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Durban - Shopping for Christmas presents has become more difficult each year. You could always get a voucher, but then the person would think that you don’t know them well enough and therefore didn’t make the effort to think of a suitable gift. In the age of IT and a world populated with gadget lovers, the best gift ideas this year, we think, are gadget-related. We bring you some of the gadgets we think would make any recipient chuffed.
1. The MUVI ATom
This tiny little device that looks like it could be a USB flash drive is actually the smallest hi-definition camcorder. It records at 640x480 at 30 FPS using Frame Rate Enhancement technology. It can also take snapshots (resolution of 1 280x960) and comes with a 2GB micro SD memory card. An ideal device for sports fanatics, its tiny size also makes it ideal for spying on people, but that’s a whole other story.
Retails for R1 399, found on thegadgetshop.co.za
If its name seems funny, that’s because it’s made in Sweden. An electric braai lighter, but with a difference; it uses hot air. It works with wood or charcoal and comes with a 3m-long cord.
Retails for R599, available at thegadgetshop.co.za
3. Wiki MP3 & FM Car Transmitter (with Remote)
This is not really new, but it’s still pretty nifty. This gizmo allows you to play your digital music from your iPod or MP3 player through your car stereo using the cigarette lighter socket. You can either connect your MP3 player via a line-in lead from the headphone socket, or insert a SD/MMC memory card or USB flash drive with MP3 formatted tracks. WiKi Car MP3 then transmits the music via low power FM to your car stereo. Pretty cool.
R230 from mantality.co.za
4. Emergency Phone Charger
Simple, but so clever. All you need is one AA battery, which you place inside the gadget, then plug it into your phone. It gives you two hours of talk time. It’s a great idea to have one of these with you, as you never know when your battery will die and two hours should be more than enough to keep you going. If you need more power, add another AA battery, and you get another two hours.
R150 from mantality.co.za
5. The Flying Alarm Clock
This will probably annoy you, but it does make a great gift idea. It’s an alarm clock that has an embedded propeller that automatically takes off when you alarm goes off. You can only turn the alarm off when you catch the propeller and return it to the clock. See? Annoying if you just wanted to hit the snooze button, but super awesome for anyone who likes gadgets.
R199 from prophecy.co.za
6. The DStv Walka 7
Do you love TV and hate missing your favourite shows? Well, fear not because the DStv Walka 7 is the best thing since those TV cards that were popular in mid-2000. The Walka 7 is a portable TV with a 7” viewing screen providing digital visual and audio quality. Channels included in the Walka are M-Net, M-Net Series, Sony Max, four Supersport Channels, including SS1 and SS4, CNN and the Discovery Channel. Depending on your DStv package, you can either subscribe for free (Premium) or pay a fee of R49 a month (non-Premium users).
R899 from Multichoice stores, gadget shops and also takealot.com
7. iPad Mini
The iPad’s mini me has proved to be popular, with worldwide sales of over three million devices since it went into stores.
It’s all about going compact (actual size and cost) and thanks to Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, the consumer is the one who reaps the rewards. Yes, it’s stripped down and doesn’t have all the specs and awesomeness of the iPad, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a nifty gadget.
DionWired expects the iPad Mini to sell for R3 000. The expected release date is December 14.
8. Galaxy Note 2
After the successful year Samsung has had with its devices, especially with the Galaxy S3 phone, which is currently the most popular phone in the market, the Galaxy Note 2 takes it even further. It’s already better than its predecessor, the Galaxy Note, because it’s not as bulky. It has Android’s current best operating system, Jelly Bean.
Available on contract from MTN and Vodacom and for those who want to splurge, be prepared to spend as much as R8 000.
9. The Wii U
Nintendo changed the game with the Wii and it continues to do so, especially with the launch of the new gaming console, the Wii U. Said to be already a favourite of teenagers around the world, it comprises a GamePad that looks a bit like a tablet and a console that looks like a more stylish Wii. It has Basic (Wii U console with 8GB internal storage and a Wii U GamePad) and Premium (Wii U console and Wii U GamePad, 32GB of internal storage and bundled with Nintendo Land) models. Prices depend on the package you go for.
It launched in South Africa on Friday and it’s selling for R3 999 for Basic and R4 599 for Premium – available at DionWired and Incredible Connections.
10. Pocket TV
The Pocket TV is a pocket-sized dongle that connects to the HDMI port of any regular TV (even your five-year-old TV) and converts it into a Smart TV.
It’s basically a fully functioning micro-computer the size of your thumb which runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). You can download apps from the Google Play Store to stream videos, play games, connect with your friends on Facebook, catch up on news, do some work or simply surf the web. We’re sold!
Retails for R1 499 from sidav-store.com - Sunday Tribune