Ten Tech Gift Ideas for Christmas 2010

Gifts that ride the cutting edge of technology are always such to please fans of gadgetry, whether it’s for kids looking for the best video game systems, teens looking for new ways to talk and surf the net on mobile phones or career-oriented professionals wanting to optimise their efficiency by computing on-the-go. With the following list of new tech items for 2010′s gift-giving season, you’ll be sure to find something for everyone.

Big ticket items sure to impress
iPad (£429 to £699)

Apple’s magic tablet released to a furore this spring, selling out multiple shipments and delaying its release in markets such as the UK. Demand for the device hasn’t died down in the run-up to the holiday season. Offering a benchmark against which all other tablets have been judged, the iPad is set to be the apple of the tech-lover’s eye especially as Apple also recently released iOS 4.2, improving functionality on the portable computer, making features such as multitasking available at the tap of an app icon. In all, Apple looks poised to push 10 million iPad units by the end of the year, making it one of, if not the most, sought after tech gadget of the holiday season.

Motorola Milestone XT720 (£350 contract-free)

After creating a stir with the release of their Droid X handset in the United States, mobile magnate Motorola has recently released its European equivalent, the Milestone XT720, to similar acclaim. Motorola upped the stakes with its latest Milestone smart phone, incorporating an eight megapixel digital camera and well as 720p video recording and playback. The latter helps even more when exporting HD content to other displays, which the phone can do easily with its HDMI cable output. Currently, it’s one of the best-selling Android handsets in the UK.

Xbox Kinect

The most recent offering from software titan-come-game console hawkers Microsoft is almost nothing at all: What the Xbox Kinect system promises users is “controller-free gaming and entertainment.” Not a console itself, but rather an add on for the Xbox 360, Kinect monitors body movements through a special sensor device – not unlike a webcam, but for the sole purpose of interpreting a user’s moves into actions within a video game. Given the widening range of Kinect enabled games on the market, gifting the new gadget could be a smooth move for dedicated and casual gamers alike.

Nintendo DSi XL

Video game console manufacturer Nintendo has long held the pole position in the portable gaming market and has strengthened its offerings with the DSi XL. With an increased screen size of 93 per cent over its predecessor, the DSi, the XL version has been a hit for both kids and adult gamers alike. The handheld device offers online gaming and wireless capabilities, plus touch technology, dual screens and two built-in cameras for use with games and photo capture. This will make a great gift for gaming on the go – that is, if you don’t want to hold off for Nintendo’s 3DS, due to hit the market in March 2011.

3D TV

The late resurgence of 3D as a viable entertainment enhancement has permeated the home theatre market this year, as manufacturers have begun to develop 3D-ready and equipped sets. And as a gift for someone building up a state-of-the-art home theatre, a 3D TV might just prove a top gift choice. In addition to viewing films like the record-breaking Avatar in all their intended glory, 3D TV has also been slowly incorporated into select sporting events – such as this summer’s World Cup tourney – so footy fans might also appreciate the enhanced action.

Secret Santas and stocking stuffers
iPad accessories

Given the swelling popularity of Apple’s iPad offerings, pundits have also tipped iPad accessories – useful when setting up the device to operate more as part of a home computing set-up – such as keyboards and mice, as hot sellers. Direct from the design maestros themselves, there are several branded offerings available from Cupertino’s current tech titans. Apple’s minimalist and wireless keyboards (£56) grant the functionality of a traditional desktop, and its Magic Trackpad (£59) mimics the multi-touch technology of its notebook trackpads.

Earphones

While the earbuds that come standard with devices such as the iPod have their perks – namely they’re included in the package – media player users who take their music seriously might appreciate a gift that will enhance their on-the-go audio experience. For a stocking filler, you can pick up a pair of reasonably priced buds from Sennheiser (from £15) to slightly pricier offerings such as the Klipsch Image S4 headphones (£55). Those looking for a designer experience offering studio-quality sound can also pick up earbuds from Beats by Dre, which often retail for over £100.

USB Flash Memory sticks

Coming a long way from enormous floppy disks, digital memory storage has become quite fashionable as of late, and USB sticks can make a great small gift for the tech-savvy Secret Santa. Have a look online and you can find USB memory doubling as necklaces, watches and other wearable accessories. And if you’re shopping for a ruthless utilitarian, you can even find the LaCie iamaKey USB Flash Drive (£25 – 8GB), which, as its name infers, is cleverly shaped like a house key and can be kept on any standard key ring for convenience.

Bluetooth headsets

Give the gift of the gab this festive season with stylish Bluetooth headsets – ideal for chatterboxes looking to go about their day-to-day tasks without having to clutch a mobile phone to their faces. While Bluetooth technology has been around for a while, it’s never gone out of style, as its uses have left its headsets with many satisfied users over the years. Such gadgets don’t need to break the bank either, as some sets start out at just £11 – but could be priceless for those looking for communication on-the-go.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8GB media player

Not all media players come from Cupertino, you know, and this budget priced model from SanDisk still packs a punch. Selling for around £40 around the UK, the Sansa Fuze has room for up to 2,000 tracks and an expandable memory thanks to microSD compatibility. The SanDisk Sansa Fuze also allows users to tune in to radio programming, as well as watch video clips on the 1.9-inch colour screen.

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