Oct 292012

Buying for geeky people can be hard. Chances are they already have the stuff they “need” that’s tech related. Here are some fun (and useful, I swear!) things you can add to your shopping list for the hard-to-buy-for techie friend or family member. I’ll cover all price ranges.


For the gadget fiend or the big kid…


Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

This is a high-end remote-control quadricopter that can be used indoors and outdoors. The cool part is you control it with your phone or tablet. Just by tilting your device in the direction you want the AR.Drone to move! It also has 2 camera’s on it that you can view on the device you are controlling it from. It has built-in features to help prevent crashes or it getting away from you. The cool part is, almost every piece is replaceable. So if you break something you can easily buy new parts and assemble it yourself. It works on any iOS or Android device including iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android phones.

Where to buy: $299 at Amazon (multiple colors available)

Kisai Maze LCD Watch

The Maze watch is a unique watch with a LCD screen that can display the current time hidden in a maze. If you can’t make out the time, you can press a button to hide the maze. You can also watch a little block make its way through the maze on the LCD screen. The watch charges via USB and is one of the most unusual watches you will ever find. It’s available in a lot of colors.

Where to buy: $139 at Tokyo Flash

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe 32GB

Gaming usually comes with the territory here, and what geek doesn’t want the latest and greatest. The new Xbox and Playstation are at least another year away and this holiday the Wii U is the gaming console to have. I don’t think any geek would be happy with the basic kit, go for the 32GB Deluxe model, unless you cannot find one. They are sold out from all major retailers currently but more stock should come in for the black friday time period.

Where to buy: $349 and higher at Amazon


For the computer nerd…

Mechanical Keyboard

Back in the 1980s and early 1990s pretty much all keyboards were mechanical. Nowadays almost all are membrane type keys. What’s the difference? Typing feedback. Mechanical keyboards are a joy to type with. So much so that people will pay over 100 dollars for certain USED IBM keyboards from the late 1980s. There are also a host of modern mechanical keyboards, but they do cost several times more than regular keyboards. They totally change the typing experience though. They are a luxury item that some people are hesitant to spend money on, which makes them the perfect gift. I will list a few options below:

Where to buy: Razer Blackwidow 2013, Corsair K90, Logitech G710+

Infrared Thermometer

If your geek builds his own computer and is constantly upgrading it, overclocking it, and doing god knows what to it, here is a little gadget that they can appreciate. By simply pointing at the surface of something with this, it will tell you its temperature – no contact is required. This will let them optimize the airflow and temperatures in the computer. Of course, it’s just fun to run around and take the temperature of everything too. How hot is the burner on the stove? How cold is the surface of an ice-cube?

Where to buy: $33 at Amazon

Metro DataVac

A computer nerd likes to keep the inside of their computer and all of their other gadgets clean. They usually go through tons of those cans of compressed air. Why spend all that money on air? Instead get the DataVac which is not only MUCH more powerful but is reusable. Create your own personal hurricane-like conditions! This thing really puts out air and will blow the dust out of anything.

Where to buy: $53 at Amazon

GeForce GTX 670 Video Card

If your nerd likes to play games on their computer, make sure they have the best tools for the job. The GTX 670, while not the absolute most powerful video card, is probably among the best “bang for the buck” in the video card world. It will handle any game with ease and you won’t be able to wipe that stupid smile off their face when they see the frame rates they’ll be getting.

Where to buy: $350 and up at Amazon (lots of makes/models to choose from)

Solid State Hard Drive (SSD)

Whether they used a notebook or desktop, a solid state hard drive is arguably the most substantial computer upgrade available if they are still using mechanical hard drives. Mechanical drives are great for storing data, but you want to run your applications and games on a SSD. I recommend the Crucial M4 drives because they are known for their great reliability and they are fast as well. Even if they have an SSD they’ll appreciate more. Buy the biggest size you can afford! The M4 drives come in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models.

Where to buy: $70 – $400 at Amazon


For the science geek…

A Rock from Mars

No, I’m not joking. These are small pieces of meteorites from Mars. Large meteorites can be very expensive, but these are basically small pebbles which lets them sell it for a cheaper price (in this case, starting at $45). They also come in a little display case. Any science geek will really appreciate this. They also have lunar (moon) meteorites as well.

Where to buy: $45 and up at Meteorites For Sale


Ferrofluids are found in everything from speakers to hard drives, but it’s really cool to look at and experiment with on its own. When put beside a magnet, the fluid grows spikes like in the picture as it flows along magnetic force lines. The shapes will vary with different magnets and the kit comes with several in addition to the ferrofluid.

Where to buy: $32 at Amazon

Miracle Frooties

Dissolving these tablets on your tongue will turn all sour foods into sweet tasting foods for a short period of time (1-2 hours max). Stuff like lemons or limes will taste sweet instead of bitter. It was first discovered when it was found that tribes in West Africa ate the stuff before meals to change the taste.

Where to buy: $13 at Amazon (10 tablets)


Gallium is an incredible metal that will literally melt in your hand. Its melting point is 85F. Hold in your hand and watch it turn into a liquid metal puddle, then put it in a dish and watch it turn back into solid metal. Use this to turn it into different shapes. Really fun to play with and do experiments. It’s completely safe to handle. It is available in various sizes. What a great little stocking stuffer!

Where to buy: $15 and up at Amazon


EcoSpheres are completely enclosed little eco-systems. Inside are living marine shrimp, algae and other organisms. They require no maintenance and the shrimp can survive there for up to 3 years! As long as its exposed to some light (natural or artificial is fine), the eco system inside will continue to work.

Where to buy: $60 at Amazon

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