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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# Buyers' Guide
These are the gadgets you want to have underneath your Christmas tree
With only a week and a half left until Christmas Day, there’s still time to get a great gift for someone you know.

SO WE’RE AT the second last weekend before Christmas and you’re not sure what would make a good gift for someone.

If you’re still looking around for some good ideas for presents, here are a few suggestions for both those on a budget and those who have a little more to play around with.

For those wanting to get fit

The Jawbone Up (€54) is a wearable device that can track the distance you run, the calories you burn and your sleep patterns. It’s one of the basic versions so if you have cash to burn, you could go for UP24 although it’s considerably more expensive

Provided you don’t mind not having a screen – progress is checked through a specialised app – it will more than meet your needs.

Those who are more serious about their running might find the Garmin Forerunner 15 (€169) to be a better fit. The GPS technology allows for more accurate tracking of distance and speed when running and has a long battery life.

For the TV/Movie watcher

For anyone who likes watching movies or videos on their TV instead of their laptop, Google’s Chromecast (€39) is one of the best out there. Able to stream apps and services from your laptop, tablet or phone to your TV, it’s a must for anyone who is big into TV.

If you want to take it a step further, you can get the Roku 3 (€139) which is one of the best TV streaming boxes out there. A ton of features, easy to use fast speeds and a remote that also has a headphone jack for private listening all work in its favour.

For the young at heart

If you know someone who’s into robotics and programming and loves LEGO, why not combine the two. The Mindstorms series does just that and the EV3 (€289) is perfect for younger users. The robots incorporate sensors which incorporate touch, colour and infrared as you build up to five robots.

If that’s too much of a reach, you could go for the LEGO Technic series (€20 – €200), which allows you to build specific machines and devices using LEGO and electronics.

For the music lover (headphones)

Any music lover needs a decent pair of headphones, it’s worth considering Philips CitiScape Downtown headphones (€69). They’re not exactly the cheapest, but for what you get, they’re incredibly comfortable to wear, look nice and the sound quality is good.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, then maybe consider the Audio Technica ATH-M50x (€159). They might not be the best ones to wear on the go, but for those who regularly listen to music at home (or edit audio and video regularly), the sound quality and bass are fantastic.

For the music lover (speakers)

For your computer, the Logitech UE Boom (€199) is a great wireless Bluetooth speaker (for iOS and Android) which is also water and stain resistant, meaning you can take it anywhere. It helps that the sound quality is rather good too.

If you’re on a budget, then the Divoom Voombox Travel (€51) is worth looking at, a smaller alternative that is both sturdy and water-resistant making it perfect if you travel often.

If you really want to improve the sound quality of your TV, then maybe consider a soundbar. One good example is the Pioneer SBX-300 (€150), an entry-level soundbar that’s light on features, but more than makes up for it with its sound.

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For the heavy reader

No matter what you’re into, there’s no beating a Kindle 7 (€79) if you just want to read. The updated version improves on the classic formula. Long battery life, monochrome screen and a vast collection of books to purchase and download online make it a no-brainer.

If you want to invest a little more into it, then the Kindle Paperwhite (€139) includes screen brightening (if you’re reading in dark places) without sacrificing the long battery life it’s famous for.

For the snap-obsessive iPhone user

If you like your photos on your smartphone to have a little more variety a good suggestion is the OlloClip 4-in-1 Photo Lens for the iPhone 5/5S (€75). The lens offers fisheye, wide-angle, and two macro lenses (10x and 15x) which will be suitable for whatever shot you wish to take

You can get one for the other iPhone and iPad devices as well as the Samsung S4 and 5, but you will have to order them from the company itself.

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For the worker/student 

The MacBook Air 13-inch (€1,029) is one of the best laptops out there despite the high price point. Slim, light, good build, great battery life and incredibly responsive, it’s a device that will last you a while before you feel the need to upgrade.

If that’s too far out of reach, then a Chromebook might better suit your needs. Toshiba’s version (€259) has a 13-inch screen, decent battery life and good performance that’s perfect for anyone on a tight budget.

Although the caveat is it’s almost WiFi dependent and runs on Chrome OS, meaning if you’re not a fan of Google products, you may want to steer clear.

For those on a mid-range budget, then the ACER Aspire E5-571 (€459) might be a better alternative. It’s an entry-level laptop so as long as you keep your expectations in check, it will deal with most tasks competently.

Read: What are the tablets to look out for this Christmas? >

Read: Which smartphone should be in your Christmas stocking this year? >

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