GadgetyNews 12 recommends from 2015
There’s just a few days left to do your Christmas shopping, so you had better get a move on. Here’s my suggestions of tech that will be sure to win over your gadgety loved-ones.
Righty, it’s getting near panic time as, if like me, you still have plenty of people to buy for but are quickly running out of time.
If you are trying to avoid socks or another box-set style gift there may be some ideas amongst the following for you.
BrewBarrel custom home brew beer kit – £25
This home brew kit not only enables you to brew craft-grade ales but you won’t have to wait long in order taste your brew.
Definitely one for Christmas and you’ll have some lovely custom beer for the new year’s eve party!
Google Nexus 6P – from £27 per month
The Nexus 6P is manufactured by Huawei and is equipped with 5.5-inches of display – and what a great screen it is.
The phone is a top-end Android handset that has loads going for it, including a speedy processor, features the latest flavour of Android (Marshmallow) and its camera is among the best I’ve tested. It might not have the flash value of the Samsung Galaxy Edge or the trendiness of an iPhone but as a top phone in its own right, it’s hard to beat!
Pioneer XDP-100R portable audio player – £499.99
Love high res music? If you’re looking for a huge improvement to how music on the go is heard then the Pioneer XDP-100R should be on your list.
It looks great but, more importantly, it sounds great. Also, next year it will get an update to play Meridian’s fancy new MQA format.
August EP650 Bluetooth headphones – £40
I know that most of us are buying on a budget and these wireless headphones from August were surprisingly good. As an added bonus, you can also sync with your phone using NFC if your mobile has said smarts. Not only that, should you heaphones run out of charge, the bundled cable lets you use the EP650 like regular ol’ wired cans.
At this price, you can’t go wrong.
Chord Mojo amp/DAC – £399
The best way to hand your portable device audiophile sound quality is the small, yet perfectly formed Mojo from renowned Hi-Fi brand Chord.
This is the most affordable of Chord’s tech but doesn’t cut any corners. The Mojo will handle all music formats, from the ubiquitous MP3 and AAC, to the familiar FLAC or AAIF, and specialist formats such as DSD (direct stream digital).
The portable Chord can handle sampling rates up to 768kHz and DSD256 and only needs a driver on Windows to achieve this from your PC.
Chord has additionally fitted an optical input with standard Toslink connection and an SP/Dif input on a 3.5mm socket. This output is then made available to a pair of 3.5mm sockets that can either use the on board volume control or be locked to produce a line level output.
Asus ZenPad 8.0 Z380C tablet – £99
It does everything that you’d expect from a Wi-Fi tablet but looks better doing it.
The newly reduced price, to £99 from £119, makes the ZenPad even more attractive. High points such as the bright 8-inch screen, optional battery pack and colourful covers add to the whole experience.
The tablet runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and there’s a Micro SD card slot for expanding storage beyond the 16Gb provided.
Suaoki 6 port USB charger – £14.99
Do you have someone in your life who is always running out of plugs to shove their tech in to recharge their gadgets?
This charging hub will not only cure fights at home, but will also cure stress at work.
It not only caters for 6 different gadgets but the ports will take your USB in either way so that should also ease the frustration.
This is a must have – especially over Christmas when all those new gadgets land.
Anki Overdrive starter kit – £119.99
Possibly the best game out this year. This futuristic mash-up between slot-car racing and smartphone app game won me over, as well as my friends, in no time at all!
The start kit is now only £119.99 and has everything you need to start your new addiction. Adding more track and cars means that more friends can play which just keeps adding to the fun. I know it should be for kids but for us 30-45 year olds… it’s just as much fun!
Damson Vulcan Bluetooth speaker – £99.99
If you are looking for a potent wireless speaker that will not only fill the room with music but us equally happy to be taken to a picnic then the Vulcan should be on your list.
The Vulcan packs in two 5cm forward-firing mid/treble drivers and two side facing 3.8cm side facing Neodymium drivers to deliver a wider stereo image through it’s Wide Field Stereo processing. With the addition of a 11.8cm passive radiator subwoofer you know you’ll get the party started. With up to 7 hours battery on a single charge, it can go all night.
Oppo PM-3 headphones – £350
If someone you love has asked you for some Beats headphones please check out the Oppo-PM3 before you hand over your money.
These headphones ooze quality, not only in their build but their sound.
Granted, the name may not carry the cache on the streets but, if they are serious about their music, they will thank you in the long run. Also, they will be less likely to get mugged for their cans.
Magicup Barista travel coffee cup – £19.99
Love coffee but hate how your travel cup harshes your mellow?
Well, thanks to the Magicup’s clever lid design means that not only do you get the full slurp of your brew but also the lovely aroma, which is about 80% of your experience.
Not only that, the valve lid means that, should you be a klutz, you won’t end up spilling your coffee everywhere.
Eclipse TD-M1 desktop speakers – £799
Eclipse has proved that desktop speakers don’t have to be sub-optimal just because they’re small and linked to your PC.
True, they’re not cheap, even after their price cut to £799 from £999 but these speakers are full of both sound quality and build quality.
They might be a bit light in the bass for some but for pure musical fidelity, these are hard to beat.
Looking forward to 2016
This has been a great year for GadgetyNews and the tech has been awesome.
2016 promises plenty of cool tech and I am particularly looking forward to the Light L16 camera.
The natty compact camera is loaded with 16 lenses and can use up to 10 of them at a time in order to get the perfect DSLR-quality shot.
See you next year!