To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes cNET at an astounding rate looking for updated news and reviews. His home theater sees more use than his bathroom. It’s him that everyone goes to for advice on purchasing a new TV, laptop or smartphone.
Ironically enough, you can’t seek his council, because this time the gift is for him. Fortunately you can use his domain — the internet. We’ve got a whiz-bang list of toys, bright, shiny, and in full HD, to appease even the most teched-out gadget geek (and some for the casual user, too). Batteries not included.
Looking for more men’s gift guides? Check out all our gift guides for men this way.
1. HTC Droid DNA
The HTC Droid DNA is a perfect gift for the electro-nerd in your life, and not just because he can roll his eyes when you ask him why he doesn’t have an iPhone. If he already had one, he would tell you that the DNA has a mind-blowing 440 pixels-per-inch screen resolution — almost 40% more than the iPhone 5’s retina display — and he might also rattle off other non-Apple benefits like Beats Audio sound, NFC technology and Qi wireless charging capabilities. You don’t have to know what any of that means — just that it’s good.
2. iPad Mini
Yes, we know. You read or heard somewhere that the iPad Mini is basically just a scaled-down version of the iPad 2. Now you’re wondering why anyone would want to buy something that is, in essence, two-year old technology trapped in a tinier body. It’s the same reason you switched to carry-on luggage when you fly: convenience. At just under 8 inches, the Mini is easier to handle and fits in more places than its big(er) brother; this all while accomplishing nearly the exact same things. And though it doesn’t have a retina display just yet, trust us — anyone that’s fallen asleep while using a tablet will appreciate the smaller, lighter body when it inevitably smashes into their face.
3. Canon EOS 6D
DSLRs and the Technorati have always had a strong relationship. The tech-savvy are drawn like a moth to a flame by that addicting aspect of these hefty shooters: add ons. The Canon EOS 6D is the company’s newest contribution to the prosumer (read: “tech nerd”) DSLR market. Gifting Canon’s most affordable full-frame DSLR means that you may have some coin left over to drop on some much-desired accessories, like a lens (okay, at this price point, maybe an extra lens cap). With built-in wi-fi, the 6D allows you to instantly upload pictures and movies, print wirelessly, and control the camera remotely via something cherished nearly as much as add-ons: a free iPhone app.
4. Nokia Lumia 920
Like practically every other smartphone, when the Nokia Lumia 920 was first announced it was hailed as the iPhone killer. Now that it’s out the reviews aren’t matching the hype — but for a Benjamin, it’s undeniably a viable option for the budding young technocrat. Utilizing the intuitive, tech-blog–approved Windows 8 user interface, the 920 boasts a “PureMotion HD+” display, which, unlike standard capacitive screens, can be used while wearing gloves during the cold winter months. It also boasts other high-end features; the most impressive is PureView camera technology, which employs image stabilization hardware and low light–capable shooting not normally found in a phone. Enjoy, little brother.
5. Nerd Non-fiction
Being a tech head doesn’t mean just geeking out over the latest gadgets at Best Buy. For those whose love of technology is more Hubble than hardware, there’s a gang of literature with hyper-self-explanatory titles waiting to be
Tubes: A Journey Into the Center of the Internet explores the complexities of the internet beyond your modem; The Particle at the End of the Universe explains the potential discipline-altering discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle thought to be so small and out of reach, it may as well be at the end of the universe; and The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation details the storied history of Bell Labs, home to some of the greatest minds and discoveries of the last century. Thrilling? For some. To be honest, we’re just excited that books — real, paperback books — made our tech list.
6. Samsung Nexus 10
If your gift recipient isn’t swayed by the siren song of Cupertino, then you’ll probably want to reach for the Samsung Nexus 10. Running on Android OS, the latest anti-iPad muscles through apps with a dual-core, 1.7 GHz Samsung Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM (compared to the iPad’s 1GB). So even if you made the mistake of buying this for an Apple guy, its speed alone may entice him to convert.
7. Vizio 27-inch All-In-One Touch PC
When Vizio, longtime maker of affordable televisions, announced their own line of computers, we were intrigued. When they showed us the Vizio 27-inch All-In-One Touch PC, we began to drool. With a full 1080p display, Vizio’s first entry into the PC market offers complete gesture control technology, allowing you to pinch, tap and swipe to your heart’s content. The All-in-One also boasts a quad-core, 2.4GHz Intel i7 processor (cool), included subwoofer for true 2.1 surround sound (awesome), and a dedicated memory transfer—melting eSATA drive (oh c’mon).
8. Velodyne V-Pulse In-Ear-Headphones
Though you’d expect your electronics-worshipping buddy to own a set of good headphones, he’s very possibly still suffering nasty earbuds. Crafted from aluminum, Velodyne V-Pulse In-Ear Headphones are armed with huge 10mm drivers to provide loud, distortion-free sound that’s far superior to the noise pumped out by your smartphone’s “free” headphones. Sure, they may not be white, but at least they aren’t filled with pocket lint.
9. Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
We don’t care how fast you can text, bro. No one in their right mind would prefer typing on a virtual keyboard over a real one — which is the impetus for the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Made to latch onto your iPad vis-à-vis Apple Smart Covers, the Ultrathin connects to your tablet via Bluetooth and boasts a battery life of up to six months per charge. While we do call shenanigans on that claim, we can’t help but appreciate the dual functionality of a keyboard and protective case all in a single, svelte package.
10. Freehands Cashmere Gloves
Technology doesn’t stop for rain, sleet or snow, which is why it’s best to be prepared for any weather that could be deemed “inclement”. Freehands Cashmere Gloves are perhaps the most practical thing on earth in, say, late-December or early January. Each part of the glove was designed with the tech-crazed in mind: a leather palm (for gripping devices), removable, magnetic finger caps (for typing away on touchscreens), a cashmere/wool blend (what, you can’t be fancy and techie at the same time?), and a wrist cuff (no one likes cold wrists). Regardless, it sounds comfortable, and anything that deals with staying cozy during those miserable winter months ahead sounds good to us.
11. NuForce DDA-100
Purchasing a set of high-end speakers for your laptop makes absolutely no sense without some form of audio conversion to alleviate the underachieving sound quality of most music and movie files. The NuForce DDA-100 modulates audio straight from the source, converting digital files directly into a lively and crisp analog format. With a max 24-bit sampling rate and the ability to push out 250W of total music power, you’ll be ringing in the New Year in loud, police-attracting style.
12. Apple iMac
When it comes to change, the Apple iMac is usually one of the company’s most stubborn holdouts; generally speaking, the overall design of Jony Ive’s baby hasn’t changed in nearly half a decade. But now that the famed all-in-one desktop has finally had some work done, it’s the perfect time to get one for your early-adopting holiday beneficiary. Available in the standard 21.5-inch and 27-inch models, the new iMac offers a bevy of customizable options, all at a price, of course. Our suggestion? Buy the baseline model and let him do the future-proofing — you’ve already done more than enough.