Holiday gift guide: what to buy for teens

Teenagers can be temperamental communicators; they either talk (and text) incessantly or say nothing at all. All of which can make it difficult to know what these not-quite-adults want. Here are some suggestions that might tap into things they already adore.

Osprey Portal

Price: $110

Backpacks are just places for teens to store books, papers, and the occasional set of headphones, but what if they could keep the profile slim, and keep a tablet safe and secure in the backpack while still using it?

Osprey’s Portal is a neat idea that throws together a backpack with lots of pockets and a pouch that seals an iPad screen behind thin plastic. The pictures in our related story do a better job of explaining how to use the iPad through the backpack, but essentially your teen can work and play games without taking the iPad from the backpack. That mean less rush when they need to get off the bus or train in a hurry.

Check out the Osprey…

Leap Motion Controller

Price: $129

Some teens are actively trying to come up with new ways to capitalise on technology, and if there’s one of these inventive souls living under your roof, provide them with something to boost their creativity.

Leap Motion’s gesture controller is an insight into how computer mice of future should work, allowing eager young things to control the the onscreen visuals by waving their hands in front of their computer. They can explore DNA or the universe, just by shifting their hands in space.

Teens with a love for programming can experiment with new ways to use Leap Motion, and that means their holidays will be filled with more than just idle time.

Check out our hands-on…

Ultimate Ears Boom

Price: $199

A Bluetooth speaker made for the outdoors, the Boom is a GadgetGuy favourite, mating impressive water resistance with equally impressive sound quality. This is dispersed omni-directionally, so that the tunes seem to emanate from all corners of a room, rather than a localised point.

With the teen in your life 98 percent certain to be in possession of a mobile playlist on their smartphone or tablet, the Boom is an ideal musical companion for all their social commitments, as well as their personal spaces.

Check out our review…

Nokia Purity Pro Wireless Headphones by Monster

Price: $349

Loud and colourful, Nokia’s wireless cans are a treat for teens: they look distinctive, provide excellent sound reproduction, no cables, and a battery that lasts and lasts.

Once the battery does die, you can recharge using the convenient microUSB port, or plug in a 3.5mm headset jack and make them wired once more. And while the name says Nokia, these headphones work with all brands of smartphone.

Check out our review…

Asus Transformer Book T100


Price: $599

Part gift part useful-tool-for-school next year, the T100 is the latest hybrid tablet by T100 to get the GadgetGuy stamp of approval.

It won’t support too many games, but with the full version of Windows 8 it will most definitely take all of the apps the teens will use at school. Plus, with close to ten hour battery life and a charge plug that’s the same as most mobile phones, it’s ideal for school life.

And hey, we even think Minecraft will run here…

Check out our review…