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Here's a roundup of some of the best Christmas gifts of 2018 for tech heads, lovers of gadgets, or anyone who's just a tiny bit nerdy (without all the confusing techy jargon).
A Robot Buddy To Hang Out With
From dystopian sci-fi movies to paranoid warnings from scientists about AI, robots get a pretty bad rap nowadays, but not all of them are soulless boxes hell-bent on stealing your job.
This is Vector, pictured above. Light-years away from such stereotypes, Vector is a home-dwelling robot whose sole purpose is to be your new-found robot companion and make your life a little bit easier – and to do it with charm.
It’s effectively a lovable hybrid of Google Home and Pixar's WALL-E. By following your voice commands, this Wi-Fi-enabled little dude is able to run a timer while you’re cooking, tell you what the weather’s like tomorrow, and even take photographs on your instruction. Like a true buddy, it can even greet you when you come home from work and help you unwind with a game of Blackjack. Since it’s hooked up to the Cloud, it’s always ready to update with new skills and features to impress you with.
Zero percent chance of world domination, guaranteed.
Grab one here.
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5-in-1 Stackable Travel Adapter
Know a jet-setter or somebody bitten by the travel bug? Check out this devilishly stylish 5-in-1 travel adaptor that lets you easily adapt to over 150 countries' power supplies, from Armenia to Zambia. It also comes with a color-coded map to help you work out which part to use.
Available for just $35.00, it’s light, small, and looks undeniably cool.
Get one here.
Unless your kid is the 21st century’s Stanley Kubrick, a child doesn’t need a $1,000 aerial drone with the latest camera equipment. But don’t fret, there are a bunch of child-friendly and relatively good value drones on the market.
Star Wars fans will undoubtedly be tempted by the Air Hogs Star Wars Millennium Falcon Drone. It looks great, however, it has a relatively short battery life and it’s not the easiest thing to control.
If you want an all-rounder drone that’s more substance over style, and great for grown-ups too, then we’d recommend the UDI RC U27 Quadcopter. Although fairly small with a battery life of just seven minutes, it contains a variety of different modes that help the user to develop control and master a number of different tricks. Not bad for less than $50.
In the words of T3 Magazine, it’s “an ideal beginner drone with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.”
Phone Charging Gadgetry
Instead of wasting your time by plugging in your phone every night with a fiddly wire, like a chump, you can now just cooly place your phone on a slick-looking pad and let the charging commence.
The Native Union Drop Fabric Charging Pad is available for around $59.99. It looks pretty swish too.
It’s compatible with iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone XR, and all other Qi-integrated devices (which include a number of non-iPhone devices too, such as the more recent Samsung Galaxy and Sony smartphones).
Get one here.
Look how far we have come: In the early 90s, a clunky black-and-white-screened Game Boy was a damn decent gift. Now, for a similar price, you can own a virtual reality (VR) platform and enter a whole other 3D world.
Oculus Rift remains the big name in the world of VR platforms. However, many argue that you no longer need to fork out $400 to get a decent VR experience at home. They have also released Oculus Go, a less powerful alternative to its bigger brother, but with the much more attractive price tag of $199. It’s also compatible with over 1,000 apps available from the Oculus store, including numerous video-streaming services, music sites, and games.
For a super-affordable yet super-fun option, check out Google Cardboard, available for just $15.
A few critics have slammed the PlayStation Classic for lacking the magic of the original. But hey, at just $99.99, few can argue with this nostalgia-soaked throwback.
It looks like a mini version of the Playstation you probably got for Christmas in the mid-90s, complete with the original PlayStation controller and over 20 of the best games, including Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy VII, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Resident Evil, Rayman, and Tekken 3. That said, it is missing a lot of the old fan favorites, such as Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot, and Silent Hill.
Get yours here.