouldn’t read many books on the iPad without it since they’re pretty heavy. (iPad Minis may be a different story but I haven’t had the pleasure of making their acquaintance yet.)

If your techie loved one likes to use their tablet while they’re sitting in bed, you may want to check this out. My husband put something like this on his wish list, so I’m curious to see how it’ll work out.

10. iPhone Lens

I have a really nice camera that I hardly ever use anymore because my iPhone is always at hand. The iPhone camera has a resolution that can rival many standard digital cameras, but it could do better in the lens department. If your techie loved one is planning a trip where they’d like to take awesome pictures, wouldn’t this be easier to pack than a big camera? I haven’t tried these out, but they have good reviews on Amazon.

11. Time Capsule WiFi Hard Drive

Sad story: a couple of months ago, as I was putting the finishing touches on my app and trying to get a lot of other computer stuff done before a move, my hard drive crashed. I’m talking a ten car pileup. It was awful. I had to replace the hard drive, re-install everything, pull music and pictures off my iPhone with more software I had to buy, and recreate the contents of my hard drive from my various online backup solutions (like Dropbox and Mozy). It took FOREVER.

I also sprained my ankle that week while trying to help move a couch, but that’s neither here nor there. If I believed in luck I would say that if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.

My point here is that I have a MacBook, and it still failed. That just goes to show you that any hardware can have a failure, no matter the logo stamped on it.

I want to be better prepared for future failures, so my awesome hubby and I are getting ourselves wireless storage for Christmas. Isn’t that romantic? We’re planning to purchase this baby since it works with both Macs and PCs. As an added bonus, it also works as a wireless router. I have high expectations for this gadget. I’m sure that any techie loved one that values their digital content as much as their car or good china would be intrigued, as well.

12. Tech Gloves

Is your techie loved one also a fashionista? Hey, it could happen. I got my baby sister gloves like this for Christmas last year and she loved them. Said she used them more than any others. Sure, we live in Texas, and Texas isn’t exactly known for its frigid weather, but we do experience some glove-friendly days. On those days, who wants to be bothered to remove a glove just to make a phone call? Or to plug in a destination in the GPS app? Or to find the nearest nail salon?

There are also options for men. Not as pretty, but they get the job done.

Do you have any gift ideas for the techies in our lives? Tell us in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “12 Perfect Gifts for a Tech Geek”

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  2. I’m a techie too. Love gadgets and all electronics. Lets see…
    Love the cheap little touch pad you can plug into the wall and then lamp into that so any lamp can be a touch on/ off lamp. Bought at lowes.
    As a techie who likes to cook- love kitchen gadgets too like my stick blender, my egg slucer (use for olives, shrooms, eggs) my rice cooker Etc.

    tools? love my stud finder/laser level- great for hanging pictures
    Love the multitester we have in the kitchen to test batteries.
    Love my cordless screw driver.

    Would also like a printer that successfully can be printed to from iPhone via Bluetooth.

    Love our tv guardian box. It does a great job of getting rid of all bad language on movies, tv etc.

    As free and basic as it is, love Picasa for photo editing.

    And the list could go on and on but…

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