Must Have Christmas Gadgets


I have been asked by a few friends, which top Christmas gadgets I will be buying and which are must have for me this year? I don’t have a massive selection, there are a few gadgets that I would of liked but that just haven’t come out yet. However, below I have listed five of the best Christmas gadgets that I have already bought as gifts this year and another five that I don’t own but that I would love to get my hands on. For a more detailed Christmas gadget selection why don’t you check out my Top Christmas Electronics guide.

Christmas Gadgets bought

Optimus Mini Three


This is something I will be reviewing soon – look out for for the Optimus mini three. This is essentially OLED keyboard keys which you can customise with includeded software to show pretty much anything you want (Compatible on PC or Mac). The full keyboard is still just a little bit too expensive and so hasn’t caught on. However I’m sold on this idea, total, and think this is the future evolution of the keyboard. The tactile feel of a keyboard will be with us for a long time yet and is still the quickest and easier to pick up input device. This, small brother, offers you just 3 keys but after you connect via USB and set up the software you are away. In the UK you are best getting this from someone like ThinkGeek who will get this to you in 3-5 days and in time for Christmas. more info (UK) / (US)

Forbidden Lego Manual


Anyone who has been following my blog will know I have recently got in to LEGO (again) in a big way. I have a whole bunch of LEGO infront of me making up my robot army which I will post about later this month. Anyway the Forbidden LEGO Manual give you the instruction on making some rather advanced (some more adult) LEGO designs. One is a high velocity automatic LEGO plate dispenser – just awesome, check out this youtube video. The instruction are typical LEGO style and very simple to follow – just a matter of hunting out the pieces I need. more info (UK) / (US)

Pixelblocks


Rolling on from LEGO, Pixelblocks are a very similiar in design but are a simple 1×1 style. I recently created a LEGO art design using 3,000 1×1 coloured bricks which wasn’t as easy. The Pixelblocks make for some cool pixel style designs and also look rather cool with a colour glass effect to all the pieces. Definitely one of the best Christmas gifts that will be used throughout the year with so many variation – the 2,000 piece set is more than enough. – more info (UK) / (US)

1TB Buffalo hard drive


Okay so last year there was a buzz with how 500GB drives were in the £80 range and this year this is the price range for the 1TB drives. You can’t go wrong getting these at Christmas and this really is an ideal size for anyone who records or archives videos and pictures. I personally got one as my new Sony TG3 HD camcorder has been used so much and it’s 1GB here and there everytime I sync it. – more info (UK) / (US)

Norton Anti-Virus Gaming Edition


Yes Gaming edition that’s right! This is something I was very excited about when Norton contacted me. PC gaming and anti-virus generally don’t mix that well what with popups or the anti-virus engine being too resource hungry. I will review this in a separate post soon but, needless to say, anyone who is a PC gamer will love this as a Christmas gift. It offers some of the most amazing boot specs with little memory and resource usage and some nice hide functionality – litterally blowing the AV competition away. I think Norton are doing a great move here and are going to get back a lot of customers who would of left after not being happy with how resource hungry their products have been in the past – particularly the PC savvy out there. – more info

Christmas Gadgets Wishlist

Sony VAIO VGX-TP2S/B – Cylindrical Vista Media Centre


Okay so over the last 2-3 years I have had the same Windows XP Media Centre PC from Acer, the  Aspire Idea 510. It a great device and when the last one went wrong about 2 years ago I went and bought exactly the same one again – if it isn’t broke etc. I have had no problem with the machine and have it on in the background as I type now. As well as playing and recording freeview it runs my iTune store, Napster downloads and plays DVDs. Having been less that impressed by Vista I hadn’t jumped at the oportunity of buying a Vista Media Centre machine and only now have they really began to get affordable for a good spec device. The main reason I like the Sony machine is the styling. Its a cylindrical shape which just looks awesome. Having played around with it in a silent environment it is also one of the quietest Core 2 Duo machines I have heard. It also has the bonus of having a Blu-ray Player. The only drawback is that it does only have a single tuner but with the host of +1 channels now (with more coming out next year) I rarely record 2 things at once now. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Camera


This is in my opinion the best camera in the sub £3k bracket and pipping the Nikon. It now has an awesome list of functions and produces the most incredible pictures I have seen from a digital camera. Now with the ability to shoot in Full 1080 HD (see my release post with videos) with an impressive 21.1 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor. It can shoot continuously at 3.9fps with 9 AF points and 6 Assist AF points. It is extremely well built with a magnesium alloy body and a host of environmental protection. I wish I took more photographs as it would be the perfect excuse to get the camera as the prices is it’s only drawback – albeit you do pay for what you get. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone will be getting me this for Christmas but I can dream. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

OCZ Core 128Gb SATA 2 Solid State Drive


I have been looking at upgrading the 10,000 RPM hard drives in my Dell XPS systems recently and solid state drive are something that I think would make perfect sense particularly as I am going to start using Vista 64 bit soon. The prices for these have started to come down to something more affordable albeit I’ll be wanting 2 as I will be running RAID. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip – Wii


Ever since playing the snow jump mini game on Wii Fit have I wanted a decent snow boarding game for the Wii balance board. This from the reviews looks like it could be what I am looking for but having played the Xbox version I was somewhat put off. My favourite snow boarding game is still SSX Tricky it was a perfect mix of snowboarding arcade and simulation with some really great music and easy to pickup controls. The last version of SSX for the PSP was also a nice game which I played a lot – it’s not easy to get me impressed by snowboarding game as none so far have really lived up – but this looks like a contender and am totally looking forward to playing it at Christmas dudes. – more info and prices (UK) / (US)

Mir:ror from Violet


Okay so I bought a Nabaztag, I’ll own up. The robot rabbit is just plain cute and although it never made it as a killer gadget it does offer some nice functionality. I mainly use mine for streaming radio, getting news updates, as a clock and weather reporting. Mir:ror, however, from Violet is their latest gadget which consists of a small mirrorred tray which can be programmed to do a number of things when one of the RFID chips (Ztamp:s) is place on them. There are countless things you could stick the RFID chips on and the secret is making it seemlessly blend in to your everyday processes – certainly this is the future and at an affordable price for Christmas. – more info and prices (UK)