Top 5 Christmas Gadget Ideas

Everyone has a nerdy friend, this has been proven by science. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have been landed with him or her for Secret Santa (or in the off-chance you actually care about them) you’ll have been looking for present ideas to match their utter lack of ungeekiness this Christmas. Look no further, as Spark* Sci-Tech’s annual ‘Top 5 Christmas Gadgets’ list is here to help.

5. Amazon Kindle

We’re cheating a bit here since the Kindle was on the list last year, but a reworked user interface, a keyboard-ectomy and a modest price drop has made taking the first tentative steps into the eReader market even easier. The lowest price Kindle we could find was £89 by most high street shops or direct from Amazon, and the slightly pricier models come with contract-less 3G connection to download eBooks. But bear in mind that the gleeful recipient of the Kindle will still have to sink some cold, hard moolah into eBooks to deck it out with.

4. Windows Phone 7

Another slight cheat, but now that Microsoft have had time to iron out the kinks of the Windows Phone 7 operating system, and cram it into a few handsets, it’s a much more appealing prospect. Big manufacturers like Nokia and Samsung have already released the first WP7 handsets and reviews seem to be more enthused by the OS than the hardware itself. It’s become quite clear that 2012 will see phones judged on the merits of their OS rather than the wedge of plastic and glass they’ve been stuffed into. WP7 is definitely one to consider if you’re torn between the walled-garden of Apple or the lawless abandon of Android, though a somewhat lacking app store may put some people off.

3. Nintendo 3DS

Though the 3D can be a polarising feature (nerdy pun intended), there’s no denying that as the only major games platforms released these last twelve months, it stands as arguably the most up-to-date console around. The main gimmick of this particular handheld is the ability to play games in 3D without having to use glasses (though if you’re buying this for a geek that wouldn’t be an issue), but there have been numerous complains of it hurting the eyeballs after prolonged use. Regardless, it’s relatively low price, good screen and wide selection of games make it an ideal present for your local gamer that won’t break the bank or your back trying to carry it.

2. iPhone 4S

It wouldn’t be a gadget list without the JobsCo making an appearance. Apple’s long-awaited iPhone 4S shattered all rumours of new casings and new cameras and gave us…a slightly better iPhone 4. It’s most notable feature, of course, being the silver-tongued/golden-eared ‘Siri personal assistant’ application that finally shattered the prejudice associated with having conversations with inanimate objects. It’s about time. However, with rapidly upcoming competition, no Steve Jobs to fill it’s charisma-quota and a buzz that Apple have run out of ideas, it may be that come next Christmas the iPhone 4S will be incredibly out of style, and you may be stuck in a 24-month contract.

1. Angry Birds Cookbook

No, seriously. Anyone unfortunate enough to be sat in a long, boring lecture but lucky enough to have a smartphone knows the addictive draw of Angry Birds; it’s not just for geeks anymore. If your token nerd happens to be a fan, and validates the stereotype for clueless cooking skills, then this cookbook based on Angry Birds, containing mostly egg recipes (ironically provided by chef Aldo Zilli, the guy from the Optivita adverts who’s really concerned about your cholesterol) will keep your resident geek alive at least long enough to fix your computer.