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2012 GadgetGuy Holiday Gift Guide: Appliances

By Leigh D. Stark | 5:24 pm 12/12/2012

Cooking is cool, and with some of the latest appliances in your Santa Bag you’ll raise the kitchen fun quotient for all the folks on your gift list.

We’re not talking fondue sets and corn forks here, but slick, on-trend gadgetry to complement today’s modern scullery and turn anyone into a food and beverage rockstar.

Coffee

Coffee machines are, like, so hot right now. If it takes capsules (or pods), makes a great cup of Joe or hot chocolate, and is easy enough for a six-year-old to operate, it’s in demand.

Here are our picks of the pack.

Woolworths Caffitaly S14

Price: $100

Possibly the cheapest pod machine on the market, and with pods among the most affordable of any capsule coffee system, the Caffitaly is great value for lovers of a steamy mug.

It supports capsules intended for the ‘MAP’ coffee makers sold by Officeworks too, meaning there are other flavour options outside those stocked at Gloria Jeans and Woolworths.

Read our review…

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio

Price: $249

Conveniently stocked at Coles and IGA supermarkets, Nescafe’s Dolce Gusto range provides a quick and clever cuppa, with a range of flavours to choose from –  some with the milk already in the pod, ready for action.

It does more than just hot coffee too,  with hot chocolate, iced coffee, and even iced tea pods available.

Read our review…

Nespresso U

Price: $299

The most affordable Nespresso machine, the U is a compact device that asks little of its barista – just throw a pod in, select one of three coffee sizes and watch the drink materialise right before your eyes.

Nespresso’s U includes the Aeroccino milk frother, so you can make a tasty cappuccino and then pour the milk in, or vice versa.

Read our review… 

Nespresso Maestria

Price: $699

If the Nespresso U is not fancy enough for the coffee snob on your Santa’s list, consider the Maestria.  The biggest pod machine in the Nespresso line-up, it features premium materials and a chic design complemented by controls that allow you to specify how long your lungo will be, and how short that short black can be.

Read more about this…

Breville Infuser Coffee Machine

Price: $549

No pods here – Breville’s Infuser Coffee Machine mixes old school with modern Thermocoil technology for heating the water for your morning brew.

A big 1.8 litre tank means it’s easy to produce many cups before having to refill, and included in the package is a tamper, several filter baskets and frothing jug. Best of all, the semi-automatic system makes it easy enough to produce a home-made coffee that’s as close as you can get to the one from your local.

Cooling

Not everyone is into coffee, and some people prefer to chill out with a cold drink, not a hot one. For that, we have appliances that fulfil a range functions to help those on your Christmas list keep their cool during the holidays… and beyond.

Kambrook Little Chefs Soft Scoops Ice Cream Maker

Price: $49.95

Kids  need  ice cream. It’s got milk in it, and all that calcium goodness is essential for healthy growth and development, right?

OK, so that argument might be a little spurious and the sproglets on your list maybe don’t really need ice cream, but there are surely times they deserve it, and this Little Chef will help them devise creative flavours for everyone to enjoy.

Read more about this…

Sunbeam Tower Fan FA7500

Price: $159

Sunbeams’ cylindrical tower fan puts a new spin on the conventional jet engine propeller design and adds a built-in timer so you don’t have to wake up to switch it off during the cooler early mornings of the forthcoming hot summer nights.

Dyson AM01 Fan

Price: $399

It’s the Aston Martin of portable fans, with the latest and greatest technology stuffed into a compact and appealing form that  has no blades. You can put your arm right the middle of it, and it’s generally regarded as being safer for kids.

Dyson’s air multipliers aren’t your regular fan, though, sucking air in through the bottom and speeding it up through one of Dyson’s motors, pushing it out through the frame of the fan at a speed that makes it colder than a conventional model.

Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker

Price: $399

Nothing says ‘Summer’  more than ice cream… except maybe beer. But hey, you can always mix the two.

An ice cream maker can help here, and Breville’s Smart Scoop features 12 hardness settings and a built-in compressor to assist in the alchemy and cool the mixture down faster than basic bowl-type makers.

Cleaning

There are those who can’t relax with a coffee or an ice cream unless everything is uber clean. For them, we have some advice (that we’ll keep to ourselves) and some gift ideas to help them achieve domestic zen.

LG VK9820UH Dust Compression Vacuum

Price: $549

One of the only vacuums in the world to feature dust compression, LG’s bagless cleaner has been designed to prevent irritating harmful dust particles from hurting you.

The cleaner compresses the dust and packs it more tightly into the barrel, so that when you dispose of the sucked up waste you won’t succumb to bouts of coughing.

Samsung NaviBot Light

Price: $599

Take a break from conventional vacuuming and let the future do the work, with an automated robotic vacuum cleaner.

This one makes a map of the house and works out where it needs to clean, or you can pick up a remote and make it do your bidding.

Read more about this…

Husqvarna AutoMower 305

Price: $1999

The automatic robotic vacuum cleaner comes to a yard, with Husqvarna’s consumer-friendly automated lawnmower.

The AutoMower 305 is one of the few lawnmowers that actually draws its inspiration from a sheep, cutting the grass in random patterns and then coming back to base whenever it needs to recharge.

Read more about this…

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