No matter what you celebrate or how many people you celebrate with, the holidays always arrive with at least one gadget geek on your list every year. Forget making a three-storey gingerbread house or visiting the mall on Christmas Eve. When you aren’t tech-savvy yourself, your job of surprising them with tech that meets their standards can be the biggest challenge of the season.
If you’re starting to feel the pressure of your task, take a deep breath. You have the help of this gift guide to help you find a geek-approved present.
The Amazon Smart Plug
The Amazon Smart Plug is an easy hack for people who’s dream house has a fully integrated AI system but whose reality is a dumb apartment that hasn’t seen an upgrade since the 80s.
Roughly the same size as a small multi-outlet wall adapter, it plugs into any socket easily. Once plugged in, it uses Amazon’s new Wi-Fi Simple Setup to connect with any Alexa-enabled device in the house, including the Echo Show and Echo Dot. But don’t worry if they don’t have a smart hub already in their home. The Smart Plug can hook up to Alexa through a smartphone.
However they make it, this connection gives a regular outlet smart capabilities that extend to any appliance or gadget it powers. That means your loved ones can turn on a fan, coffee maker, and more just by talking. Alexa also allows them to program appliances to turn on by themselves or control them remotely when they aren’t at home
A Black Marble Skin
Black marble is the latest MacBook skin to boast 3M vinyl, the only material that’s thin enough to adhere to MacBooks without adding bulk. It clings easily to any Mac, including those that are sporting obvious signs of wear and tear.
It doesn’t matter if they have the brand new MacBook Pro Retina or if they’re still rocking an old Air. Companies like dbrand keep up with Apple as they roll out each generation, so they have a full catalogue of skins that are tailormade for the whole MacBook family.
You can find a MacBook skin for pretty much any generation and tweak its design for the people you love. To keep it simple, you could order a black marble MacBook skin for everyone on your list — including yourself!
But don’t worry if black marble doesn’t match Aunt Gertie’s Pioneer Woman vibes, or it doesn’t match your geek-chic fashion sense. You can get your laptop to stand out from the crowd by searching a catalogue that includes mahogany, zebra wood, and leather. Choose a different style for each Mac user on your list.
A Switch Pro Controller
If you have a Switch gamer on your list, they’ll love unwrapping a Pro Controller this holiday. It offers comfort and grip for anyone fed up with exploring Hyrule on the Joy-Con.
Mimicking the overall look of a traditional controller, it shares most of its features with the GameCube controller of yore. In its generous setup rests a D-pad and dual analogue sticks to provide accurate on-screen movements. Meanwhile, the typical button layout helps create a comfortable gaming experience during any combo (or button mash) they want to pull off.
This is an ideal gift for anyone who complains about the small Joy-Con hurting their wrists. The larger Pro Controller takes some of the strain off of tired joints and tendons, helping your gamer keep their concentration on the screen.
A Chromecast dongle
It’s never been easier to watch TV. Between cable, online streaming services, and downloadable content, there’s always something worth watching.
While the TV-holic happily watches different streams and channels, there’s just one problem. The back of their TV has never been more cluttered. Each cable box, DVR, and Apple TV comes with their own cords and attachments. Then there’s the added mess of cables whenever they want to hook their Mac up to the big screen or share videos taken on their phone to the big screen.
If you’ve seen what amounts to the Gordian knot of cables behind their television, consider wrapping up the Chromecast dongle. It connects wirelessly to a variety of devices, including their Mac, to the screen. They can mirror their phone or laptop screens to the TV without any added cables. It also makes it possible to switch between streaming services from their phone.
With a mixture of small yet practical items, this guide is full of inspiration. Choose one or a combination of these gifts to stick in a stocking, leave under the tree, or swap at a Secret Santa exchange. As long as it comes from this list, you’re guaranteed to spoil the tech lover on your list.