Holiday Gift Guide 2012: For the Geek Who Has Everything
You have to get them something. But, it’s not easy, shopping for someone who has pretty much every gadget you can think of, plus a bunch more you never knew existed. Now, the obvious answer to this dilemma is the gift card. Unfortunately, giving a gift card is tantamount to admitting defeat. You’re giving the white flag of gifts, and no one likes having to fly the white flag.
Hope is not lost – with one of these gadgets, you might just score a surprise is victory in the gift-giving game this year, stunning your lucky geek with something they actually haven’t gotten around to getting yet. No panicked last-minute I-need-to-get-them-something gifts for you this year!
Just kidding. Of course you’re still going to do that.
Talking Ted Plush Doll
Ted has finally been released on DVD and that means we can enjoy Ted’s charm at home now. But don’t just watch your thunder buddy on screen, because now you can literally snuggle with him under the covers too. Talking R-rated Ted and PG-rated Ted plush dolls are finally available from Entertainment Earth for $59.
Pinball. It brings back good memories of simpler times. Times when arcades were still big. It’s a symbol of an era just as much as it is a game. And, unfortunately, it’s also going largely overlooked these days.
Duo Games has not overlooked the venerable favorite. You can surprise your geek with a blast from the past that plays nice with the toys of today with Duo Pinball. Duo Pinball turns any iOS device (the accompanying app is only available for iOS) into a pinball cabinet, complete with buttons for the flippers, a plunger, and a tilt feature using the accelerometer in the iOS device. Best of all, this one stays as future-proof as anything can these days, by connecting to the iOS device via Bluetooth. That way, the iPhone 5, 4th generation iPad, and/or iPad Mini that your geek undoubtedly already has will work – no Lightning issues here. The app that is paired with Duo Pinball features five different themed pinball tables, for a little more variety than the old arcade cabinet. Duo Pinball itself is going for about $60 on Amazon.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
Here’s one way to find a gift for the person who has it all – get something right out of the gate. Granted, you’ll still have to cross your fingers that she won’t buy one in the interim between the November 16 release date and gift-giving season. Best of luck with that diciest of propositions.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is a 4.8” Android 4.1 Jelly Bean smartphone (sans calling) in the back, and a digital camera with a 16 MP lens in the front. Impressively, the camera packs in 21x optical zoom, which should make a huge difference for any landscape shots, at least over a standard smartphone camera. You’ll have full access to the Android OS on the back – you’ll be able to use all of your favorite apps to toy around with your pictures, which will be a notch higher in quality than your standard smartphone picture. Sharing is possible anywhere, thanks to 3G/4G connectivity. The Samsung Galaxy Camera will arrive in AT&T stores on November 16, along with a $500 price tag.
Walking Dead Zombie Hunter
If you know any rabid Walking Dead fans, this one might have flown under their radar. But, it’s hard to imagine you can go wrong with the Walking Dead Zombie Hunter. It’s like Duck Hunt, but with zombies and without that jerk dog.
The game, from Jakks Pacific, is a standalone game that connects directly to the television and comes with its own sensor and gun controller. After set-up, there are plenty of zombies from the show to mow down, in story mode or horde mode. Story mode has you blasting down zombies and meeting up with Glenn from the show, after which the two of you proceed to blast down more zombies. Horde mode is pretty self-explanatory – zombies running toward you a lot until you die.
Burying the undead for a second time comes with a $40 price. Be warned that the Walking Dead Zombie Hunter gun does not include the necessary AAA batteries, so make sure you avoid the dreaded holiday battery letdown before gifting this one.
Helo TC Assault
Having eveyrthing gets boring. And you know what they say about idle hands.
Put those idle hands to poor use by giving the gift of air superiority in the household. The Helo TC Assault is a remote controlled helicopter controlled via iOS or Android device. After connecting the device to the included flight deck, the helicopter can be controlled by touch or by tilting the device, using the free control app. Of course, the highlight of this chopper is that you can fire tiny missiles while flying around, which is sure to spread smiles to unsuspecting siblings everywhere. The Helo TC Assault remote controlled helicopter takes to the skies when you give $60 to Griffin.
Tetris Animated Alarm Clock
The gift of Tetris is indeed a wonderful one. It brings back great memories of playing Tetris on our old 8-bit systems, back when televisions had rounded screens. Those days are long gone. Today, we play Tetris on our smartphones. Whenever we want to, wherever we want. The future is actually pretty cool, come to think of it.
The future also has alarm clocks that feature Tetris animations. The time changes via falling Tetrinimos, and the alarm is, appropriately, the classic Tetris theme song. There’s also a snooze button, if the whole getting up thing doesn’t suit the lucky recipient of this gift during the holidays. The Tetris Animated Alarm Clock is selling for about $30 on Think Geek.
Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale
Even scales are getting in on the Wi-Fi act. The Fitbit Aria is a digital scale that can transmit weight and BMI information over a home Wi-Fi network to the user’s online Fitbit account. Weight can be measured in pounds, kilograms, or stones, and the scale is capable of individually recognizing up to eight users automatically by weight. Using the Fitbit account, users can monitor their weight and fitness information over time, and share over social media (only if they want to!). The Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale is selling on Amazon now for $130.
Dell XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook
Your geek will flip for the newest ultrabook in Dell’s XPS line – the 12” XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook. The hybrid PC-tablet Windows 8 device takes a different approach toward the new hybrid class – the monitor flips chalkboard style in order to transform the device into a tablet. Naturally, that means the display is a touchscreen. It also comes packed with a 3rd generation Intel Core processor, 4-8 GB of RAM, and Intel HD 4000 graphics. Intel Smart Connect keeps those new Windows 8 apps like Mail and People updated even in sleep mode, allowing users to see their newest messages immediately upon seeing their home screen. The Dell XPS 12 Convertible Touch Ultrabook starts at $1,200.
Phorus PS1 Speaker
Does your gadget fanatic fall on the Google side of the tech wars? Good news – Android devices finally have something that approximates Apple’s AirPlay. With the Phorus PS1 Speaker, owners of Android devices can stream their music over a Wi-Fi connection to a set of speakers that is pretty powerful for its size, with a maximum output of over 90 dB. The speakers are also designed to throw out sound evenly, 360 degrees around. It can also be used as a docking and charging station, but it can be controlled remotely thanks to its Wi-Fi capabilities. The Phorus PS1 Speaker can make waves in your home this holiday season for a little under $200.
For the geek that really, really has everything, there’s always an arcade cabinet. If only they weren’t hopelessly, prohibitively expensive. Forunately, you can give them Arcadie, instead. It’s just like an arcade cabinet, only a little bit smaller. Just a little.
Arcadie is a tiny arcade cabinet that houses an iPhone or an iPod Touch (excluding the newest iterations of both), and features a tiny 8-way joystick and a couple buttons. Those physical controls activate capacitive controls that touch the bottom of the screen, which is hidden from view. That means it’ll only work with a few games specifically designed for Arcadie – a collection of six charming takes on arcade classics, with more games promised in the future, all of which are free. Arcadie is selling on Firebox now for about $24, which is a little cheaper than a full-sized arcade cabinet. Just a little.