Christmas is supposed to be a time to relax, to kick off the pressures of everyday life and enjoy a little self-indulgence. So while the rest of the family are rushing around buying you socks again this Christmas, sit back and feast your eyes on these cracking gift ideas, then simply click the buttons to buy them… for yourself.
HP Envy 13 Laptop
If Santa uses a laptop I would assume he has one of these. Slender enough (1.39cm) to slip into his sack without taking up vital present space, light enough (1.38kg) to keep his sleigh airborne and fast enough to process all those stocking filler requests in time for Christmas, it’s the perfect laptop for the busy modern legend. Bonus points include B&O Speakers, up to 14 hours of battery life and full HD touch screen, plus a three year guarantee if you buy it from John Lewis.
£949.95 from John Lewis
GoPro HERO5 Black Action Camera
If Blue Planet has put you in the mood for diving beneath the waves and filming stunning footage of fish, ask Santa for this 4K GoPro camera. It’s waterproof down to 10m without a housing and the 4K bit means the picture quality is the best in the business – those 4,000 pixels giving four times the detail you’re used to from HD TV. It’s really easy to use and you can set it to upload your footage automatically to the cloud too. And if you don’t like fish, well, you can fix it to your cycling helmet and make those drivers think twice about cutting you up.
£299 from Amazon
Sonos Home Wireless Speaker System
Christmas isn’t Christmas without music. And Sonos is like having your very own choir of angels about the house. Controllable from any WiFi enabled device – phone, laptop, tablet – via your home hub, Sonos streams music from any source – eg Spotify or your own iTunes music library – to any room in the house where you want it. You can start with one speaker in one room and build up your system to have speakers in every room, all playing the same thing or all playing their own thing. There are three speaker sizes: Play1 (smallest), Play 3 (medium) and Play 5 (largest), all with excellent sound quality.
Play 1 £149 from John Lewis
Play 3 £249 from John Lewis
Play 5 £409 from Amazon
JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth Speaker
Bluetooth speakers enable you to wirelessly add a bit of oomph to the audio from your phone or computer. They’re great for home cinema – if you have a projector and screen, you can send the audio to your Bluetooth speaker from your laptop and it sounds like it’s coming from the screen. No wires or cables – just great sound. There are lots of Bluetooth speakers on the market and most of them are pretty good but this is my favourite. Small and compact, it has excellent sound quality, is simple to use and it’s splash proof too, so you can listen to it in the bath.
£69.99 from Amazon
Sony MDR-ZX330BT Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
What’s that? Turn it down? Trying to listen to the Queen’s speech eh? OK, time to don the headphones. These Sony Bluetooth phones produce excellent sound as well as blocking out unwanted noise, and all without any wires to dangle in your sherry trifle. Pairing with your music source is easy thanks to the NFC (Near Field Communication) capability. Just tap your NFC enabled device (phone, laptop etc) on the headphones and bingo! No NFC device? No problem, just use the Bluetooth. You can listen away to your heart’s content without anyone, not even the Queen, interrupting your enjoyment.
£48.99 from Amazon
Amazon Echo Dot
Artificial Intelligence is here – and it’s actually pretty handy. The Amazon Echo led the way, with its Alexa voice activated home assistant, and now the Echo Dot offers all that in a smaller, more affordable package. Ask Alexa to play music, settle an argument, control your lights and heating, set the alarm, do your shopping or even tell you a joke. No, on second thoughts, don’t encourage the jokes. The Echo Dot can be integrated with Sonos too, and it has Bluetooth and a 3.5mm output for boosting its own sound through speakers or headphones. Not sure it can cook a turkey yet but it’s only a matter of time.
£34.99 from Amazon
Apple Watch 3
Ever since Captain Kirk first issued orders by speaking into a device on his wrist, we’ve been waiting for a watch that doubles as a phone. This year, Apple (who else) delivered, with its Apple Watch 3, a smart watch with cellular connectivity. You can use it as a fitness tracker, a music player, an organiser, a route finder… everything your phone can do. Use the Siri voice activation to tell it what you want to do, eg make a call, check your calendar or find a last-minute recipe for bread sauce – all from the comfort of your toboggan. Oh, and it tells the time too.
From £329 GPS
From £399 GPS+Cellular from Apple
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Drone Camera
A drone is for life, not just for Christmas… provided you don’t crash it. If you haven’t got one yet, start sending those begging letters to Santa right now. It will change your whole perspective on life – literally. Possibly the most amazing thing about this piece of kit is the camera, which is equipped with a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 4K/60fps video and Burst Mode stills at 14 fps. That basically means incredibly stable, clear images for the full Walking In The Air experience. You can edit and share the pictures on the fly too, using the built-in screen on the remote control console. With a flight time of 30 minutes, there’ll be no excuse for not seeing things from other people’s point of view this Christmas.
LG 38UC99 38″ IPS 21:9 UltraWide Curved Monitor
You only have to look at this piece of kit to understand why you should have one. It’s all about the visuals, the stunning 3840 x 1600 QHD+ resolution. The 38in curved screen is brilliant for creative design work, immersing you in the image with a consistent quality right across the screen, but it can also be split to show different data sources, so investors, programmers etc can view large amounts of information without having to have a bank of monitors. The built-in sound is good too, so it’s great for gaming and films.
Nokia 3310 Mobile Phone
Talk and text… that’s it. With this classic gadget you’re buying peace and quiet. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, news updates, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger or anything. It’s a time-out phone, the perfect antidote to modern life, ideal for spreading a little tranquility this Christmas. Oh, and it has Snake.
From £49.95 from Amazon
Prices and specs may vary. You are advised to conduct your own research before buying.
Richard & The Team
TipTop IT Support