Gift ideas for techies
November 21, 2020 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Techies: what are your favourite (fun/useful/beautiful) tech accessories?

My partner is really into tech, so I can't buy him actual tech (because he knows a lot more about it than I do). BUT I'd love to buy him gifts that are tech-adjacent, such as cable management stuff or a nice iPad case.

I know "tech" is a very broad term. He works in product and software; beautifully-made products bring him joy. He spends a lot of time in his home office, though the ideas don't have to centered around work. He's got tech in most areas of his life: home automation, wearables, sound/speakers, virtual assistants, etc. Hit me with your ideas please!
posted by orange and yellow to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I like tech too, and am unreasonably happy with my Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven. It’s a simple, well-engineered piece of Japanese product design I love.
posted by Pacrand at 8:15 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

Oh, and an ifixit Tool Kit is great for a tech tinkerer. It’s the best tool kit on the market for opening phones or computers.
posted by Pacrand at 8:18 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]

Another thing, the Leatherman Style CS.
posted by Pacrand at 8:29 PM on November 21

I really like those Leathermans, but the version with pliers (PS instead of CS?) can more/ less be salient depending.

The new magnetic Leatherman Frees are kinda of interesting and have some early positive reviews. One of those would be what I'd recommend.

But multi-tools/ knives can be very personal; if they already have one, avoid gifting them something random unless they've expressed a lust for a certain ([upgrade/ nostalgia) model.

If they're in software (not hardware or grubby "physical" stuff), aim for the smallest most compact version, perhaps the T4 or T2.
posted by porpoise at 9:14 PM on November 21

the state of the art in multiplugs has gotten really cool. If he has a nest of cords on the floor near his bedside or desk, something like this or this might be a nice gift.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:48 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]

Does he forget about his coffee and is then sad when it's cold when he does remember? He could have a smart mug.

Does he lose things (but not his phone)? How about a tile?
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:04 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]

Craighill Jack Puzzle
posted by at at 11:49 PM on November 21

Velcro cable tidy-ers.
Stackable, matryoshka-able storage boxes.

These have to come with a conversation about doing it or which service your techie would use:
Vouchers for cloud/online/offsite backup storage.
Money towards wiring your place for ethernet, or mesh wireless.
posted by k3ninho at 4:54 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]

A ring light so he looks better on all those virtual meetings.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:19 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]

I'm with k3ninho, don't get the tech stuff but the nicer-than-average storage.

Studio Neat makes really nice accessories for iPhones and apple stuff. Their iPhone dock is on sale.

Elevation makes another beskpoke phone dock, but I have heard really good things about their headphone hooks.

Bluelounge also has some very nice minimalist cable management things.

This might be a more personal thing - but if you get him a suite of these things - maybe give him an hour of time to sit in the home office and help organize things? Like do the mundane things like take out unneeded stuff, shred papers, and ask what all the various stuff actually does and let him talk about it for a bit.

Maybe buy a lot of those accessory things, way more than needed, and offer to help setup and then return all if that are unused.
posted by sol at 8:21 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]

I have my eye on this beautiful leather charging mat for my partner. They’re running a good sale right now too!
posted by stellaluna at 9:54 AM on November 22

Grovemade makes a lot of nice little accessories for keyboards, mice, and misc tech items, I've had a few and they're all very well done.

A beautiful extension cord/plug thing with USB like these from Conway Electric are another option.

Headphone hooks are great, but you can also get by with a nice-looking coathook (I mean, they're both hooks).
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:46 PM on November 22

I bought a floppy disk note pad for my programmer brother. If that's up his ally, here's an etsy search that also includes desk accessories. I bought mine at a local farmers market, so I can't vouch for any of the sellers. I just think they're cool looking.
posted by kathrynm at 1:52 PM on November 22

Just for fun, and because they're cool, you could get one of these clipboards made from upcycled circuit boards. I've used one for years. FWIW, I've seen old circuit boards also made into coasters, business card cases, and other useful items.
posted by DrGail at 5:00 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

Tile is a bluetooth mini device you can apply to non-smart things you might lose or leave behind: wallets, phones, purses, backpacks, car keys, etc. Pets even!

And they integrate with your voice assistants, so even if you lose track of your phone, you can still find it or anything else.
posted by pwnguin at 11:59 AM on November 28

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