Drobo Disk Array
IT people need love, too. Whether it’s your spouse, your employee, or a buddy who helps you out in a jam, your IT guy has been there for you all year round. He upgraded your system to Windows 7, recovered files from your damaged hard drive, and didn’t bat an eye when you brought in your malware-ridden home PC so he could have a "quick" look at it. This year, get the IT pros you know something special. Here are eight nerdy gift ideas for every budget.
The $450 4-bay Drobo Disk Array is an automated USB/Firewire800 disk array. Unlike most disk enclosures, the Drobo has an automated RAID controller built in, and it makes child’s play out of adding capacity when the array gets full. As long as at least two drives are installed, a single drive failure won’t destroy your data. It’s excellent for storing vast arrays of documents, music, video, and images.
Unicomp Customizer Keyboard
Remember the old school IBM Model M keyboards with their distinct tactile and audible feedback. It’s all but impossible to find a modern keyboard that uses buckling spring technology and has removable keycaps. Geeks love them, and Unicomp owns the rights to make them. While $70 seems like a lot for a USB keyboard, the Unicomp Customizer is a tank that should last for decades.
Intel X-25M G2 Solid State Drive
Whether your spend $260 for the 80GB version or $500 for the 160GB version, you’ll earn the devotion of your IT guy with a SSD. While you’re at it, buy one for yourself too. Once you discover the speed and power savings of an Intel SSD, you’ll never go back to a convention drive.
The $130 Daskeyboard features mechanical switches like the Unicomp, but has a modern style and integrated USB hub. For the uber-geek who has their keyboard layout memorized, Daskeyboard sells a version with all blank keys.
Mimo 710-s USB Monitor
The $149 Mimo 710-s USB Monitor may be a mere 7 inches diagonal, but that’s exactly what makes it the perfect monitor for travel. It turns any netbook or notebook into a dual display system, and it runs off of a USB port. Its 800x480 resolution may not seem like much, but a secondary display on the go can give the geek on your list a big productivity boost.
Optimus Maximus Keyboard
At $1600, precious few nerds will find an Optimus Maximus keyboard underneath their tree, which is a shame since each key contains a 10pfs 48x48 OLED programmable display. It’s fully programmable and easily switches between different layouts, languages and character sets. Perhaps it’s a bit over the top, but this keyboard is just plain awesome and will make the geek in your life fall mute and slack-jawed.
Acer Aspire One 751h Netbook
Most geeks already have at least a desktop and a laptop, and a netbook makes a great third computer. It’s the computer you bring along when you don’t want to bring a computer. Having a full-featured OS helps the IT guru in your life geek connected with all the tools he needs. There are plenty of options out there, and this 11.6-inch Acer Aspire One 751h for $400 is a great example. Its 1366x720 display, multi-gesture touchpad, and full sized keyboard makes it more capable than its smaller brethren.
For more last-minute tech gift ideas, check out our 2009 Last-Minute Holiday Geek Gift Guide.