Christmas gift ideas for gadget geeks [2011]

Last year I ran a couple of posts on Geek-Speak that listed Christmas gift ideas for various groups of people. They turned out to be massively popular and, with the festive season rapidly approaching again, I thought we would take a look at a few Christmas ideas for this year. So, let’s get going with some Christmas gift ideas for gadget geeks – including a few suggestions from the wonderful world of Twitter.

Wacom Inkling

Wacom InklingThis gadget was suggested via Twitter by @kimded. The Wacom Inkling is an amazing idea. While many digital artists are used to the idea of drawing on a computer-linked tablet, that lacks the tactile sensation of drawing in a paper sketchbook. The Inkling allows you to draw on paper using a special pen, while a receiver picks up what you are doing and digitises it as a vector graphic. This can be downloaded to your computer later and edited with vector editing software. I love this sort of digital crossover product, and given that Adam (kimded) is an artist I can see why he chose this device. Initial estimates for release were mid-September, but I see from the Wacom website that production has been delayed. You can still pre-order an Inkling, but you might be taking a risk as to whether it will come before Christmas. If that doesn’t put you off, though, the Inkling can be pre-ordered direct from Wacom.

Water Pebble

Water PebbleThis little gadget was suggested via Twitter by @gazrose. The Water Pebble sits near the plughole when you’re taking a shower and monitors how long you have been in there. The first time you activate it, it will “learn” your showering habits, and then over time encourage you to reduce the amount of time you spend in there. The marketing blurb says it could help cut your average shower time to under six minutes and save over 20 litres of hot water per day. Given the expense of heating that water up in the first place, and the fact that some areas of the country have their water metered, that doesn’t sound like a bad deal, does it? The Water Pebble is available for £8.99 from Firebox.com.

Android Bluetooth Speaker and Handsfree

Android Bluetooth Speaker / HandsfreeI reviewed this little guy recently, and thought it was a fun little gadget. Styled in the vein of Google’s Android logo, the Android Bluetooth Speaker and Handsfree is capable of playing music from your smartphone (assuming your smartphone can connect to Bluetooth music systems) and of acting as a handsfree set. The speaker isn’t going to light up the dance floor, but it’s certainly good enough for listening to music while sitting at your computer or doing housework. And there’s something fun about phoning someone up and holding a conversation with them by talking to a little green android :) The Android Bluetooth Speaker and Handsfree is available from Mobile Fun for £19.95.

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle (keyboard-free)Yes, this was on last years list too but, no, I’m not just regurgitating it because I’m stuck for ideas. I became the happy owner of a Kindle Keyboard in January 2011 and it has been one of my favourite and most-used gadgets all year. I have also had the opportunity to play with the new keyboard-free version of the Kindle and, while I do miss the keyboard, it’s still a great piece of technology (a proper review will be coming soon). The nice thing is that the new Kindle is cheaper than the keyboard version, so if you’re looking to buy something for the avid reader in your family, it’s now even more affordable. Just be aware that, while the new Kindle comes with a USB cable, it doesn’t come with a wall-socket power adapter… you’ll have to buy that separately if you want to charge it without plugging into a computer’s USB ports. Check out my review of the Kindle Keyboard for more information on that unit, or you can buy the new Kindle from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Aeropress Coffee Maker

Aeropress Coffee MakerDo you remember those flying rings that came out in the 1980s? They were called Aerobees, and my main memory of them is losing mine on the roof of the neighbour’s house! Oddly enough, the same company, Aerobee, has come up with the Aeropress Coffee Maker, which aims to let you create a proper cup of coffee in just a few minutes. The idea is simple; load the ground beans into the Aeropress, add water, stir for ten seconds, and then press the plunger. Skeptical? Believe it or not, it actually works – a proper, filtered cup of coffee in next to no time. The Aeropress Coffee Maker is available from Firebox for £29.99.

OK, so there’s a few gadgety ideas for Christmas, but what would you have included? What’s the must-have gadget on your list? Let us know in the comments.

Links to products in this post are affiliate links.

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