2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Geeks make the best spouses and/or friends or relatives on the planet but they’re not always easy to shop for. This guide will help you make the geek in your life squeal with happiness on any budget.

Everything on this list I personally own and have zero buyers remorse over. I would buy them all again and again.

All links are affiliate links so they cost the same to you on Amazon but send me a little something. You do NOT have to use them. Find the best price you can.

Audio

  • DBX 286s – this is an indulgent gift for certain but if your geek does any audio production work like podcasting or Youtube videos the DBXs preamp and microprocessor is an amazing gadget that your geek will never forget.  $199.00
  • Rode Procaster Dynamic Microphone – For the geek that is serious in audio production work this is one of the best microphones on the market. I use it in every podcast and Youtube video. It’s a workhorse and makes you sound fantastic. It works great with the DBX 286s above.  $198.00
  • Apple Airpods – insert jokes here for being an Apple product but these things are really convenient. Out of the duopoly of phones (Android vs. iPhone) I still would choose an iPhone all day. They’re more private and secure than any stock Android device. Out of all the Bluetooth headphones which mostly sound like like well…Bluetooth headphones, these offer a convenience that is unmatched. Simplest setup, longest range, and acceptable sound stage. $169.00
  • AKG K702 Reference Class Headphones – High quality headphones make such a great gift. Even if the geek in your life already has a nice pair they always want another brand to try out. The AKG K702’s bring an amazing sound stage and comfort that I just love. I use these for nearly all my videos and podcast work. Your geek will not be disappointed. If you’re really splurging don’t forget a DAC to power them. $199.00
  • Focal Sphere In-Ear Headphones – These offer some of the best audio quality for in-ear headphones I’ve found. They still require a 3.5mm jack to utilize (which excludes most phones these days) but if your geek is looking for portable headphones that sound amazing these are it. $64.00
  • FiiO E10K USB DAC & Headphone Amp – Portable, powerful, and will bring the full sound stage to your headphones. This is my all-time favorite DAC I’ve tried. It’s got a great price and if the geek in your life has never listened to their headphones through an AMP they’re in for a treat! $75.00
  • Sonos Wireless Play 1 Speakers – I still remember the first time I heard these little speakers sing and it was glorious. You can chain these devices together as you buy more (and you will buy more) to get music in every room. Great for parties, guests, or just relaxing. $149.00

Computer hardware

  • Ryzen 7 2700x – Most geeks covet the new Ryzen CPU’s from AMD. This is one of the top processors and if your geek has been talking about upgrading their PC recently you can’t go wrong with this. While there are a lot of components they will need to complete the project, they will be thrilled to have this in their hands ready to rock’n’roll. $329.00
  • BenQ Zowie FK2 Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse – This mouse is a beast. No matter what OS (Linux, Mac, Windows) this mouse will work because configurations are done on the hardware. It’s used by pro players all over the world and while it can’t help my terrible game-play it might help your geek out. $58.00
  • Raspberry Pi B+ Kit – We joke about this on Destination Linux all the time – you can’t have enough of these. This is a safe gift to give and any geek would love it. Endless projects and possibilities with this device from home automation to servers. It’s a powerful mini computer that’s endless fun. $54.99
  • Dell XPS Linux Laptop – Real geeks use Linux and if you’re rolling in the cash there would be no better gift. I absolutely love my Dell XPS 13″ Infinity Display laptop. Getting one made for Linux is an added bonus. $899+
  • HP OfficeJet 6960 All In One Printer – HP has great cross-platform support from PC to Mobile and I love my Officejet 6960 for it’s easy to install drivers and super compatible printing options. You can even email the printer and it will print out the attachments. $89.00+
  • Magewell USB Capture Device – If your geek has been talking about streaming console games on Twitch or Youtube or wants to stream using multiple PC’s or capture cameras or other devices via HDMI this is a really powerful device that never stops working. It’s pricey but reliable and is even used at SouthEast Linux Fest for all of their capture needs. Consider finding one on EBAY used for much cheaper.  $299.00

Subscriptions

  • Digital Ocean Droplet. Endless cloud server possibilities and fun. Build a website or create your own RSS server and everything in between. If they break something, no problem because they can just start over with the click of a button. Subscriptions start at $5 per month on up.
  • Humble Bundle Monthly – Giving to charity is awesome but getting games for it monthly makes it even sweeter. Humble bundle monthly subscription delivers games to your inbox monthly for one low price and some of the proceeds go to charity. How cool is that? Subscriptions are $12 per month.
  • ProtonMail – While most of the world is naive to the endless metadata spying and privacy invasive practices of popular email services – geeks don’t play that. ProtonMail is a trusted and beloved end-to-end encryption and privacy central email service. Subscriptions start at $5 per month on up.
  • PIA VPN – Private Internet Access is one of the most trusted VPN providers on the planet. Keep your online traffic private whether at home or on the road. Subscriptions start at $39 a year

Software

  • Lightworks Video Editor – Introduced to me by Noah from the Ask Noah Show on a recent Destination Linux episode this is a fantastic video editing tool that has even been used to edit Emmy winning movies. It’s powerful and cross-platform support make it an awesome gift. Subscriptions start at $24 per month. You can also buy an outright license. 
  • Donation To Any Open Source Project – If your geek is into Linux and open source software, a donation in their name of any amount would be an awesome gift. Mozilla does a lot for internet freedom so I’ve linked them here but any opensource project they love would appreciate a donation. $ Anything You Want

Other

  • Soldering Hot Air Rework Station – there is always something to solder in a geeks life and adding the hot air rework capabilities means more repairs to more electronics. This is a really fun device that I got as a gift and absolutely love it. From repairs to new build projects the options are endless and the quality here is great. $98.00
  • Yeti Cup – There are a lot of fakes so be careful. I suggest buying this at an actual sporting goods store to be safe. A real Yeti keeps your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot for a ridiculous length of time. I don’t leave home without this cup…seriously. $54.00
  • Bunn Pro Coffee Maker VP17 – Every geek needs their coffee and this is one of my favorite purchases ever. It will make a full pot of coffee quicker than any Keurig and brews the coffee at the perfect temperature. I couldn’t live without this device. $273+
  • Roku Express – Roku makes some of the best streaming media players out there. The express is a great value and lets your stream your favorite shows from Netflix, Amazon, Pluto and everything in between. $29
  • PS4 Console – Every now and then playing a console exclusive is fun and the PS4 also let’s you stream media like a Roku device as well. Additionally you can use it to play DVD and Blu-Ray discs. These are all excuses to use in order to convince your spouse you need one even if they don’t game. $300+ Look For A Sale!
  • Destination Linux or DasGeek Swag – Shameless plug but if your geek is a Destination Linux or DasGeek fan. Get them some swag to show their love or buy them a Patron subscription. $1 + dasgeekcommunity.com