Video: Top gadgets for Christmas 2011
Published 21/10/2011 | 12:19
Without doubt, the most in-demand gifts this Christmas will be Apple's iPhone 4S (from £499) and iPad 2 (from £399). But there are cheaper touchscreen alternatives, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire from ($199 - UK price to be announced).
But if you know anyone who already has a smartphone or tablet, or someone who will be getting one from Santa, for a perfect stocking filler that won't break the bank look no further than Totes Isotoner SmarTouch gloves.
They have a special conductive material woven into the thumb and index finger so you can continue to tap, pinch and scroll even when it's freezing outside. They cost from only £15 at www.totes.co.uk and are available in a range of colours including funky stripes for her and manly black for him.
Another great gift for the iPhone owner is some AKG K316 sports headphones. A set costs £22 and their unique ear hook design helps reduce cable noise. They are fully adjustable and a really comfortable fit and compatible with all iPhones ( www.amazon.co.uk )
If you're after something a little more geeky, check out the Looxcie camera (£200) - a video camera that can record things that have just happened to you. It's not quite time travel, but it's close. Looxcie looks like a Bluetooth headset; you strap it over your ear and go about your business.
All the while it's recording new stuff and deleting old stuff. But as soon as something interesting happens in front of your eyes, you press this button and Looxcie stores that moment permanently. It'll even send it to your smartphone. So the next time you bump into a celebrity, spot a UFO - or manage to talk to a girl - you'll have the evidence to prove it (available from www.firebox.com).
For something almost as high-tech, but a lot more cuddly, try Kuchi Paku. This is a £39 soft toy with built-in speaker. Hook it up to your phone, MP3 player or other audio source and it'll move its mouth and dance in time to sounds.
Available in the shape of a Lion, Penguin or Polar Bear, Kuchi Paku is loads of fun for kids -- and it's also a hilarious way to have speakerphone conversations. Just try to keep a straight face when you hear your boss's voice coming from a cuddly penguin (available from www.firebox.com).
An altogether more practical present comes from the UK's greatest brainiacs - the boffins at Dyson. Not content with redefining the vacuum cleaner and hand dryer, Dyson has now produced a bladeless fan - and has a brand new version with a built-in heater. It's called the Dyson Hot (£270 from www.dyson.co.uk). It heats a room by sucking in air, passing it over a heated element, and then uses patented air multiplier technology to project it into the room - it works as a cool air fan in the summer too.
And, as we all know, the sophisticated timewaster's favourite app involves catapulting comedy birds at an egg-snaffling piggy. Now you can buy Angry Birds plush toys for £10.99 from www.firebox.co.uk. Bring the top mobile game into the real world this Christmas and start throwing cuddly birds at people. Or pigs.
And finally, if you're finding the whole festive season a little too stressful, ask Santa for a Pure Twilight (SRP £139.99 from John Lewis). It's a bedside Digital and FM Radio alarm clock that lulls you to sleep with nature sounds, white noise or lullabies and then gently wakes you with a Dawn Simulator and lullabies.