10 Best Christmas Gifts for Geeks

By Vince Matthews

Ready to make this the best holiday ever for your favorite techie? ‘Tis the season! And with thousands of new gadgets, apps and gizmos having just been introduced within the past few months, there’s more cool tech to choose from than ever before.

 
Google Glass
MSRP: $1,500
google-glass-headset

Why Geeks Want It: Nothing says, “I’m a techie,” like walking around with a computer strapped to your head. Google Glass works a lot like Siri: Voice prompts control the device. Google Glass comes in five different colors, charcoal black, cotton white, tangerine orange (shown), shale gray and sky blue. Glass even sports nifty accessories like shades and eyeglass frames.

 
Amazon Echo
MSRP: $199 ($99 for Amazon Prime members)
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Why Geeks Want It: A hands-free personal assistant that can gather news, play music, give a weather report and soooo much more. Echo stores all your requests in the cloud and the more you use it, the smarter it gets. Want to add Cheetos to the grocery list? Just speak into the air and Echo captures your note for later. Sync it with Amazon’s services for an even more personal experience.

 
Tile
MSRP: $25
tile-app

Why Geeks Want It: When was the last time you misplaced your car keys? How about your purse? Tile is a postage-stamp-sized square plastic chip that broadcasts a Bluetooth signal about 100 feet away. With the Tile app, you can locate any object you attach a Tile to. As you get closer to the item, the app indicates you’re getting closer and the Tile attached to your lost object plays a melody.

 
PlayStation 4
MSRP: $399
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Why Geeks Want It: Sony has firmly planted its console flag on the battleground of the next-gen console wars. The PlayStation 4 sports lifelike graphics and killer games like Far Cry 4, Destiny, Assassin’s Creed: Unity and exclusives such as Little Big Planet 3. Granted, the library is small and the games don’t take full advantage of the system’s capabilities just yet. But you can’t call yourself a hardcore gamer unless you have the latest, most amazing game system…and the PS4 definitely is that.

 
Roku
MSRP: $50 & Up
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Why Geeks Want It: Haven’t you heard? No self-respecting geek watches cable TV anymore. No way; we stream all our TV shows through Hulu, Netflix and HBO Go. And with 1,800+ channels, Roku rules the roost of streaming-TV providers. Roku offers all the standard channel apps that Apple TV has (like Netflix and ESPN) but it also has an even longer list of private channels that stream everything from cooking shows and choice anime to old westerns.

 
Digital Media Academy Tech Camp
MSRP: $775 & Up
digital-media-academy-summer-camp
Why Geeks Want It: No matter if they want to learn Minecraft modding or learn how to program Java, for techies aged 6 to 17, DMA offers something for everyone. A one-week or multi-week camp experience can be life changing. Instructors are industry pros or tech educators with years of experience in the subjects they teach, so DMA campers learn the ropes from the pros.

 
Jaybird Bluetooth Earbuds
MSRP: $170
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Why Geeks Want It: They’re wireless, feature a lifetime warranty, are sweatproof and deliver voice recognition. Plus, geeks get 8 hours of playtime on a single charge – and the pride of knowing they own the best Bluetooth earbuds on the market today.

 
Arcade Cocktail Table
MSRP: $1,299

coin-op-store-cocktail-table-best-geek-gifts

Why Geeks Want It: Retro gaming is still red hot and nothing takes you back to the 1980s like the time machine that is Coin Op Store’s excellently reproduced commercial-grade cocktail table. The basic model comes with 60 games, including classics like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Galaga – and the original Donkey Kong. You can set the console to “free play” or even to accept quarters (and you’ll want to do that, once friends and neighbors start flooding your home to play it).

 
Gunnar Eyewear
MSRP: $79 & Up
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Why Geeks Want It: After hours in front of your laptop writing code or slinging HTML, eye fatigue and all sorts of other aches can really make your head hurt. These glasses reduce glare and eye strain, making hours of coding – or those marathon Starcraft sessions – a breeze.

 
3D Printer
MSRP: $1,375 & Up
makerbot-replicator
Why Geeks Want It: If you’ve ever seen Jean Luc Picard order “Tea…hot…Earl Grey” from the Enterprise replicator on Star Trek: The Next Generation, you’ve already witnessed the instant gratification/love a replicator can provide. A 3D printer is a replicator for our generation. Load the printer with printing filament and after plugging in some coordinates… (This may take a little time to learn, or you could just take a 3D printing class.)

 
Bonus Stocking Stuffer!
conductive-ink-printingMake circuits without soldering, using conductive ink.

Conductive Ink
MSRP: $7 & Up
Why Geeks Want It: If Tesla or Edison were around today they’d fall out of their collective chairs drooling over tech like this: Conductive ink is a relatively new material but (provided you have the correct parts) it allows you to make electronic circuits and other amazing gadgets without even firing up a soldering iron. Just “draw” your circuits on a piece of paper, connect the dots with batteries, LED lights or other parts and voila!