Still looking for that perfect tech-themed Christmas present? It’s not too late to pick up a great value gift – last post for first class parcels is Friday 20th December.
To give Santa some inspiration our tech team have picked out their top present picks for under £100. Whether you’re looking for a new phone, a decent pair of headphones or a great keyboard for your tablet, we’ve got you covered.
Christmas gadgets – our full tech-themed Christmas guide
Pebble Smartwatch – $150 (£91 approx)
Shopping for the wisened technophile in your life this Christmas? Look no further than the Pebble smartwatch. It connects to your Android or Apple mobile via Bluetooth, and is able to deliver texts, calendar updates, emails and more straight to your wrist. I used the Pebble for about a week and found it surprisingly useful – not only for quickly skimming incoming messages, but when tracking my exercise routine too.
Mike Plant – Writer
Kitsound BoomDock – £85
If you’re looking for an affordable speaker dock but don’t want to skimp on audio quality, I’d have a look at Kitsound’s BoomDock. Despite its comical name, the BoomDock is very serious with rich, powerful sound across a wide range of music. Its design is sleek and minimalist and you also get a FM radio, alarm clock and remote control.
Chris Lloyd – Writer
Canon Ixus 132 – £74
This ultra-slim, point-and-shoot camera lacks the bells-and-whistles of pricier models but has a decent 5x zoom and takes good pictures and video in most conditions. It’s easy to use, so would suit a novice photographer, and comes in a range of colours. Its Achilles’ heel is in low-light conditions, where picture quality drops off, but at this price the Ixus 132 is a bargain.
David Holes – Principal Researcher/Writer
Nokia Lumia 520 – £70
This colourful Windows phone is great value and an excellent first smartphone. The operating system is pretty easy to get to grips with and its 4-inch display is among the best we’ve seen for a phone at this price, making it a good choice for watching movies or browsing the web on the go. The phone has quite a small memory (4.7GB of useable space) but you can boost this with a cheap micro SD card.
Jon Barrow – Principal Researcher/Writer
Sony MDR-XB600 – £44
These on-ear headphones from Sony have great sound quality, especially if you like some bass in your music. We found them comfortable to use for extended periods of time and easy to transport as well – the earpads fold inwards, so they can slip into a bag. Worth considering as a budget alternative to Beats by Dr Dre, the Sony MDR-XB600 are an excellent gift this Christmas.
Ryan Shaw – Senior Researcher/Writer
Pure Evoke D2 – £85
This stylish mono radio would make a great gift for someone who wants a digital radio, but doesn’t want anything too complicated. It’s a simple little device, easy to set up without wading through instructions. A built-in kitchen timer makes it a good choice for budding Mary Berry’s, and flexible alarm options make it equally at home in the bedroom. It sounds good too, coping well with all musical genres from pop to jazz, rock and classical.
Jack Turner – Senior Researcher/Writer
HP Photosmart 5520 e-AIO – £60
The HP Photosmart 5520 can print, copy and scan. There’s a colour screen that’s handy if you’re printing directly from a memory card – you won’t need to turn on your computer. It also has auto-duplexing, so you can set it up to automatically print on both sides of a page. It’s a wi-fi printer so you can print from a range of devices, including smartphones, and it’s AirPrint compatible with both the iPhone and iPad.
Katie Waller – Principal Researcher/Writer
Sony HT-CT60 – £95
Costing under £100, Sony’s HT-CT60 is its lowest-priced sound bar and subwoofer combo, but this good all-rounder pulls it out of the bag, handling speech, music and movies well. It lacks extras such as Bluetooth wireless music streaming, although you can connect portable devices to its 3.5mm jack input to play music. If you want to boost the lacklustre sound quality on your TV on a budget, then ignore similarly-priced models and grab this one while you can.
Elisa Roberts – Business Researcher
If your nearest and dearest already owns an iPad, there’s no point in buying them a secondary budget tablet. Instead, consider investing in an iPad keyboard. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio looks the part and offers a sturdy typing experience for knocking out spreadsheets and documents while on the move.
Rob Leedham – Writer