Christmas is only two weeks away and if you’re anything like me, you don’t exactly have your shopping wrapped up. It’s also highly probable that you’re simply stumped. Living in a digital world means that most of us really have to step up our gift-giving game this year, but at this point, we’re walking a fine line between being the most remarkable Santa ever and the dreaded popcorn trio tin-gifter. Yes friends, a most critical time is upon us, and if your holiday hat trick doesn’t involve popcorn, you’ve come to the right place.
We nerd pretty hard around these parts, so we looked to the CM team for a list of coveted tech gifts we’d really and actually like to see under our trees this year, and now we’re bringing that list to you! Without further ado . . .
MakerBot Replicator 2 – $2,199, MakerBot
The MakerBot Replicator 2X is a professional 3D desktop printer, capable of fabricating an array of super sweet things that we can play with together. $2k may seem like a bit much, but hey, look:
Go big or go home, amirite?
NeatDesk Scanner – $399.99, Neat
Around here, we don’t use a lot of paper, so what does hang around our desks and file cabinets haunts our digitized souls. As a digital filing system, capable of scanning and organizing paper documents rapidly, the NeatDesk is a winner in our eyes.
Virtual Keyboard – $99.99, Brookstone
If you’ve got a flat surface and the desire to be L33T, you can type to your heart’s content using this virtual laser keyboard! Connect it to your smartphone, laptop, or tablet via Bluetooth and it projects a full-size keyboard.
Clique – $24.95, Henge Docks
A simple concept to win a Mac lover’s heart: Clique combines Apple’s Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad into a single unit.
USB Squirming Tentacle – $14.99, ThinkGeek
This USB-powered squirming tentacle doesn’t store data or serve any functional purpose, for that matter. But novelty alone says you’ve added this to your shopping cart already. Or at least, we have.
Chromecast – $35.00, Google
Chromecast is most definitely one of the coolest gadgets of the season, even if only theoretically. Not much bigger than a thumb drive, Chromecast is a digital media player for your HD television, which streams movies, music, TV shows, and other media from Chrome, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Hulu, Google Play, and more. Really. Check it out:
Crosley Patriarch 4-in-1 Turntable – $169.95, Brookstone
This entertainment center plays vinyl in 33, 45, or 78 RPM as well as CDs, MP3s, and AM/FM radio. The Crosley Patriarch is simultaneously modern and classic and completely, utterly beautiful.
Minx Air 100 – $449.00, Cambridge Audio
Featuring Apple’s AirPlay plus Bluetooth, this wireless music system makes it possible to listen to your music in hi-fi from just about any device, from smartphone to tablet to desktop computer. The Minx Air also inclues Minx Air apps so you can listen to Internet radio anytime, and the word on the streets is that it’s so solid, there’s no evidence of distortion or vibration.
Jambox – $129.99, Jawbone
If you don’t quite have a Minx Air budget, here’s big sound in a small package at a reasonable price! Jambox is a portable, wireless dome speaker that works on Bluetooth technology and is capable of producing a broad range of frequencies, equating to supremely killer sound.
Xbox One – $499.00, Microsoft
Reported by its makers to be “the most advanced gaming console ever” and “the best entertainment console” to boot, Microsoft has once again put us in a gamer’s frenzy with a new and beautiful Xbox gaming console. With an 8-core processor, HDMI pass-thru for watching TV right through the system, a ton of memory and hard drive space, and a Blu-ray player, adding the Xbox One to our list was a given.
Playstation 4 – $399.00, Sony
With a ton of new features, updated accessories, and an enhanced online community, the PS4 system offers an experience that is truly gamer-focused, from hi-fi graphics to its 8-core processor and updated memory. The new DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller is also markedly different and more comfortable than its former.
Kevo Bluetooth Deadbolt Lock – $219.00, Kwikset
Get hi-tech on the home front with this Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt, compatible with Apple iPhone 4s, 5, 5c, and 5s. Simply keep your phone on your person and touch the lock to gain entry. No iPhone? No worries – the Kevo also comes equipped with a Fob so you can easily gain access with just the push of a button. My favorite part? The Kevo app also enables you to generate and send digital keys to anyone with a compatible device. SWEET.
