Top tech Christmas gifts: Basil Kronfli
Basil Kronfli shares the tech he wishes was underneath his Fraser fir this Christmas
I never get what I want for Christmas. This probably has something to do with the fact that my wishlist cost generally creeps into the thousands, but that doesn't stop me wishing all the same.
With that in mind, I've put together a list of tech across pricepoints. Starting from as little as £99 for an eReader with sparkle, it ventures all the way up to £3,141 - the perfect gift for anyone out there who wants to turn me a seething shade of green.
Nook Simple Touch GlowLight - £99
Even though I love eReaders in certain situations, I still use my tablet to read in bed for the obvious reason that it's backlit. It may be harsher on my delicate eyes, but I take the hit in favour of an extra 30 minutes a night of reading time - that and I don't want to have to buy a bedside table to put a bedside lamp on. Thankfully though, Barnes and Noble took its Nook eReader and added a soft light to the back and called the beauty - GlowLight.
The cheapest gadget on my wishlist, the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight - to give it its full name - is a 6-inch e-ink touchscreen device loaded with 2GB of non-expandable storage, 750MB of which is reserved for eBooks and other content. It also offers an impressive 2 months battery life with the backlight off and supports a range of file formats including PDF.
Perhaps the most enticing thing about the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight aside from its illumination is its industrial design, with a soft touch backingwith contours making it pleasing to hold.
What's more, at just £99, it's also competitively priced, so would make a stonking present for any reading fanatic out there, and may even leave you with enough cash to buy them a case to go with it.
LiveScribe Sky Pen - £129
The LiveScribe Sky Pen is an incredibly smart note-taking tool for recording audio and even the strokes you write. With Wi-Fi and Evernote integration, it uploads your notes automatically so you can access them anywhere, whether you've got the physical notepad you wrote them in, or not.
Thanks to the copious amount of tech on board, it's also the perfect present for the most hardcore gadget addict. There's a camera at the end of the Sky Pen which works, in conjunction with a special type of paper to record everything you write. The microphone on the upper portion of the pen also records sound while you write, and syncs the two together. This means that you can access everything that was said at a specific time of writing, perfect for fast paced meetings and lectures.
Thankfully, the LiveScribe note paper isn't prohibitively expensive and is available in a range of formats including Moleskin-esque note books and spiral bound folios. Currently retailing in the States for $150 for the 2GB version, the Sky Pen is pegged to land here in the UK in time for Christmas.
Samsung Galaxy Camera - £400
If you were to tell me that I'd want to fork out £400 for a 16-megapixel compact camera made by Samsung a year ago, I would have politely chuckled. You would however have been right, I do indeed want to fork out £400 for a 16-megapixel compact camera made by Samsung. Why? Because it's powered by Android.
I'm very into my mobile photography and am addicted to taking pictures on my Note 2, editing them on the fly and sharing them across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can imagine my delight when I found out Samsung would be releasing a compact camera that would let me up my imaging power on the go.
At the heart of the Samsung Galaxy Camera is a 16-megapixel back-side illuminated sensor along with a 21 x optical zoom lens and optical image stabilisation. It runs Android 4.1, Jelly Bean and packs an f/2.8 aperture at its widest angle. This results in images head and shoulders above anything Android has offered in the past and festive Instagram shots capable of looking sensational, filter free.
15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display - From £1,799
I'm of the firm belief - If I'm going to buy a desktop, I'll buy a PC. If I'm going to buy a laptop, I'll buy a MacBook - and what better Mac to go for than the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.
Getting the most obvious highlight out of the way first - the screen - it's stunning. Packing Apple's trademark Retina Display with a PPI of 220 pixels per inch, the 2,560x1600 pixel resolution ensures everything looks sensational.
Making tasks like web browsing and document scrolling a breeze thanks to Apple's intelligent trackpad, the MacBook Pro with Retina display also makes mincemeat of more hardcore tasks like video editing, PhotoShopping and InDesigning. The model I specced up for myself in a bout of wishful thinking features a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 along with 16GB RAM and 768GB of flash storage.
With this customisation costing £3,141 it'll likely be at least 10 or so years before I take the leap, but if anyone out there feels particularly inclined to make this tech writer's 2012, you know what to do.
Dell XPS One 27 - From £1,199
In true Ying and Yang fashion, we follow on from Apple and indeed wrap up our top tech Christmas gift list with an entry from Microsoft, and more specifically Dell.
The Dell XPS One 27 is a gorgeous alternative to an iMac and the only all in one I'd go for. While HP and other manufacturers have emulated the iMac's styling, Dell has taken an slightly different design direction.
It's not white, it's black. OK, so it's not worlds apart, but still, this is a 27-inch display stacked atop a fully articulating stand that lets you angle it through a range of motion. The 2,560x1,440 pixel resolution is more impressive than any other Windows 8 all in one and thanks to the newly added touch input and Windows 8 gesture support, we're nothing if not smitten.
With internals packing enough clout to match the sizeable display and power for most games and consumer tasks, we'd say the Dell XPS One 27 would make any recipient a very, very lucky boy or girl this Christmas.