Article 79: Gift Guide for Nerds

Gift Shopping for the Nerd in your Family

Hi guys, welcome back to the Modern Nerd blog. No doubt you have been inundated with a barrage of advertisements for the holiday season, and there are a myriad of electronics out there to choose from, so buying something for the tech savvy is a difficult decision. I’m not going to be able to cover everything in just one post, but this should be a good primer to make sure that your loved ones are not asking for a gift receipt after the unwrapping ceremonies.

Consider the Environment

Tech gadgets are cool. But if they don’t play well with others, then they are going to get returned. If you are considering some new piece of hardware, be it a computer, a tablet, a phone, etc. then you should be aware of the operating system of the rest of the devices in your household. Getting an AppleTV is a great idea if everybody in the house is storing and sharing music and movies on iTunes already. If they are not, then perhaps a shared network hard drive that uses Windows would serve you better.

If your computers are predominantly Macintosh, then iProducts are going to be nice compliments. If Windows 8 is your thing, then look more towards the Windows tablet area, as they have some nice devices to compete with the iPad market.

Consider the Necessity

Do you want to go with one big thing? Do you have to? If you have a solid platform already, don’t go bigger and better just because. There are plenty of options to improve an existing device. For example, getting someone a new e-reader might not be such a good idea if they have a tablet or ultrabook convertible already. However, you can bet that that table has an app store, so how far would that money go towards buying books for their Kindle app, or credits toward apps and games?

Consider the Quality

We tech savvy people are looking at a lot of things at once. Price, functionality, compatibility, portability, and quality all measure into the decision. There are plenty of third-party websites out there who do not get paid by the companies to give reviews, and even offer user-submitted reviews so you can be sure you are getting a quality product. Take advantage of them, because knowledge is power.

Parents, I am going to make you look like geniuses with this next tip: Don’t. Go. Cheap.

Cheap tech doesn’t perform well. It doesn’t scale or upgrade well, and it doesn’t win style points either. When considering something for the computer guy, second-rate accessories are going to fail in a couple of weeks, so your money is better spent elsewhere. If on a budget, then consider splitting the cost of something that will last, or discussing why one brand is better than another with your recipient.

Talk to Them

This last bit runs a little counter-intuitive to Christmas and the holidays. I get that. However, you should remember that at the end of the day, it’s not about trying to out-do your loved ones or win at shopping. If you need suggestions, just remember that us nerds love shopping for toys just as much as you do. We’ll be glad to help you out.

The Modern Nerd blog is shifting to a bi-weekly publication. If you have any suggestions or questions about the postings, please reach out to us. Like our page on Facebook to get all of the updates when they go live, or join our mailing list to be sure you don’t miss out. Thanks for reading, and good luck out there.


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