Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks, Top Picks for 2015

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks 2

Tech gadgets can make great gifts for business partners, clients, and tech savvy team members. And with plenty of new innovations being released each year, there are lots of new gadgets to choose from for the people on your 2015 holiday gift list.

For the really tech savvy geeks on your holiday shopping list, check out the list of gadget gifts below for some unique gift ideas.

Gadget Gifts for 2015

Bluesmart Suitcase

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

Business travel can be a pain. But this smart suitcase offers a number of features to make it easier, like a battery charger, digital lock, location tracking and a built-in scale.

Currently available for preorder, the Bluesmart suitcase sells for $399. So it’s likely not something you’d pick up for your entire team. But for your business partner or jetsetting top client, Bluesmart offers a unique gift option.

IZON 2.0 WiFi Video Monitor

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks3

The latest version of IZON’s video monitoring system comes with several useful features to help people monitor their home or business. The camera works with both iOS and Android systems to allow you to access footage from your smartphone.

Starting at $79.95 on their website, IZON offers options that work for both home and business. And they have monitors made for keeping an eye on babies and pets as well.

Wocket Smart Wallet

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

Carrying around a leather wallet with multiple credit and gift cards is so 2014. The Wocket smart wallet allows users to input information from multiple credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards onto one Wocket Card, with added security features like voicematch technology and password storage.

At $179 the Wocket wallet is a unique new option. And the company plans to begin offering different wallet accessories in the near future as well.

Helios Smart Solpro Charger

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

This solar powered smart charger allows you to keep all of your different mobile devices charged and ready while you’re out and about. It has a 5,000mAh battery, three high-efficiency solar panels, two USB output ports and one USB input port.

Helios Smart chargers start at $119 and come in a few different colors. With so many people carrying multiple mobile devices with them at all times, this is a safe bet for pretty much any tech savvy person on your list.

ZUtA Portable Pocket Printer

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks3

Mobile devices make it easy to do business from anywhere. But printing out actual documents hasn’t always been so easy, until now. The ZUtA portable pocket printeris a small device that connects to your smartphone or computer and prints on any size paper.

With a pre-order price of $199, the printer’s second batch is already sold out. But the company is accepting orders for a January 2016 batch. So if you’re willing to wait until then, this could make a useful gift for the techies on your list.

Nyrius ARIES Home+ Wireless HDMI Transmitter

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

This device allows you to wirelessly stream HD video and audio from your cable box, Blu-ray player, computer or gaming console to other devices within your home.

For the tech geeks with busy families or with a strong interest in TV and movies, this could be a great solution for those times when multiple family members are fighting over one TV. Prices start at $200 for a transmitter with two HDMI inputs.

TrackR Bravo

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

Everyone has that friend or family member who’s always misplacing their keys or wallet. This coin-sized device can go on keychains, dog collars, or other items and connects to your smartphone to transmit a noise when you’re looking for your belongings.

One device costs just $29.99, so it’s a low-cost option for the people on your list. Or you can even order multiple devices at a discounted rate.

Gifts Image via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Five Gadget Gifts Between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000

Five Gadget Gifts Between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000

Planning to buy something for a friend or a loved one this Diwali? The best kinds of gifts are the ones that last many years, and a well-timed tech gift could be the hit of the season. There’s a broad range of products that you can buy for someone, and we decided to break this up by budget. If you’re looking for gifts between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000, you’ve come to the right place.

(Also see: Diwali Gifts Shopping Guide: Best Ideas Under Rs. 5,000)

Everyone has different tastes, but we’ve got a list below that covers all the bases, and you should be able to find something for everyone. Some of these recommendations are picks from our reviews section, others are based on groupthink, distilled from reviews of the professional tech reviewing fraternity.

1) Mi Redmi 2 Prime 4G (16GB)
The Redmi 2 Prime 4G is one of the best value-for-money devices in the high stakes entry-level smartphone space – it offers expandable storage, an above-average camera, and MIUI is well customised for the Dual SIM phone usage. The build quality is great, it fits well in your pocket, and there’s very little to complain about this one, when it’s priced at Rs. 6,990.

