Christmas is pretty much right around the corner, and if you haven’t had the time to grab a gift, we’re going to help out with some ideas at shops that shouldn’t be too hard to find. We’re even highlighting the places that’ll sell them to you, just to help you find the gadgets in a pinch.
Phone and tablet power supplies
Battery woes are an everyday first-world problem, but it’s still one you can help solve every day, and you can do it in a gift made of a power bank.
You know what these are and have seen them before: a small cylinder or flat-ish battery brick encased in either plastic or metal and sporting a USB port or two, and a microUSB port to charge the battery, with the idea being that someone can use this to charge a phone or tablet when their batteries start to taper off at the end of the day.
Practically every shop out there with a gadget section has power banks made for smartphones and that makes this a gadget you can find anywhere.
Some people are hard to buy for, and if you need a gift in a pinch and don’t have a lot of options, consider something few people have bought for themselves yet.
The “selfie stick” could be the most random gadget of 2014, but if you know someone who loves to take self-portraits with their phone, this will let them take pictures from a little bit of distance, firing a photo while the phone is held away from their body, allowing them to compose the image better.
This accessory can be found across the web, but if you need to find a store with them, we’ve seen the gadget available from quite a few manufacturers from the likes of Big W, The Good Guys, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, and JB HiFi.
PendoPad 7 inch tablet
Price: $30-60 for standard definition, $50-$80 for high definition (HD)
We haven’t seen this tablet from Pendo, but with a price wavering between $30 and $60 for the standard definition model and between $50 and $80 for the HD version at places like Officeworks, Coles, Dick Smith, and Target, it’s hard to see how you could go wrong if you needed to buy a quick entertainment gadget for someone small.
Honestly, you shouldn’t expect a blazingly fast processor, nor should you expect the best screen on the planet, but it’s cheap, offers Android and its app and gaming library, and even has a couple of cameras there if they want to take the odd selfie.
Generic action camera
Everyone is producing generic action cameras these days, fresh off the work GoPro has done with its own cameras.
You can find different brands all over the place though all of these generic cameras are pretty much the same (with a different brand tacked on), and Coles, Officeworks, Kmart, Dick Smith, and JB HiFi all sell one, which could be the ideal quick gadget if you know someone who wants to take photos and loves to run, jump, or even surf.
If you feel like spending a little more, consider a proper action camera like a GoPro with wireless support, though these do run for a little more than the small amount of cash a generic camera will cost.
Not-so-generic camera (Nikon Coolpix L29)
Know a budding photographer who wants a little more than the basics that an action camera can provide, what about a 16.1 megapixel CCD, 5x optical zoom, and a camera that works from easy to replace AA batteries.
You’ll find this shooter around the place, with it appearing at Officeworks, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, and camera stores between the $60 and $80 mark.
You might even find some other camera brands filling this price bracket, too, but this is the most consistent one we could find in our last minute searches.
Lavazza Minu coffee machine
If you know the person you’re buying for loves a cup of coffee from the local but can’t always get down there, consider an instant espresso machine.
Nespresso units start at around $190, but it’s not the only game in town, and Lavazza’s Minu won praise from us this year due to how much value its $99 price tag represents, which several months on can be seen for lower and close to $80 at Target and Dick Smith.