Top Tech Picks for Xmas!
At a loss for something to buy for the one that you love this Xmas? No worries, we here at the Gadget Guy are here to help with a dozen of the best things we’ve come across in recent months.
We’re sure you’ll find something here, but just in case, next week we’ll be suggesting things for him to buy for her, and for her to buy for him. With more to come in the leadup to Christmas.
Apple iPhone 7 – $1079 to $1379
C’mon, what need we say about the iPhone? It’s up to number 7. Apart from losing the headphone socket it’s more an evolutionary change than a revolution, but that just means it’s better than ever.
Will your loved one want an iPhone 7? The only people who wouldn’t, we reckon, are avid Android fans or those who already own an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.
ZeroTech “Dobby” Selfie Drone – $599
Got a friend who’s interested in personal photography … from unusual angles? Well, for aerial selfies, the ZeroTech “Dobby” will do the job just fine. It comes with a 13 megapixel camera for taking stills, or full HD video.
You can aim the camera even while it’s flying – for up to nine minutes per charge.
Actually, we wouldn’t mind one of those for ourselves, although we’d probably point the camera elsewhere.
LG OLED65B6T OLED TV – $6799
The fact remains that if someone wants the very best picture quality from their TV, there’s only one technology that’s providing it: OLED. And one company that’s selling OLED TVs.
LG’s new “B” series OLEDs include all the latest features of its smart TVs, and adds to the unsurpassed depths of its blacks a two thirds increase in the brightness of its whites.
DeLonghi Avvolta two slice toaster – $199
How about a toaster as a stocking filler? Okay, maybe it’s a bit big, a bit heavy. But who couldn’t do with having their toaster replaced? This one looks gorgeous and, we discovered, works very well.
With red, white and black as colour options it’ll fit into any décor, especially if the matching kettle is used. For big families, there’s a four slice option.
Bose SoundTouch 300 soundbar – $999
Bose may do headphones well (see below) but its origins and bread and butter are in loudspeakers, and with the SoundTouch 300 it offers a beauty. This can act as a sound bar doing the work of the front left, right and centre speakers in a home theatre system. But it’s also part of Bose’s multiroom system. Control it with an app and it can join with other Bose speakers, filling a home with beautiful sound.
House of Marley Get Together Mini Bluetooth speaker – $199.95
How’s that for cool? Your gift of a Bluetooth speaker doesn’t have to be one with utilitarian styling. House of Marley offers its with a bamboo front, a bamboo rear panel (which doubles as a passive radiator for stronger bass), and a recycled fabric cover for the rest.
It can be plugged into a power point or run on the built in rechargeable battery for up to ten hours. It can even charge your phone while it’s playing.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 Interchangeable Lens camera – $1699 (with lens)
Sure, everyone’s got a camera in their pocket, but if your loved one is serious about their photography, an interchangeable lens camera is a necessity. Panasonic’s latest second-from-the-top model includes very useful features that weren’t available at all in last year’s flagship.
Such as focus stacking, so you can create pictures with incredible depth of field. There’s also 4K video capability, a large touch screen display that swings out to help framing shots taken from odd angles.
And weather sealing. We loved the photos we took with it.
Oppo HA-2SE DAC/Headphone amplifier – $499
The headphone outputs on some Android phones are woefully low in level. The headphone outputs on new iPhones are … hah! Only kidding. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus don’t have headphone outputs!
Anyway, if you want good sound from your phone, this Oppo headphone amplifier and DAC (digital to analogue converter) with do the job to the highest of hifi standards. You can plug the headphone output of your phone into it, or the microUSB B output of your Android phone, or Lightning output of your iPhone into it and get the best possible sound. All cables included.
Acer Aspire S 13 – $999 to $1699
Thin, light and powerful. The Acer Aspire is kind of like a Macbook Pro, but for those who prefer (or are forced to use) Windows. Oh, and without the price tag.
It’s less than 15mm thick, and just 1.36kg in weight, but comes with everything you need with processor options from the Core i3 to the Core i7 and solid state drives from 128GB to 512GB. A full HD 13.3 inch screen shows you all you need to see.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones – $499
When we’re out and about talking to other techhead professionals, it’s amazing how many of them use Bose headphones as their reference models. Not surprising really. Bose more or less invented the noise reducing headphones, and we still use a pair that we acquired ten years ago.
But things have come a long way since then. These ones not only reduce noise, they’re wireless with the convenience of a Bluetooth connection to your device. Our reviewer was certainly impressed!
Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum gaming keyboard – $249.95
Ignore the part about “gaming”. This is a great keyboard for anyone who spends time banging away at getting things into a computer. And that includes letters, words and sentences.
This is a great keyboard for typing, with keys light to press but positive to register. It’s mechanical – not in the sense of a vintage typewriter, but like the best computer keyboards of yore.
And you can change those backlit keys from white to something truly festive!
Laser SPK-WFQ10 Wireless WiFi Speaker – $179.95
Australian firm Laser can get your loved one’s home wired for sound, without the wires. This speaker is part of a whole collection, including two larger models and a nifty wireless adaptor which you can plug into your own stereo to make it part of the system.
As with all these things, everything’s controlled by an app (iOS or Android). Speakers can be grouped or each fed its own music. And the best thing? It’s compatible with the system used by several other brands so you can mix and match.