You might think that it’s easy buying gifts for a geek. Well, you’d be surprised to learn that, for some, it can actually be quite daunting.
So, in order to help those who need to buy a gift for a special geek in their life, I’ve put together a basic guide. Not that these specific items are perfect, but that they are jumping points for gift ideas. Well, maybe some of them are perfect gifts for your geek.
First up is the Flip UltraHD Video Camera. This little video camera is one of three cameras on the list. All geeks love cameras of some sort. Why? Who knows. Okay, I know. It’s because geeks fancy themselves to be “artists” of some sort. “Code is art,” “building a computer is an art,” “painting is an art,” “etc.” So, cameras naturally blend the line between science and “art.”
What makes a flip camera so cool is that it’s small, well designed, feature rich, and records high definition (this one does 1080p, which according to the name is “UltraHD,” ‘cus “ultra” makes anything better).
Tip 1: Get a gift that is small, well designed, and feature rich.
Geeks love watching stuff. And better than watching stuff is watching stuff from a huge library of stuff to watch. The Roku allows you to watch just about any stuff you want over the “web.” Stuff from Netflix, Hulu, MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, UFC (and other three letter sports), YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon Video on Demand, and more and more and more stuff. Also, you can listed to your own iTunes playlist or stream music fron Pandora, Last.fm, etc. So. Much. Stuff.
This particular Roku does 1080p, which we just learned was “UltraHD.”
Even my parents have a Roku. In fact they gave up regular TV altogether and only watch “stuff” over Roku. It’s simple, feature rich, and has lots of stuff to watch. Stuff. Got that!?
Tip 2: Geeks like collecting and being entertained. A gift that lets them do both is awesome.
This is another camera. This is different than the previous camera because this camera is a “point and shoot,” or PAS (as I like to call it) camera.
A PAS camera is great for traveling. They are small, compact, take “good” pictures (great for websites like Facebook, okay for 4×6 type prints, bad for fine-art work), and are easy to use.
Everyone likes a camera, and they are relatively cheap these days. If your geek doesn’t have a camera, or if their camera is old (like over 6 months – sheesh, ancient) this will do the trick.
Tip 3: A gift that meets a specific need, and performs it’s primary function well, is always a hit.
So, there’s a good chance your geek has a DVD player. However, they may not have a Blu-ray disc player. Or, if they do, they may not have a networked Blu-ray disc player.
Blu-ray players have dropped considerably in price in the recent months, so if your “significant geek” is still behind the times in the video playback realm a Blu-ray player would be a good idea.
But why stop there!?
Nowadays Blu-ray disk players have the ability to connect to the Internet and play “stuff” from YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, etc. etc. So, if you’re not into the whole Roku thing, you can still get your “stuff” with a Blu-ray player.
Tip 4: Gifts that do many things, and all of them well, are especially good gifts.
Geeks don’t get lost. They have some sort of innate ability to know exactly where they are at all times. But, sometimes, using these unique powers of locatabilty is tiresome, so a GPS navigation device is a perfect geek gift.
Not only will a navigation thingy get you from point A to point B, but it will tell you interesting stuff, like how far away is the nearest Best Buy, video game arcade, eatery, or bowling alley.
The newer GPS devices also have Bluetooth, which allows your geek to use the GPS to answer calls in the car without picking up the Android.
Tip 5: Geeks love knowing stuff, so any gift that gives them access to more information is great.
Okay, so one last picture takey thingy. This time a “pro-sumer” (a marketing word meaning “what you used to get from consumer goods before we encheapened everything”) model. The D7000 is Nikon’s latest mid-level Digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera, the next model up from my beloved D90.
The D7000 is a step up, offering 1080p HD video (with continuous auto-focus while filming), can use two SD Cards for storage, 16 MP resolution, proper mirror lock up, as opposed to exposure delay, supports non-cpu lenses (a.k.a. old lenses), and does everything else you’d expect a Nikon to do.
Like take good pictures. Really good pictures. You don’t even have to try, it just takes good pictures.
Tip 6: Geeks love having “the best” (and bragging about it). With a good “pro-sumer” product you can often get “the best” without breaking “the bank.”
Of course, with all the pictures, videos, and stuff you’re recording, downloading, and therefore wanting to watch, it’s helpful to have a 1080p (UltraHD… okay, that’s it, no one calls it UltraHD – it’s just HD at the highest resolution) HDTV.
Of course not every TV is built equally. You can pay hundreds for one TV and thousands for another of the same size. Why? Quality, features, name brand, etc. So, when buying a HDTV don’t just shop price – be sure to look for good reviews and the features you want.
Tip 7: Bigger, better HDTVs always make good geek gifts.
Lastly, the “other thing.” When it comes to buying gifts for geeks the “other thing” is the gold. The gifts above are fantastic gifts for any geek – but it’s that odd thing that really makes a special gift. Whether it be a digital shortwave radio, a ham radio, telescope, remote controlled airplane, remote controlled helicopter, software to learn a foreign language, or who knows what else!
Here’s the bottom line: buying for a geek is easy – anything electronic, entertaining, adventurous, and, well, geeky, will do!
Tip 8: The best gift is the one you thought of. Seriously. You know your geek, you know what they are into, go with your gut and get your geek something special.