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Christmas 2017 Gift Guide: Tech Toys

Ten of our favourite tech ideas to buy for Christmas this year.

© Anki

Stuck for Christmas gift ideas for that techie in your life? Well you’d better get a move on because there’s only a couple of weeks left until the big day.

With so many different tech gadgets available it’s hard to find that perfect gift. Also the harder you look the more things you discover that you’ve never even heard of before.

We’ve compiled a list of ten of our favourite tech gadgets to try and help. Below is a range of ideas aimed at people of all ages and interests, so hopefully there’s something here to inspire you.

Anki Cozmo

Cozmo completely blew us away when we tested it this year. A charming and intelligent robotic sidekick that explores, remembers and reacts to his environment – and to you. Challenge him to games, or turn on explorer mode to see things from Cozmo’s perspective. Unlock new games and upgrades the more you play. More advanced users can even take advantage of the Cozmo SDK and write scripts in Python to allow more advanced interactions. Requires a compatible iOS or Android device and the free Cozmo app.


Anki Overdrive & Supertrucks expansion

One of our favourite tech toys again makes this year’s list. Anki Overdrive brings videogame racing to life with robotic cars and physical tracks. It’s Scalextric but updated with all the latest technology. A huge variety of tracks can be created in seconds thanks to the magnetic track pieces. More complex tracks are also possible by adding extra packs to your starter kit. Watching the cars race around tracks you have created is mesmerising. Best of all is that you can use your smart phone or tablet to control the speed, track position and weapons to do battle with the AI cars and other players. This year there’s a new Fast and Furious edition which is based on the film.

Check out our Anki Overdrive review and Anki Overdrive Supertrucks review to see what we thought.
£149.99 for the Starter Kit, £49.99 each for extra cars. £59.99 each for Supertrucks. Expansion packs cost £19.99 – £29.99.


Apple Watch 3

The best smartwatch on the planet is now on its third version. Packed full of features and there’s loads of apps to choose from to extend its functionality. This third version is much quicker with better battery life. There’s built in Apple Music and Radio streaming, Siri now talks and the device is also waterproof allowing you to get it wet and even take it swimming. There’s a choice of GPS or GPS+Cellular versions. Requires an iPhone.
Starts at £329.

© Apple


Here’s a gift idea for cycling fans. BeeLine is an intuitive, compact handlebar-mounted navigation system for bikes that’s controlled by your smartphone GPS. It strips back navigation to the bare basics, resurfacing your natural instincts to find the way and providing adventure. Instead of dictating every single turn, BeeLine enables you to explore new routes while giving you just enough information to guide you on your way. You decide which path looks most attractive, while BeeLine keeps you on course.


Hercules LED Wristbands

If you’re buying for someone who enjoys going clubbing or to concerts these LED Wristbands from Hercules are a great gift. Each pack of 10 contains 2 of each colour – red, blue, green, purple, orange. Once turned on they light up in sync with the music that’s playing.

© Hercules

Philips Hue

Hue is a personal wireless lighting system, combining brilliant and energy-efficient LED light with intuitive technology. It will forever change the way you control and experience light. Simply screw the Hue bulbs into your existing fittings, download the app, set up the bridge and follow the instructions to set brightness, create times, change colours, sync with your TV, email, social channels… it can easily fit in to any smart home set up and syncs with both Google Home & Amazon Alexa.
£129.99-£169.99 for Starter Kits


Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized computer that plugs into a TV/Monitor and a keyboard. It is a capable little computer which can be used in electronics projects, and for many of the things that a desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word processing, browsing the internet and playing games. With a little imagination the possibilities are endless. A great gift for anyone interested in technology, computing or engineering. Check out Pimoroni for a range of devices, starter kits and add-on boards.
Raspberry Pi prices range from £4-£32.

© Raspberry Pi Foundation

© Raspberry Pi Foundation

Roku Express & Streaming Stick+

Great gift choices for TV fans are the two new devices from Roku. The Roku Express is 5x more powerful than it’s predecessor and lets you stream in HD from a huge range of services including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, All4, Sky News, ITV Player, 5 on Demand and NowTV.

The Streaming Stick+ is its big brother and is packed with more advanced tech. This incldues 4x the wireless range, HD, 4K and 4K HDR support up to 60fps. All the features of the Express are included plus a new 4K Spotlight Channel to make it easy to find 4K content.

© Roku

Samsung Gear Sport

Available in Black or Blue, the Samsung Gear Sport is a smartwatch for Android users. It aims to motivate you to move more, eat better and live a healthy life. It tracks your progress and helps keep you on the right path to achieve your goals. Similar to the Apple Watch it’s water resistant so you can take it swimming.

Also available is the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro as a cheaper less feature packed alternative. There’s also the Samsung Icon X wireless earbuds which make a perfect companion.


Sky Q

Sky Q is Sky’s next-generation TV platform, bringing Sky TV to multiple rooms, screens and devices for a “fluid viewing” experience – complete with 4K Ultra HD content. If your family watch a lot of TV then a new Sky Q subscription might be an ideal choice for Christmas. It’s the best TV viewing experience around as you can start watching in one room then continue in another. You can even transfer what you’re watching to a compatible smart device to watch on the go. The 2TB box lets you store over 1000 hours of TV and you can now record six shows at the same time while watching a seventh. Also new this year is a voice control feature allowing you to talk to the Sky Q touch remote to change channel, watch a recording and more.
Prices start around £20 a month for the basic package.

© Sky

© Sky

Let us know in the comments what Tech items you’re hoping to find under the tree this year. Also let us know if our list helped and if you have any other ideas we may have missed.


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