Netatmo Weather Station – $179.00, netatmo
Monitor your home indoors and out with the Netatmo Weather Station. The indoor and outdoor weather stations are standalone units that monitor air quality, CO2 levels, temperature, acoustic comfort, humidity, weather, barometric pressure, and more, reporting through the Netatmo App on your computer or device.
iHome iDL100 Triple Charging Stereo FM Clock Radio – $149.99, iHome Audio
This brilliant dual alarm clock is a genius in disguise, allowing you to charge up to 3 devices at once while also having enough control to set a special playlist or station to wake up to. iHome units automatically sync carrier time to the device as well, so a blinking clock will never be a problem!
Tocky – $49.99, Nanda Home
Tocky, an alarm clock for the tenacious masses, is a true bandit of the bedroom, jumping from your nightstand and rolling away to make sure you are up and at ‘em. Set custom sounds by uploading MP3s or even record your own message.
It’s a transparent toaster and it’s definitely just a prototype, but yea, we still want it.
With an “order by email” option and no price listed on the floppytable.com website, who can even know if this table really exists? One thing I do know: once you see a demo of this 3.5 floppy disk coffee table, you too will be sold.
Apps, Gadgets & Accessories
Rhino Shield MK2 – $24.99, BiteMyApple.co
An impact-resistant, scratchproof, and fingerproof screen protector for iPhone, the Rhino Shield is able to take 5 times the impact of Gorilla Glass 2. Order now and help your accident-prone friends catch a break.
iRetrofone – $200.00, Etsy
Plug your iPhone in and relive the days of rotary dialing! Okay, okay, maybe that’s not a great selling point, but hey, when was the last time you slammed the phone down to make a point? Yeah, we’re ready, too.
Tile – $19.95, tile
Available right now for preorder and shipping in Spring 2014, fasten or drop your tile onto or into any item and the Tile App helps you find where you last left it.
Smart Bartender – $69.99, Brookstone
The Smart Bartender is a drink station that connects via iOS or Android app to help you find and pour the perfect drink, all while watching the “smart scale” on screen. Are you an overpourer? No worries – Smart Bartender compensates by recalculating the recipe.
Anki DRIVE Starter Kit – $199.99
Compatible with most new Apple products, the Anki drive is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) video game which delivers the racing experience right to your floor. Simply lay down the track (included) and play with friends or even against an AI-enabled opponent. That’s right, any cars without controllers will be AI controlled! Sound too good to be true? Check out a video demo here.
iPad Air – $499.00, Apple
The iPad Air is easily the coolest thing in my possession right now (be jelly!). With its A7 chip and 64-bit architecture, this little guy has some serious muscle when you consider that it weighs in at just a pound. The iPad Air features the speed of a desktop and the size of a tablet with amazing graphics, faster Wi-Fi, a 10 hour battery life, and a ton more. It’s also unequivocally and profoundly gorgeous.
Nexus 7 – $229.00, Google
7 inches, 2.3 million pixels, and a quad-core Snapdragon processor with speeds faster than most devices of its size makes the Nexus 7 by Google one of the season’s hottest and most reasonably priced devices. Nexus 7 is perfectly slim and ultra-lightweight, which means it can be taken anywhere, and its 10 hour battery life is something to shake a stick at.
Windows Surface 2 – $449.00, Microsoft
The Surface 2 is Microsoft’s slightly larger answer to the iPad Air, and if you’re a Windows person or if Windows is heavily integrated into your work, it just might be for you. The Surface 2 comes with Office 2013 including Outlook (which an Apple guy might turn his nose up at), but if you’ve ever struggled to get Outlook meeting invites to alert you on your iPad, you know this promise of productivity is a big selling point. The Surface 2 also comes with 10 hour battery life, an integrated kickstand, USB 3.0 ports (nope, you won’t find this on the Air), and the ability to hook into a Touch Cover, which has a full keypad.
