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10 December 2017

FEATURE: Christmas Gift Guide 2017

We wish you... would buy all this stuff

With just a couple of weeks to go until Chrimbo '17, how's your gift buying going? You're either completely set, or not even started. For the latter group (in which we shamefully belong ourselves), we're here to help, compiling a list of pressie suggestions including things we've reviewed in the past few months, and new stuff, too. Bookmark this gift guide, and get shopping. THERE'S STILL TIME!



For music lovers

Sol Republic AMPS AIR Headphones


The most interesting kinds of headphones we tested this year were those teeny tiny kind that feature no wires at all. We reviewed quite a few pairs, but the stand out had to be the AMPS AIR from Sol Republic. These are compact, they sound great, and the charging case can also be used to juice up your phone.

Read our full review right here.


hearO


This is a small, portable, Bluetooth speaker housed inside a tennis ball. This British designed speaker uses an upcycled championship tennis balls to safely stow the speaker itself, featuring a one-button power and pair and charging mat. The sound is definitely more in the 'personal' realm rather than 'room-filling', but it is clear and crisp, and the hearO itself is the kind of thing you'll want to handle all day.

£60 from www.hearospeaker.com


For the kids

Nikko Air Elite 115 Race Set


We also reviewed a lot of drones this year, but this one really stood out. If you're looking for a drone set that is great value, and features extras like gates and flags to fly by, the Nikko Air Elite 115 Race Set is perfect. We had a bit of a disastrous time with it, losing the drone just five minutes into testing (which was totally our fault), but we loved it nonetheless.

Read our full review right here.


K'NEX Web Weaver Roller Coaster


By far the most fun we had with a construction set this year, the Web Weaver from K'NEX is pretty innovative. As well as being a fun and involved build, the coaster car is powered by a fan, meaning it work in several different directions. Loadsa fun.

Read our full review right here.


For tech fans

Google Home


Definitely the most useful thing we reviewed this year, the Google Home gave us voice control over all our smart home devices. It might not be the best sounding smart speaker out there, with an emphasis on speed and functionality rather than sound quality, but the Home is compatible with pretty much anything, and makes a great gift for tech heads.

Read our full review right here.


TP Link Kasa Smart Light Bulb


If you know someone who loves smart tech, or is looking to get into it, the Kasa Smart LED Bulbs from TP Link are a solid choice. These things don't need a hub of any kind, connecting directly to your WiFi router to be controlled by the Kasa app - and then by the likes of the above-mentioned Google Home. You can change the colour, alter the brightness, set the intensity of the white light, and create scenes with multiple bulbs. They're awesome... and a lot cheaper than the likes of Philip's Hue.

£34.99 from www.tp-link.com


Adonit Pro 3 Stylus


For the techie you know who is also creative, an Adonit Stylus could be the way to go. This range of styluses (styli?) can be used on any touch screen to improve accuracy, both in art apps and for general note-taking and scribbling. We checked out the Pro 3, which uses an innovative disk tip to glide easily across the screen, and features a magnetic cap and clip. A great piece of everyday carry tech.

£29.99 from www.adonit.net


For coffee lovers

Lavazza Jolie Coffee Machine
Everyone knows a coffee lover, and this Christmas you should give them the gift of convenient and delicious coffee. We're big fans of Lavazza, both their tech and their coffee, and the Jolie was the highlight of our coffee-slurping year. The award-winning espresso machine is as simple as they come, but it made spot on coffee.

Read our full review right here.


Coffee Gator


However, if the coffee lover in your life isn't into the high-tech approach, try them with this. We reviewed two products from Coffee Gator; the stove-top kettle and the pour-over maker. Combined, they make excellent Joe, and it was a real pleasure to use them, savouring the ritual of making the coffee as much as drinking it.

Read our full review right here.



For cyclists

Smarthalo


If you know a cyclist who relies heavily on their phone to get about, the Smarthalo is for them. As we discovered in our video review, this clever bit of tech bolts onto your handle bars, connects wirelessly to your phone, and directs you to your destination. Oh, and it's an alarm, alerts you to calls and texts, tracks your fitness goals, and features a light. See, smart.

Watch our review right here.


Haynes Road Cycling Manual


We love a good Haynes manual, us. Although we've never actually read one about how to fix a car or motorbike or something, we love their random titles about the likes of the Millennium Falcon. The Road Cycling Manual, though, is actually a very handy thing to give to a cyclist, especially one who rides a road bike to work or for fun.

£22.99 from haynes.com


For a 'special friend'

Sent to Thrill Osphero


There is no greater gift on this earth than an orgasm. Seriously though, what a present! If you have a partner or friend with whom you engage in 'unique personal activities' the Osphero vibrator from Sent to Thrill would make a lovely gift. It is small, discreet, and versatile, being handy for both ladies and gentlemen. Featuring a USB charging cradle, and a choice of vibration patterns, this will win you definite points from the gifted.

£49 from www.senttothrill.com




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