OK, so we know we’re a little late with this but it’s been a busy couple of weeks what with certain big events and all that. We’re fairly sure that there’s a fair few of you who are going to be running around this weekend looking for last minute presents to buy for the forthcoming festivities, so without waiting a moment longer here’s the best ideas our staff have for the nerd in your life.
AdamMy daughter doesn’t know it yet, but this is what Santa is getting her for Christmas. An Arduino, a bunch of components and solder free connectors for learning all about electronics. A nicely compiled little box of stuff that’s a great gift for inquisitive minds.
It’s a miniature robot arm you can build yourself capable of lifting a fair amount of weight. Put together by hackers at Binary Space.
Free!A neat gift you can make yourself if you have a 3D printer. Joburg-based Trobox doesn’t sell toys, it sells 3D models for playsets you can build yourself. Well worth supporting.
I wanted to recommend Lauren Beukes’ Broken Monsters as best South African alt reality book of the year, but everyone’s going to do that. Charlie Human’s Kill Baxter – the sequel to Apocalypse Now Now – is well worth checking out as well. A deeply weird and funny Harry Potter-meets-Sam-Raimi tale of undead and school.
POAI’m not sure how much communica is charging for these, but they caught my eye this afternoon at the firm’s Randburg store and I’m fairly sure they’re in stock in Cape Town too. It’s a range of lovely little electronics learning boards designed to be simple to use but teach a lot about how circuitry works.
What more can we say? It’s a standard paperweight, which generally has but one purpose, but what makes this one special is what is inside. Take a closer look and you will see there is a planetrarium inside the globe. While the planets aren’t named, it is pretty easy to figure out where everything is. It is a really cool gift for any astro-enthusiast.
South Africans love to braai, and with the release of the first trailer for the new Star Wars film doing the rounds online, but better way than to combine the two. Sure to be the talking point when the meat needs to be turn, pop off the light part from the sabre to reveal the tongs.
R330With loadshedding being a serious issue during the holiday season, it is always a good idea to be prepared. While you can’t always loadshed-proof your home, you can make sure that you will have enough battery power in your smartphone. The 2000mAh portable charger comes with different attachments to power different smartphones or units.
Sharing tunes from your smartphone with your friends is only fun when the audio is clearly audible. But the best way to do it is to connect your smartphone to a wireless Bluetooth speaker, such as the Jam. The little guy is only 2.5 inches tall, but it delivers a really big sound. It comes in different colours and can provide up to four hours of playback.
R799The PhoneSoap is more than your average portable charger. Not only can you juice your iPhone up with it, but you can also clean and sanitise it at the same time in just four minutes using the PhoneSoap’s UV-C lights that sit at the bottom and top covers. The best part is, the PhoneSoap’s acoustic outlets will notify you whenever any alarm, reminder or message comes through.
Every golfer knows the key to a good shot is all in the swing and while you may not be as good as Ernie Els, you can certainly try. The Zepp Golf Sensor is small 3D motion sensor that comes with its own app designed to help analyse and improve your golf swing. Just snap it onto your glove and the Zepp sensor will send data to the app via Bluetooth after every swing.
R699The Crayola DigiTools Deluxe pack is the definition of old school crayons and colouring books turned high tech. Now instead of a big pack of crayons, kids get to use just three colouring wands to colour-in existing pictures, draw their own and make 3D images, sparkling paintings and graffiti.
Romo robot not only keeps kids busy and entertained, it also teaches them how to code by adopting a Romo and then teach it how to respond in various situations by playing with it. The Romo Robot looks like a cell phone stand and connects to an iPhone by simply clipping it on. Download the Romo Robot companion app from iTunes and get started on the mission to send Romo Robot to space.
R349If you’re selfie obsessed and are always looking for the best way to take the perfect shot, the Q-PIC Selfie Shooter is what you need. The Selfie Shooter links to your cell phone via Bluetooth, so you don’t even need to have your phone in your hand to take photos. The Selfie Shooter comes in five different colours: orange, green, pink, blue and black.
$360.00 (They do ship in South Africa)The truth is that we’d love anything from the awesome collection of diecast collectibles that Hot Toys makes but with a new Avengers movie coming in 2015 we thing that it’s the perfect time to get that special someone a special something from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For that special music-loving hipster in your life, what better than a pair of wooden headphones from the folks at Houdt. Personally I would go for some minimalist looking Shorebreak in-ears but who am I to judge if you go for the full crazy that is the Tsunami.
R7 860I cannot say it enough. The Sony Xperia Z3 is the best phone that I used this year (and I used quite a few of them). It has all the trimmings you would expect from a flagship smartphone and more and if you know someone in the market for a new smartphone then this is where you should be aiming your colective buying power.
If you’re still looking for stockings to stuff with goodies then a pair of Yoda and Darth Vader Christmas stockings are the perfect gift for that geek in your life. Whether light side or dark, may the force be with you on your shopping expeditions this festive season.
R5 108.80Nothing will warm a PC gamer’s heart on Christmas morning more than a massive upgrade to their gaming graphics, which Gigabyte’s brilliant GTX970 certainly delivers. Faster frame rates, smoother edges and lowered power consumption are all on offer here, at a great price.
No matter what platform you play it on, Far Cry 4 is one of 2014’s best games, and one sure to bring a smile to the gamer in your life’s face come December 25. A massive, gorgeous open world to explore and shoot up will keep them blissfully occupied until at least early January.
R1 699.95This 2TB external drive from WD is exactly what the family media hoarder needs. It’s small enough to be conveniently portable, big enough that it’s unlikely to run out space for any but the most avid of collectors, and priced nicely enough that it doesn’t cost the earth.
Keep your cords arranged neatly with this weighted rubber cable holder. It’s small, doesn’t take up much room on your desk, it looks quite cool and it’s incredibly handy. Perfect for messy geeks everywhere.[Main image – CC Procsilas Moscas]