Gifts for the Techie

By Justin Crawford

Nerds of the world have had a great year. We have seen all kinds of awesome new items hit the market. And I am here to guide you through getting the best gift for the nerd in your life (Cody, I am looking at you).

New TV

I didn’t list a particular TV because these days there are so many great ones out there.  However, in my opinion, the curved Samsung TV looks awesome. Don’t get me wrong; do I think that it will greatly change how you watch TV? No. Do I think it will be such a distinct curve that it’s bothersome to watch? No. I do think that it would look excellent in the corner of your living room. Like most TVs that come out now, it is in 3D and is LED. Samsung offers a 4K version, but I am not sure I would spring the extra dough for it. Why, you ask? Because I don’t think 4K is there yet. I would rather wait and get a 4K TV when there is more to watch and when the TV is cheaper.


Another year, another iPad. Plenty simple, but Apple keeps raising the bar. You would think they would run out of stuff to upgrade or put into the iPad, yet they always come up with something. In my book, you could always grab one of these as a gift, and yes, if the nerd in your family likes Android or Windows, there are tablet options for them.


Copy and paste the last paragraph here. Except one thing… iPhone 6 Plus! I must say, I really want this phone. Bigger screen. Better battery. Better processor. Apple Pay. Yes. Yes. Yes. Want. Want. Want. 😀

Sound Bar

This goes hand in hand with a new TV. The sound bar I love is the Sonos. Actually, the whole Sonos system is cool. You buy individual speakers (yes, they can be pricey), but you pick which kind of speaker(s).  You can either have them all work as one system or control them individually via Wifi.  Very cool.

Wireless Speaker

I know what you are thinking: How is this different from the sound bar category? Well, I am talking about a portable Bluetooth speaker. I won’t lie, because “ain’t nobody got time for that,” but Cody and I have a mini Jambox.  It’s extremely portable (fitting into my non-skinny jeans back pocket) and has great battery life. I actually don’t even know long the battery lasts because it has never been a problem. You can even get two or more and sync them together to play the same thing.

Apple TV

Sadly, our Apple TV became the victim of a lightning strike… side note– replace your surge protectors after 5 years, or go and get one that pays for your stuff if it fails. Anyway, the Apple TV has added lots of new channels and works seamlessly in the Apple world of techie things. We also have a Roku, and it works well and would be a great gift too.


Everyone is making high-end headphones these days. I actually have a pair of wireless Beats because, you know, I like looking cool like 12 year old kid at the mall. Seriously though, the audio quality is good, but I would note that Beats are “all about that bass, no treble.” Just like the Jambox, the battery life of the Beats wireless headphones is amazing. I listen to them several hours out of the day and have to charge them every couple of weeks.


A drone– the ultimate nerd gift! You can get drones these days in all sizes and price ranges. Now, Validity takes no responsibility if the nerd for which you get a drone violates some FAA regulations. I would love a drone. I would set up my own Kessel Run and try to beat Han Solo’s 12 Parsecs.

Xbox One

I am not a big video game guy. I have played lots of them, but not “played” played them. My buddy Ross has an Xbox One, and it is awesome. The games are fun and look great. With voice commands and Kinect, this is a great nerd gift for sure.


You would think in this day and age, where there are cameras on your phone, tablet and computer, a camera would go the way of the Polaroid. However, it has just sparked people’s interest in cameras. There are all kinds of cameras out there that are amazing, from DSLRs to point and click units. The particular camera really depends on the level of user for which you are buying. The good news is that there are tons of options for every skill level.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch may not be a Christmas gift since it won’t be out until next year, but hey, my birthday is in January. If it’s not out by then, there is always President’s Day in February… or St. Patrick’s Day in March… or Tax Day in April… well, I guess you guys get the point.

Justin Crawford holds a degree in Engineering Technology from MTSU.  He is employed as a network engineer.  

About Cody Newbold

Cody Newbold holds a Bachelor of Science in software engineering from Middle Tennessee State University and serves as Director of Digital Innovation for Validity Publishing.

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