Xiaomi_redmi2_body.jpgBuy from Flipkart at Rs. 6,999.

(Also see: Best Phones Under Rs. 15,000: Diwali Gifts Shopping Guide)

2) SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 Pen Drive
USB-drives are sold at dime a dozen prices, so why would you spend over Rs. 5,000 on one? There is actually a good reason, because this one will please the speed demon and data hog. Available in 16, 32 and 64 GB options, the Sandisk Extreme series has lived up to its proclaimed speeds in benchmarks, and can transfer a GB of data in a little over five seconds. It isn’t necessary for everyone, but for the right recipient, this will be the perfect gift.

sandisk_extreme_body.jpgBuy from Amazon at Rs. 5,899.

3) Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB
This portable hard-drive ticks all boxes for what we would expect from a portable hard drive in 2015. Retailing at Rs. 6,499 on Amazon, it brings down the cost per gigabyte to Rs. 3.6, and throws in an a two year subscription to 200GB of cloud storage via OneDrive to sweeten the deal. Give it to the media hoarder in your life to make them happy.

Seagate_backup_plus_body.jpgBuy from Amazon at Rs. 6,499

4) Mad Catz R.A.T. TE
Lightweight and highly customisable, this mouse is a well-suited gift for the PC gamer, or just about any high-functioning tech geek who needs a precision mouse in their daily line of work, and puts in long hours. In our review, we found it deceptively light compared to other gaming mice, making swift movements easy to pull off.

madcatz_strikete_body.jpgBuy from Amazon at Rs. 6,029.

5) HooToo HT-UH010
Ideal for anyone who uses a modern desktop or ultrabook with USB 3.0 ports and has an extensive collection of storage devices to sync it with. This USB hub provides seven USB 3.0 ports and two smart charging ports that can quickly charge your devices, while letting you take advantage of fast transfer speeds. It has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, based on over 3,500 reviews.

hootoo_usbhub_body.jpgBuy from Amazon at Rs. 5,381.

[“Source-Gadgets”]

India’s Gadget Rental Companies Want You to Try Before You Buy

India's Gadget Rental Companies Want You to Try Before You Buy

With a number of new types of gadgets available these days, it’s more expensive than ever to own the latest products. These days though, you don’t have to commit Rs. 50,000 on a phone to find out whether you’re going to be happy with it. There are companies that want you to enjoy the latest and greatest products, without burning a hole in your wallet.

“I always had the fascination of trying these gadgets before buying them,” says Vidit Kalra, 26, founder of New Delhi-based smartphone and tablet renting firm Snizzzo, which started in 2012. What began as something for himself and people like him has now become a corporate-centric business.

“When I opened it up for individuals, the problem that I faced was security. I couldn’t cope up with the security issue [because] people weren’t ready to put down a cash deposit,” he says. “And there was no other way for me to get collateral for the products I was renting out.” This worry led Snizzzo to start renting smartphones to corporates instead of individuals.

Corporates rent out the phones for longer periods, so the number of transactions involved is low – Kalra says that he works on Snizzzo part time, because interest in rentals is growing slowly, he says, and e-commerce has been growing much more quickly. For this reason, Kalra says, his focus is on his smartphone accessory company, Qrioh.

Try, or buy?
Mumbai-based Eazy Leazy is a new entrant in the industry that launched only last month. And unlike Snizzzo, Eazy Leazy is all for individual renters. Eazy Leazy co-founder Peshotan Kapadia says the company wants to provide access to products that people might be interested in, but aren’t passionate enough about to spend too much money on the gadgets.

camera_photographer_holiday.jpgFor example, you might want a DSLR or a GoPro, or a karaoke machine, but any of these can run into a month or more of most people’s salaries. “We are not here to replace ownership, that’s not the idea,” says Kapadia. Instead, Eazy Leazy wants to be there for you when you need something for a 2-day or week-long period.

