Have yourself a very techy Christmas and Happy New Year or how you can make the holidays of your nearest and dearest just a bit more shinier
Well, it’s this time of year again. And, much as you-know-what disrupted a lot of things second time in a row, it won’t manage to spoil holidays for us, as long as we won’t be put off the tradition making them just a bit more magic – the tradition of gifts. Which still remains possible to keep, not least thanks to the fact that we now live largely in the gadget world.
So here is our choice of the top 17 gizmos that can put a smile on the faces of your family and friends. Why such a non-round number, you might ask? Well, just because we always go for quality above flossing (not that we reject the latter completely, mind, and nor do the gadget makers, but we do keep our priorities straight and choose the companies that do the same).
And, starting small, let us turn your attention to Pro Click Mini mouse by Razer – a fine example of the fact that small doesn’t always mean negligible. In this case it actually means useful and convenient. Even despite the fact that its price isn’t that big for this kind of mouse either ($80, to be precise). Because you’ll be hard-pressed to find such a convenient and – as opposed to most of its fellow computer mice (not to mention live ones) – quiet accessory. It’s a pleasure to put your fingers on: the shape and the curves make sure to take as much tension from your hand as possible – and the “click” in the name sounds cheekily ironic once you try it. And yes, wirelessness is a given here.
Speaking of the wireless, Google is the way to go again as far as earpieces are concerned. Their Pixel buds give the owner great sound quality, are gentle on the ears (thanks to the elastic fringe), and their case doubles as a charger. Plus, all that, again, will cost you less than 100 (even if by a cent). What’s not to love?
But if you want to splash bigger for someone this year, there are also nice (if dearer) non-wired earphones from Soundcore. Liberty 3 Pro earphones sound just as great as Pixels, but also drown the outside noise and boost the bass to the velvet level.
Next one is for those of us who are always on the road and are not in the mood to always look for the mains. Or those who prefer the devices of the major players, from Apple to Google, who are presently more concerned with their “green credits” than their followers’ ease of life, and you’re most likely to get your newest model of phone or tablet without a charger. If it applies to anyone you’d want to make a bit happier these winter holidays, just give them the Nano Pro from Anker. It is not bigger than those cubes the aforesaid Apple used to include in their cases and will work with whatever major brand just as fast.
For the picture buffs who (naturally) already have their iPhones, there is a way to make their photographs even more stunning by putting the Pro Lens Kit by Xenvo under the tree for them. The small yet powerful TruView and Clarus lens set, accompanied by quite a few handy accessories, from cloth to mini-torch, will make their phones into nothing short of a portable studio, extending their phone camera reach to where it couldn’t get before.
But in case the phones, no matter how fine, are not enough for your photography-minded relatives or buddies, there is always the option to go all the way and get a camera for them. Which field, if you ask us, is still led by Sony. The little body of their Zv-1 Compact manages to pack it all, from stretchable viewfinder and automatic focus to mic slot 4K quality, while being a breeze to use.
As for those close to you who are too much in love with their current TV set to swap it for the new smart ones, they can still have all the bells and whistles of apps and streaming on the big screen if you’ll give them the Streaming Stick from, you’ve probably guessed it, Roku. Once they’ll put it in the TV’s USB slot, all the contents they’d wish for, from Netflix to Peacock, will be at their fingertips, in the best possible resolution.
But if they prefer games to TV shows – and belong to the Apple crowd – then look no further than the new Razer’s pad. Its Kishi controller is easy to hold, flexibly snaps onto a phone (almost regardless of the size) and all the necessary keys are perfectly responsive, without stiffness or jumpiness to interfere with the gamer’s enjoyment.
Or let the ones you want to spoil this festive season immerse themselves into the fantasy world completely and treat them to the Virtual Reality Headset by Oculus, aptly named Quest (and there’s the 2nd generation out now already). It is one case of the name saying it all… and it’s even costing less than it used to ($299). No wires here either, and the 128GB of memory virtually removes all bounds from the happy owner’s entertainment).
Now the more imaginative – or meditative – of your friends may be happier with Nanoleaf Elements, building their different, abstract yet beautiful worlds out of these soothing angular panels all by themselves.
And to those still preferring real life – and their own health and fitness – there is always good old Fitbit, this year offering the Charge 5 tracker, measuring a lot of the wearer’s vitals and activities even in their sleep, without being intrusive (speaking about the usefulness of being small again). If you ask us, $130 is a really small price to pay here.
However, if you’ll want to help someone to get out of this world yet remain in reality, the best middle ground here is, oxymoronically, a telescope. And of this kind, we definitely recommend the Nikon-equipped, light contamination-removing, auto-detection sporting eVscope eQuinox by Unistellar. Let those you love to get closer to the stars! (If you can afford it at $2,999, of course).
And finally, the tips for each of the three still most-popular types of gadgets out there: the phones, the tablets and the laptops. Two of which still come from Apple. But what can you do? MacBook still tops the latter field with its new M1 model, boasting the mighty native CPU in one of the lightest frames possible and one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market. And the iPad Mini still lords it over all the competitors with its brilliant Liquid Retina, generous storage and memory (up to 256GB and 4GB respectively), large screen and powerful processor all in one. But, for a change, as far as phones go, we’ll treacherously cheat on Apple with Samsung this time. Because, credit is where credit is due, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G also has it all (which you can gather from the title alone). Yes, it flips, it unfolds without a hint of crease on the image, it connects on the highest level, and with 120HZ frequency and upped sturdiness thrown in, there are few, if any, that can compete… at least for those with big enough pockets.
So there you have it. Enjoy… and, more importantly, make those who mean the most to you enjoy themselves.
- The Best Tech Gifts to Buy This Year (Before They Sell Out) – New York Magazine
- Sell your pre-owned gadget online – iGotOffer
TOP 10 Tech Gifts (2021) [Video]
Video uploaded by Mike O’Brien on November 11, 2021