There’s a little geek in all of us and El Techie is here to help you shop for it! This list will improve your loved ones’ lives, time and sanity. Gift giving is a tedious process, but you don’t have to suckered into paying full price. This is the time check out all the deals and get as much bang for your buck as you can – especially when it comes to tech and gadgets. The best place to start is at or even as your browse around the thousands of nerd loving gifts. Here are my recommendation for gifts that will lead to a happy and productive 2011.

Black Stealth R/C Helicopter ($20) – Perfect tool for stealing a cookie from the kitchen or messing with the cat. Lots of fun, but be sure to get tons of extra AA bateries.

Altech Lansing Portable iPod/iPhone Speakers ($50) – Perfect companion around the house or out and about. They have a rechargeable battery so you take your Hector Lavoe with you and bust a move at any time.

Western Digital Portable Drive ($60) – Back up your life. Give yourself some data wiggle room. We don’t have shoe boxes with photos or receipts any more. If a file does not exist in three places, it does not exist. Perfect complement to other online solutions like dropbox.

Bose Headphones ($99) – A good pair of headphones is essential to sanity because of the long Chicago commutes. They’re the best way of tuning out the world. Cherish your alone time and listen to great music or great content. Great sound, worth every penny.

AppleTV ($99) – With Netflix,media streaming and the delicious new addition of AirPlay to the “iOS” devices, this “small hockey puck”” can bring much of your live television in sync.

Laptop Bag ($50 – $150) – There are many possibilities here, but the perfect one can improve your style and your back problems. I personally use the Chrome Messenger bag, but the Incase bags are beautiful and very functional.

Brother Wireless Printer ($130) – Nothing says, “I love you” more than a laser jet printer. If your significant other needs to print for work or school, stop wasting your money on a regular ink jet cartridges and give the gift of reliable printing.

Kindle ($140) – The price has never been better and it’s the best time to join a book club! This will not replace the beautiful coffee table books, but it will let you quickly explore new subjects and jump into some juicy novels.

Canon Powershot ($175) – Are you always late to posting photos on Facebook? Capturing life simple moments has never been to simple and inexpensive. Both the photos and the HD video is phenomenal. For a consumer camera, this is possibly the last one you will ever need.

23′ Samsung LCD Monitor ($195) – Having a large computer screen is like a clean towel after falling in the mud. It really opens you up and greatly increases productivity.

HP Mini 110 ($320) – Netbooks are still at the hot item. For basic web, chat and email the computing power needed is extremely low. Compared to the mobility this is a very reasonable dying laptop replacement or secondary computer.

Bonus: Book Stocking Stuffers

  • Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? This is a great book for self evaluating you, your work and your passions.
  • Rework – For the entrepreneur in everyone, take several head-turning points from Chicago’s own 37 Signals.

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