2015 Christmas Gift Guide, buy tech for your loves ones

There’s just one month until Christmas. Time to stop procrastinating and start buying. Its time to start getting serious about shopping for Christmas presents for the loved ones. With...

2015-Christmas-Gift-Guide

There’s just one month until Christmas. Time to stop procrastinating and start buying. Its time to start getting serious about shopping for Christmas presents for the loved ones. With technology impacting so many people’s personal and professional lives, its not surprising that many gift givers are looking for tech ideas at Christmas time.

Choosing the right gift is difficult at the best of times, but at Christmas the options seem to grow. To help you out, we’ve prepared an extensive list of gift ideas to help you nail the perfect tech-related gift this Christmas. The list includes products great for a range of ages, genders and includes many devices from different product categories and manufacturers.

 

Hardware

 

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Drones

Another controversial technology, but used correctly can provide a view into the world from otherwise unobtainable vantage points. Drones have come a long way in the past year and now feature longer flight times, improves cameras and are starting to get smart enough to cater for your terrible flying abilities.

Hexo+ is a new type of drone that follows you and tracks your position in 3 axis’ and follows you at a preconfigured distance. If you’re into extreme sports, this is the drone to get.

Available at: HexoPlus.
Price: US$1,349.00.
Great for: A middle aged dad trying to look cool in front of his son or lycra-wrapped bike club on the weekend.

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TV

Sure, all of your devices are getting smarter, but the largest screen in the home now ships with WiFi and Apps like Netflix built right in. Many manufacturers have given up on writing their own TV software and are now running on platforms like Android and WebOS, so app developers have a decent install-base to aim for. At the top-end 4K quality is dropping in price quickly.

Hisense have one of the best value Ultra HD TVs with the Hisense 50K321UW (sexy name). With a quad-core processor, built-in WiFi, 3840 x 2160 pixels, Netflix and Freeview Plus support, 100Hz refresh rate and 1080p upscaling until more 4K content is around, its a great value set.

Available at: JB Hi-Fi.
Price: A$1,098.00.
Great for: Anyone with a wall.

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Phones

Probably the most personal device there is, your mobile phone speaks volumes about who you are and how you move through the world. Some people its matter of fact and all about the essentials, while for others the phone has to service their love for photography and others need power enough to replace their entire computer.

For my money Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge+ is still the best Android on the market. The iPhone 6S Plus is also a stunning piece of engineering and ultimately we’re spoilt for choice. The biggest thing to remember when buying phones this Christmas, is not to try and convert people. If they’ve bought into Android, leave them there, if they’re in iOS, leave them there. You may have your personal preferences, but they matter little when it comes to a gift for a friend, you have to put their preferences (however silly they are) ahead of your own.

Available at: Kogan.
Price: A$899.00.
Great for: The with big pockets, deep pockets.

Gaming

Gaming

Xbox One and PS4 are both great consoles. These last few months have seriously been a golden time in the gaming industry with some phenomenal titles being released on both sides. If you know someone who likes entertainment or gaming, or both, then they’ll love you forever if you shout them a console. If you’re feeling particularly cashed up, then they both have 1TB options, while the Xbox offers a new Elite controller and the PS4 offers coloured customisations.

If you’re money can’t stretch that far, find out if your Kris Kringle loves racing games and pick them up a steering wheel and pedals. That transforms the virtual driving experience into a far more realistic racer.

Available at: EB Games and BigW.
Price: A$429.00 for either.
Great for: Anyone and everyone.

 

 

Samsung

Speakers

Samsung’s wireless audio lineup allows you to create a home audio experience that not only works over WiFi, but also Bluetooth, allowing to simple stream content from mobile devices. The new R series includes a circular design that emits sound in three hundred and sixty degrees, allowing you to fill any room with great sounding audio.

The R1 is perfect for everyday use, and is the best option for that person looking to spruce up any space with sound. The R3 speaker will fit easily into a kitchen or bedroom, providing great sound in more smaller spaces. The R5 is the most powerful of the three, providing the most immersive experience for those serious about their music this summer.

Naturally you can control the exact audio going to each speaker, or play the same audio throughout your home, right from your mobile device.

Available at: Samsung.
Price: R1 – A$299, R3 – A$499, R5 – A$649, R6 – $599 (portable) and R7 – A$699
Great for: Parents who forget to treat themselves, and those that bought a TV and forgot about the sound.

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Cameras

You’ve probably noticed some 360 degree videos showing up in your Facebook feed lately. The multi-camera arrays that create those experiences are actually available at a reasonable cost. 360Fly is a camera that can attach to almost everything, helmets, handlebars, cars, surfboards you name it.

Available at: 360fly.
Price: A$649.95.
Great for: Futurists that live in a world where selfie sticks no longer exist.

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3D Printing

Not everyone wants to go out and buy a 3D printer to create trinkets for the Christmas stocking. Thankfully there’s a place you can order 3D items from and save on the hassle of learning how to print your own. The range of items to choose from is extensive and there’s also plenty of colours and even materials you can select to print.

Available at: Shapeways.
Price: Ranges from a couple of dollars to hundreds.
Great for: Uncreative people that want to appear creative.

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Virtual Reality

When you see contestants on The Block using VR headsets, you know VR is about to hit the mainstream. 2016 will certainly be a massive year for virtual reality. The Oculus Rift is due Q1 next year, but that doesn’t help you for Xmas. The most affordable VR headset is Samsung’s Galaxy VR after they recently dropped the price to just $99 (BYO phone).

Leveraging the phone’s high resolution display and sensors like the accelerator, it’s an affordable entry point that is likely to be one of the most popular, its also one of the first to market.

There is however one minor detail with this one, they’re not available in Australia. If you’re used to buying things from the US, you’ll already have a favourite mail redirection service that you can use.

Available at: Oculus.
Price: US$99.00.
Great for: Those that are bored with this world, headed to another.

Services

 

Spotify

The most popular and best music streaming service around and the one your friends actually use. Spotify Premium offers fantastic device support, HD audio and their desktop player has an app platform that helps you make great new playlists.

Available at: Spotify.
Price: A$0.99 for 3 months (A$11.99/m after).
Great for: Anyone who just bought the new Adele album.

Netflix

Netflix

If you’re already a Netflix subscriber, chances are you’re family are friends are already sick of your product endorsements. Some people don’t like change and if you know anyone still visiting the movie store, please do them a favour and get them a Netflix subscription. Also old habbits die hard, so if you know ‘that guy’ with the portable hard drive that rides on a ship without water, then let them know there is a better way in 2015, don’t download, just stream.

Available at: Netflix, 7/11 stores, Myer, Woolworths, Big W, Coles, Target and Australia Post.
Price: Gift cards available in $20, $30 or $50. – Regular pricing is A$8.99 SD, A$11.99 HD per month.
Great for: That guy who still has a favourite to the pirate bay and virus infested XP box.

 

Lynda.com

Not every Christmas present has to be a disposable item. If you’ve got someone on your xmas shopping list that loves to learn, then there’s likely no better present for them than a subscription to Lynda.

Lynda certainly has technical courses but they also have plenty of business related courses that help someone interested in improving themselves achieve that goal. Self-help books are so yesterday, streaming video tutorials on Lynda are the future. The one monthly fee (which you’d gift) gets a user access to the entire catalog of tutorial videos. All you can eat for a decent monthly price is definitely a winning formula that finances the development of a steady stream of new courses.

Available at: Lynda.
Price: A$39.99pm.
Great for: The spawn of Tim Ferris and Elon Musk aspirationals.

 

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