Geek gift ideas under $100 (2009 holiday season)

Looking for the perfect geek gift idea for under $100 for the 2009 holiday season? Look no further.

Once again I've gone through hundreds of items and found my personal favorite geek gifts for the 2009 holiday season, this time looking at the "$100 or less" category, and I've collected 12 of them here.

Full disclosure: I've linked to many of these products at, but you can find many of them at other retailers as well. devdaily is now a ThinkGeek affiliate, but hey, that's a heckuva lot better than those annoying pop-under ads.

Geek gift ideas: Portable DVD Players

In the under-$100 category, my favorite geek gift ideas are probably the portable DVD players. They've really come down in price since last year. For instance, Best Buy carries these three portable DVD players for under $100:

One nice feature on some models is that they can be powered by the cigarette lighter in a car. This can be really nice for the kids, or other passengers in the car.

Geek gift: EyeClops Night Vision v2.0 Binoculars

My second-favorite gift in this category is the EyeClops Night Vision binoculars. A friend of mine has night-vision binoculars like these, and they are a blast to use at night, especially if your geek lives in a rural area, likes to camp, or if they just like to walk around the house in the dark. These might not be the most useful thing you can buy for a geek, but they are a lot of fun. The EyeClops binoculars are currently $89.99 at

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Geek gift: Telescopes

Telescopes generally make great geek gifts, and here are two nice telescope picks from Edmund Scientifics in the under-$100 price range:

(Of those two, I'd choose the Celestron.)

Geek gift: Spy Camera Video Watch

Don't tell anyone, but geeks really are curious about other people, even if they don't like to talk to them. And of course they also like gadgets, so the Spy Camera Video Watch fits right in.

The Spy Camera Video Watch has 8 GB of memory, and more importantly, a tiny video camcorder lets your geek secretly record videos (in an AVI format). It has a rechargeable Li-ion battery, microphone, and works with Windows and Mac systems, connecting via a USB cable. $99.99 at ThinkGeek.

Geek gift: Ultra-Thin Digital Voice Recorder

If I didn't already have a digital voice recorder, I would like the Ultra-Thin Digital Voice Recorder. This recorder is roughly the size of a credit card, has 2GB of storage, a flip-out USB connector, and can also be used as an MP3 player or USB flash drive. Just $99.99 at ThinkGeek.

Geek gifts: Cameras

Many geeks dig cameras, and the Kodak EasyShare Z1485 14MP is currently on sale for $99.99 at Amazon. (That's a pretty smoking deal on a camera regularly priced at $175.)

Besides that smoking-hot deal, the Kodak EasyShare C180 10MP (3x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom) might be the nicest camera available under $100. Here's the description from the website:

"You'll find many of today's most popular camera features in this compact model. It boasts high resolution, a 5x digital zoom lens, blur reduction and a bright 2.4" LCD screen."

The Sony Cybershot DSC-W180 10.1MP , Kodak M893, and the Polaroid t1234 also look like very nice cameras in this price range. (Check the reviews for pros and cons of each model.)

Geek gifts: iPod speakers

There's a nice collection of iPod speakers at the Apple Store for less than $100, and if they're under $100 there, you know you can find them cheaper elsewhere. The Philips SBD7500 looks very nice, as do the JBL On Stage Micro Speakers. iHome and Sony also have iPhone/iPod speakers for under $100.

I just saw a Walmart ad with Sony iPod speakers for $69, so check around. I always look at Amazon, Best Buy, NewEgg, and brick-and mortar stores like Walmart and even Target. I've seen the JBL model at the local Apple store, and it

Geek gift: Vivitar DVR 850W 8.1MP Underwater Camcorder

I don't spend a lot of time underwater these days, but in some parts of Alaska it rains so much you'd think you were underwater, so at $99.99 (at RadioShack) this Underwater Camcorder sounds very cool to me, and if "8x digital zoom" really means "8x optical zoom", that would really be outstanding. (But if it means "software zoom", and there is no optical zoom, that would be a bummer.)

Tech specs:

  • 8.1MP resolution for still photos, with a resolution up to 3320x2490
  • 8x digital zoom
  • Record 640x480 motion video underwater to a depth of 16 feet
  • 2.4" (diagonal) LCD rotating screen
  • Software to simplify upload video to YouTube, MySpace, and others
  • Compatible with external SD and MMC cards up to 8GB

Geek gift: Deluxe Mini Fridge-Warmer w/ Digital Thermostat

If I worked in a cubicle, I would probably buy the Deluxe Mini Fridge-Warmer for myself. I don't mind the walk to the kitchen from time to time, but if I can keep a collection of drinks and my lunch in a little refrigerator in my cubicle, yep, I'd be all over that. In my case, since I like to nibble on things constantly while working, it would also be a great holder for some cut-up vegetables.

Just $99.99 at ThinkGeek, this is one of the most clever ideas I've seen for the 2009 holiday season.

Geek gifts: RC helicopters

Just as in my other 'geek gift ideas' lists, remote control (RC) helicopters make this list, and as we move up to the $100 limit, the RC helicopters just get bigger and cooler. The Firefly RC Helicopter looks like the nicest RC helicopter I can find at Edmund Scientifics for under $100:

Geek gifts: Levitation and Magnets

If your geek has all the practical gifts they could possibly want, magnets and levitation devices are still in play in the under-$100 geek gift category. Here are links to two more cool magnetic levitation devices at Edmund Scientifics:

  • Levitron Anti-Gravity Deluxe Space Mission Assortment ($99.95)
  • The IFO 3000 - Magnetic Floating Display with Globe ($99.95)

Geek gift: Blu-Ray Disc Players

This is a hard one to include here, since their regular prices are just over $100, but since I've seen sales for these Blu-ray disc players for under $100, I'm going to squeeze them in here at the end. If your geek has an HD TV but not a Blu-ray player, all I can say is wow, the quality of Blu-ray movies is just outstanding.

Here are two Blu-ray players I've seen on sale recently for under $100:

Geek gifts under $100 - Honorable mention

Here are a few more geek gifts I looked at in the under-$100 category. If none of the ideas above sounded like your geek, hopefully one of these ideas will work for you:

  • Hmm, I forgot about Apple's new Magic Mouse. At $69, that probably should be on my list.
  • the sharper image usb video camera - if your geek doesn't have a video recorder, or just wants a newer/smaller recorder with a usb connection, this looks really nice. (i'm happy with the recorder i already have.)
  • external hard drives - geeks almost always need more storage, and external hard drives are nice for backups, or moving files around.
  • electronic keyboards - i got one several years ago, and i really like it.
  • video games - geeks like video games
  • video projectors - this seems to be a popular trend this year, and i saw a few projectors on sale for under $100.
  • 3.5" pocket tv ($79, radio shack) - i don't like regular old tv much, so this isn't for me, but it might good for others.
  • sirius radio setup (radio shack) - if you (somehow) don't count the sirius subscription fees, this is under $100.

My "geek gift ideas" collection

As I wrap up my series of geek gift ideas for the 2009 holiday season, here's a link to the articles I've written over the last few days:

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