Last year we published our (still useful) 2014 gift guide for geeks. As a public service to folks out there who are doing Christmas shopping for people like us, we’re presenting another edition of Weston’s Gift Guide for Geeks.
Despite what everybody seems to think, geeks aren’t that hard to shop far. We’re actually far easier to please than most people (like my family) seem to believe. So use these ideas as starting points, but this is by no means a comprehensive list.
With more and more folks cancelling their cable TV subscriptions and streaming their content from the Web, a good set-top device is critical. The new Roku 4 (if you have a 4K TV) or Roku 3 (if you don’t), Amazon FireTV, or AppleTV should suffice nicely, depending on which services you primarily use (I’m personally a Roku fan, since it’s service agnostic, but all three are good devices).
Then once you get overrun with devices in your entertainment center, you need something to control it all with. The Logitech Harmony line of universal remotes range from low-end to high-end, but they work very well and are easy to program.
Geeks also like caffeine – they generally cannot survive without it. Depending on how they prefer it, a slim manual coffee grinder, stovetop espresso maker, a nice teapot for loose tea or something to keep their soda cans cold would be a nice gift to keep them moving.
Geeks also enjoy breaking and repairing technology. They also get roped into home improvement that they’re not qualified to do but can figure out how to do thanks to YouTube. Make sure they have the right power-tools.
If the thought of programming and controlling your house lights with a smartphone sounds intriguing (maybe not to you, but to us it does), Philips Hue is your answer.
For the most part, our clientele is in cold-weather areas this time of year. Keep your geek’s hands warm this winter with a Zippo hand warmer and allow them to use any pair of gloves (not just special touch-friendly gloves) with their smartphone with Nanotips. Keep your drinks hot with a locally-made Hydroflask.
If it sounds like we’re speaking a foreign language when we explain things, buy us this book. Hopefully after reading it, we’ll learn a thing or two, as the entire book explains complicated things in simple terms.
If you have some money to spend, here are some pie-in-the-sky options for the folks who really want to go crazy. If you want the best computer monitor money can buy, this Dell UltraSharp 5K fits the bill nicely. It will take a bit more of an advanced setup to run it (especially if you want to use more than one of them), but the super-high resolution (5120x2880) and incredible color accuracy makes for a great viewing experience.
Most geeks have a home entertainment center of some sort. At the center of that home entertainment center is a receiver that powers everything so all the sound and video can be processed and routed properly and look and sound their best. If you want a receiver that can handle any of the new audio or video specs that are out (Dolby Atmos and DTS-X, 4K UltraHD 60P/4:4:4 with HDCP 2.2, etc…), sound awesome on a truckload of speakers and subwoofers, plus stream your Spotify or Pandora streams, the wheel-barrow full of cash you’ll spend on the Pioneer SC-99 Receiver will be money well spent.
If you’re looking for an ultra-portable, fully functional laptop/tablet, the new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (with the type cover) or the Surface Book are great options. They’re thin, light, and fast, and far more flexible and functional than equivalent tablet options that are powered by Android or iOS.
And despite what everybody thinks, we're not all hung up on getting the latest toys of gadgets, and we'll all be happy with a donation to any of our favorite charities. These charities directly align with Weston’s core purpose to “Better the Lives of Others” and are equipped to do so.