It’s Christmastime, meaning every tech site is going to the roundup of tech gifts that either everyone likes, or are preferably monetizable to the website in question. As I don’t particularly go into the purchase feeding frenzy, here are some gifts you can give a tech geek someone without breaking the bank or saying much more than “here, gift. My part in this event is concluded.”

They’re good, just not so good the person is going to look at you wondering what intentions you have for them and what’s in this drink.

Nixplay Edge Photo Frame

Nixplay stock photo imageThis thing has been wonderful. No they haven’t paid me although I would love to be their spokesperson.

The only thing I think that I wish was improved on is there really needs to be a way to link albums from Google Photos or Facebook without uploading them to the Nixplay servers.

You can read my review of it here, and grab one from here

I’ve got several years of photos that I can update on the website from a computer and shortly thereafter they’ll be in rotation, and that rocks.

Works great if your grandparents have WiFi and you want to push them new photos regularly.

Fast charger

Ain’t nobody got time for a slow charger. Here’s a set of them, they’ll get that phone of yours recharged in no time. Or at least in less time. If their phone supports it.

Solar lanterns

Luci Aura old vs newI’ve been a fan of the Luci Aura since I got two at a press event in Las Vegas.

John was not so much a fan as his broke and they evidently didn’t ship a replacement.

I ended up with four all said after a year and two CESes, and left them out in the back yard through wind, snow, rain, ice sheets. they still work at two years and two winters, just needing dust and dirt hosed off of them occasionally.

You can also use them as pool toys, which my toddler has.

Obviously me and John saw differently on the products. You can grab some here, or see our reviews here.

Cash

You could give a gift card. Those say “I love you exactly this much!” Unfortunately with gift cards, the loss rate is about 10%, which has you saying “I love you approximately 10% more than the value of this gift card!”

You’re also not locking the person into yet another horrible Applebee’s gift card that your great aunt keeps giving because she can get $120 of cards for $80.

Two bottles of something to embiggen Christmas Cheer

WhiskyNothing says I wish you a merry Christmas like a bottle or two of something to make spirits bright, or at least dull the din of the extended family talking about race, terrorism, firearms, and whatever your disappointment of a cousin has done this year.

Not that I’m particularly advocating drinking your way through the holiday season. Before you get to that point consider telling the family that you’re going to be the drama llama this year and spend Christmas afar, on a beach, in Australia.

Or some such.

Legos

Really, if you can’t have fun building with Legos chances are you need two bottles of something to embiggen Christmas cheer.

High end consumer goods

I’m kidding. Don’t do it. If you’re buying for a geek they know exactly what they want and have mapped out how they plan to use the feature set. You buy something without knowing precisely what they wanted you run the risk of them looking like a beaten puppy as they realize they’re not going to be able to do X, Y, or Z with the item that looks exactly like the item they wanted.

Better to get them a Visa gift card for the item.

Jump starter phone chargers

Anypro Jump starterCar dead or phone dead these things will get a person back on the road, or at least able to call Triple A for help. They’re not an all around replacement for a car power station as nobody has an air pump in one of these yet, but they’re a hell of a lot smaller than those 20-pound-monstrosities and can be taken with you to charge your phone without you looking like a freak.

Have I ever mentioned I had a 20 pound power station at an event so that I could charge my phone because this was my first time out since my wife had our firstborn and my phone was dead? Probably not. I looked like a freak.

We’ve reviewed the 1byone and Elivebuy jump starters and will be reviewing an Anypro jump starter in the next day or two.

As a note, I’ve liked the two I’ve reviewed, and there are multiple sizes, but I’ll freely admit to my experience in these items being limited to four jump starters so feel free to go with a more informed opinion.

Odd gifts

Since E-everything is here, give the gift of unirradiated genitals with Spartan Boxers. Let your junk be a WiFi-free zone.

A bulletproof backpack may sound like a sad state of affairs… who am I kidding, it’s terrible that this is a thing, but it is. The iBackpack will be releasing shortly with a 20,000mAh battery, GPS tech so it can’t be stolen (or at least can be found,) WiFi/MiFi hotspot, 8,000 more mAh as a backup because 20,000 was for wimps, and according to the announcement I got it’ll be made with Kevlar shortly so that you’ll be carrying some measure of body armor. I’d assume there’s also a panic button coming in the Kevlar iteration.

Alternately if you’re wanting a backpack and something to do with your junk you can help fund the Scrote’n’Tote, although you might need to get an XXXL size of Spartan Boxers for this one.

You can also give the gift of getting them something about two weeks after Christmas when CES is over and prices drop significantly.