Geek gifts 2022: Business travel must-haves and music-making

Whether 2022 actually marks the beginning of the post-pandemic era is debatable. But most of our geek advisors have resumed business travel for in-person meetings this year, which is reflected in their selection of top geek gifts.

Considering the time difference over the past two years when most professionals travel regularly, there are now plenty of opportunities to upgrade portable electronics and accessories on a wide range of budgets. Many of our geeks prefer Apple’s “stacked” MacBook laptops, iPad tablets, iPhones, AirPods headphones, and accessories like the Apple Pencil.

“Conferences have started and don’t seem to be stopping in the wake of the pandemic, leading to the need for some tech to help with mobility,” says one of our geeky gift experts. “Accessories like AirPods and Apple Watch will round out the stack, and enhanced with iCloud or Windows Office 365 [subscriptions]”

Most of these core devices are expensive. The smallest 14-inch Apple MacBook Pro with the popular M1 processor starts at $1,999 on Apple’s website. Most geeks already own a core device of their choice. But for some, smaller items like the latest AirPods Max ($499 on Amazon) might be appealing, especially if they travel a lot.

“The noise canceling is amazing – makes flying a different experience,” raved one of our geek advisors.

Most of these devices have plenty of accessories available for smaller budgets, and geeks on the go recommend portable power supplies as a sought-after item. This portable Apple Watch charger recommended by one of our geeks is just over $20. Many other portable power supplies are also available for non-Apple devices.

For geeks these days, one area where portable electronics and air travel can come into painful conflict is the inflight entertainment systems that many airlines offer via seat-back televisions. Most require a hard-wired connection — something that many geeks who prefer to use a Bluetooth connection consider obsolete. Until airlines catch up, it’s possible to use a third-party Bluetooth transmitter to connect AirPods to the in-flight screen. Our geek specifically mentioned the YMOO and Twelve South brands.

For geeks who aren’t Macolytes or already own every possible Apple product, other portable electronics gift ideas include new tablets, from the reMarkable 2 ($299 from the manufacturer) to luxury portable 4K pen displays like the Huion Kamvas Pro 16 Plus (Huion Kamvas Pro 16 Plus). $729 on the website).

Elsewhere, the Oura Ring Gen 3 ($399 from the manufacturer) is the latest biometric sensor gadget that one of our geeks says has gained traction after three years of viral outbreaks. The lightweight, water-resistant ring uses sensors worn on the palm side of the finger to collect biometric data about sleep, activity, fitness, and more. It’s compatible with several fitness apps, including Apple Health and Google Fit.

“Post-COVID, I’ve seen a lot of geeks wanting to sabotage their health,” says a geek gift advisor. “It’s one of the best gadgets for it.”

However, geeky gifts for travelers don’t have to be big bucks. Another geek expert recommends a stylish leather business card and credit card holder, Saddleback Leather, online for $39.Now that in-person events have resumed, some geeks may welcome experiences with objects, from taking them out to see new avatar From movies to visiting geeky theme parks like The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.

“For better or worse, techies usually have enough money to buy what they want,” says one of our experts. “Between that and the social distancing that the pandemic has brought upon us, I’m most looking forward to spending time with friends this holiday season. …Take your friends out to dinner or invite them over for something homemade. Tech The best people in the world, the ones everyone wants to work with, the good ones first.”

Geek Rock: The Music Tech Gift of 2022

Our annual unofficial geek gift survey is like a box of chocolates. You never know what the interests and hobbies of geeks are. This year’s surprise theme: Music Geeks!

Electronic instruments are a favorite of more than one of our geek experts, including the Otamatone, which originated in Japan and is distributed in the US by Hamee and Amazon. Touch-sensitive instruments may seem a little silly, but in skilled hands, can produce surprisingly moving music that sounds similar to a human voice.

Otamatone Geek Gifts
Otamatones are electronic musical instruments that are one of our top geek gift recommendations this year.

“My daughter is obsessed with one of these,” says a geeky friend of ours.

Geeks who remember early synthesizers and new wave music might want to imitate their favorite rock stars with a theremin, an electronic musical instrument that also pops up in sci-fi movies.

“You can now build your own kit using open source software and hardware kits sold by GaudiLabs and pair it with an Arduino,” says one of our geeks.

DIY machines, open source and geek music? Sounds like a trio.

When geeks need to play with one of these instruments, they may find a metronome helpful for timing. A geek we know recommends the Korg KDM-3 ($121.99 on Amazon) as the ultimate tool for tempo adjustment.

“If you’re trying to learn a piece, choosing a lot more metronomes than you need is absolutely stupid overkill,” he said.

Music geeks working in a home office might appreciate the Blue Yeti microphone ($129.99 at Bluemic ), recommended by one of our experts. It can do triple duty as a video conferencing microphone, podcast recording device, “When it’s time to shut down the laptop, the microphone is great for recording via direct input (for vocals, guitar, etc.), and the light fixture has a multi-color disco flashing pattern !”

There is also a Bluetooth speaker option for when music lovers need to enjoy the fruits of their labor or just relax to their favorite tunes. One of our geek consultants has his eye on the Leslie model ($189 at Amazon).

“For tech enthusiasts, I only mention this because I’ve seen them, heard them and put them on my personal holiday bucket list,” says one of our geek advisors. “It’s a retro-looking bluetooth speaker that looks like an old Leslie speaker from the 60s and 70s.”

The Best of the Rest: Toys + Home Office Upgrades

Your mileage may vary based on geek interests and existing gadget collection, but this year’s recommendations also include toys like the Lego Marvel Infinity Gauntlet, GoCube phone puzzle accessories and a motion-activated cat laser toy “for geeks” Use “too lazy to get out of the chair and play with their cat,” says one gift guide consultant.

Take your friends out to dinner or invite them over for something homemade. The best people in tech, the people everyone wants to work with, are good people first.

Geeks with a true holiday spirit

Last year’s geek gift list covered home office gadgets. But this year we’ve had suggestions for the latest updates to the category, including Jabra’s wireless headphones, ranging from the Jabra GN model ($104.99 at Amazon) to the Evolve 75 ($385 at Amazon).

“I currently use AirPods with Teams, but have to connect through my phone. When connected directly to Windows on my computer, the sound quality is terrible,” says a geek who has an Evolve 75 on her list.

Other geeks mentioned ergonomic wireless mouse and trackball devices, colorful mechanical gaming keyboards, and even the latest home smart locks to protect all their valuable devices. Coffee-related devices in various forms are also generally popular with geeks, from programmable coffee makers to coffee subscriptions and self-heating mugs.

Finally, this year our geeks also care about the cleanliness of their home office environment. The latest do-it-yourself vacuum cleaners are on geek gift wish lists, especially the eufy, but also home CO2 monitors and HVAC filters, especially the Aranet 4 CO2 monitor and Nordic Pure filter.

“In today’s work-from-home environment, you have to make sure you’re not just breathing in your own scent all day,” explains one of our experts.

Beth Pariseau is a Senior News Writer for TechTarget and an award-winning IT news veteran.she can be in [email protected] Or on Twitter @PariseauTT.

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