Top Inexpensive Christmas Gadgets

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Having already posted a detailed selection of Top Christmas Electronics, I thought I would share some cheaper, credit crunch friendly Christmas gadget gift ideas. These are my top gift ideas at around £30 for Christmas – but they aren’t the usual gimmick ridden items that get forgotten about. These gadgets below will bring hours of enjoyment or functionality to loved ones and not just over the Christmas period.

Khet – The Laser Game

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Khet if you haven’t heard, is a rather ingenious classic strategy board game involving laser beams. Players alternate turns moving Egyptian-themed pieces having two, one or no mirrored surfaces. All four types of pieces (pharaoh, obelisk, pyramid and djed column) can either move one square forward, back, left, right, or diagonal, or can stay in the same square and rotate by a quarter twist. Each turn ends by firing one of the lasers built into the board. The laser beam bounces from mirror to mirror; if the beam strikes a non-mirrored surface on any piece, it is immediately removed from play. The ultimate goal is to illuminate your opponent’s pharaoh, while shielding yours from harm! It really is a lot of fun. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

The CyberCube

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Reviewed Previously, the CyberCube consists of 216 small neodymium ball magnets – and boy are these strong magnets considering they only 0.6cm in diameter. A great gift to have on your desk at home or at work, especially as when they are not being played with they actually looks rather cool. Buy The CyberCube here

Joby – Gorillapod Camera Tripod

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This is one of the most innovative gadgets of the year from Joby. Essentially the Gorillapod is a very simply idea for a tripod with legs that can be moved in to any position – but not only can you use this for super steady shots on either a compact camera (particular when it is dark and you are using higher than normal ISO numbers) or a heavy SLR camera, but you can also use it to position your flashes to get the best lighting positions. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Aerobie – Orbiter Boomerang

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The original Aerobie always will be the best Frisbee available nothing else can give you a thrill or the distance you can get with them. The new Aerobie Orbiter Boomerang comes with the great Aerobie build quality but offering a different kind of spin. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

LEGO – Police Seaplane

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LEGO is still fairly expensive having learnt this the hard way (I bought 3,000+ pieces of non-technical LEGO for some art recently). This is one of the best value for money LEGO builder kits around. It offers plenty of scope for young minds to create lots of design variations. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Swiss Tech – Multi-Tool

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Okay so you are out and about and you have forgotten a screw driver or pliers. Well that is where this clever multi tool from Swiss Tech comes in. It folds up conveniently with the jaws of the pliers making a hole to fit around your key ring – twist each end back round and it releases. The pliers and screw drivers are great and a lot easier to use and carry than any of the ones you get on penknives. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Nike + iPod – Training Kit

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Nike + iPod is a sports training kit designed to measure and record pace and distance travelled when you are running or walking. This kit consists of an accelerometer, which is embedded in a shoe that communicates with, and a receiver that is plugged into either an iPod Nano or the new iPod Touch. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Silverlit – PicooZ Helicopter

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This is a “batteries not included” remote control helicopter from Silverlit. To get the most fun out of the PicooZ I recommend buying the battery product below as well. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Uniross – Hybrio Rechargable Batteries

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I swear by these and have all my battery hungry electronics kitted out with them. Hybrio batteries, if you don’t know, come charged and ready to use straight out of the package similar to alkaline batteries but they can be recharged for extended use up to 500 times. Standard NiMH rechargeable batteries self discharge over time. Hybrio technology allows the cells to hold a charge for extended time, i.e. 70% capacity after one year of storage. You get all the benefit of immediate usage like alkaline plus the cost savings and environmental benefit over time like rechargeables. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Power Monkey Charger

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Okay so how many times do you go out and you haven’t charged your phone, iPod, PSP, Gameboy or digital camera. It happens to all of us and not always at the best of times. Well for me the Power Monkey is the answer – it’s small, cheap, convenient, keeps about 9 months of standby charge and holds a lot of juice for wherever you are in the world! Don’t leave home without it – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Powerball 250Hz Pro Screamer

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I love these Powerballs and the 250Hz Screamer is by far the most satisfying. It creates a sound that just keeps you wanting to push it more just to hear what it’s going to sound like. The Powerballs are a great way to strengthen your arms and wrists and keep the joints subtle. Get one now and start practicing. The UK Powerball Championship 2008 kicks off on the 13th December (entry closes 30th Nov) and the current world record is 16,695 RPM an awesome score to beat! – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Pixar WALL-E (Blu-ray and DVD)

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Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class or WALL-E is Pixar’s latest and greatest full length animation. It’s a fairly simple story of a waste disposal robot who is left behind on Earth after it has been abandoned. After a number of years of loneliness a visitor comes to the planet, a girl robot called EVE, and this is where the real adventure starts. The film is packed with all the usual impressive emotions and visual delights you come to expect from Pixar. Finding Nemo is still my favourite Pixar animation but this one is right up there with that and being on Blu-ray makes it a must buy for the Hi def fans out there (it is 1080p perfection). – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

The Hub Man – USB Hub

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This is without doubt my favouite USB hub – The Hub man. Not only is it a really neat design but it is also very practical, more so than some of the fixed socket ones on the market. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)
Also check out the selection of USB hub (wacky and useful) over at Geekbrief.tv for more ideas.

Crumpler Camera / Kit Bag

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Crumpler make some great bags – they do cost a little big more than most but you are paying for quality. I have a Crumpler Prettyboy Large camera bag which I have to admit is simply perfect for carrying kit around or a large camera. The material is very strong and water resistant. The latch I like a lot as it is well hidden and difficult to open without both hands so you don’t need to worry about pickpockets. – more info (UK) / (US)

Razer Diamondback Gaming Mouse

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Recently reviewed the best gaming mice on the market and this Diamondback from Razer would certainly come in as the best priced gaming mouse available. It doesn’t quite have all the functionality of the more expensive models but you still get a really smooth and responsive 1,600 DPI mouse that won’t make your hand ache – it also has the Razer distinctive gamer style and is available in a number of colours. – more info (UK) / (US)

Sony DRBT20NX Stereo Bluetooth Headphones

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Wired headphones are a pain and the answer is Bluetooth. Most of the newer device and a lot of mobile phones now support A2DP. A2DP allows you to transder (uni-directional) 2-channel stereo audio streams via Bluetooth. These are one of the best headsets / headphones out there and is geared more towards mobile phone users as it comes with a built in microphone – making it an ideal accessory. – more info (UK) / (US)