Life Tech Power on: the best new gadgets for Christmas 2014

Power on: the best new gadgets for Christmas 2014

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Whether you need to stuff a Christmas stocking, say thank you to a colleague or simply treat yourself for surviving another year on earth, everybody loves a new gadget.

From health and fitness to home entertainment and computing on the go, you’ll find the ideal gift idea in our list of top tech gadgets.

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Alienware Alpha


Price: $699

Living room gaming is being revolutionised once again, this time by the Alienware Alpha gaming console. Fire up this dedicated gaming PC and your entire collection of Steam games – available via digital download – are at your beck and call, right there on your HD TV. Grab your mates and settle in for some old-school social gaming.

Lexon Tykho Radio


Price: $129

Looking more like a toy than a functional piece of audio equipment, the Lexon Tykho Radio is a water-resistant AM/FM radio that’s just as suited to the shower cubicle as it is long days at the beach. AA battery powered and encased in durable silicon, throw it into your beach bag and wail along as you impressive fellow beach goers and that new boy/girlfriend.

Withings Activité


Price: $US450

Holy moly. A smartwatch that actually looks like a watch! This Swiss made timepiece also tracks your daily movements, providing feedback via a single watch hand and the synced smartphone app. Featuring 50-metre water resistance and a changeable silicon strap, you can hit the pool and track your laps as well.

HP Sprout


Price: $US1899.99

The HP Sprout home PC brings Minority Report-style interaction one step closer. Utilizing a three-camera system, a touchscreen and a projection screen, create digital works of art from any scanned physical object, manipulating images, video and audio in real time. It will bring out your inner Da Vinci.

Fitbit Charge HR


Price: $179.95

Activity tracker and heart rate monitor, the Fitbit Charge HR is the latest personal tracker from popular health technology maker, Fitbit. Track your movements, heart rate, sleeping patterns, exercise routines and more, all from your wrist. Paired with a smartphone, it will also alert you to incoming calls and allow you to track stats via a dedicated app.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4


Price: $949

Packing a 5.7-inch AMOLED screen and a 16-megapixel camera, the Galaxy Note 4 is one very impressive phablet. Personal video and HD gaming take on new meaning with this smartphone, with improved battery life ensuring you make it through the day. While it may not be the most discreet phone to whip out on the train, it certainly is the most outstanding.

Aiaiai TMA-1 Stones Throw Limited Edition


Price: $295

The headphones found resting on more DJ consoles than any other, Aiaiai’s new TMA-1 is a special edition for Stones Throw records (home of Aloe Blacc, J Dilla et al), delivering everything the company’s flagship headphone is known for: Uncompromised sound quality and sturdiness.

Flexson Vinylplay


Price: $899

Wireless speakers systems have become the latest must-have for home entertainment, allowing you to pipe sound into any room in your house. This turntable is the final piece of the audio puzzle, connecting with your Sonos system to bring the warm pops and crackles of analogue sound to your entire home.

Sonance SonArray SR1


Price: $3695

Portable Bluetooth speakers are great for impromptu outdoor use, but when you want living room-level power and clarity in your backyard, SonArray SR1 outdoor speakers are the go. Designed specifically for outdoor use, these speakers can be mounted on the ground and on walls or on branches, giving you high quality audio that won’t obscure your view.

Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition


Price: $TBA

Pair this VIrtual Reality headset with your Galaxy Note 4 and open up an exciting world of VR entertainment. Powered by Oculus technology, say hello to 360° videos and photos and personal cinema, not to mention immersive mobile gaming.

Ricoh Theta M15


Price: $US300

For the extreme sports enthusiast, this mini digital camera captures spherical video of the entire scene before you, top to bottom, side to side. Perfect for sky diving, mountain biking, BASE jumping or any activity that affords a great view.

iPad Air 2


Price: $619

The latest in Apple’s iPad line, the iPad Air 2 is certainly a stunner. Thinner, faster and sporting an impressive HD Retina display, one can only assume that this is the way tablet computing was always meant to be. There are many cheaper alternatives on the market, but the iPad Air 2 is a sure bet for quality and style, backed by top shelf hardware specs.



Price: $US309

Channel your inner hipster the next time you step out to do a little blogging in your local café with the Qwerkywriter. A Bluetooth USB keyboard styled to look like a vintage typewriter, just slide your tablet PC into the stand, bang the keys and turn heads faster than you can say, ‘double-ristretto latté.’

BeoPlay A2


Price: $US399

Never ones to skimp on their design aesthetics, the new Band & Olufsen BeoPlay A2 is every bit as functional as it is easy on the eye. While it is one of the more expensive portable Bluetooth speakers around, it’s also one of the best audio experiences you’ll get from a wireless speaker. Sturdy and easy on the juice, just charge and leave in the car for those sunny days out.



Price: $3690

One for gaming geeks with too much money. The R-Kaid-R is a wooden personal gaming console that beckons the glory days of arcade gaming with the likes of Pac Man and Asteroids. Become the proud owner of one of the 50 (!) being made and you’ll also get a leather satchel carry bag and up to eight hours of gaming on a single charge.

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