GoPro Hero3+ – $399.99, GoPro
Ever see an awesome video with a live cam view of someone shreddin’ it up on a BMX bike, surfing a gnarly wave, or even a dog’s eye view of the world? Well, more than likely the magic behind it all was a GoPro personal camera, the little wearable wonder capable of mounting to just about anything for live action shots or whatever you want, really. Now with the newly released Hero3+, the most compact GoPro yet, we get a better lens, 30% longer battery life, and 4x faster Wi-Fi as well as enhanced audio, less distortion, wide angle perspective, low light mode, and easy sharing options. Quick, find something to strap this baby to and let’s be extreme!
Canon Vixia Mini – $299.99
If the GoPro had a boring little brother, its name might be Canon Vixia Mini, a stationary personal camcorder. In the Vixia’s defense though, it’s smart in its own way, what with its fisheye lens, solid audio, various capture modes, mirror image recording/ playback, built-in Wi-Fi, and interval recording. The Vixia Mini may not be as adventurous as some, but it’s perfect for a band, the DIY person, or an instruction-ist.
Sony SmartWatch 2 – $199.99, Sony
SmartWatch 2 is an Android compatible wireless accessory marketed as “the watch that tells more than time.” Not only stylish and beautiful as a timepiece, SmartWatch interacts with your phone over Bluetooth to bring you everything from social and email to text messaging and alerts. You can also make and receive calls with a Bluetooth headset.
Instawatch – $44.00
Have a favorite photo printed in a custom timepiece! Upload pictures from anywhere, select the watch material and colors, and place your order!
Varidesk Pro – $300, Varidesk
A favorite pick for our team, the Varidesk Pro is a dual-monitor stand-up desk platform that easily switches positioning from sitting to standing. The unit comes pre-assembled and can be set up in under five minute, plus it has a built-in keyboard tray and a decent sized workspace (36” x 23”). With all the studies lately saying how bad sitting all day can be for you . . . Varidesks all around!
Emperor 1510 Workspace – $5,950.00, MWE Lab
I’ll just go ahead and say it: the Emperor workspace has to be seen to be believed. Like something that could only be glimpsed on a spaceship or a sci-fi series, the Emperor is a posh, all-in-one computer office, reported to be “the future of high-end home and office computer work environments,” which clearly means it’s a plush armchair that you’ll never want to leave once it’s Internet enabled. Suitable for up to 3 monitors and equipped with a superb audio system, drink holder, LED lighting system, and more, the Emperor 1510 is the lowest priced workspace by MWE Lab, but we’ll take it.
BONUS: Doctor Who Fans
Don’t forget your Doctor Who fan (*cough cough*)!
Tardis Mini Fridge – $79.99, ThinkGeek
This “extradimensional container” heats and cools and looks and sounds like a Tardis. To us Whovians, that means you can not only store up to a six-pack (bigger on the inside!), but also heat up your fish fingers . . . and when the door is opened, you’ll hear the enchanting sounds of the TARDIS materializing.
Sonic Screwdriver – $29.99, ThinkGeek
Make your Doctor Who lover’s life complete with something mostly useless, but super . . . sonic. This replica of the 11th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver can’t destroy aliens or actually fix anything, but hey, it comes equipped with LED lights and TIMEY WIMEY sound effects, and that’s surely enough.
Dalek Projection Clock – $39.99, ThinkGeek
If there’s any sound in the world sure to get a Doctor Who fan out of bed, it’s unquestionably the mechanical cry of the Dalek (okay, okay, maybe second to the TARDIS materializing). Not only does this death machine of an alarm clock illuminate the time right onto your ceiling, it also cycles through three different threats of your demise to wake you. After all, what better way to be forced out of bed than your impending extermination.
So there you have it, the ultimate 2013 gadgets gift list.
Have something to add? Tell us about it in the comments below!