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15 gadgets to put under every geek’s Christmas tree

What does every geek need for Christmas? No, not a boyfriend/girlfriend/inflatable love pillow. What they need are the most tricked-out gifts that tap directly into the geek vein. The list below is our pick of the most useful, desirable and plain kooky gadgets of 2012 that should be firmly squeezed into every nerd’s Christmas stocking.

Paul Armstrong
Paul Armstrong runs HERE/FORTH an advisory that helps business leaders decide how to best use rapidly changing and emerging technologies. More

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TRAVEL

1. Pocketcell

Rechargeable battery packs are getting more and more common but few are as slim, simple to use or quick to charge as Pocketcell. Sleek and flexible, the tiny body will give your iPhone +25 hours more juice and around 4-5 hours for an iPad. Music lovers get an extra 70 hours for their iPods. The Magic Cable Trio 3-in-1 charging cable works with most Apple products (not the iPhone 5 without additional adapter), Micro, and Mini USB connector is a godsend.

Price: US$80

2. AViiQ Ready Clips

Having charged your devices it’s time to work, and AViiQ Ready Clips are ready to transfer the goods and charge devices if power isn’t an issue. Thin (they are the size of a pen) and handy these flexible soft-feel cables have a variety of connectors including Apple, USB mini, and micro USB. They could also be your latest fashion accessory. Dream of being Bond whilst you use them.

Price: US$30

3. OlloClip

Now available for iPhone5 the olloclip 3-in-one lens system produces amazing shots. With Fisheye, Wide-angle and Macro – you have no excuse not to take stunning shots on your travels. Easy to install, the small lens slips onto the corner of your phone and stays there. Comes with a microfiber cloth and bag although it’s pretty rugged being made out of anodized aircraft grade aluminum.

Price: US$70

4. iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface and Kindle Fire

What gift guide would be without a nod to the must-have tablets this Christmas? iPad Mini, Surface and Amazon Kindle – each has a place to play in the market but based on your budget and needs you might not need all three. Best advice? Go in-store and try each for yourself. The iPad Mini’s screen still lacks a refined “beach appeal” but wins hands down on desirability and app choice. Microsoft’s Surface has a real office-friendly and home feel whilst the Kindle Fire is more travel friendly and runs on Android. Each comes with Wi-Fi and non Wi-Fi options and a raft of accessories so go with what feels good in your hand (and your wallet).

Kindle price: US$299 and up. iPad price: US$329. Surface price: US$499

5. Sony Xperia T

Featuring heavily in a certain Adele theme-tuned film, Sony has bottled a lot of substance with style with this little monster. 13MP HD camera, 1080p HD video and 1.5 GHz dual core processor means you’ll never miss a moment. Oh and it runs on the latest Android food choice OS to boot. Stunning.

Price: US$449

DESIGN

1. Mutewatch

Titled “pure black” the stunningly minimalist timepiece from Mutewatch is like touching the future. Flick your wrist to activate, swipe and tap to set alarms, tell time and see the date. Approved of by Karl Lagerfeld, Steve Wozniak not to mention winning countless awards, Mutewatch is one to watch in 2013. Black not your colour? No problem, they also come in poppy red and charcoal grey.

Price: US$259

Fancy getting your hands on a Mutewatch? Gearburn’s got you covered. We’ll be giving away one Mutewatch to a lucky reader who gives the most imaginative answer to the following question: Who is your favourite time traveller and why? Entrants can post their answers in the comment section at the end of this list. Entrants will have till the end of this year to post their answers.

2. Unit Portables

Built with the organized (read: OCD) in mind, this bag system will help even the most disorganized individual find nirvana whilst keeping the tech safe and you uber stylish. There are multiple configurations available but the 01 (the main bag), 02/03 (stuff pouches that can go inside or outside) and 04 (iPad) enables the average person to work pretty much anywhere. Available in multiple jazzy colours and 13” or 15” versions.

Price: US$105

3. Galileo

Josh Guyot and JoeBen Bevirt were the guys behind Gorrillapod so it’s no surprise they know their way around iPhones. It’s easier to say what their latest creation, Galileo, doesn’t do and that is make toast. Use it for time lapse, video conferencing, nanny cam, self-portrait, family shots. It’s possible the most versatile bit of kit available out there. Best of all? It was all made possible by Kickstarter. Kudos gents!

Price is US$TBA

4. Fujifilm XF1

The retro design of the XF1 is the only old thing about this flawless beast of a machine. Tucked away inside its svelte exterior is a 12-megapixel camera with 4x optical zoom and a super fast f/1.8 lens meaning poorly-lit subjects can be still be snapped without fiddling around. Bliss.

Price: US$490

5. Jawbone Up

Immediately likely to be dubbed a design classic because of its designer (Yves Behar) this hard-working bit of kit is not only amazing arm candy it also makes you a better human being. Wear it when you sleep and when you are awake, its multiple precision sensors measure how you eat, sleep and move – it then suggests how to be make adjustments to increase your energy though actionable insights via an iPhone app. Beautiful.

Price: US$130

FITNESS

1. Samsung Fitness Service

Working out in-front of a TV is nothing new although Samsung has managed to make it feel like it is with the 6000, 7000 and 8000 Smart TV Series. The mirroring functionality (so you do the exercise correctly) along with the mobile app and virtual trainer are nice touches so you reach your goals.

Price: US$1299 and up

2. Fitbit One

In snazzy black or burgundy the Fitbit One is a small device you clip onto yourself to monitor your fitness and wellbeing. What’s not to like about that? But wait, there’s more. It even helps work out your BMI and has customizable message to help you stay motivated. Works with Android and iDevices (including the iPad 3).

Price: US$100

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3. Technogym Run Forma

Sure you could get a trainer to run you around for the money but can a trainer hold your iPad in place and instruct you? Unlikely. Fitted with wide handlebars and added dampening, the Run Forma is designed so you and your joints are protected whilst you run off the extra helping of stuffing.

Price: US$4000

AUDIO

1. Stark ‘Parot’ Wireless Headphones

If looks could kill these puppies would have a life sentence. Light and smooth to the touch, these cans scream quality and make you feel that more than a little tender love and care were spent on them, which is good because you’re paying a pretty penny for it. Wire-free, touch-sensitive and automatic halt of playback when not on the ears (awesome btw). These not only sound great but get out of the way, just switch on and rock out.

Price: US$400

2. Sonos

Need sound? Check. Need sound in every room. Hell yes! Sonos are ready to help you get great sound (courtesy of the three digital amps, tweeter, bass radiator and two mid-range drivers) anywhere you need it. Versatile and controlled wirelessly using your iPhone, the 3-driver HiFI Speaker System and Bridge gives a rich sound that will have you relaxing or partying in equal measure. Available in black and white.

Price: US$300 and up

3. Wireless Gloves

Taking a call in winter can be (first world problem) rough. Cold hands. Slippy gloves… a whole host of things to worry about, but no longer! These gloves use Bluetooth to not only answer your phone but also have a conversation simply using your thumb and little finger held to your ear and mouth. Available in black and grey, awesome doesn’t nearly begin to cover it. They’re also USB rechargeable.

Price: US$80


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