Monday, 15 December 2014 13:26

Christmas gadget gift guide


Christmas is a mere 10 days away and if you're like me you haven't finished - maybe not even started - all your gift shopping. Here is our list of 11 great gadget gift ideas for the special people in your life, suitable for a range of budgets. Most importantly, each item is available right now!

Lenovo YOGA range


Looking for a shiny new tablet for your loved one this Christmas? The Lenovo YOGA consumer range includes the stylish, best-in-breed tablets - the YOGA Tablet 2 Pro with built-in projector and subwoofer, the YOGA Tablet 2 (in both Android and Windows 8) and the popular YOGA 3 Pro. All models feature the latest premium Intel technology at the core. Dramatically thinner and lighter than predecessors, all three devices feature extremely stylish hardware and performance capabilities and adaptive software.

The Yoga Tablet 2 10.1" Android is available for $399 RRP. The Yoga Tablet 2 10" Windows tablet with keyboard is available for $579 RRP. The YOGA Tablet 2 Pro 13" is available for $799 RRP and the YOGA 3 Pro is available in varying configurations at a starting price of $2,099 RRP.

YOGA products, and Lenovo's wider selection of notebooks, tablets and all-in-ones are available in-store at JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman and online from


Beats Solo2


Beats' most popular headphone has been redesigned from the inside out. With updated and improved acoustics the Solo2 lets you feel your music with a wider range of sound and enhanced clarity. Streamlined, lightweight and durable this compact headphone is more comfortable than ever.

The Beats Solo2 retains for $259.95 RRP and is available from authorised Beats retailers.


Beats Pill XL


The Beats Pill XL is bigger, louder and has a built-in handle so you can still pick-up and go. This speaker is loud enough for a big room or your backyard party. It connects to any Bluetooth-enabled device so you can take your music anywhere. With the Beats Pill family's updated features you can amplify or stereo your music with other Beats Pill XLs.

The Beats Pill XL retails for $399.95 RRP and is available at authorised Beats retailers.


Plantronics BackBeat FIT


The Plantronics BackBeat FIT is the perfect workout partner, no matter your level of activity.

Offering superior stability, stability, comfort and wireless freedom, these headphones are ideal for listening to your favourite tunes while exercising at the gym or walking the dog. Connecting to devices wirelessly via Bluetooth you can even take and make occasional phone calls without having to touch your phone.

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT is $159 and available in Lime Burst and Electric Blue at Rebel Sport, Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi and selected Telstra and Optus stores.


Plantronics BackBeat PRO


The Plantronics BackBeat PRO is a new headphone from Plantronics with advanced active noise cancellation (ANC) technology, minimising background sounds so you can fully immerse yourself in your music. They are ideal for blocking out noise in a busy office or flight, and designed for all-day comfort wether wearing at home, in the office or on the go. With up to 24 hours of continuous wireless use you're going to need a longer playlist!

The Plantronics BackBeat PRO is $349 and available at Telstra, Tech2Go and Officeworks.


Please read on for more, including a smartpen, baby monitor, Wi-Fi audio extender and more!


Plantronics GameCom 788


Do you know an avid gamer? With this great headset they won't just hear the game, they'll feel it too!

When it's time to take a break or leave the day behind to play a game, your gamer can grab the Plantronics GameCom 788 USB headset with Dolby 7.1 surround sound. They will feel every bit of action and hear their opponents before they see them. They can stay focused on winning, adjusting volume without taking their eyes of the screen, knowing their commands and comments will be clearly heard.

After the game they can even keep these comfortable headphones on to catch up with friends on Skype or relax and enjoy movies and music in stunning, cinematic sound.

The Plantronics GameCom 788 sells for $199.99.


D-Link Wi-Fi Audio Extender DCH-M225


Fill your home with your favourite sounds with this cool gadget! Whether you are in the kitchen or hanging out in your bathroom you will be able to stream all your music from your smartphone straight to any connected speaker within your home's Wi-Fi network.

The D-Link Audio Extender DCH-M225 can also be used to easily eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots bringing wireless coverage to hard-to-reach areas so you can do more of the stuff you love with your family and friends.

The D-Link Audio Extender sells for $79.95 and is available from a variety of retailers and distributors.


Sandisk Connect Wireless Media Drive


This pocket-sized storage device is the ultimate gift! For those family vacations, rainy days or when you are travelling for work, the SanDisk Connect can allow you to stream high-def movies, photos and music on tablets, smartphones and computers.

With up to eight hours of continuous streaming per charge it will keep the whole family entertained longer.

It also includes an SDHC/SDCX card slot for instant sharing of those awesome pictures and videos you just took on your digital camera while away from home.

The Sandisk Connect Wireless Media Drive comes in 32Gb and 64Gb variants for $140 RRP and $180 RRP respectively. It is available for purchase at Harvey Norman.


D-Link Wi-Fi Baby Camera Jr (DCS-700L)


For parents who are constantly on the go and travelling for work it has now become easier to keep an eye on their little one!

D-Link's Wi-Fi Baby Camera Jr allows them to connect wirelessly over the Internet to monitor their baby around the clock no matter where they may be. With a wide array of features and benefits, such as two-way audio and night vision - this portable camera will transform their mobile device into a simple way to stay connected with their baby.

The D-Link Wi-Fi Baby Camera Jr - model DCS-700L - is available for $129.95 from a network of D-Link retailers and distributors.


Livescribe 3 Smartpen


The Livescribe pen has gone from strength to strength since its first incarnation. This incredible technology is perfect for the CEO, the IT professional, the lecturer, the architect ... anyone! This is because it is the fastest way to make handwritten notes and diagrams useful and usable on a tablet or smartphone. The smartpen captures everything written on Livescribe paper as soon as it starts up, and then transfers that content to Livescribe+ when the app opens.

You can convert your handwriting to text to create tasks, reminders, contacts and calendar events for work. You can file your notes and retrieve them anywhere. It's the perfect companion for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The Livescribe 3 Smartpen sells for $199.95 and is available at Officeworks, Apple stores and online.


Parallels Access 2.0


Parallels Access 2.0 is a tremendous gift for those always on the move, from road warriors to real estate agents to insurance agents and sales professionals, Parallels Access 2.0 will enable them to stay more productive while on the move.

This piece of software allows your giftee to leave their laptop back in the office and travel light with only their handheld devices. Originally available on the iPad, Paralells Access 2.0 makes remote access available for Android phones and tablets as well as the iPhone. It allows you to centrally manage and remotely access your computers, whether at home or work. You can remotely access any file or document on your handheld Android or iOS device and work on it as if optimised for your handheld's screen - no need for zooming or pinching, and no formatting hassles!

Parallels Access 2.0 is a subscription software service and a one year subscription is available for $24.99. It is available on the Apple iTunes App Store and Android Google Play store, with a two week free trial.


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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.



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