Think different: 5 cool geek gift ideas

Good for the holidays or any time of year, these off-the-beaten-path items will stand out

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This time of year I get bombarded with emails suggesting gifts for geeks, but they propose the usual fare: the "Doctor Who" teapot from ThinkGeek.com, a new gadget from Best Buy, any of the bevy of Apple products (iPhone 6 Plus, anyone?). Personally, I've been waiting to get the new Microsoft Band wearable fitness monitor, but it's sold out.

These are all good options. But sometimes you want to find something new and interesting that nobody else is aware of -- something different.

Here are a few thoughts:

Geek Fuel mystery gift boxes

Geek Fuel is a monthly subscription with one-month, three-month, six-month, and one-year plans send a mystery box filled with geeky goodies (games, toys, and so on). My first box included a deck of "Princess Bride" playing cards and a C3PO Pez dispenser. It's a great concept that is packaged well and sure to get your favorite geek to smile.

Lightsaber combat training and a new lightsaber

Saber Combat is a site where you can purchase DVDs that teach you how to master lightsaber battle techniques. Matthew Carauddo, an expert in staged combat, walks you through the choreography that will make your lightsaber battles more polished and realistic.

As a side note, if you are looking for the best, sturdiest plastic lightsabers for kids, I recommend the ones from Hasbro. If you're looking for something a bit more "real," look at sources like Ultra Sabers.

Industrial backgrounds for your videoconferences

It seems like every company I visit these days is going for an industrial look, apparently to evoke a tech industry vibe: exposed brick, old wooden factory flooring, large fans, huge exposed ducts, and leaks like a sieve. It's a great look. But if you work at home or in a building built after 1950, you probably don't have all those cool elements.

That's easily fixed with an industrial pictorial backdrop. Great for webinars and conference calls, such a background makes your office look like an 1800s factory. If you want a geek wall look but don't want to go full industrial, consider repurposed art, like this pretty ocean painting with the USS Enterprise in it.

The ultimate computer chair

Looking for the ultimate computer chair? Have an extra $6,000 to burn for it? The Emperor 1510 chair is exactly what you're looking for. With a scorpion tail that holds three monitors and operates with pistons on the left console, cool built-in lighting, Bose speakers, and a foot rest, you will work and game more than ever with this chair. My only complaint (yes, I have one) is that it's made of superheavy metal and weighs a ton.

Anything made from titanium

Titanium is cool. If you want to pick up a gift made of titanium for your geek, then Unique Titanium is the place to go. If it's not cool enough to have everyday things made of titanium, you can also pick up some unique items like a ring that helps you escape from captivity. (You never know when you might need that, right?)

Sometimes, you want something that says "geek" on a whole new level. I hope I've provided a few ideas to help you find the perfect geek gift for any time of year.

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