by Darren Griffin
Are you struggling for gift ideas? Jaded with shopping, lost for inspiration? Or is the man in your life (or woman) a gadget nut who already has it all? Well don't go wasting hard earned cash on another pair of slippers or a festive jumper!
Why not take some of the pain out of shopping with our Christmas Gift Guide. Here are ideas for presents with a range of suggestions for all budgets. Avoid the nightmare of the high street at Christmas and let the internet take the strain.
1. Speed Camera Subscription £16.99 from PocketGPSWorld.com
We couldn't not mention our speed camera service could we! It offers the best data, the most open service with feedback, verification of every camera, Lifetime Subscriber offer for camera reports (terms apply) and weekly updates for a vast range of supported devices and applications. Why not gift someone a subscription for Christmas?
2. Arkon LavNav £13 from Morpeth Mobiles
The LavNav is a PIR sensor and light combined and affixes to the underside of the toilet lid. When the lid is opened, or if it detects someone approaching it lights up and illuminates the toilet. Better still, it lights up green if the seat is down and red if the seat is up and when you leave it switches off automatically.
It's a neat solution to an age old problem.
3. Passive Smartphone MiniMounts £19.99 from Co-Star.co.uk
Cellustar phone MiniMounts affix to your dashboard using self adhesive tape and can be stuck to curved surfaces. They have a built-in swivel and offer a small low profile, phone specific mounting solution at low cost. There is also a version available that can be screwed to a panel or mounting platform. There are versions available for iPhone (it fits iPhone 4 with bumper), BlackBerry, HTC and Nokia phones.
4. Griffin PowerJolt SE In-Car Charger £14.99 from Halfords
If you own an iPhone or iPad then you need a decent car charger. The best chargers available come from Griffin Technology. The SE version featured here outputs 2A and is therefore capable of charging an iPad with ease. A 60cm long cable will give you enough reach for most cigarette lighter sockets and the smartfuse protects your car and your tech.
5. Woodpad Hand Crafted iPad Stand £19.50 from Woodpad.co.uk
We don't make much in this country anymore but we still have some of the best craftsmen. Few of us can claim to own anything hand crafted but here is a lovingly crafted, hand finished, real wood iPhone or iPad stand. Available in a range of Hardwood timbers and designed to look great on any desk or coffee table.
1. Griffin WindowSeat Handsfree CarKit £26 from Amazon
Griffin's WindowSeat Handsfree CarKit holds your phone, charges it and provides hands free functionality as well as an AUX connection. And it supports a wide range of smartphones. We reviewed this great recently and scored it 8/10. It's well designed, has a simple and effective cradle plus a Griffin PowerJolt charger and cables to charge any microUSB equipped phone or iPhone.
2. OtterBox Defender iPhone 4 Case £22.49 from Amazon
If you use your smartphone as often as I do, and value it as much then there is no better protection you can bestow upon it than an Otterbox case.They offer a no-nonsense solutions with the very highest levels of protection in a design that looks great as well. Otterbox's Defender case comes complete with a belt holster that doubles as a stand for viewing media. Superlative protection, a rugged design that works well.
3. Orbitsound T3 Portable Speaker £49.99 from Orbitsound.com
The T3 is a portable rechargeable stereo speaker. About the same size as a mobile phone, it can be plugged into an iPod, PSP, smartphone etc and uses single point stereo technology to recreate a stereo soundscape. Forget the tinny sound from a built-in speaker or sharing a pair of headphones. With the T3 you can experience true stereo sound wherever you are.
4. Satmap Active 10 ProSHIELD £39.99 from Satmap.co.uk
If you own an Active 10 then the new ProSHIELD protective case is the perfect solution. It provides improved impact protection and additional protection against water and dust (IP67). IP67 offers protection against immersion in water up to 1m deep for 30 minutes, so ideal for our British weather!
5. IDAPT i4 Charging Station £39.99 from Firebox.com
This swish desktop charger allows you to charge up to four separate devices using a range of custom charge tips that can be swapped as required. No more wall wart charges hogging all the sockets!
There are three charge points on top of the unit and a USB port on the side that has enough oomph to charge an iPad.
1. Brodit Active Holder & ProClip £50-60 (depends on model) from DSL Developments
We have always been huge fans of Brodit's products. There is no better solution for mounting your phone, PDA or nav in your car. Coupled with a vehicle specific ProClip you have a no-holes solution that can be transferred from car to car without damage. They're sturdy, well designed and look like an OEM product. DSL Developments stock the huge range of Brodit products.
2. Arkon iPhone Bluetooth Handsfree CarKit £69.95 from Morpeth Mobiles
For iPhone 4 users, support for a phone fitted with a skin or the Apple bumper is the one most often requested features of a car cradle. Having to remove a case each time the phone is docked quickly becomes annoying. Arkon's solution offers the additional GPS receiver, amplified speaker, Bluetooth hands free and Line-Out in a cradle that is able to accommodate an iPhone 4 in its case and also supports other iPhone and iPod Touch models.
3. Infinit Solar Backpacks £63.00 (PGPS Special Offer) from Infinitsolarbags.com
Sunshine may be in short supply right now but if your loved one uses tech and would like the ability to charge it whilst out in the wilderness (or even out for a picnic) then the Solar bag from Inifint is the perfect solution. We reviewed these bags earlier this year and loved them. The built-in solar panel and battery pack enable you to top up or recharge your smartphone, PDA, handheld gaming device or MP3 player from the power of the sun alone and they're damned good backpacks as well.
4. Viewranger GB National Park Explorer £60.00 from Viewranger
Viewranger is a unique smartphone mapping and navigation application using Ordnance Survey mapping data. Available for Android, Symbian and iPhone smartphones. Why not add a GB National Park Explorer pack. Highly detailed OS Explorer mapping for the National Park of your choice including Viewranger Panoramic Mapping and pre-installed on a 2GB microSD memory card.
5. RouteBuddy for Mac OS X £62.00 from RouteBuddy.com
Mac OS X doesn't get much GPS love and so Mac users can be thankful that one of the few applications that is for Mac is RouteBuddy, one of the best mapping applications available on any platform. With a wide range of road and top map data available world-wide, RouteBuddy for Mac OS X supports GPS devices and can import and export data in .gpx or .kml. There is also a trial version available to download.