1. Cheap, excellent headphones
Everybody needs one cheap pair of headphones. Monoprice's 8320 headphones are that pair: At $9, they are nearly disposable, but they are in fact supremely decent buds.
It's like a Polaroid, but better.
Everybody like some movie. And everybody likes some game — they just haven't found it yet. These games are breathtaking, groundbreaking titles that practically anyone can play. And they're cheap.
Reading books on soft, comfortable paper is so much nicer than staring at a giant light bulb for a couple of hours, especially at night.
If you want to know why gadgets today so often look the way that they do, Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams will explain it to you across 808 beautiful pages, in both English and German.
Free two-day shipping sounds like a perk, a trifle, a distraction even — but it is transformational to the experience of being a consumer.
A Sunday-only subscription still gets you full digital access, meaning the complete daily edition as well as generous archive access reaching back to 1851 (trawling old NYTs is a pastime of mine).
4G wireless hotspots practically pull Wi-Fi out of the ether. And these have no commitment.
Your electronics are disgusting. This $25 package — wrap to taste — contains the three pillars of electronic cleanliness: compressed air, a package of microfiber chamois, and household isopropyl alcohol.
Super-easy backup: CrashPlan+ lets you back up an entire computer on the internet.
The Roku can't quite replace a full cable package with DVR, but it comes a lot closer than people might think.
No one has to know you're using special dork gloves! They'll just be AMAZED you can use your phone with your gloves on and they can't.
Nobody plans to run out of battery power, which is why few people think to buy battery packs for themselves — and why they're a perfect gift.
James Gleick's The Information is a sweeping history of the concept of data, while Andrew Blum's Tubes is a port-to-port textual diagram of how the internet fits together, where and how it physically exists and what that means to regular people.
A taste of audiophile sound. Or just a huge upgrade from terrible laptop speakers.
Unlimited access to basically the entirety of modern recorded music, since the catalogs of Spotify and Rdio contain literally millions of tracks.
The ultimate fitness gadget: Fitbit One automatically tracks steps, distance, stairs climbed, calories burned and how well you sleep.
(BTW, full disclosure: BuzzFeed gets a small kickback if you purchase something on Amazon after following any of the above links. It's automated.)