7 hardware gifts for software developers

Coding requires concentration, and concentration requires comfort. These gifts will make any developer’s life easier

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Das / Logitech / Herman Miller / Sony / Corsair / JBL / Lenovo

Holiday gifts for software developers

Need a little gift for the team’s Secret Santa party? Or a bigger gift for that one special coder in your life? Or maybe you’re looking to reward yourself, after spending all of Thanksgiving weekend figuring out why the app stack won’t stay stacked. Whatever the reason, InfoWorld’s holiday gift guide has you covered. Here are seven hardware gifts—ranging from less than $100 to more than $1,000—that will help keep your favorite developer happy and productive. 

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Das Keyboard 5Q programmable keyboard

The Das Keyboard 5Q is a high-end mechanical keyboard with many developer-oriented goodies (read my review). Each key can be assigned its own color light value based on Node.js-scriptable actions, so that incoming email could cause the “E” key to flash red, for example. List price: $249.

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Logitech

Logitech MX Vertical ergonomic mouse

Vertical mice allow users to keep their wrist at a more natural angle, helping to reduce the repetitive stress injuries that can come with long coding sessions. The cordless Logitech MX Vertical has every feature you’d expect from a computer mouse — two main buttons, a middle-click scroll wheel, a DPI control button (for setting precision or sensitivity), and Logitech’s universal wireless connector system. List price: $99.99. 

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Herman Miller

Herman Miller Aeron chair

If you have the money for a Herman Miller Aeron Taskchair, it’s a no-brainer. The admittedly hefty purchase price not only buys you one of the most comfortable chairs you can sit in, but also a twelve-year warranty, making an Aeron chair a long-term investment in coding station comfort. Pick from three different sizes to suit your body type, and don’t be fooled by cheaper imitations. List price: $1,395. 

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Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones

Developers stuck in cube farms or open-plan offices need all of the silence they can get. The Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise-canceling headphones aren’t cheap, but they filter out everything except the most abrupt and penetrating noises, leaving you lost in your productive thoughts or the music of your choice. They also work as regular Bluetooth headphones for accepting calls, and run for 5 hours on a 10-minute charge. List price: $279.99. 

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Corsair MM1000 Qi wireless charging mouse pad

Gaming hardware has a lot to offer the software developer. Consider the Corsair MM1000 Qi, Corsair’s combination wireless charging mat and mousepad. It not only charges Corsair’s wireless mice (or works as a regular mousepad for all other mice), but also charges Qi-enabled wireless devices of all kinds. It also includes USB Micro-B and Type C connectors for charging wired devices, or for connecting them to the PC via a passthrough port. List price: $79.99. 

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JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker

These days, a home or pop-up office could be anywhere — a hotel room, a beach, or a cruise cabin. JBL’s Flip series of Bluetooth speakers give you audio wherever you might set up camp. The JBL Flip 5 delivers 12 hours of continuous playing time on a single charge by way of a standard USB-C connector, and comes in your choice of 11 colors. And it’s IPX7 waterproof, so you’re safe programming by the pool. List price: $119.95. 

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 laptop

The latest revision of a notebook PC that has become a developer favorite, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 offers up to six Intel CPU cores, native 4K video on a 14-inch display, a 51Wh battery that delivers up to 18 hours of run time, and all of the top-of-the-line engineering that has become synonymous with the ThinkPad line. Price starts at $999.  

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