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Cheap last-minute gifts for your favorite tech nerd

Out of time? Don't worry, you're not out of options. Here are some easy but awesome last-minute gift ideas.

Well, here we are, folks -- the home stretch. You've got less than 48 hours to solve your procrastination woes, to find the ultimate tech gift for that special someone. Have no fear; the Cheapskate is here.

1. A gift subscription to Next Issue

Unlimited magazine access courtesy of Next Issue.
Unlimited magazine access courtesy of Next Issue. Next Issue

Tablets are great for reading -- not just books, but also magazines. Next Issue is an all-you-can-read digital magazine service that affords unlimited access to around 125 titles -- good, mainstream mags that people actually want to read.

Thus, for as little as $14.99, you can gift a subscription that includes Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appetit, Car and Driver, Cooking Light, Consumer Reports, GQ, Men's Health, and lots more. Next Issue is available for iPhone and iPad (though it's much better on the latter), Android tablets running Android 3.1 and later, Kindle Fire HD and HDX, and Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

If you're shopping for a Nook owner, check out Barnes & Noble's new deal: two Nook magazine subscriptions for the price of one. It includes not only the next year's worth of each magazine, but also the last 12 issues.

2. A gift subscription to Netflix


Is it possible there's someone who still doesn't have Netflix? Time to show crazy old Uncle Al what all the fuss is about. Netflix gift subscriptions are available for periods of 1 to 12 months, meaning you can spend anywhere from $7.99 to $95.88 depending on your budget.

And to really make it gift-like, you can choose from over a dozen eye-catching gift-card designs. Then you just add a message and decide whether you want to print or e-mail the subscription. Easy-peasy.

3. A gift card that goes anywhere

Ah, the old standby. The gift card. Zip into the nearest drugstore or gas station and, boom, you're done. Of course, what if cousin Jethro already has a pile of iTunes cards? Or doesn't like to eat at Olive Garden? Too bad a gift card locks him into one particular place.

It doesn't have to. iCard lets you buy certificates that can be redeemed for one of 250 different gift cards. The extensive merchant list covers everything from AMC Theaters to Panera Bread, to Zappos. Alas, you can't choose a custom amount -- available increments include $10, $25, $50, $75, and so on. But this is still a good way to make sure the recipient gets what he or she really wants, not whatever you plucked off the rack last-minute.

iCard certificates can be printed or e-mailed.

4. A gift of game

Give the gift of game.
Give the gift of game. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Stop thinking old-school when it comes to computer games: You don't need to find a store, buy a boxed copy, wrap it, and all that. Instead, you can gift a game via e-mail.

Just head to Gamer's Gate, choose the game you want to give, and click "Gift This Game" below the "Buy" button.

For example, if you need a gift for someone who loves zombies, "The Walking Dead: Season Two" is now available, and for the very Secret-Santa-friendly price of $24.99. The recipient will receive a download link and activation code via e-mail.

5. A gift of learning

Oh, come on -- you knew this was going to be on the list.
Oh, come on -- you knew this was going to be on the list. Rick Broida

The best gift of all, of course, is my book: "The Cheapskate Rules: 21 Easy Money-Saving Tech Secrets." Even if you already know some of these money-saving methods, it's a good bet your friends and family members don't.

And at only $4.99, talk about a cheap gift! Just click that yellow "Give as a Gift" button on the right side of the page and you're good to go.

By the way, although it's available only in the Kindle store (for now -- it's coming to other platforms very soon), anyone with a PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone can read it via various Kindle apps.

Have you found another last-minute gift that's good for tech types? Talk it up in the comments!

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

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