The holidays are rapidly approaching, and if you haven’t started your holiday shopping, you might want to get busy – there are precious few shopping days left before Christmas, and even if you don’t celebrate it directly, the sales and stores are all acting like you do, so now’s the time to pick up some presents for the geek in your life, and to hopefully save a little money at the same time and get them something shiny that they’ll actually enjoy.
Now of course everyone is doing holiday gift guides, and a lot of them have a ton of expensive and superfluous junk on them that may end up on Craigslist or ebay by this time next year, so I put together a short list of five items that will thrill anyone when they see them in a pretty box tied up with a bow this holiday season, regardless of whether they’re a geek – but if they are a geek? Even better. Let’s dive in!
LaCie iamaKey USB Drive
You can never have enough USB flash drives to carry your critical data or even your files and music around with you on. The LaCie iamaKey, on the other hand, which I mentioned a while ago is pretty unique. In addition to looking like a key and fitting on your keyring along with all of your other keys, this little baby comes stocked with 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, or even a whopping 32GB of storage, depending on which one you want to pick up, ranging in cost from $21.99 USD for the 4GB model up to $99.99 USD for the 32GB version.
They can be purchased directly from LaCie and shipped online, but act fast – the little guys are popular and there’s no bet the size you want is in stock at any given moment! Look around too, there are some other great places on the Web you can find these guys for sale as well. I already have one, but if someone gave another one to me, I wouldn’t be disappointed!
PlayStation 3 Slim
This one is a bit on the pricey side, but it’s definitely the gift that keeps on giving. 2009 has been the year where the PlayStation 3 went from being last holiday season’s overpriced console with no top-notch games to this year’s must-have console with tons of exclusives. And since Sony’s released the PS3 Slim (shown above), the reasons to buy one have just gotten bigger. Or smaller. Whatever.
Incredible titles appeared for the PS3 this year, including Little Big Planet and Uncharted 2 and download titles from the PlayStation Network like Wipeout HD, and the PS3 remains one of the best and most affordable blu-ray players on the market – so if your gift recipient this year is a gamer, they’ll love it. If they’re a movie buff, they’ll love it too. It’s a gift anyone would love, and you can find some pretty good deals on them right now – in some cases even with some of its great games.
A Blu-Ray Player
Speaking of blu-ray players and movie buffs, if you don’t want to get a PS3 or know someone who’s not at all a gamer but definitely a movie buff, maybe it’s time they invested in a Blu-Ray player. Not specifically the one above, but check out CNet’s list of top Blu-Ray players if you’re looking for suggestions. The prices on this year’s batch of HDTV’s is ridiculously low, and it’s highly likely that at some point this year the person you’re buying gifts for invested in one and has it proudly mounted above their mantle or hanging out in their living room – or even their bedroom! Odds are though, that they didn’t invest in a blu-ray player at the same time. Save them the cash, and give a great gift that will make the best use of their HDTV and give them one!
If your giftee is a gamer, they may very well have one of this year’s best games, but if they don’t have Left4Dead 2 yet, they won’t be disappointed. The game is one of the holiday season’s must-have titles, and since it came out it’s already rapidly risen the charts to be one of the most popular titles of the year. The sequel to the original zombie-slaying Valve original game Left 4 Dead, L4D 2 puts you back in the shoes of a group of survivors of the zombie apocalypse, armed with their wits and as many guns, knives, swords, bats, and chainsaws they can find, trying to put down as many zombies as possible without dying. If you hate zombies as much as I do, now’s your chance to have at them!
A New Operating System
This year saw the release of two major new operating systems, both Apple’s Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) and Microsoft’s Windows 7. Odds are that if your giftee has an at all recent computer, they can stand an upgrade – if your family member has an old Windows XP computer with relatively decent spec, they can stand an upgrade to Windows 7 – it really is much much better than both Windows XP and Vista, and the cost of upgrading it – especially if you’re the geeky family member and you’re giving it to another family member whose computer you’re known to fix – will outweigh the investment of time and attention you likely put into repairing their machine.
So in the end, sure you could run out and get them a digital camera that three different sites listed on their gift guides but all disagree one whether or not it’s actually good, or you could grab something like one of the above here and get them a gift that not only will give them hours upon hours of fun or usefulness, but actually wind up being a good gift for a geek, whether they’re a gadget geek, a gamer, or just love the look and feel of a new OS.
Regardless of what you choose to gift, here’s to happy holidays for you and yours!