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Top 10 gadget Christmas gifts of 2010

Top 10 gadget Christmas gifts of 2010

What to buy for the techy who has everything? names the best Christmas gifts to take the strain out of shopping.

1 Apple iPad

ipad new york times

What’s it for, the naysayers asked. You don’t need a tablet, they moaned. But short of gas, food and lodging what do you really, really need when it comes down to it? And besides, luxuries make the best presents, right?

With its LED-backlit touchscreen 9.7-inch display for web browsing and watching video, e-Reader functionality via the iBooks app, thousands of games and practical applications, this is another game-changing device from the House of Cupertino.

If you’re in the market for one, you can now pick them up on mobile broadband contracts with Orange, 3 and T-Mobile, starting from £27 per month with a one-off charge of £199.

2 A.R Drone R/C helicopter

ar drone

Those pocket-sized radio control choppers are all well and good, but they’re massively underpowered. That’s not a criticism you can level at this behemoth, which you control entirely with your iPhone.

Tilt your Apple smartphone left and right to change direction. Or activate the camera mode to see what the pilot would see. There’s also some augmented reality games to get through that overlay dogfights onto your everyday surroundings, which your chums can join in with also. could not possibly endorse strapping your hamster to the A.R Drone in the manner of that classic Simon Mayo radio confession. But if you are twisted enough to do that kind of thing, make sure you send us the link to the video, yeah?

3 Headcase iPhone bottle opener


The fact that this robust case doubles as a bottle opener is enough for us. But that’s just the start of its appeal. You also get a free app that you can set to play a song of your choice each time you pop one open and display pre-designated pictures too. Less useful is that it also counts the number of boozes you’ve had. Who but the most hair-shirt-wearing, uptight puritan would want to know that?

4 HTC Wildfire

HTC Wildfire Black

Android has been the smartphone story of the last year. This keenly priced handset lets you get onboard with Google’s operating system for a fraction of the outlay of the Desire and Samsung Galaxy S. But it’s still got a spec sheet that can easily go toe-to-toe with either of those handsets.

The five-megapixel camera only differs from the Desire’s in that it doesn’t have HD video recording, just yet. But you do get the same social networking focussed HTC Sense user interface, plus multi-touch, a trackpad and a handsome metallic sheen. And it's soon to be updated to Android 2.2 as well, bringing a host of new functions to the handset. Grab one one pay as you go from around £130 or for free on monthly contract plans.

5 Star Wars Lego Man alarm clock

star wars alarm clock

Available in Stormtrooper or Darth Vader variants, these are simultaneously the geekiest and most stylish things we’ve seen in a long, long while.

Naturally, there’s a snooze function and backlight, both of which you control by pressing down on your imperial emissary’s helmet-clad head. And they’re fully poseable too.

6 Call of Duty: Black Ops

call of duty black ops

The year’s biggest and best baddest first person shooter brought some lovely new touches to freshen up the genre. The crossbow and tomahawk add some lovely lo-fi fighting to the mix. While the spycam lent a new level of strategy to the series.

But it’s the option to play as Cold War political giants, such as JFK, Nixon and Fidel Castro that swung it for us. Turns out the latter isn’t impervious to all attacks, after all. Whatever those tens of botched US assassination attempts might’ve suggested. Available on PS3 and XBox 360.

7 Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung’s million-selling debut tablet is a great iPad alternative – especially if you’re of the growing band of Apple sceptics. With a seven-inch screen, compared with the iPad’s 9.7-inch display, it’s much more compact and portable than Apple’s effort. And it’s got dual rear and front-facing cameras for video calling, works well as an e-Reader and packs some smart exclusive content too, including Financial Times and WHSmith apps.

Pick one up on 3, T-Mobile or Vodafone with monthly mobile broadband usage. Or choose a SIM free option from £449.

8 Unofficial Android hoodies

android busters

Google’s own Android merchandise is pretty cool, especially the USB sticks and designer toys. But when it comes to apparel, it’s the bootleg stuff that stands out. What Fandroid wouldn’t want a hoodie showing Steve Jobs struggling to hold back the Android as it rampages thru a city like the Stay Put Marshallow Man?

9 Etmyotic headphones

etmyotic headphones

These high-end cans offer rich, nuanced sound to give even the most over-familiar albums a new lease of life. You can up the noise-cancellation ante some more by upgrading to custom-made silicone ear pieces. iPad, iPhone and iPod compatible.

10 Paul Smith iPad case

ipad paul smith

Fashioned from wool cashmere with a tasteful minimal design and with foam padding to keep your device safe and sound, this pillow from the Brit designer is the best looking iPad protector out there.

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