15 Last Minute Gadget Gifts That Nerds Really Want

So you forgot to get your resident nerd a holiday gift. No big deal. I’ll make sure that your favorite nerd is satisfied. Trust in my giftpicking expertise, and your nerdy husband, wife, child, mother or father will be very happy.

The Best News For Gift Procrastinators

Until this Wednesday (the 18th), you can still have any gift shipped to your door by Christmastime, for free, on Amazon. Simply click here to use that deal, and support keeping our content free and ad-free (it costs you nothing extra). Most of the gifts below are on Amazon, so this deal applies to all of them.

What to get a nerd…The basics

  • ($35) A top notch entertainment device. Buy a Chromecast. It’s on sale for $30 right now, and it’ll be the best $30 you’ve ever spent. A solid alternative is the Roku LT on sale for $35 ($15 off). See our comparison of the best devices here, and our Chromecast review here.
  • (varies) Wearables are another category of really valuable, entertaining gifts. I love my Jawbone UP band, and the new UP24 bluetooth fitness band looks great as well. If you’re a really good friend, I could hook you up with an invite to the $1500 Google glass explorer program. Just leave a comment. Steer clear of the Galaxy gear. One final good option is the Pebble Smartwatch.
  • ($A lot) For that extra special someone, buy them a tablet. My personal favorites are the Nexus 7 by Asus and Google, and the Apple iPad Mini (what I use) for portability. I can’t vouch for Kindle Fires yet.

4 Gifts for makers, creatives, and tinkerers

For those who like to build their own devices, rather than buy, there are still a few gifts that they’d love. Here are four great gifts for the creative nerd.

  • Sugru is adult maker’s play dough. It comes out of the package soft like a putty, and dries into a strong silicon rubber that insulates heat and electricity, and it adheres to surfaces like metal, as well as itself. It’s magic. It’s the ultimate real-life hack, and it’s affordable too. Pick up an 8-pack in a variety of colors for only $18.
  • Barepaint is electrically conductive paint. Paint pictures that work like wires, make easy repairs without soldering, or make t-shirt circuit boards. This stuff is awesome, and the perfect gift for any electrical geek. Pick up one pen’s worth of electrically conducting paint for $18 here.
  • The 3Doodler allows you to draw in 3d! Imagine making a plastic sculpture in pen, or repairing a broken plastic piece with a little doodle. This stuff uses ABS or PLA plastic, the same stuff used in 3D printing, to make drawing 3D. Pick up this super pen for $100 here.
  • Finally, for the extra special friend, pick them up a 3D printer. Most affordable models have waitlists, but I hear they’re well worth the wait. Some current affordable options include the Buccaneer, and the Makibox (which costs only $200). For a creator, this is the ultimate gift. P.S – my current plans are to preorder a Phoenix 3D printer within a month or two, though those plans may change.

And three last, last minute options for procrastinators…

So you waited until the last hour. No problem. Here are 3 acceptable gifts I’d recommend

  • Amazon Giftcard – let them pick something out – ships instantly to their email
  • iTunes Giftcard Who doesn’t like free music, movies, or apps? iTunes giftcards are highly entertaining, and they also ship in an instant.

 What have you bought (or made) your nerd this holiday season? What do you want? Leave a comment.

Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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