Tech Gadgets for your Christmas Wishlist

tech gadgets
"O (tiny) Christmas Tree" by Shermeee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Do you know what you want for Christmas? If you don’t, you’re in luck: we will run through a short list of tech gadgets that would be perfect to add to your wish list.

Smart Watch Tech

These days, smartwatches are commonplace, and they all sport a great number of features and utility. As such, I recommend two smartwatches that have made big waves in 2020:

Apple Watch SE

If you’re an Apple user, this is the smartwatch to get. As it is the slightly cheaper variant of the Apple Watch Series 6, you can’t really argue with the value here. Especially as it sports many of the same features as its big brother.

  • Two sizes: 40 and 44mm
  • Fall detection
  • WatchOS
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • Water Resistant to 50m
  • Aluminium construction
An example of the Apple Watch SE's colour choices.
Apple Watch SE. Image Source: Apple

The only downside here is that you need to be using an Apple phone alongside this watch to get the most value. If you already have one: this is the tech to buy.

Check out the Apple Watch SE (and other Apple products) here!

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

If you’re on the Android side, you’ll want to check out the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. With a very traditional circular design and a solid Titanium (or Stainless Steel) construction, it’s a sleek-looking device with an impressive feature set.

  • Two sizes: 41 and 45mm
  • Fall Detection
  • Tizen (OS)
  • Rotating Bezel
  • ECG Monitoring Tech
  • 5ATM Water Resistance rating
The many faces of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. Image Source: Samsung

The rotating bezel as an input method is what sells this watch to me over the Apple Watch SE. Maybe I’m used to my Samsung Gear S3, but the addition of an easy, quick, and intuitive way to interact with the OS without using the touch screen makes the watch a joy to use.

Check out the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (and other Samsung products) here!

Next-Gen Gaming Tech

This year, both the Xbox One X/S and the Playstation 5 were released to retail. These are significant steps forward in consumer gaming technology, and deserve a spot on this list, right?

Controllers

Personally, I’m a lot more interested in one particular aspect of the new consoles: the controllers. The thing that all players use to interact with their games and the console itself, the controller is often understated in its importance. If exclusive games won’t influence your decision on which console to buy, maybe the controller will.

Xbox Series Controller

Given its familiar look, the experience of using this controller will probably be very similar to its predecessor, the Xbox One controller. And that isn’t exactly a bad thing.

The front face of the XBox Series X/S
Xbox Series Controller. Image Source: Microsoft

Notable changes include the addition of a share button in the centre, a new textured surface for the triggers (not pictured), a matte coating on all buttons for grip, and a redesigned d-pad.

If you’re buying this for PC use, it will work out of the box on Windows.

Check out the Xbox Series X and its controller here!

PS5 Controller

On the contrary, Sony has changed just about everything about their controller from the previous generation, at least visually.

The most interest piece of tech to come of the this new console generation. In my opinion, of course
PS5 Controller. Image Source: Sony

Notable new features of the new Dualsense Controller include extensive haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The actuation force of the triggers is actually able to be changed, allowing for more extensive feedback to the player in select games.

If you’re a PC gamer, however, there isn’t any official support for this controller. Steam has updated Big Picture Mode, allowing the DualSense to be configured through it, but there is no adaptive trigger support as of now.

Check out the PlayStation 5 and the DualSense controller here!

Mechanical Keyboards

Custom mechanical keyboards are a staple of the tech gadget world, and I’m a fan of them myself. There is an incredibly wide selection of mechanical keyboard options, both pre-built and custom kits.

Ducky One 2 RGB TKL

The Ducky One 2 TKL would be a great entry point into the world of mechanical keyboards for anyone. With a standard layout (TKL for tenkeyless, meaning that it lacks a Numpad), it will be immediately comfortable and usable right away.

Ducky One 2 RGB TKL (RGB for the backlighting). Image Source: Ducky

This keyboard features RGB backlighting behind the keys, and several varieties of Cherry MX switches. If you’re inexperienced with mechanical keyboards, I’d recommend this as a starting point. Make sure to do your research on the switch options first, so that you can get a keyboard that you enjoy typing on.

Check out the Ducky One 2 RGB TKL here!

Planck Mechanical Keyboard

This is a personal pick and something that I’ve actually ordered for myself for Christmas. The Planck mechanical keyboard, designed by Jack Humbert of OLKB, is a 40% size keyboard that only consists of 4 rows of 12 keys.

An essential piece of tech for any typist, especially if they're into customisation
Planck-EZ by ZSA Technology Labs. Image Source: Planck-EZ

The keyboard is fully programmable, allowing for complete customisation of the function of every key, including custom layers through custom modifier keys. It even features a speaker, several backlighting options (depending on where you get one from), and hot-swappable key switches.

Check out the pre-assembled Planck-EZ here, or buy a Planck circuit board here (when they are in stock)!

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