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Dec 12 2014

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5 of the best tech gifts for Xmas 2014

A shortlist of some of the best tech devices that could be much welcomed Christmas presents this year.

With Christmas just less than two weeks away, many of us still have quite a bit of last-minute shopping to do. For the techies we love, and for those who might be looking to treat themselves in the spirit of the season, we have below five of the best tech gifts this year.

GoPro Camera

With the proliferation of smartphones on the market, getting another camera might seem like a grand waste of money. However, the cameras made by GoPro are not as delicate as the typical smartphones. They are rugged, lightweight, waterproof, wearable, built to be mounted on vehicles, yet still producing quality, high definition video.

GoPro’s latest offering is the HERO4, which retails in the United States for about USD 400. It weighs about 2.9 ounces, but can capture 4K video at 15 frames per second and 1080p at 60 frames per second. The HERO4 now has a touchscreen display, which is a new feature, and eliminates the need to also have GoPro’s mobile app to see what is being filmed.

Though the HERO4 would be a great camera to own, it would indeed be a splurge. A more budget-friendly option would be the entry-level GoPro HERO, which is around USD 130, whilst still allowing us to nurture our sense of adventure!

GoPro HERO4 camera (Source: Recode.net)

GoPro HERO4 camera (Source: Recode.net)

Apple iPhone 6/6 Plus

Every year, the latest iPhone released by Apple is one of the most coveted devices of the year, and consistently they are considered (one of) the best smartphones on the market. This year is no different.

In pushing the envelope even further, the newest iPhone are larger and thinner than their predecessors: the iPhone 6 is 4.7 inches, whilst its bigger brother, the 6 Plus is 5.5 inches bringing it closer to phablet territory, for those who want a more generous interface. However, as per usual, iPhones are not cheap. When they are not subsidised by a carrier, they retail for about USD 650 for 6, and USD 750 for the 6 Plus.

Apple iPhone 6 (Source: The Independent)

Apple iPhone 6 (Source: The Independent)

Roku 3

Have you ever had the experience has having dozens of cable channels and still not being able to find something that you would like to watch? Well a video streaming player might be just what you need.

Video streaming devices are not new: they have been on the market for at least the last three years. However, as our lives become busier, increasingly most of us have grown to appreciate the convenience of being able to stream video content over the Internet on demand.

Roku is one of the most popular brands on the market, and their latest offering, the Roku 3, is one of the sought after, facilitating access to a wealth of video content – television episodes, movies, sports, music, etc. The Roku 3 tends to retail for about USD 100, but there is also the budget friendly, Roku Streaming Stick, is as tiny as a portable flash drive, that connects to your TV through its HDMI port.

Roku 3 streaming player (Source: Amazon)

Roku 3 streaming player (Source: Amazon)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

With the continuing trend of the phablet – the cross between a smartphone and a tablet – the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, gives us the best of both worlds: a fast and powerful device with a larger, 5.7 inch, screen.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is also renowned for its screen, a Super AMOLED technology combined with Quad HD (1,440 x 2,550 pixel) resolution, resulting in exceedingly sharp images. It also comes with a stylus, the S Pen, which increases the phone’s utility and overall user-friendliness.

However, similar to the iPhone, the Note 4 can cost a pretty penny, if it is not purchased in conjunction with a mobile/cellular service contract.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (PhoneArena)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Source: PhoneArena)

Acer Chromebook

Although much of the tech focus still tends to be on the tablet and smartphone markets, frequently there is still a need for a laptop, when one’s more portable device will not suffice. Although when initially released persons were somewhat sceptical of the Chromebook, their appeal has been growing steadily, and often a serious contender in the laptop category.

Of the Chromebooks manufactured, those by Acer tend to be on any shortlist of the best laptops, and are competitively priced, usually under USD 400. Two of the most recommended are the Acer Chromebook 13 and the Acer C270 Chromebook.

Acer C270 Chromebook (Source: Acer)

Acer C270 Chromebook (Source: Acer)

 

Image credit:  Master  isolated images (FreeDigitalPhotos.com)

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About the author

Michele Marius

Michele Marius has a wealth of experience in the telecoms and ICT space, which has been gained in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, and in the public and private sectors. She is the Editor and Publisher of ICT Pulse.

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