It’s been a good month now since the shops put their Christmas decorations up and looped The Pogues and Wizard endlessly. As we get into December, it’s probably time the rest of us accepted that we need to start thinking about presents and go spend some money.
But look on the bright side! It’s also the time of year you can revisit those gadgets that you couldn’t afford, or justify, then ask a family member if they will buy them for you!
After all, Santa doesn’t question your wish list, does he?
Dependent On Gadgets has seen a few very cool gadgets this year. Many that would make great presents. So here’s a top 5, in no particular order, hopefully suitable for different people and wallet sizes.
1. EC Technology Folding Keyboard
As the photos in the review will attest, I have a bit of a weakness for keyboards. This folding one goes everywhere with me. Not only was it very cheap, but it’s also light and superbly portable for something that folds out to an practical and sizable device. It’s great for productivity geeks, as it makes your smartphone an awesome notetaker and even better for social networking addicts who want to keep up with the conversations on WhatsApp, Facebook etc. It’ll happily pair with your Android or IOS tablet or phone and is great for touchscreen users who miss the feel of a physical keyboard.
2. Fiio Q1 DAC and Headphone Amp
The music lover in your family or friends circle is likely to already have a nice pair of headphones, a subscription to a music service (or massive mp3 collection) and a computer or smartphone to enjoy their tunes on. That’s everything you need, right?
Wrong. Playing back music on a phone or computer is fine, but doesn’t sound great. In fact a nice pair of headphones might even help the keen listener pick out the flaws. No, what this lucky person needs is for you to give them a Fiio Q1. Put simply, it’s a beautiful portable device that takes over producing and amplifying the sound from your music player and makes it sound fantastic. Take a look at the full review here, or just buy one.
3. Expower BT28S Bluetooth Speaker
The high street and internet are awash with bluetooth speakers. Most with brands that you’ve never heard of. You’ll want to check whether the person you have in mind already has a bluetooth speaker, but if they don’t - then save yourself about £50 and get an Expower BT28S from Amazon. Seriously, this well built, aluminium clad speaker sounds as good as anything I’ve heard at twice the price. I reviewed it as part of a rant about Amazon earlier in the year - but here I am recommending you buy from them.
4. NetGear Arlo Q
Everything has to be ‘smart’ these days. Well, that’s what the ad-folk think anyway. Whilst the toaster and the fridge can probably do without an internet connection, these ‘Arlo’ branded cameras from Netgear are absolutely fantastic.
Easy to set up, they become an home security system that you can monitor via an app from anywhere there’s a connection and when armed, any trigger will see high quality video clips recorded to the cloud for your viewing pleasure - probably when Grandad has been caught nipping the Xmas gin at 3am. Full review.
5. Amazon Fire Tablet
These dropped to under £30 during the Black Friday sales, but even under £50, they still represent fantastic value. Tech fans and geeks might want to look elsewhere, but for children and the non-iPad loving grown-up user - these little tablets are far more capable than their lowly specs would suggest. Highly recommended budget tech. Review.
Happy Christmas dear reader. Thanks for being here. I didn’t get to write as often as I wanted in 2016, but I have discovered some pretty cool stuff as I journeyed through this very strange year.
2017 will bring in big change for me as I become a father for the first time. No doubt the gadgets on the blog will reflect that, as I’m currently researching video monitors and other baby related technology. But I’ll also hopefully have time to report on some seriously cool stuff, starting with the Samsung Gear 360 camera. I promise not to only use it to record videos of cats and babies. Well, not promise, but I’ll try.
Have a good one everybody. See you on the other side.