When it comes to giving and receiving presents, there is more choice than ever, but choosing still remains difficult. Even as someone who starts their Christmas shopping in November (yes, sorry, those early xmas adverts are probably for me), I still have a few gaps where I just can’t decide. We all like receving, but we also like to get it right when we’re giving. It’s great to make someone happy when you nail it and it’s a bit of a heart-sink when you can tell you miss the mark.
So, with Christmas looming and some tense looking shoppers out there this weekend, I thought I’d nominate five gadgets that I reviewed this year that I think would put a smile on the face of your nearest and dearest.
1. Google Cardboard
In many ways, this stocking filler offers the biggest glimpse of the future of consumer technology here. Google Cardboard, along with your smartphone and a few apps will introduce your loved one to modern virtual reality. Yes, it’s basic, but there are games and immersive videos that really do amaze. The downside is that some games can make one feel a bit seasick, so perhaps hand this present over before Christmas lunch!! Full Review
2. ExPower Rugged Speaker
I was given this to review back in June and it’s been one of my favourite gadgets of the year. Once upon a time, I’d never go for music equipment without a big Japanese brand on it, but these days, some of the more expensive equipment can be positively embarrassed by less well known brands. Bluetooth speakers regularly cost more than 100 on the high street, but not only does this one sound at least as good, it costs a fraction of the price and has been ruggedised to stand up to drops, dust, sand and water - so you can enjoy it pretty much anywhere. Full Review
3. Pebble Time
Pebble released their first colour smartwatch this year in the shape of the ‘Time’ and although it’s not been without some criticism, it’s a very fine smartwatch. At release, I was concerned that it would struggle to justify its price tag, but that’s since fallen and it now offers good value, as well as remaining streets ahead of the competition on battery life, with a realistic 5-6 days being achievable. Really it’s own issue now is that it has a younger brother in the shape of the Pebble Time Round, which may have stolen its ‘cool’. Full Review
4. Chromecast Audio
Given that I’ve got not one, but two Chromecast Audios on my Christmas Wishlist, I cannot miss them out here. These attractive little gadgets connect to your speakers and stream music from the internet, with your smartphone or tablet acting as the remote control. Cool though this is, as of this week, they’re even cooler as you can now ‘cast’ your music to more than one Chromecast at a time, meaning you can fill your house with the same playlist, all perfectly synchronised between rooms. There’s even support for hi-res music now, so the music buffs would probably love to receive one too. Full Review
5. MacBook 2015
A controversial machine if there ever was one, so I include a little caution with this one. A super techie may consider this to be an under-powered, under-connected, over priced little computer. As someone who’s used one, I can see that it’s wonderfully engineered, super light and portable and yet a joy to use for every day tasks. If you’re looking for a really special, money doesn’t matter, gorgeous gift - you’ll make someone’s day with this. Full Review
Wishing you all a very happy gadgety Christmas! Hope you've enjoyed the blog this year and here's to an exciting 2016!!