Holiday Gift Guide 2013: 25 Hot Ideas For Your Techie

The Holidays Go High-Tech

Whether you believe it or not, it's that time of year again: Holiday music is in the air, shopping malls are extending their hours, and techies everywhere are eyeing the latest and greatest gadgets.

But with all the goodies out there, we know finding the right gift for the tech lover in your life can be a challenge. That's why CRN has compiled this techie wish list, including some of the best high-tech devices and accessories on the market today. From smartphones and tablets to speakers and cameras, here are 25 gift ideas for your techie in 2013.

iPad Air

For Apple lovers, consider the iPad Air, Apple's lightest and thinnest tablet yet.

Weighing in at just 1 pound, the iPad Air is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad, meaning it can slide into your techie's backpack or purse practically unnoticed.

And don't let the sleek design fool you; the iPad Air still packs a punch with Apple's newest A7 chip, expanded 4G LTE cellular connectivity and Apple's 9.7-inch Retina display. It also runs Apple's latest software iOS 7.

The iPad Air with Wi-Fi is available in silver or space gray and sells for $499 for the 16-GB model, $599 for the 32-GB model, $699 for the 64-GB model and $799 for the 128-GB model. The Wi-Fi and cellular model sells for $629 for the 16-GB model, $729 for the 32-GB model, $829 for the 64-GB model and $929 for the 128-GB model.

Solio Classic Universal Hybrid Charger

For gadget lovers looking to go green, consider the Solio Classic 2 hybrid solar charger.

Its large battery size can simultaneously power multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, e-readers, GPS watches and pretty much any USB-powered electronic. The Classic 2 has more battery capacity and larger solar panels than the original version, meaning a day of direct sunlight is all it needs to generate three full charges for most popular smartphones.

Not a sunny day? The Classic 2 battery can be recharged via a micro-USB port, as well. It sells for $100 on Solio's website.

Velodyne vBold Headphones

Sick of your headphones becoming a tangled mess in your purse or pocket? Go wireless with Velodyne vBold Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Priced at $349, the vBold headphones are compatible with iPhones, iPods, iPads or any other Bluetooth-capable device. Their sound is crisp and clear, thanks to a technology called aptX audio coding, designed to deliver top-notch quality sound to Bluetooth-enabled devices.

For any techies who prefer the old-fashioned wired connection, vBolds also come with a direct connect audio cable.

Infomotion 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball

Help your techie work on his or her game with the Infomotion 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball.

Meant to be used with the 94Fifty iOS app, the Smart Sensor Basketball includes built-in sensors and motion detectors that measure users' muscle activity and evaluate their skills on the court. From there, the ball sends that information, along with visual and audio feedback, directly to users' iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Infomotion says feedback comes just milliseconds after every shot or dribble, allowing users to quickly learn from and address flaws. The app adjusts itself based on a player's skill level, with drills ranging from "playground" to "pro" level.

The app is free, but the basketball sells for $299. Both are available in the Apple Store.


For better or worse, "selfies" became a social media staple in 2013.

So, for those techie friends who can't go a day without snapping a photo of themselves, give the gift of #TheSelfie. Made by GabbaGoods and selling for $20, #TheSelfie is a remote shutter release that plugs into your iPhone, letting you snap that selfie without having to awkwardly stretch to reach the camera button on the phone itself.

Ravi Ratan WiFi Hotspot Cufflinks

Keep your techie productive -- and fashionable -- in 2014 with Ravi Ratan's WiFi Hotspot Cufflinks.

On the outside, they look like high-end silver cufflinks. But, on the inside, there's a 2-GB flash drive that, when plugged into a laptop, generates high-speed wireless Internet. The flash drive, of course, also can be used to store important documents on-the-fly.

The cufflinks sell for $250, and also can be engraved.

Philips Hue Lighting System

Mood lighting takes on a whole new meaning with the Philips Hue Lighting System.

In what's shaping up to be one of the coolest home-automation technologies of the year, Philips Hue is a "smart" lighting system that can be controlled wirelessly from a mobile app. Users can turn their lights on remotely, program their lights to turn on at a specific time, or select from a long list of mood light settings, including "relax" or "concentrate."

But it goes far beyond that. Users, for instance, can recreate a scene from their smartphones of, say, a beautiful sunset they snapped a picture of this summer. All they need to do is drag a finger over the colors in the photo that they'd like to reproduce, and the Philips Hue lightbulbs will match it.

A three-bulb starting pack sells for $199.

Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folios

Logitech's FabricSkin Keyboard Folio marries functionality with a sleek design, making it the perfect gift for the fashion-forward techie in your family.

Features include a magnetic clasp to keep the folio closed when an iPad's not in use, along with a Bluetooth keyboard with full-size keys fused directly onto the folio itself. The case is coated in a liquid repellant to keep iPads safe from spills, and includes a magnetic stand for propping an iPad up when typing or watching a movie.

The case comes in a variety of fabrics and colors, and sells for $149.

Acer C720 Chromebook

To give the gift of a laptop without breaking the bank, the Acer C720 Chromebook could be the way to go.

The C720 sells for a modest $199 on Amazon, but still touts some pretty impressive specs, including an 8.5-hour battery life, a 7-second startup time, and a 1,366-by-768-pixel display. It measures 0.75 inches thick, weighs 2.75 pounds and has an 11.6-inch display.

As a Chromebook, it's also fully immersed in the Google ecosystem, so users can seamlessly access Google Docs and other apps.

Pebble Smartwatch

These days, a watch can do much more than keep track of time. Give your techie a taste of the future with Pebble's new smartwatch.

The watch, which is completely customizable and available in a slew of colors, can be used to receive texts, other notifications and to access a growing ecosystem of applications for music, sports, commuting and more. The watch charges via a Bluetooth connection to its user's smartphone, but, according to its makers, only uses between 5 percent and 10 percent of the phone's battery a day.

The Pebble Smartwatch is also waterproof and shatter- and scratch-resistant. More than 250,000 of them have sold to date, and they go for $150 on

iRobot Scooba

Dreading the big mess after those holiday parties? Look no further than the iRobot Scooba.

This nifty device not only scrubs your floor for you, but does it without accumulating all that murky water like your mop does. Instead, iRobot Scooba uses only a clean solution from start to finish and removes up to 98 percent of common household bacteria, according to iRobot.

Scooba also uses technology called iAdapt Responsive Navigation that ensures it makes multiple passes over your floor and performs the most thorough cleaning possible.

Scooba comes in two models: the higher-end 390 for $499 and the lower-end 230 for $279.