Secret Santa, something for the kids, or something more. There are pently of tech and gadget gift options available at any budget this year.
We've put together a few options to help you out, and how to find even more gift ideas.
Google Home Mini - $54-$79
The perfect device for starting a connected home. The Google Home Mini is a cut price smart speaker. Powered by the Google Assistant, the Home Mini is able to answer questions, update your schedule and control connected home devices.
If you want to add other gadgets around your home, see other devices that can be controlled by the Google Home Mini here.
Self-stirring mug - $14
If you're needing a last minute Secret Santa gift, look no further than the self-stirring mug. They've been around for a few years now but they're reasonably priced and should fit into a standard budget.
Using a couple of batteries, the mug simply stirs its contents. The mugs are available with branded themes, like Star Wars, though this adds significantly to the cost.
Oddly enough, we've found them available from City beach for only $14 + shipping.
Wireless phone charger
Not the most exciting gift, but definitely in demand. Now that the iPhone has finally joined the wireless charging world, many new owners will be eager to try it out. But they may be unhappy to find the iPhone doesn't actually include a wireless charger in the box.
A wireless charger is a great opportunity to give someone a functional gift that'll they use everyday. Samsung, Belkin and mophie all have wireless chargers available around the $100 mark. Whatever your choice, you'll want to find a charger that offers at least 7.5w charging, which will charge a phone faster.
(Apple does not yet offer a wireless charger of its own. It is expected to release a charger named AirPower sometime in the new year, though rumours suggest the price may be in excess of $200...)
There are other, cheaper third party alternatives, but check they are compliant with Australian regulations before purchasing.
$100 - $500
Apple iPad (2017) - $469
The iPad has come a long way in recent years and they're available at a range of price points. An entry level iPad is now just $469, and can be had as low as $400 during eBay sales.
For anyone only looking for simple website, social media & video access, the iPad can be a highly appealing and capable option. Though it is important to consider the iPad as a content consuming device, not a content creation device. So if you need it to create Microsoft Office documents, a standard iPad is probably the wrong device (though it can handle some light editing).
Then again, the price can be persuasive compared to buying a laptop. The iPad is available direct from Apple here.
TV sound bar
TV sound bars are an accessory often overlooked, but one that can make a real difference to your home entertainment experience. Over the years, television picture quality has dramatically improved with OLED technology, 4k resolution and HDR colour depth. And, that's before mentioning how thin they can be.
But their slim profiles have come at a cost, diminished audio quality.
Walk into a JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman and you'll quickly find their prices range from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands. While we haven't recommended a specific sound bar, even a low-cost brand-name sound bar will make a difference.
We recommend picking up a sound bar that packs at least 100w of power, has a wireless sub woofer, Bluetooth for playing music from mobile devices & HDMI ARC. Here are some options:
- LG SJ2 160W 2.1ch Sound bar with Wireless Subwoofer (The Good Guys $249, no HDMI ARC)
- Sony HTCT390 300W 2.1 Channel Sound bar with Bluetooth (JB Hi-Fi $399)
- Sony HTCT800 350W 2.1 Channel Sound bar with Wireless Subwoofer (Videopro $496)
If you're still looking for inspiration, here are a few other guides: