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Here’s a List of Electronic Gadgets for Nerds in 2020

Liz Miller Learn Robotics

About the Author, Liz Miller, Founder/CEO @ Learn Robotics

Liz graduated with a degree in Robotics Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and researched drones at UPenn's GRASP Lab. Liz is a former Raytheon Engineer, where she managed major $MM automation projects worldwide. Today, she's the driving force behind Learn Robotics, offering the Robotics Career Blueprint for Engineering Professionals and beginner courses through the Online Robotics Class. Liz is a third-generation entrepreneur who is all about the application of innovation in robotics, automation, and AI. Follow Liz on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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There are so many tech devices and gizmos on the market now that it can be difficult to figure out what to buy. In this article, I share a list of electronic gadgets for nerds, engineers, and tech-gurus. No matter if you’re searching for a tech gift for men, engineers, or yourself, this list is a good starting point.

How this List of Electronic Gadgets was compiled

First, I collected a mental inventory of everything I use in a day. All of these items are innovative or make my life easier in one way or another. The prices range from less than $5 to $1200, so this list of electronic gadgets should appeal to most budgets.

All of the items on this list I use every day. The purpose of this article is to share usable (and useful) tech devices that are helpful for everyday life.

1. MacBook Pro – $1200

First on the list is the MacBook Pro. I’ve had every type of computer: from my first HP desktop to ASUS and Acer Laptops to my trusty 2012 MacBook Pro. I’m a firm believer that if you want a computer that’ll last, get a Mac.

While the up-front cost might seem daunting, it’ll pay off over time. Rather than buying a new computer every few years, a Mac should last you 4+ years or more. My Mac turns eight in September! Talk about a crazy ROI for a computer that costs less than $189 per year to own!

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch,...
Quad-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor; Brilliant Retina Display with True Tone technology

If you’re looking for a new computer, I recommend buying the best specifications you can afford to future-proof your system. Just to give you an idea, my current Mac has a 2.9 GHz i7 processor with 1 TB SSD and 16 GB RAM. I wouldn’t go less than 16 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD these days.

2. Streaming Stick – $30

Let’s be honest. Who even buys cable anymore? And, if you’re scared to admit you’re still paying a cable company to watch TV, that’s okay. I won’t tell! All the more reason to check into Streaming Sticks!

To watch Hulu, YouTubeTV, Netflix, etc. you’ll need a SmartTV or a Streaming Stick. I’ve used them all: Roku Express, Fire Sticks, and Apple TV.

If you’re thinking about getting a streaming stick, then I recommend choosing whichever brand matches your Smart Home devices. If you’re currently using Amazon Alexa, get a Fire Stick. If you’re using Google Assistant, get a Roku. (I don’t recommend Chromecast, as there are far better options available now.)

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NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender...
SAFE & SECURE: Supports WEP and WPA/WPA2 wireless security protocols.
$39.99 −$8.36 $31.63
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Xbox 360 250GB Slim Console -...
Xbox 360 Console; Xbox 360 250GB Hard Drive; Xbox 360 Wireless Controller

Lastly, if you’re team iPhone/Mac/Siri/AirPlay, then get an Apple TV. I’m very partial to the Apple TV, and I still use my Gen 3. I recommend buying the latest generation streaming stick you can afford. I wouldn’t recommend buying a 3rd Gen Apple TV because you cannot download any additional apps. It’s slightly obsolete, so if you plan to go with Apple, make sure you buy the latest release.

Or, if you’re like me and have an older Apple TV or streaming stick and you don’t want to pay to watch local channels, you can pick up an over-air antenna.

3. Mohu Leaf – $20

Did you know that you can watch local channels in HD for FREE?

A lot of people forget or don’t know about over-air broadcasts. Major networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, CW, and FOX have broadcasts that are accessible for free using a high-definition antenna like the ones from Mohu. I’ve been using the Mohu Leaf 25-mile antenna for a year now, and it’s awesome! You can check to see what channels are available in your area by typing in your zip code, here.

Mohu Leaf 30 Indoor TV...
$39.99 −$5.00 $34.99

Once you have your Mohu Antenna, set up is a breeze. All you have to do is connect the coaxial cable to the back of your TV and run a quick scan. The antenna will pick up all the HD channels nearby. And voila! Free local TV in High Definition.

Combine this with Netflix and Hulu and you can have TV channels for a fraction of the price that cable companies offer.

4. iRobot Roomba – $250

As someone who’s been tuned to the robotics field for the last decade, it’s crazy that I put off buying a Roomba for so long. Just a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and bought an iRobot Roomba 675. It’s been the best electronic gadget I’ve purchased in a while.

iRobot Roomba 675 Robot...
$279.99 −$23.99 $256.00

I leave a trail of crumbs everywhere I go, so having the Roomba keeps my floors cleaner than ever. If you’re on the fence about buying a Roomba or robot vacuum, I highly recommend it. iRobot has an assortment of robots to choose from. I recommend buying one with WiFi (for future-proofing). You can also choose to buy robots designed to vacuum on carpet and for pet hair.

If algorithms, self-dispensing, and cleaning patterns matter, I recommend going with the iRobot Roomba 960. I’ve used both the 675 and 960 models, and can honestly say they’re money well spent!

