So, there’s good news and bad. The bad is that technology never seems to stay current for a full year, which means those gifts you picked out last year are already getting a bit long in the tooth. The good, however, is that you’ll find no shortage of appropriate replacements and upgrades. And, if you get started in time, you’ll probably stumble upon a few deals prior to the holiday crush. Here are the best options for the techie in your life.
Even if you aren’t neck-deep in Amazon’s ecosystem, the Echo is worth having around. It’s capable of syncing with a plethora of home-automation tools, enabling you to cut the lights, spin an album, or lock the doors with just your voice.
Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Lens
Available for both Canon and Nikon DSLRs, this ultra-wide prime lens is ideal for capturing landscapes and expansive scenes — particularly in low light. The F1.4 rating enables a delightful amount of background blur on a wide-angle capture, which should tickle pink the artsy photographer side of the techie.
SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick
Even the technologically challenged in your life understands how a flash drive works: you plug it into a USB port, you drag files onto it, and you share those files elsewhere. SanDisk’s Connect Wireless Stick adds another element, enabling devices to access its contents via a local wireless network. For those with kids who like to stream movies and music, it’s a godsend.
The Gear Patrol Magazine
The best gift is something that the recipient wants but wouldn’t buy for himself. A basket of pears? No thanks. A trip around the world? Now you’re on to something. While we won’t be bankrolling a trip, we can get you close with Issue #1 of the Gear Patrol magazine, a journey from Wyoming to Chile to Norway (and more), plus product guides and an interview with mountaineer Conrad Anker. Seriously, put down that fruit basket.
Sena Leather Apple Watch Case
Apple will sell you a Hermes watch band worth more than your son’s car, but good luck finding a decent stand or carry case. Enter Sena’s svelte Leather Apple Watch Case, which not only provides cable management for the wireless charging puck, but also keeps your timepiece safe and sound when it’s not on your wrist.
Convoluted security systems had their place, but these days, the DIY route makes a lot more sense. Regardless of whether you have a Secret Santa who lives in a dodgy part of town, or you just know someone who can’t shake their paranoia, the Nest Cam allows you to watch whatever you so please, remotely, in glorious high-def.
Forget the usual suspects — this winter, it’s LG’s V10 carrying the Android torch. Boasting the latest iteration of the OS, a killer camera and expandable storage, it’s the ideal smartphone for the man on the run. Plus, it ships unlocked, enabling the lucky recipient to utilize local SIMs in every country.
Apple New Magic Mac Accessories
For the Mac lover who has everything except Apple’s latest slate of peripherals, look no further. The Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Mouse 2 not only mesh well from a design standpoint, but they also support OS X’s full suite of gestures and shortcuts.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The never-ending struggle between gifting a slate or a full-fledged PC ends now. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is its most capable tablet yet, and if you’re generous enough to throw in a keyboard and mouse, you’ll unlock its full capabilities.
Sony a7R II
The a7R II has the most advanced image sensor on the market — a 42MP, back-illuminated array with 5-axis image stabilization and up to 102,400 ISO. This results in images with brilliant colors and seemingly infinite sharpness — you can extract any part of the shot as your focus while editing the final product. It also shoots full 4K video, and as a result is the darling of photographers and videographers alike.
DSPTCH × Gear Patrol Wrist Camera Strap
Chuck the factory strap. We’ve collaborated with DSPTCH for a high-strength and lightweight braided paracord to keep your camera secure, without slowing you down. Because if he’s going to invest in a $3K+ camera, you better make sure he doesn’t let it slip out of hand.
Aerelight OLED Lamp with Wireless Charging
Chances are, you know someone who spends an inordinate amount of time at their desk. The Aerelight throws shade on the usual desk lamp glare, and it looks damn good doing it.
Makr Macbook Sleeve
Options are plentiful when it comes to wrapping up one’s MacBook, but doing so in style requires a bit more effort. Makr’s leather enclosures look (and smell) amazing, and double as nonslip lap surfaces when computing on the go.
GP Watch Pouch
Whether you prefer traveling with a digital or traditional timepiece, a great watch deserves to be carried in proper style. Our watch pouch features deep navy Horween leather and a steel suede interior, is embossed with the Gear Patrol logo and is handcrafted in the USA.
Sharing is caring, you know? The same is true when it comes to mobile data, and Karma’s GO hotspot encourages each user to give the gift of wi-fi. Load it up with data, use it when you need it, and receive credits whenever someone new gets online via your device.
Google OnHub Router
This Google OnHub router is designed to handle the demands that modern users place on their home networks. The router dynamically adjusts available bandwidth for the items that matter most (Skype calls in the middle of a workday, for example), and Google has built an app-based admin panel that “speaks human.” Considering just how much people stream, update, upload and consume, he’ll surely put it to good use, and this router will quickly become his most vital piece of home tech.
It’s always worth asking, right?
Pixelkabinett 42: Reserved for that very, very special someone — who just so happens to live extremely close by — is this. The two-player arcade capsule is equally enthralling and exquisite, and those in the know can customize it to run all sorts of titles through emulation. Only 50 will be built, however, so don’t sleep on it.
More guides and gear to fill out your list
The 6 Best Computer Monitors, on Display
Gamers, editors and laptop laborers, these are your visual friends. Open your eyes to the wide-screen beauty of a full-width monitor.
14 Great Rugged Bluetooth Speakers
These all-weather Bluetooth speakers allow for crisp, clear listening in any climate, on the edge of any pool or in a pack on any adventure. No plug, no jacks, no need to check the weather report. Just durable music wherever one needs it.