The Best Technology Gadget Gifts for Christmas 2016
We’re now at that time of the year again that we’re all starting to think about what exactly we should be buying our friends and family for Christmas. It can actually be pretty difficult to come up with some good ideas that are surprises and are also very useful gifts.
Due to this, I have compiled a list of some of the best (and most cost effective) technology gadgets that can be used as Christmas presents. These are ideal as stocking fillers, but you'll also know that they will get a lot of use as well. Better still, if bought from Amazon they'll be backed by great customer service should the worst happen and the item develops a fault.
Hard Drive Enclosure
You might be curious about this one being on the list since it’s not something you would readily think about when searching for technology related Christmas gifts. However a hard drive enclosure is a great gift for those that are always upgrading their hardware. This is especially true if someone is upgrading their laptop hard drive to an SSD, but they don’t want to lose or migrate the data over to the SSD. Similarly, it might be the case that they are upgrading their old SSD to a larger one, but want to keep the old SSD as a secondary storage device. This makes these enclosures a great Christmas present. Moreover, it is also friendly to the environment since you are effectively recylcing an old drive in order to continue to use it rather than simply throwing it onto a landfill site.
You're also saving the recipient a fair amount of money by buying them one of these enclosures since it will be a lot cheaper than them going out and buying a standalone external drive from Seagate or Western Digital.
A highly recommended enclosure comes from the brand Inateck. Whilst they offer several enclosures, my personal favourite is their 2.5” enclosure which also has three USB 3.0 ports attached to it, effectively doubling the enclosure up as a USB hub. Even if you never used the enclosure aspect of the device, it’s still a cheaper option buying this than a standalone USB hub. With it boosting extremely fast read and write speeds when used with a drive, this is a great way to recycle an old HDD or SSD effectively making it portable.
When coupled with a Samsung Evo 850 SSD, it achieved write speeds that averaged 75mbs second which isn't too shabby. As an added bonus, it also has a power switch on it so that it won't drain power when you're not using it which saves you having to plug and unplug the device each time.
A portable Powerbank
Another great technology based present is opting for a powerbank. Basically these are high capacity batteries that are not only portable but also allow you to charge your devices whilst on the go. Be aware however that there are a lot of these products online and it is always advisable that you opt for a reputable brand.
A key example is the Aukey 16,000 mAh Quickcharge 2.0 battery bank. This has enough power in it to recharge an iPhone 6 and a Samsung Galaxy S7 between 4-5 times off of a single charge. I am able to charge my Moto X Play 6 times off of this powerbank, so it's a great device and something which I tend to keep in the car as a backup in case I break down.
Also, if you have an Android smartphone which has the Quickcharge option on it from Snapdragon, you will be able to charge your phone even faster than normal when using this powerbank. The benefit of using a powerbank at this mAh rating over a larger one is that many airlines will allow you to carry it in your hand luggage without getting prior approval first. However, if you opt for a larger battery bank and intend to use it on a lot of long haul flights then you may require to get permission first before taking it on board.
Moreover, since it has a two ports on it in terms of output, it allows you to charge two devices at once. I have in the past used it to charge up my own smartphone as well as a friends when we've been travelling and it's a great way to boost the lingering power in the phone.
These devices are also great for those that are going on long road journeys and need to power their devices. The same is true if you’re going camping and need to be able to charge up your camera or smartphone. Personally, I also use it to charge up my GroPro Hero, however this will require you to use the cable supplied with your GoPro since these are usually mini USB and the powerbank comes with a micro USB cable instead.
You could also use either this powerbank, or any powerbank of your choosing to help keep your tablet running as long as you have the correct cable for it. Having said that, it will not be suitable to supply a laptop with power to run due to the input connections not matching. It may however power a Macbook Air, again, providing that you have the appropriate cables to power it.
When people hear gaming mouse they immediately think it’s going to be extremely expensive. Depending on the brand that you choose, this can indeed be the case. Generally when looking for a gaming mouse, it is best that you choose one which has a variety of DPI settings so that you can adjust the DPI depending on your in game needs. Further, a key selling point of many gaming mice is the fact that there are cusomisable buttons which is great for ingame actions such as reloading, or even something as simple as pausing the game.
More expensive gaming mice also have the option for you to record and save macros on them which involves a number of different keystrokes tied into one button press. This isn't something that is found in every gaming mouse, so if this is a pre-requisite for the person you are buying the mouse for, be sure to find out first that the mouse in question supports this function.
A key example of a great gaming mouse at a budget price is the Havit Gaming Mouse. It has a total of 19 buttons which are programmable which makes it great for not only gaming, but office related tasks as well since you can assign macros to the buttons to help you in your day to day office needs.
With a variety of DPI settings to suit your needs along with different lighting schemes on it, this is a great mouse for less than the price of the latest video game. The maximum DPI setting is 12,000 which should be more than enough for your needs. It also has a generous length of cable supplied; with it being 1.8 metres which is ideal is your plugging it into the back of your PC.
I actually use this mouse at work since the programmable buttons allow me to carry out a lot of repetitive tasks a lot quicker than normal, so it's not solely for those that want to game with it.
Micro SDHC Card
For anyone that has an Android smart phone or tablet, or even an action camera or digital camera, it really is a no brainer that they pick up a micro SDHC card. They are great ways of expanding the storage in your device quickly and without breaking the bank and can allow you to take a lot more photos, music and documents with you on the go.
It is always best to opt for micro SDHC cards that have the fastest class speed available such as Class 10. If you’re going to be capturing Full HD or 4K video then a U3 UHS 1 card is advisable. A key example of this is the San Disk 32Gb Extreme card. It has write speeds of up to 90 Mb/s as well as it coming with a micro SD to SD adapter. This allows you to plug it into the SD card slot on your laptop as well as plugging it into a device that doesn’t have a micro SD card slot.
Even better, it comes with San Disk’s restore facility which will help you retrieve files off the card in the event that you accidentally deleted them. I have had many micro SD brands over the years many of which failed to impress, or the card died after a years use. However, I have also been using a San Disk Extreme in my GoPro and digital camera for the last three years and have never had a single issue with it. at their low price point, they are highly recommended as a great technology gift for this Christmas.