5. Philips Hue – $50

The fifth electronic gadget on the list is the Philips Hue. These are “smart” lightbulbs and lights that can be controlled from smartphones and home automation systems. You can set the brightness, tint, and assign an automatic schedule with Philips Hue.

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Bestseller No. 2
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Linkind Smart Light...
$39.99 −$10.00 $29.99

If you’re looking for a way to add tech to your home, Philips Hue is a great option. I bought the Philips Hue Starter set back in 2016 as a set of wake-up lights. They’re easy to use and compatible with just about every voice assistant and smart home configuration.

6. Instant Pot – $79

Tired of spending hours in the kitchen? Then you’ll want to check out the Instant Pot. The “Insta Pot” as I call it, is a pressure cooker that can make a variety of foods. I use it to cook perfect rice, shredded chicken, and meatballs.

Rather than spending hours watching a stove or preparing meals, I add ingredients to the Insta Pot, close the lid, and set the timer. It’s as easy as that. In 30 minutes or so, I have a really tasty and healthy meal. It’s great because I can cook dinner while working on other things. Multitasking at its finest!

I highly recommend this electronic gadget if you’re the kind of person who enjoys home-cooked meals, but you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

7. Pur Water Filter – $26

Next on the list is the Pur Water Filtration system. Bottled water isn’t eco-friendly and is very expensive. Tap water tastes gross. So, what’s a good alternative? My top pick is the Pur water system. I’ve used Brita most of my life (so no snuff to them); however, I find that the Pur water system does a better job of removing the mineral taste.

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Xbox Series X Replica Mini...
Form factor: Compact
$139.99 −$51.16 $88.83
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ASUS ROG Cetra True Wireless...
Wireless charging: Case can be charged conveniently via wireless charging.; Touch control: Simple quick-touch controls enable rapid in-game adjustments.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Nintendo Super Smash Bros....
Includes motion controls, HD Rumble feature, built-in amigo functionality*, and more; Also includes charging cable (USB-C to USB-A)
$93.99 −$19.00 $74.99

I’ve used Pur throughout the United States (Boston, New York, Florida) and can testify that it does “purify” the water and makes it taste great! If you’re looking for a healthy gadget for yourself or as a gift, I recommend the Pur 18-cup dispenser for the fridge.

8. Powerbeats 3 – $140

Like most nerdy, tech people, I enjoy listening to music while I work. And, since I also enjoy fitness and working out, I bought the Powerbeats 3. I’ve owned two pairs of these headphones and have gifted a few pairs as well. They’re light-weight and sound great for music and phone calls. I like them because they have a long battery life, fast charge mode, and they’re sweat-proof. Plus, they’re connected by a cord that I can wear around my neck without the fear of losing them.

Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones...
High-performance wireless earphones; Compatible with iOS and Android devices.; Up to 12 hours of battery life to power through multiple workouts
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless...
Totally wireless high-performance earphones; Up to 9 hours of listening time (more than 24 hours with charging case)
$249.95 −$50.00 $199.95
Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)...
Quick access to Siri by saying “ Hey Siri ”; More than 24 hours total listening time with the Charging Case
$129.00 −$30.00 $99.00

Beats also make the Powerbeats Pro, which isn’t tethered like the Powerbeats 3. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, but if you’d rather have a more minimal look, I’d recommend giving them a try for yourself. For iPhone users, I also recommend looking at the AirPods.

9. Minimal RFID Wallet – $17

I’ve grown to love minimal wallets. Mostly because if you don’t carry a purse, you’re not stuck carrying everyone else’s junk. If you plan on buying a minimal wallet, make sure that it is RFID-blocking. That way, as you’re walking around, your wallet will prevent RFID readers from picking up sensitive information stored in RFID credit cards and ID cards.

I recently received the Titanz Slim Minimal wallet as a gift, and it’s awesome! You can easily store credit cards and ID cards. There are inside pockets that fit a few bills; however, I wouldn’t recommend this wallet for carrying a lot of cash without a money clip.

10. Leatherman Wingman – $59

Last, but not least is the Leatherman Wingman. I’ve had this multitool since college, and it’s phenomenal. If you’re in engineering, especially in a shop-floor environment, I highly recommend picking up a leatherman. They’re rugged and can get you through the majority of mechanical issues you might encounter in manufacturing.

There are also portable and TSA-friendly multitool keychains, if you’re looking for a small tech gadget you can give as a gift. I’m always using keys to open boxes, so having one of these on my keychain would be helpful!

Gerber Gear Shard Keychain -...
Lightweight And Airline Safe; Titanium Nitride Coating For Corrosion Resistance; Perfect Size To Carry Anywhere On A Keychain
$9.00 −$2.02 $6.98
Nite Ize KMT-11-R3 Easily...
Security; Manufacturer: Nite Ize; Country of Manufacturer: China

What electronic gadgets do you use every day?

In this article, I shared with you a list of electronic gadgets that I use daily. It’s easy to buy gifts that end up sitting on a shelf or in a closet. I wanted to highlight some of the products I think are most useful that you can buy either for yourself or as a gift. Anyone who’s in the engineering, tech, making, or nerdy fields, would enjoy these options.

What electronic gadgets do you use every day? Let me know in the comments below!

And, if you found value in this article, be sure to share it on your favorite social media channel.

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