Monday, December 23, 2013

Geek Gifts for this Holiday Season.

The holiday season is upon us yet again and hordes of you, my readers, are looking to spend some good money on presents for yourself or loved ones. So to help with redistribution of wealth and that your hard earned money is not wasted on worthless things like food or utilities, I kid, I kid, here is my list of things to get for the discerning geek.

iPhone 5S – Yes, even though I, myself shun Apple products but there are those of you that love that red fruit and the iPhone 5S (RM2399 16GB) is a major step up from the iPhone 4 series. Owners of iPhone 5 may want to skip the 5S unless you happen to do a lot of phone photography or seriously want an iPhone with the new 64bit processor, in which case then rock on. For those of you that cannot dish out that kind of dough but are still thinking of upgrading your old iPhones can check out the iPhone 5C (RM1999 16GB). It is basically a plastic iPhone 5.
For the Android fans that want a beautiful and simple user interface coupled with one of the fastest mobile processors, stunning display and awesome audio then the HTC One is the one to have. The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in a close second if the HTC One is not to your liking and for those that believe size does matter and want 4K video recording the Galaxy Note 3 will suit you just fine.
VitaQi-S4 - A complimentary gift that goes well with the Galaxy S4 is the VitaQi-S4 (USD $43.99). It gives the Galaxy S4 the ability to wireless charge it battery just replace the back cover with the VitaQi-S4 and your Galaxy S4 can now wirelessly recharge like other nifty phones out there.

Evolutive Labs Rhino Shield – Now that you have bought your expensive smartphone you need something to protect the screen. Yes, I know most smartphones have Gorilla Glass protecting the screen but with Rhino Shield providing 5 times the protection to Gorilla Glass 2 every little bit helps for those of you with butter fingers?

Belkin SongStream BT HD Bluetooth Music Receiver– Another cool accessory for your smartphone is a Bluetooth Speaker or better yet a high quality Bluetooth Receiver. We all know you can find decent Bluetooth speakers but what if you want to rock hard with the expensive speakers on you already have? Well the Belkin Songstream provides a good solution of utilizing any speakers you have instead of buying some mediocre Bluetooth Speakers that will disappoint you.

Google Chromecast – Speaking of streaming music, how about streaming video from your smartphone or tablet straight to the TV without wires? Chromecast from Google is being an extremely popular solution and every device from Android and Apple is supported. It is simple to setup and simple to use.

Nexus 7 (2013) – Speaking of Google, the new Nexus 7 is out and it is better than ever. Starting at USD229 for 16GB almost everything has been upgraded in a thinner and smaller form factor. As for Apple fans, they can look forward to the new iPad Mini Retina if comes out before Christmas otherwise you will have to wait until Chinese New Year or Hari Raya but from what I seen and heard it will be worth the wait.

GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition – Looking to do a little adventure filming? Nothing beats the GoPro in that regard. Not only is it a favourite camera of sport enthusiasts to record their hair brain, near death experiences but it comes with a plethora of accessories that will make camera geek drool. There is almost no place a GoPro cannot go.

Pebble Smartwatch – In all honesty I really do not see a reason for a smartwatch since I find the screen too small to be of a practical use when I can just spend 4 seconds to pull out my smartphone but some people do enjoy this little toy. It can last 5 to 7 days without needing to be recharged, has a totally customizable face, a hosts of apps from keeping track your exercise routine to all sorts of notifications like SMSes, footie scores and so on. It is also water proof and readable in the sun so those days on beach where you want to get away from it all but cannot, the Pebble Watch should fit right in.

iRobot Roomba – How dare we prattle on about all the good gear for ourselves and not spare a thought for dear old mom? Well the Roomba will not replace the maid anytime soon but it does happily do its work on schedule without needing a break. If you are looking for a full floor service there is also Scooba to wash the floor and Braava to mop it. But I think that we should take things a little slow with Mom until she gets used to this new fangle thingamajig, her and the cat.

Despicable Me 2 Minion Tim (Singing Action Figure) – This is a gift for all those Minion fans out there. Tim has 25 quotes and 3 songs, there is nothing more to say only to grab your wallet.
Suck UK Salt and Pepper Bots – Sometimes you have one of those awkward dinners where nobody is saying anything due to all sorts of reasons? Well the Salt and Pepper Bots is a great way to break the tension. Offer someone the salt, wind up that sucker and watch it match onward to surprised recipient. Also great for keeping the little kiddies occupied while the grownups talk.

Game Technologies Dice+ - And finally this is one your tabletop gamer friends out there.  Dice+ is a Bluetooth motion controller that is, well, a dice. Toss it around like any other dice but what separates it apart from normal dice is how it interacts with the games that you can download on your tablet that come free with it. Most of the games uses the Dice+ like eh, a dice but certain games do take advantage of the motion sensors. There is WWII fighter plane game that utilizes Dice+ motion sensor so that you can control the motion of the plane while tapping or holding one of the Dice+ face to fire your machine guns or rockets. There will be more games coming out for it although not all will be free to play but it works on both Android and Apple devices and makes a nice diversion for the kids, family or friends on those long quiet nights.