Gift of gadgets

  • TECH
  • Monday, 02 Dec 2013

Sphero 2.0

It always pays to plan early and we have prepared an extensive list of tech toys to get you started on your holiday shopping.

No matter how old you are, you never out grow the spirit of giving and receiving presents. The holiday season and Christmas are just around the corner and what better time than now to start planning your purchases for your loved ones.

If you are not sure what to get then Bytz is here to help — we have looked through a long list of computer peripherals, smartphones, tablets, cameras, consoles and games to identify the ones that are the best in each category and price range.

In the past you would only consider getting a gadget for the geek in your circle but all that has changed. Just about everyone loves gadgets and even granpa or granma will love a tablet or robotic vacuum cleaner as a gift.

To make it easier for you we have separated them into categories, and here we start off with computer accessories and robotics.

Don’t blow your budget

If you plan to get something for someone that already owns tons of gadget then consider a powerbank. They are portable and lightweight, and are great for keeping smartphones and tablets charged in an emergency or while travelling.

There are many designs from easy-to-carry lipstick types to Transformers-like chargers of various capacities. There are even models that attach directly to the back of your phone like a cover and some, like the Power ResQ, can even jumpstart your car’s battery. The price starts at RM35.

ResQ powerbank
 ResQ powerbank

If your loved one is into taking photos then the ShutterBall remote is great for taking the perfect selfie or group picture (with you in it) using an iPhone or Android device.

The remote works from as far away as 60in away and goes for RM49.


But if moving pictures is more of your thing then the Google Chromecast will do wonders for you. It’s one of the easiest ways to stream content from your devices such as a smartphone to a HDTV. The Chromecast is priced at US$35 (RM105).

When you talk about movies, the issue is always storage space. Giving someone an external hard disk will allow the person to cart his or her data wherever they go.

You can opt for models that use 2.5in or 3.5in hard disk. Go for 2.5in if you are looking for portablity as they don’t need external power to function. The 3.5in models come with a lot more storage for the same price but require external power and are more bulky. Prices start at RM150 for the 500GB version.

Fun and fitness

If you are looking for something a little higher up then the Logitech G602 MMO Gaming Mouse will be great for any kid or adult who plays games online. It’s particularly suited for MMORGP (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) as it comes with a lot of customisable buttons.

This little beauty is getting great reviews from the gaming world and will set you back by RM259.

Logitech G602
Logitech G602

If you want something with more general appeal then a remote control tank is sure to be a hit because you can control it from your iOS or Android device. Most use Bluetooth but the Rover 2.0 uses WiFi which means you can operate it from a longer distance and use its night vision camera to record videos in the dark. Tell the recipient to not do anything naughty or he or she won’t be getting Rover 3.0 next year. Rover 2.0 is priced at RM449.

Rover 2.0
Rover 2.0

As this is the holiday season, you will also want to print all the photos of friends and family. You can do this best with the Canon Selphy CP900. This dye-sublimation model prints great postcard-sized photos and can work independently without a PC, as it comes with a card reader and can also connect to your wireless network.

As it’s portable, you can always take it with you if you are willing to pay RM399.

Gadgets can also get you healthy. The Nike+ FuelBand SE comes in a variety of colours including classic black, volt, pink foil and total crimson. It’s perfect for the fitness fans and is one of the best motivational watches on the market, as it tells time and also counts calories. Get this one for about US$149 (RM470)

Money doesn’t matter

This is the year-end after all and if you want to splurge then you have reached the right place. For pure fun you can gift the Sphero 2.0, a robotic ball that will provide you with endless hours of fun. This ball rolls at speeds of up to seven-feet-per-second and can be controlled from an Android or iOS device via Bluetooth. It comes with two ramps and works with over 25 apps for you to explore a new world of mobile gameplay.

This ball isn’t cheap and is priced at RM549.

Not all robotics are just for fun. Enter the Samsung Navibot-S, a robotic vacuum cleaner that will keep your floors clean all the time without much help from you. It’s so smart it even empties out the debris it collects into its base station so you don’t have to throw out the rubbish often. We tested it and what impressed us most is that it’s one of the quietest robotic vacuum cleaners in the market — you won’t mind letting it loose in your house. The Navibot-S costs RM2,999

Moving on, the Garmin GDR35 is one of the more advanced driving video recorders. It has two cameras — one for the front and the other for the back. This means that you can record video with two simultaneous views of what’s happening on the front and the back of your car. Other features include an integrated GPS chip to encode each video with location information as well as a gravity sensor which will alert the camera when there is a collision or emergency braking to activate recording. This baby costs RM750.

Finally, if all else doesn’t appeal to you then maybe the Beats by Dr Dre’s Pill, a portable speaker, will get your attention because it’s simply loud.

This is really handy because smartphone and tablet users love to share their music but the built-in speakers in these devices are just sad.

The Pill sets itself apart from the competition with its unique eye-catching design, sound quality and extra features like NFC (Near Field Communications) connectivity. It costs RM790.

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