“I was going on a holiday and whenever I go on a holiday, I want a camera. Not because I’m a photography enthusiast or anything but because I’d be spending a lot on the holiday, so I’d like to take great pictures,” says Kapadia, talking about how the company was formed. “After I had to beg, borrow and steal from my friends, I got a camera that was 3-4 years old and I wasn’t happy with it,” he adds. And he believes that there are plenty of other people who have been in the same boat, where you can’t justify buying an expensive gadget you’ll only use for a couple of days, but would be willing to pay to rent it.

For what it’s worth, this reasoning works for some products. Most people aren’t likely to want to do anything with a camera or karaoke system outside of specific events, but products like smartphones and smartwatches are obviously more of a daily thing. Sure, professionals might borrow one for a photo shoot, demonstration or the like but there isn’t a lot of use (or fun) to be had by owning an Apple Watch over the weekend.

But Kapadia is quick to remark that’s the second feature of their business – to provide product categories whose utility people at large aren’t convinced of. “In categories where experience with the product becomes important, it makes sense to offer a try to buy service,” he says.

It does raise the question if providing access to products that most people wouldn’t buy outright can turn into a short-term novelty thing. But Kapadia says he’s seen more of the week-long renting when it comes to smartphones and accessories, and less of the two-day weekend binge. Other products such as the action cameras and karaoke machines that are rented out for a purely one-time use case basis, he adds.

gopro_hero_4_studio.jpgAlthough the model is a little unusual for high-end electronics, it’s one that’s been around for a little longer in the gaming world. Ishwar Awatramani, 36, runs video game rental company Grabbbit, and has been renting out games for two console generations now.

With the PlayStation 3, Awatramani says, games would cost between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 2,500. But with the arrival of the PlayStation 4, games jumped to Rs. 3,299 and much higher. “That made my business expand as games had become even more expensive than what I had envisioned them to be,” he says.

Grabbbit has built a tight-knit community, he claims, and the regulars contribute back to the game pool. But if you’re looking to have a party with your friends over the weekend and don’t own a console, you’re going to be disappointed. Awatramani doesn’t offer consoles on rent to individuals, and like Kalra he cites issues such as trust and security. In addition to that, he blames people’s likeliness to tinker (“mod” in gamer talk) the systems provided on rent.

As a result, the core of Grabbbit’s business is game software, on a Blu-ray or a DVD. Think of Netflix before it started streaming, but for video games instead of movies. The catch is that the video gaming industry is increasingly moving towards digital delivery, which would make it impossible for people to trade games easily. A game that’s been registered once to someone’s PSN, Steam, or Xbox account cannot be transferred to another user.

Awatramani isn’t concerned in the slightest, though. “I don’t like to stereotype but it is Indian mentality to have a hard copy. And most gamers I have spoken to want a physical copy of the games they love,” he adds.

As for taking the business completely online, he says they are too small at the moment to consider that. He points at the arrival of Netflix, and notes that big players will enter the market sooner or later. “You can say we are still the local friendly video game renting store, yeah,” says Awatramani.

xbox_one_controller.jpgA bit of both
What’s clear from these companies is that there is a lot of interest in technology products, mostly held back by prices. Whether people will really go from experiencing a product, to actually buying it, is a bigger question.

“The whole smartphone business is dependent on how quickly you can procure it and how easily you can sell it later on and what’s the depreciation in between,” says Snizzzo’s Kalra. “If you’re not able to cycle the inventory, you’re dead.”

For games, it’s all about building up a reputable collection, according to Awatramani. While discussing the need to procure the latest game the day of the release, he bemoans the wants of today’s gamers, who just want to play on the PlayStation 4 and have no love for old or retro games.

While that statement may not apply across the board – an iPhone 6S is inherently the logical choice as opposed to an iPhone 3G – all three companies agreed that the catalogue you build to renting electronics is not going to stay relevant for very long. It’s not like a library where each book you add brings value to the collection – here, older items are a burden.

Kalra says the market is its nascent stage, but thinks the mindset of the Indian consumer is changing which will lead to a growth in demand in the next few years. “There is a large group of people – the everyday guy – who don’t have access to these products in their ecosystem,” Eazy Leazy’s Kapadia notes.

[“Source-Gadgets”]