Xmas Gifts: Top 20 Tech Buys
Prepare to be wowed by a wireless Walkman, a jet suit, a robot arm and a self-heating coffee cup...
Sony NW-A100TPS Walkman 40th Anniversary Limited Edition
The iconic Sony Walkman is back! Except, it doesn’t play cassette tapes! To be fair, where would you get them – the Woolworth’s bargain bin? Although packaged to look like Sony’s game-changing 1979 portable music player, this 40th anniversary edition is an all-digital affair. So, under the retro bonnet, you’ll find an Android music player that wirelessly streams hi-res music via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
This is just silly. Not silly as in daft, but silly how much we want this and would easily pay 700 sheets for it. The latest mega-build from the Star Wars universe is this awesome and very large AT-AT, which comes complete with moveable legs and Luke Skywalker dangling from its underbelly. If anyone bought us this we’d be crying with ugly joy until New Year’s.
This compact gadget is ideal for the kind of DJ who enjoys sleeping and doesn’t want tinnitus. Pioneer’s deck is elegantly designed, looks great on a coffee table, and allows you to mix tracks from your phone, laptop or tablet (an iPad fits in the slot at the top). It also teaches you how to mix seamlessly, pulling in songs from your Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes playlists.
Oculus Quest VR headset
Christmas can be hellishly stressful. So when the Brexit debate rears its ugly head, why not escape into an alternate reality? This wireless virtual reality lets you go ‘hands-free’ as you explore virtual world or knock the stuffing out of Mike Tyson in a virtual boxing match, using the supplied Touch controllers. Peace and goodwill to all, yeah.
Line-us Robot Drawing Arm
Linus – ‘Line-us’ – is a tiny robot arm holding a pen. It copies out whatever you draw on your iPhone or iPad’s screen. You can even teach it to sign documents or write letters for you. The arms mimics your motion in real-time, recreating your digital swishes on a piece of paper, greetings card, or mortgage application form. An brilliant talking point for the tech-obsessed.
Amazon Fire TV Cube
This Fire cube is not aimed at pyromaniacs. Instead, this video streaming gadget gives you front row tickets to a festive film bonanza. You get crisp 4K films from Netflix and Amazon Prime, plus access to a host streaming apps and games. Plug it in and ask Alexa for her recommendations (or demand she play all the Home Alone‘s.)
Ember Ceramic Mug
The invention of the decade. A mug that keeps tea and coffee at a precise drinking temperature so it never goes cold. Synch the mug with the Ember app and set a preferred temperature for tea and another for coffee. The mug’s heating element keeps the brew to within a degree for up to an hour (longer if you place it on the ‘charging saucer’). This isn’t just about solving some massive first world problem… No, hang on, it is. Pure genius, though.
Apple AirPods Pro
Apple’s teeny wireless earbuds have grown up. The new Pro version boasts world-class noise-cancelling that blocks out the world and detailed sound with a lot more oomph than the standard AirPods. You can gift them in any colour as long as it white. Unless you pay uber-customisers ColorWare to add a bespoke lick of paint.
Bose Frames RONDO Audio Sunglasses
US audio maker Bose has somehow managed to squeeze an entire sound system into a pair of sunglasses using ‘micro-acoustic’ tech. Wearers can wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth phone or tablet, as well as take calls and access voice assistants such as Siri. Simply add ‘sunglasses that play music’ to your Christmas list and await shock, confusion and, ultimately, disgust.
Master & Dynamic MW07 True Wireless Earphones
Put simply, the most stylish wireless earphones ever. They automatically play when you put them in, then pause when you take them out. Choose from a range of handcrafted acetate finishes. You can even personalise the buds with a gold monogram. Perfect for the millennial aristocrat.
Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 i-Type
The instant camera is back. Designed for the modern age, this Polaroid snapper features a rechargeable battery, improved viewfinder and a powerful flash. Just get yourself some i-Type film and you’re off to the races.
Beeline Velo Smart Bike Compass
This award-winning gadget will save the directionally-challenged cyclist from location-based cock-ups. Rather than attempting to read Google Maps while cruising along, mount this device on your handlebars for simple arrows.
Smeg Drip Filter Coffee Machine
Filter coffee is making a comeback, and rightly so. The ‘drip’ method might take longer than a pod machine, but you extract more flavour from the ground beans that sit in the little paper cone. Smeg’s new drip machine does dripping for you, with an auto-mode for sleepy mornings. Choose from two brew levels: light or intense.
Nintendo Switch Lite
This handheld-only console (the natural heir to the Game Boy’s throne) is cheaper than the normal Switch but a bit tougher and a bit less complicated. Pick it up and play Mario Kart anytime, anywhere – no virtual reality, no augmented reality. Just you and those goddam banana skins.
This mind-blowing robot has a built-in HD projector. The idea is that you chuck out all your televisions and summon this voice-enabled ‘bot to screen TV and films. It moves discreetly from room to room at your command. Just say, ‘Keecker, project hardcore pornography onto the bedroom ceiling’ and you’re in business. Merry Christmas.
Pro-Ject Collector’s Edition Yellow Submarine Turntable
The Yellow Submarine is a belt-driven, submarine-shaped turntable that pays tribute to the iconic Beatles film, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It rocks a glass platter, custom yellow cartridge and S-shaped aluminium tonearm.
This stylish accessory tray covertly charges your wireless gadgets. Just toss your phone onto the tray and it will start to charge without ever having to plug it in. It works with Qi-enabled wireless charging gadgets, which is most Android smartphones, the latest iPads and iPhones, plus true wireless earbuds such as the Apple AirPods.
Fitbit Versa 2 Special Edition
You don’t need to spend £500 on an Apple Watch. This premium Fitbit is half the price and provides access to Amazon Alexa, a far more accomplished (and helpful) voice assistant than Siri. Aside from tracking how many tins of Quality Street you get through, the device improves your sleep, tracks your heart rate 24/7 and has a 6 day battery life. Buy it from Currys – you get a free Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker.
Oral B Genius X A.I. toothbrush
Artificial intelligence comes to the humble toothbrush. Finally, you can now use algorithms to get clear, whiter teeth – with less effort. The accompanying smartphone app tracks where you miss a bit, giving you personalised feedback on your sub-par performance.
Gravity Industries Jet Suit Experience
Possibly the greatest ‘experience’ gift ever: learning to fly a jet pack that’s not only real and works, but is actually safe. Once you arrive at a hanger 90 minutes outside London, you’ll learn to pilot the Gravity Industries Jet Suit, invented by a British rocketman Richard Browning – and become one of an elite bunch of people who have experienced the joy of flying without wings. See it in action here.
From £5,000 gravity.co
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