Top five tech stocking fillers: Damien McFerran
Damien McFerran selects five of the best low-cost gadgets for Christmas
Christmas is bearing down upon us like some massive snow-covered merchandising behemoth, so now is as good a time as any to start planning what stocking-fillers you're going to hand out to your nearest and dearest. The modern-day consumer is quite literally spoilt for choice - the days of rubbish socks and cheap chocolate selections are behind us, and instead we've got a plethora of awesome gadgets and gizmos to choose from - most of which won't break the bank.
Arcadie for iPhone (£14.99)
We've all seen the iCade, but what if your budget is a little more modest and you don't have room in your house for a massive cabinet? The answer is the Arcadie, a miniaturised version which works with your iPhone instead of your iPad. You can download free games (with more planned in the future) to deliver that authentic coin-op experience. The only thing missing is a group of surly teenagers peering over your shoulder as you play.
Super Mario Desktop RC Karts (£15.99)
Everyone loves Mario Kart, from the smallest child to the oldest OAP - it's one of those indisputable facts of life. Bearing this in mind, these tiny remote controlled karts make for an ideal gift for relatives of all ages. They're small enough to fit in your pocket but swift enough to provide maximum entertainment when you're bored at work.
Mimobot USB Stick (£19.95)
USB flash memory is so cheap and common these days that it takes something genuinely special to catch our attention - and these awesome Mimobot USB sticks certainly do that. Optimus Prime, Batman and Darth Vader (complete with Stormtrooper escort) all feature 4GB of storage, and when they're not in use their heads protect the USB connector.
Mega Drive Arcade Nano (£14.99)
Gamers of a certain age will no doubt harbour fond memories of Sega's 16-bit Mega Drive console. The machine was home to games like Sonic, Golden Axe and Streets of Rage - as well as Tetris-style puzzler Columns, which is the lead title on this keyring/portable games console. It connects to your TV, is battery powered and also features Flicky, Arrow Flash and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine - ideal for when the Queen's Speech is on telly.
Pac-Man Alarm Clock (£15.95)
Another iconic gaming gift, this clock is fashioned in the shape of Namco's famous pill-munching hero - Pac-Man himself. Battery powered and showcasing function buttons emblazoned with images from the legendary arcade title, this will bring a smile to the face of any truly dedicated joypad junkie.